Senapati

Senapati (Sanskrit: sena- meaning "army", -pati meaning "lord") was a hereditary title of nobility used in the Maratha Empire. During wartime, a Sardar Senapati or Sarsenapati (also colloquially termed Sarnaubat) functioned as the Commander-in-Chief of all Maratha forces, coordinating the commands of the various Sardars in battle.

Ranking under the heir-apparent crown prince and other hereditary princes, the title Senapati most closely resembles a British Duke or German Herzog in rank and function. On occasion, the title Mahasenapati (Sanskrit: maha- meaning "great") was granted; this best equates to a Grand Duke or a German Großherzog.

Unlike Sardar, Senapati is a primogeniture hereditary title that passes on to the eldest son. There are several royal Senapati families alive today, including the Ghorpade and Dabhade families.

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