Akbar – Central administration

Introduction: The Mughal kings were not only great conquerors but also accomplished a lot in the sphere of administration. Akbar, however, was the first of the Mughal emperors who set up an excellent system of administration.

Mughal emperor

‌The head of Administration was the emperor. He considered himself as the vice regent of God on earth and believed in the theory of divine right of Kings. He was practically himself state and source of all authority; his word was law; he enforced the law and punished those who would not obey the laws. He was also the highest military authority. Of course, in the discharge of his kingly duties, the emperor was advised and assisted by a body of ministers.

From Abul Fazal we learn about the daily routine of the emperor. Early in the morning he got up and gave jharokha (dharshan) to the people. He listened to the complaints to the complaints of the common people. He held his court which lasted for 4 and half hours. People were allowed to present their petitions and the emperor decided their cases there and then. The emperor then inspected the Troops, mansabdars and retired for the afternoon. In the afternoon the king held his full Darshan in the Diwan-i- Am. Here he attended to the business pertaining to workshops, appointments and promotions of mansabdars and grant of jagirs. Foreign ambassadors and visitors were also received in the Darbar.

Sometimes prisoners of war and vanquished foes or rebels were presented before the emperor in the evening and often at night the king held meeting of his ministers and counselors in Diwan-i- khas where special matters relating to internal and foreign policy were discussed. Late at night a meeting of most confidential ministers was held in a room called Daulatkhana because it was quite near to the Royal bath. All told he worked about 16 hours a day.