What is Mansabdari System?

The term mansab means an office or a rank and a person who occupied this office or held the rank came to be known as a mansabdar. A mansabdar maintained horsemen or soldiers depending on his rank in the court. Important features of the Mansabdari system were

Features of the Mansabdari System

Some important features of the Mansabdari System were

  • An official in the royal service was given a rank or a mansab depending on the nature of his work. While a mansabdar of a lower level could maintain up to ten horsemen, the mansabdar of the highest level could keep seven thousand horsemen.
  • The mansabdars were appointed by the king. The king had the power to promote or dismiss them.
  • The king paid his mansabdars in the form of jagirs. The revenue collected from the jagir could be used by the mansabdars to pay his horsemen.
  • The mansabdars had the right to collect only a fixed amount of revenues from their jagirs and had no power to administer them.
  • During the reign of Aurangzeb, the number of mansabdars increased substantially. This resulted in the shortage of jagirs.

Land Revenue System

Raja Todar Mal was the revenue minister of Akbar. He introduced some important reforms in the revenue system. The main features of the revenue system at this time were

  • Land was surveyed and was measured with a bamboo string attached with iron rings.
  • The cultivable land was categorised into four kinds—extremely fertile, fertile, middling and bad.
  • To calculate the land revenue to be paid, the average produce of the last ten years was taken into account, and the revenue was fixed on the basis of this average.
  • One-third of the produce was to be paid as the revenue which could be paid either in cash or in kind.
  • In case of failure of crops because of droughts and floods, the state advanced loans to farmers.

Also, Read 4 Sources of the Mughal Empire

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