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the office of chief minister among the Maratha people of India. The peshwa, also known as the mukhya pradhan, originally headed the advisory council of the raja Sivaji (reigned c. 1659-80). After Sivaji's death, the council broke up and the office lost its primacy, but it was revived when Sivaji's grandson Shahu appointed Balaji Visvanath Bhat, a Chitpavan Brahman, as peshwa in 1714. Balaji's son Baji Rao I secured the hereditary succession to the peshwaship.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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