Mansabdari System

Mansabdari System was a system introduced by Akbar for military administration and territorial commands (grant and revenue) to sustain parts of army. His experiences led him to conclude that rather than relying in the Irani and Turkish nobles, he should also include the Indian Muslims (Sheikhzadas), Afghans and Rajputs in the Mughal army.

The Mansabdari system was borrowed from the system followed in Mongolia.The Mughal officers whether Hindus or Muslims were granted territorial commands in return for the military service. They had to bring in some fixed number of men-at-arms, horses and elephants to the field and were rated as per the numbers which was known as Zats. So they were called Mansabdars of 10, 20, 100, and 1000 and so on.

  • Mansingh was the first Mansabdar of 7000 zats and Bhagwan Das with 5000 zats enjoyed the privileged position in the Mansabdari system of Akbar.

But again this system was not perfect. The greed of the Mansabdars ate all the grant or revenue and no money was left for the soldiers. There was a general corruption that the Mansabdars dressed their kith and kins, servants, dhobis and Malis as soldiers and registered them and send them back to do what they were doing earlier. The weavers and carpenters were hired to obtain a Mansab and become a Crori, and later not a trace of the horse brought by them would be found.