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 Administrative System during Vijaynagar Period

 Administrative System during Vijaynagar Period

  • The Vijaynagar empire was founded on well established traditions and principles.


  • He was a typical oriental despot with ultimate authority in civil, military and judicial matters, albeit he was a benevolent despot ruling according to Varnashrama.         Administrative System during Vijaynagar Period

Central Administration:

  • The Vijaynagar rulers were aided and advised in the discharge of their royal functions by a council of ministers, who were nominees of the crown and held office at the pleasure of the king.
  • The functions of the court were purely advisory in nature. Nuniz and Abdur Razzak attest to the existence of Secretariat.

Provincial Administration:

  • The empire was divided into various provinces called mandals which were miniature replicas of the central administration.
  • The mandals were headed by Nayaks who exercised all civil, military and judicial powers in their jurisdiction.
  • There were about 200 Nayaks also called Mandalsvares. They were paid salary in the form of land assignments and allowed to maintain an army and expected to help the central authority in times of war.
  • The mandalas were further subdivided into nadus (district) and nadus were in turn divided into various villages.           Administrative System during Vijaynagar Period

Local Administration:

  • At the local level, village was the unit of administration. Self-government as existed during the time of Cholas weakened and professional classes known as Ayagars (there were 12 of them ) took control of the village, the most prominent among them were Reddy (the chief farmer), Karnam (the clerk) and Jalari (the chief watchman of village).

Revenue Administration:

  • The chief source of state income was land revenue which varied from 1/3 rd to 1/2 and was collected in both cash and kind.
  • According to Abudr Razzaq, even courtesans were taxed and the total tax of 12,000 panas used to pay the salaries of the policemen. Kaikkolas, a class of weavers were exempt from taxation.

Judicial Administration:

  • King was fountainhead of justice based on brahmanical traditions. He presided over the Sabha, the highest court of appeal.
  • There was a regular hierarchy of courts. The state officials at time settled disputes with help of local bodies.

Military Administration:

  •  It was feudal in character. Abdur Razzak says that the city of Vijaynagar had seven fortified walls. King was the supreme commander of the armed forces.   Administrative System during Vijaynagar Period
  • The military department was under the control of Dandnayaka or commander in chief. Infantry was recruited from various classes and religions including muslims.
  • Cavalry was the most important wing and horses were imported from Hormuz through the Portuguese. Artillery was in the hands of foreign soldiers.
  • Elephants and camels also played their part. The central army was paid in cash.


Medieval History

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