Dhanaji Jadhav, a virile general of Queen Tarabai wrested the control of Pune from the Mughals after the death of Aurangazeb. Available documents show that Balaji Vishwanath, who became the first Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha Empire, was the subhedar of the Pune prant (district), in 1699 while the city was still under dual control - both Marathas and Mughals. Balaji Vishwanath died in 1721, and was succeded by his son - Peshwa Bajirao I, who ruled the Maratha empire for about two decades. Peshwa Bajirao I chose Pune to be the capital of the then mighty Maratha Empire. This was the period when the seeds of Pune being destined to occupy a proud position as the central stage of socio-political activities in the country during the later half of 18th century were sown.
Peshwa Bajirao I constructed the splendid Shaniwar Wada (1729-1736), built Omkareshwar and Amruteshwar temples. Balaji, son of Bajirao, built the Parvati lake and the temple. The city expanded with Nageshwar temple and Tulshi Baug (Tulshi garden). Raviwar Peth, too, was founded during this period by Mahajan Vevhare Joshi. Guruwar, Sadashiv and Shaniwar Peths and a few gardens were also built during this period (1740-1761). In 1764 the Kotwali, corresponding to modern day police, was established in Pune.
However, within a decade, Madhavrao was able to restored the lost glory of Pune. The Somwar Peth was built at this time. Madhavrao also had proposed to wall the city, but the plan was opposed by Maratha king Chhatrapati Shahu.
Madhavraos death heralded the begining of internal strife in the Peshwa family, which culminated in tragic murder of the young Peshwa Narayanrao. The last two decades of 18th century witnessed rise of Nana Phadanavis, who ably governed the realm as the regent of the young Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao. Nana Peth was founded by Nana Phadanavis for wholesale grain merchants in 1791. Ganesh Peth, Narayan Peth and Bhavani Peth were also founded in the last decade of 18th century.
The death of Madhavrao was the signal for the collapse of the Peshwa power. The four powerful commanders of the Peshwas - Scindias, Holkars, Gaikwads and Bhosles, gained enough power to destabilise the Peshwa domination. In 1802, Yashwantrao Holkar signed the treaty of Bassin with the British, on behalf of Bajirao II and thereafter, the Marathas came under the British power.
The last Anglo-Maratha war saw the defeat and deposition of Peshwa Bajirao II. The decisive battle of Kirkee was fought on the plains of Bhamburda and Pune came under the British rule.