Mauryan Administration in Ancient India

The Mauryan Administration was divided into three Divisions they were:

1. Central Administration

2. Provincial Administration and

3. Local Administration

Central Administration 

                                 The Central Administration consist of 

         1.The king

                                     2.The Council of ministers

                                     3. The Bureaucracy

                                     4.Civil Servants



                                     7.Judicial Administration

                                      8.Public health and Sanitation


                                      10. Military Administration


The king could be elected but hereditary kingship was the established practice. He was the supreme head of the state. His duty is to protect people and seek their welfare.”The Arthasastra says “In the happiness of his subjects lays his happiness, in their welfare his welfare. The kings lived in large and comfortable palace it was highly patronized by Megasthanese. He protects his life from treachery and poisoning.


The Council of ministers had 3-12 members. It was headed by chief. All of them were appointed by king. All administrative measures were preceded by deliberations in that council. It consists of purohita, Mahamantri, Senaathipathi and Yuvaraja.


The Mauryan administration was carried on by an organised, efficient and was highly centralised. Arthasastra refers that there were eighteen high officials of the state.  The officers below the rank were called yukta and upyukta. The bureaucracy were : 

1.Sannidhata- head of treasury,2.samaharta- collector general of revenue 3.the purohita – chief priest  4.senapati – commander of the army 5. Pratihara – gate keeper 6. Durgapala- governor of the fort 7. Nyayadish – chief justice


The civil servants were called Amatyas. There were Dhammamahamatras – the spreader/ propagator of Dhamma.


The chief revenue officer is Samhitas. The revenue will be collected from land irrigation, customs, crafts, shops, forest and mines. The revenue is fixed as 1/6 of the cultivation. The royal share of the produce of the soil called the Bhaga. Widespread use of currency indicates the increased trade and commerce. There will be taxes like toll tax , trade tax , mine tax , fish tax , irrigation tax and license tax.


The expenditure was primarily to the king and royal family, Army, to the public works, poor and for relief measures.


The limbs of the body.There were both civil and criminal courts. There was the court of the chief justice who provided justice with the help of four or five other judges. Dhammamahamatras were for re-consulting case for the victims’ .There also remission and exemptions for some cases.


Proper care was taken by the state of public health. Elaborate rules were framed for sanitation purposes which were strictly enforced. There were hospitals not only for human beings but also for birds and animals.


Census will be taken for birth and death occurring at every place, caste and profession will also be taken by a village officer. There will be census for foreigners coming for trade. There are animal counting also which will be recorded as permanent records and it was rechecked.


Senathipathi was the supreme head of the military. There were 6 lakhs infantry, 30,000 cavalry, 9,000 elephants and 8,000 chariots. The Administration of the army was looked after by a council of 30 members which was divided into 6 committee of five members for the six departments of the army. They were




                                   4. Cavalry

                                   5.war chariots 

                                  6. War elephants