Who were mansabdars? What were their responsibilities?

The Mughals recruited diverse bodies of people in order to run the empire smoothly. Those who joined Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars.

The term mansabdar referred to an individual holding a mansab, meaning a position or rank. It was a grading system used by the Mughals to fix rank, salary and military responsibilities.

The mansabdars were assigned to military responsibilities. For this they maintained a specified number of sowar or cavalrymen. The mansabdar brought his cavalrymen for review, got them registered, their horses branded and then received money to pay them as salary.

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