Powada & Lavni

Side by side with Bhakti movement of the traditional narrative poets dedicated to ‘spiritual democracy’, the Shāhīrs or the composers of historical ballads (Powāḍās) and lyrics of love (Lāvņīs) inspired the people with national spirit, as well as romantic love, the natural instinct in human life. […] The Powāḍās or ballads are much older than the Lāvņīs.

“Apart from their (ballads) value as a national poetry,” says H. A. Acworth. “their phraseology is well worthy of study as an example of the flexibility, the force, the richness, and capacity of the vernacular language of the Marāthā ryot.”

If the Powāḍā is masculine in its robust vigour, the Lāvņī is feminine in its tone and tenor. […] Although some of the Lāvņīs are pornographic, a great majority of them are undoubtedly poetic. Honājī’s Ghanashyām Sundarā Shridharā (an invocation to Lord Krishna at dawn) is a case in point.

~ from “Language and Literature in the Eighteenth Century – Marathi”, by R.V. Herwadkar; in “The History and Culture of the Indian People – Volume Eight, The Maratha Supremacy”, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.


Saranjam (सरंजाम), literally, material, furniture. Ideal English spelling would be saranjaam.

In the context of the Maratha period, a system of grants and land assignments.

Another definition from the “A Compendium of Molesworth’s Marathi and English Dictionary By James Thomas Molesworth, Baba Padmanji

“Villages and lands granted in inaam to persons from whom the maintaining of forts or troops for the public service is required, or upon whom a horse, a paalkhi, or other honorable yet expense-involving gift has been conferred.”


Pargana (परगाणा) is a political sub-division equivalent of a district.

In my opinion, this should ideally be spelled as pargaaNaa or parganaa because of its pronunciation.


Sanad (सनद) was an official commission or a warrant or a grant. This was usually a sealed paper that authorised the ‘sanad-holder’ to certain rights. A sanad was granted by an imperial authority, usually to collect taxes and mantain and develop allocated land.

More information:

Wikipedia | Zamindar | History

The Royal Ark | India | Glossary


Chauth was a charge under which a state or a territory paid twenty-five percent of its land revenue to the Marathas in return for protection against a foreign aggression. Chauth can be well-compared to the Subsidiary System of alliances, later adopted by Lord Wellesly

Chhabra, G. S. (2005). The Maratha Administration. Advance Study in the History of Modern India (Volume-1: 1707-1803) (p. 62). New Delhi: Lotus Press.


Sardeshmukhi was a charge equal to one-tenth of the land revenue which a hereditary Deshmukh, in the time of the Mughals, kept to himself in return for the collection of the revenue and the maintenance of law and order in a territory allotted to him

Chhabra, G. S. (2005). The Maratha Administration. Advance Study in the History of Modern India (Volume-1: 1707-1803) (p. 62). New Delhi: Lotus Press.