THE MANSABDARI SYSTEM

Every official in the Mughal empire, high or low, had a rank or a mansab. Their status, duties, pay and importance were graded accordingly. Technically, all mansabdars had to maintain a military contingent for which they were paid. All other officials were paid in cash. During Akbar’s time the official bearing a decimal rank of 500 were ranked as a noble

nor umara. But by the end of the seventeenth century the mansabdars with 1000 rank were accorded the status of a umara.
All mansabdars had dual ranks and they were remunerated on that basis. The successful regulation of the mansabs and the salary assignment (jagirdari system) can be truly termed as a Mughal phenomenon

All Mughal officials received a dual rank when they joined the Mughal imperial service. That was zat (personal salary) and sawar (payment for the military contingent). For example the mansab of Prince Salim (Jahangir) was 5000 zat/5000 sawar. What does it mean: Prince Salim’s personal salary was based on his mansab of 5000 zat and for 5000 sawar, he had to maintain a military contingent.

During Akbar’s reign the ratio was one horsemen and two horses and a mansabdar of 5000 sawar had to maintain a contingent of 5000 horsemen. The mansabdars zat rank never exceeded his sawar rank (either it used to be equal 5000/5000 or 3000/ 4000 or less than the sawar rank). The zat numerals were always used to be stated first.
The highest rank (mansab) was 7000/7000 which was awarded to the officials/royalty
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CHANGES IN THE MANSABDARI

After the reign of Akbar when the highest ranking mansabdars who had reached the maximum limit in their mansab had nothing to aspire for. For this reason there were some changes in the mansabdari system.
The quota of the contingent which each mansabdar had to maintain was lowered and there were further reductions in the contingent if the mansabdars were posted on the frontiers or far away places.
Changes in the mansabdari system:
Du-aspa and sih-aspa categories: For example the mansab of Ali Mardan Khan (1628) was 7000/7000 du-aspa (His personal rank was 7000 but for his 7000 contingent he had to maintain only 66% of troops)

If the sih-aspa category was added then the mansabdar had to maintain 33% of his contingent.