Chauth and Sardeshmukhi

Chauth and Sardeshmukhi:

Literally, Chauth is now known as extortion. Shivaji had raided from Surat to Madras and had divided the entire area into two parts. The area within his own “Swarajya” or Mulk-i-Qadim was the area that belonged to the Marathas. The outside area whenever plundered was to be levied the two taxes Chauth and Sardeshmukhi. Chauth was One fourth of the tax that was given by the people to the Mughal or the Deccan Kingdoms.

  • Thus Chauth was levied at the cost of either the Mughal revenue or the Deccan kingdoms revenue.
  • Chauth was levied on a promise that Marathas will not raid the area which pays them Chauth.
  • Sardeshmukhi was an additional tax which was 1/10th of the revenue levied by the Mughals.

Marathi was his official language and he made Ashta Pradhan his main axis of administration.