The administration of Bahmanis was based on the pattern of the Delhi Sultanate. The king was at the apex of the system and enjoyed absolute powers. He was the chief executive, supreme commander of the forces, highest court of appeal, and sometimes even a preacher. He was shadow of the God on earth.

The only limitation to his power was the shariah or the tenets of the Holy Quran. The Bahmani kings acknowledged the supremacy of the Abbasid Caliphs and on their coins they designated themselves as “right hand of the Caliphate”.

The king was assisted by a council of ministers that retained the office at his will. The prime minister was known as vakil-us-sullanat. The amir-i-jumla was the finance minister. Amir-i-Ashraf or foreign minister looked after external affairs. Vazir-i-Kul was the auditor-general; Sadr-i-Jahan was the head of the judiciary.

Besides there were other officers such as kotzval and nazir (finance secretary), and qur beg-i-maisarah, commander of the right wing and qur beg-i-mainanah, commander of the left wing.


The sultan conducted most of his business at the darbar and dewati meetings. The darbar was a large assembly where were present the ministers, the nobles, and the officials. General complaints and grievances and reports from provincial governments were considered and decisions taken.

The darbar was usually held every Friday morning. The dewan meetings were held by the king everyday with his ministers. These meetings were held in camera and all important decisions were taken there.

Some of the officers entrusted with the administration of the royal household were vakil-i-dar (chief superintendent of royal palace), barbak (master of ceremonies in the court), ha jib (who arranged the darbar and transmitted royal messages), saa-jandaaz (commander of personal body guards), akhur bak (superintendent of royal horses), shahnah-i-Fil (superintedent of elephants), shahnah-i-khwan (superintendent of royal kitchen), saradbar (superintendent of water supply), chasnigir (taster), etc.

The system of Iqtas was adopted by the Bahmanis from the Delhi sultans. In fact, this system was prevalent in ancient India when large tracts of land were granted in lieu of military service.


The Turkish sultans in the north took possession of all such land and distributed it among their followers who were expected to keep law and order and maintain a standing army. The surplus income, if any, was to be deposited in the royal treasury.

In ancient India it was hereditary but the Bahmanis like the Delhi sultans ordained that the estate reverted to the state after the death of the muqlai (or the recipient).