Main Features of Mansabdari System
Mansabdari system was of Central Asian origin. Some of the features of Mansabdari System were in vogue during the reigns of Alauddin Khalji and Sher Shah. The Mansabdari system was formally organized and introduced by Akbar in his administration. This system formed the foundation of military and civil administration of Mughal Empire.
Mansab meant rank or status. Akbar disliked jagir system as the same caused unnecessary loss to the central treasury. On the contrary he introduced Mansabdari system. Mansabdars or office holders were divided into 33 classes and were paid in cash according to their respective grades. Each of them had to maintain a certain number of horses and troops. These troops were used by the Mughal Emperor in times of crisis and wars.
The lowest mansab was 10; at the end of the reign the highest mansab was raised to 12,000. Mansabdars were generally assigned jagirs in line of pay in cash. Some mansabdars commanded troops recruited not by themselves but by the state.
Most Mansabdars were foreigners or descendants of foreigners Central Asian, Turks, Persians and Afghans. The number of Indian holding this rank was relatively small. Consequently Mansabdars who raised then own troops preferred men of their tribe or race.
The Mansabdars System in India constituted imperial bureaucracy. They were said to be the pillars of the Mughal administration. In fact they formed the ruling class in the Mughal Empire.