Essay on the salary structure during the Mughal Empire


Based upon the details given in the Ain-i-Akbari of the salaries and other emoluments of the various categories of government officials, we can get a good idea of the salary structure of the mansabdars. The mansabdars received cash salaries and these were fairly high. No mansabdar, whether he was a high- ranking general or a prince, could hold a jagir indefinitely. Each mansabdar received a fixed rate of pay according to his mansab.

Even after meeting the costs of maintaining his establishment, including horses and beasts of burden, the mansabdar was left with a substantial amount of money to ensure for himself a rather luxurious life-style. Starting at the lowest level, a mansabdar of ten received a monthly salary of rupees 100, 82.5 and 75, depending on whether he belonged to the first, second or third class.

Each mansabdar was required to maintain four horses of specified breeds, the approximate cost of which was rupees forty-four per month. After deduct­ing this expenditure from his gross emoluments, the first class mansabdar of ten received fifty-six rupees, the second-class mansabdar received thirty-eight rupees and the third class mansabdar, thirty-three rupees. The salary of soldiers in the mansabdar’s contingent came’ from the state treasury.


Similarly for higher officers, such as the amir of the lowest rank or the mansabdar of 500, gross emoluments per month were to the tune of rupees 2500, 2300 and 2100, depending on whether he belonged to the first, second or third class. After deducting rupees 1170, which was the approximate cost of his establishment, from the gross emoluments, the net personal salary of the mansabdar came to 1330, 1130 and 930 rupees for the first, second and the third class respectively.

Abul Fazl mentions that the establishment of a mansabdar of 500 comprised 30 horses and 12 elephants, ten camels, two mules and 15 wheeled carts. Subordinate government officials like horse­men, foot soldiers, matchlockmen, and even the menials, were also fairly well-paid. For example, the monthly salary of a foot-soldier varied from 240-500 dams, when forty dams equalled a silver rupee.

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