The Mughal administration has been described as Kaghazi raj or Paper Government2 because of the enormous transit of papers from one department to the other in the course of official business during the Mughal period. It is, however, a strange irony of history that very few papers of the so-called Paper Government have come down to us. The reason is not far to seek. The great anarchy that followed the disintegration of the Mughal Empire was not conducive to the preservation of the official records. This would largely explain the disappearance of the Imperial as well as Provincial Mughal archives.
            Notwithstanding the unfavorable conditions mentioned above, some fragments of the Imperial as well as Provincial Mughal archives have come down to us. Of the former, we have a few fragments relating to the last three Mughal emperors. They escaped destruction simply, because they were brought together by the British for the purpose of the trial of Bahadur Shah-II, the last Mughal roi fainéant, and subsequently transferred to the Imperial Record Department (now called National Archives of India) where they are preserved along with the so-called Mutiny Papers.
            Similarly, the Provincial Mughal archives have succumbed to the ravages of time with the exception of records in the Deccan which relate mainly to the reigns of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. They outlived destruction simply because they remained locked up in the Fort of Ark at Aurangabad till they were transferred to the Daftar-i- Diwani wa Mal (now called Andhra Pradesh State Archives) at Hyderabad where they are preserved along with the Asafia archives.
            The National archives of India has had the singular good fortune of acquiring a rare collection of Mughal records from Nawab Inayat Jang of Hyderabad who claims to have inherited them from his great grandfather, Rukn al-Daula, the renowned Diwan of Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah-II. Rukn al-Daula was appointed Diwan on Monday, 12 Rajab, 1177 A.H./16 January, 1764 A.D. and held that post till his assassination on 26 Safar, 1189 A.H./ 27 April, 1775 A.D.3He played an important part in his master’s negotiations with the English and the Marathas4. It was during this period of his ministership that Rukn al-Daula is reported to have salvaged a huge mass of Mughal records from the Fort of Bahadurgarh, Sarkar Mahur, in the late Hyderabad State. After his death they continued to be in the custody of his descendants till they were recently acquired by the National Archives of India where they are preserved among other private papers under the title ‘Inayat Jang Collection’. This collection, to some extent, fills up the gap existing in the Provincial Mughal records available in the State Archives of Andhra Pradesh.
            The Inayat Jang Collection comprises more than 1,37,000 documents relating to the Provincial Mughal administration of the Deccan from 29 Julus of Emperor Aurangzeb (1685 A.D.) to 15 Julus of Shah Alam-II (1774 A.D.) when Asaf Jah-II (1762-1803 A.D.) had become the de facto ruler of the Deccan though he owed nominal allegiance to the Mughal roi fainéant of Delhi. The bulk of records pertaining to the region of each individual Emperor is approximately as mentioned hereunder:
            Emperor                      Viceroy           Period covered                  Bundles
Aurangzeb                                           29-51 Julus
(1069-1118 A.H./1659-1707 A.D.)    (1685-1707 A.D.)                               24
Azam Shah                                                      1 Julus                               2
(1118-19 A.H./1707 A.D.                               (1707 A.D.)
Shah Alam Bahadur Shah-I                            1-5 Julus                                  9
(1119-24 A.H./ 1707-12 A.D.)                       (1707-12 A.D.
Jahandar Shah                                                 1 Julus                                 1
(1124 A.H./1713-19 A.D.)                             (1712-13 A.D.)
Farrukhsiyar                                                    1-7 Julus                                15
(1124-31 A.H./1713-19 A.D.)                                    (1713-19 A.D.
Rafi al-Darajat                                                1 Julus                                     1
(1131 A.H. /1719 A.D.)                                  (1719 A.D.)                            
Rafi al-Daula Shah Jahan-II-                          1 Julus                                         1
(1131 A.H./1719 A.D.)                                   (719 A.D.)
Muhammad Shah
(1131-61 A.H. / 1719-48 A.D.)          Nizam al Mulk Asaf 1-30 Julus          107
                                                            Jah-I (1137-61 A.H.    (1719-48 A.D.)
                                                            1724-48 A.D.)
Ahmad Shah                                       1. Nasir Jang (1161-    2-3 Julus            1
(1161-67 A.H. 1748-54 A.D.)            64 A.H./1748-50         (1750-52 A.D.)
(1768-74 A.D.)
2. Salabat Jang
(1164-67 A.H./
1750-54 A.D.)
Shah Alam-II                                      1.Salabat Jang             9-15 Julus        10
(1173-1221 A.H. /1759-1806 A.D.) (1167-75 A.H/               (1768-74 A.D.)
                                                            1754-62 A.D.)
                                                            2. Nizam Ali Khan
                                                            Asaf Jah-II (1176-
                                                            1218 A.H./1762-
                                                            1803 A.D.)
The records enumerated above are spread over more than a century and deal with the administration of the Deccan which under Aurangzeb was divided into the following six subas:
1.                            Dar al-Surur (Burhanpur), 2. Dar al-Zafar (Bijapur), 3. Zafarabd (Muhmmadabad Bidar), 4. Berar, 5. Khujistabunyad (Aurangabad), 6. Farkhundabunyad (Hyderabad). These six subas were administered by the officer called Nazim who was the vice-gerent of the Mughal Emperor, Next to him in official rank was the Diwan. These two principal officers of the Province between them shared the responsibility of practically the whole administrative machinery which was more or less a miniature of that of the Central Government. The Nazim was responsible for the executive, defence, criminal justice and general supervision. The Diwan was responsible primarily for revenue administration but had also the general control of the department of which the Sadr was in charge. They were assisted in the work of administration by the following officers who presided over the departments mentioned against each one of them:
Department                                                     Presiding Officer
Military Pay and Accounts    “         “                         Bakhshi
Intelligence and Posts “          “                             Darogha-i-dak chauki
Ecclesiastical Affairs,             “          “                          Sadr
Endowments and Charities
Public Works                           “          “                  Diwan-i- buyutat
Canon Law                             “          “                       Qazi
Censorship of Public Morale   “                                    Muhtasib
Artillery                                               “                   Mir Atish or
    Darogha-i- top Khana5
            The provincial administrative structure of the Mughal empire described above is more or less reflected in the papers constituting the Inayat Jang Collection. Majority of the records, however, belong to the Department of Exchequer and Revenue which was presided over by the Diwan. This was but natural inasmuch as the Diwan was expected to perform multifarious duties. Among others his chief duties were: collection of revenue from the Khalisa mahals and keeping the accounts of balances and receipts, supervising the lands assigned for charitable endowments, allotting and disbursing salaries to officers of the province according to their rank, and administering the financial business in relation to the jagirs assigned according to the royal sanads. In the transaction of these official duties the Diwan created numerous records some of which are to be found in the Inayat Jang Collection. Of these large numbers of records, some typical categories are mentioned below:
  1. Awarja-i- Pishkash-i- Sarkar-i- Khalisa (Abstract of taxes received from the reserved lands).
  2. Fihrist-i- ahl-i- khidmat-i- khalisa sharifa (List of officials of the reserved lands).
  3. Yaddasht-i- madakhil u makharij (Memorandum of receipts and disbursements).
  4. Yaddasht-i- ism nawisi-i- desmukhan wa muqaddaman wa despandian wa patwarian (Memorandum containing names of desmukhs, muqaddams, despandes and patwaris).
  5. Yaddasht-i- dihat (Memorandum of parganas).
  6. Yaddasht-i- parganat (Memorandum of parganas).
  7. Muchalka-i- desmukhi (Covenant taken by the amils from the desmukhs stating that the amils expected no more from them than they were entitled to demand).
  8. Haqiqat-i- rusum-i- desmukhan (Statement of perquisites of desmukhs).
  9. Jama wasil baqi (Statement showing gross revenues, actuals and balances outstanding).
The following specimen of Jama wasil baqi of Pargana Bailoni, Sarkar Haveli, Suba Dar al-Zafar Bijapur in 32 Julus of Aurangzeb (1690 A.D.) will give some idea about the nature of this type of documents:
Pargana Bailoni, Sarkar Haveli
(gross revenue)
Rs. 843, annas 12
BA’D HUSUL-I- SANAD                            HAMA BA AQSAT
(After receipt of the Sanad)                            (all by instalments)
Rs. 210, annas 15                                            Rs. 632, annas 13
Desmukh Bam Naik son of Hem                    Despande Takhoji as per
Naik as per parwana under the seal                parwana under the seal
of Jumdat al-mulk Madar al-mahamm            of Jumdat al-mulk Madar
dated 29 Jumada-II- Julus 32 (30 March        al-mahamm dated 29
1690 A.D.)                                                      Jumada-II- Julus 32
(30 March 1690 A.D.)
            Rs. 112, annas 8                                              Rs. 56, annas 4
            Muqarrara pishkash                                         Muqarrara pishkash
            (fixed tribute)                                                  fixed tribute)
            Rs. 562, annas 8                                              Rs. 281, annas 4
Wasil (amount received)                                 nadarad (nil)
Baqi (amount outstanding)                 sharhi-i- sadr (as detailed above)
Jama (gross revenue)                           Rs. 843, annas 12.
Next to the Diwan in the provincial hierarchy was the Bakhshi who performed for the Nazim the same functions as those executed for the Emperor by the Imperial Bakhshi. His main functions pertained to the military administration. They included enlistment, mustering, passing of pay bills, both of the mansabdars and their soldiers, and enforcing the branding regulations6. In performance of these duties the department of the provincial Bakhshi created a large number of records, some of which are to be found in the Inayat Jang collection as is evident from the types mentioned below:
1.      Fihrist-i- mansabdaran (List of mansabdars).
2.      Kaifiyat-i- talab wa tankhwah-i- mansabdaran (Statement of the salaries of Mansabdars).
3.      Fihrist-i- sawaran (List of the cavalrymen).
4.      Maujudat-i- aspan wa aslaha (Statement of existing horses and arms).
5.      Saqtinama (Casualty list of animals).
6.      Fautinama (Casulty roll of horsemen and footmen).
7.      Hiliya wa chihra-i- mansabdaran (Physiognomic roll of mansabdars).
8.      Chihara-i- aspan (Descriptive roll of horses).
9.      Tashiha-i- dagh-i- aspan (Verification of horses for branding).
It may be pointed out in this connection that whenever a man was appointed to the post of mansabdar his chihra as also that of his horse was first drawn up by the chihranawis who handed it over to the mutasaddi and the latter forwarded it to the Bakhshi for sanction. In the physiognomic roll of a horse were noted breed, colour, identification marks, etc. The chihra of a trooper or mansabdar contained his name, caste, race, place of origin, complexion, features, stature, age, marks of identification, etc. These chihras were prepared as a safeguard against any fraud and served the same purpose as photographs do in our own times. Most of the chihras in the Inayat Jang Collection describe the troopers as gandumrang (wheat-complexioned) and meeshchashm (sheep-eyed). Warts, moles, pockmarks and “scars on the cheek caused by a thrown stone” are minutely recorded. The following specimen of the physiognomic roll of a trooper would give some idea of how the chihras were drawn up:
Arz wa chihra-i- Piyada
(Trooper’s Roll)
Jama`at (Division of                                                 (Orders)
Muhammad Qasim                                          Monthly pay Rs. 2 as. 8
with effect from 8 Muharram 27
Julus of Muhammad Shah (18
February 1745 A.D.)
            Kaunla, son of Ugar Sen, son of Ram Chandra, case Rajput, resident of Allahabad, wheat complexion, broad forehead, separated eye-brows, sheep’s eyes, prominent nose, black beard and moustache, unconspicuous mole below the cheek, second mole near the main vein towards the right, and third one over the left ear under the hair; a few pockmarks on the face and both the lobes pierced. Aged 30 years. Height approximately full.
            Apart from the administration of the military department the provincial Bakhshi was also expected to look after the department of the waqai or Intelligence and Posts. Occasionally a separate waqai nigar or political remembrancer was also appointed, and in some parganas some of his naibs or agents were stationed so that they might regularly send him reports of important happenings in those places. The envelopes containing reports from the remembrancers were sent to the provincial Darogha-i- dak. He made abstract of such news as was worthy of being reported to the Bakhshi who in his turn selected what was fit to be presented to the Court. The transaction of this official business in the Department of waqai naturally resulted in the creation of a bulk of records some of which are to be met with in the Inayat Jang Collection.
            The waqai found in the said collection emanate from various parts of the Deccan and contain information which may be of some interest to the historian. They speak of appointments and transfers, deaths and desertions. From the reports of Muhammad Salih, the Waqai Nigar of the fort of Bahadurgarh, it is evident that a number of soldiers and officers deserted the camp of Emperor Shah Alam Bahadur Shah-I- in the very first year of his accession and went over to Prince Muhammad Kambakhsh at Bijapur. The waqai of this year bear the seal of Rahmat Allah who must have been the Darogha of the Daftar-i- Waqai. The official endorsements on the newsletters indicate that more than two hundred envelopes were received in the Department of Intelligence daily during the internecine war between the sons of Aurangzeb. The following specimen of waqai will give us some idea of the actual working of this Department:
(Order)                                                                       (Seal)
Jagir zabt kunand (Jagir may be confiscated) Rahmat Allah Murid-i-
Shah Alam Badshhghazi
(1119 A.H. /1707 A.D.)
            Selection from the waqai of Dundarajpuri (sic) sent by Muhammad Yusuf Waqai Nigar.
            It has been reported that the fort of Sagargarh (sic) has capitulated to the enemies Waqai 29 Safar al-Muzaffar Julus (21 May 1707 A.D.).
            (Endorsement) Two hundred and thirty eight envelopes containing the waqai of the parganas of the Deccan have been received on 24 Jumada-II, Julus (14 July 1707 A.D. in the Daftar-i- Waqai from the Naib sawanihnigar. All the items have been seen and whatever became known has been recorded. Dated 24 Jumada-II- Julus (14 July 1707 A.D.).
Bejihat-i- Bakhshi (for Bakhshi’s perusal)                              Copy taken in the
Daftar-i- paibaa
            Not less important was the Department of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Endowments and Charities headed by the provincial Sadr who was appointed by the Sadr al-sudur or the Chief Sadr at the Centre7. He was expected to keep a close watch over the Ulama or theologians of the state, inquire into their condition and capacities as teachers and instructors, and exercise full control over the imparting of all sorts of knowledge in the state. As the chief connecting link between the ruler and the ruled, he recommended deserving cases of the Ulama and the scholars for suitable stipends with a view to relieving them from the anxiety of earning their livelihood. Apart from the Ulama and the scholars, the mystics who had renounced the world, the men of gentle descent who were unable to support themselves as also the old, the weak and the disabled or incapacitated were maintained by the state. In the discharge of these official duties the Sadr had to maintain lists of the stipendiaries and grantees of madad-i- mash or rent-free lands, as also of those who received allowances such as wasifadars, aimadars and rozinadars. Some of the records created by the department of the provincial sadr are to be found in the Inayat Jang Collection as is evident from the following items:
Ahkam-i- madad-i- mash (Rent-free land grants).
Fihrist-i- rozinadaran-i- muzakkarat (List of the male grantees of daily allowance).
Fihrist-i- rozinadaran-i- mu`annathat (Roll of female recipients of daily allowance).
Fihrist-i- arbab-i- wazaif (List of stipendiaries).
Equally important was Department of Public Works presided over by the Diwan-i- Buyutat who was a representative of the Khan-i- saman on High Steward in the province. He was expected to look after roads and buildings, canals and forts. In addition he supervised stores and ran karkhanas or state workshops. In this connection he sent estimates of monthly expenditure to the Diwan and thus made necessay saranjam provision for the smooth working of the karkhanas. He checked prices of materials in the Ibtiyakhanah or Purchase Branch and affixed his seal after ascertaining the cash in the various workshops functioning under his charge. He also took care of escheated properties and looked after the comforts of the Emperor when he was in the province9. Performance of all these functions naturally resulted in the creation of large number of records some of which are to be met with in the Inayat Jang Collection. They are classified as mentioned hereunder:
Tamassukat-i- zamini-i- ahl-i- khidmat (Security bonds furnished by menial servants)
Muchalkat-i- Ahl-i- khidmat (Covenants taken from menial servants)
Awarja-i- jama wa kharch-i- marammat-i- shikast wa rikht-i- imarat-i- mahalsara (Abstract account of receipts and disbursements for repairs of female apartment)
Siyaha-i- imarat-i-  Qila-i- shahrpanah (Daily ledger of construction of the city walls)
Awarja-i- Jama wa Kharch-i- Ibtiyakhana (Abstract account of receipts and disbursements of the Purchase Branch).
The Siyaha-i- tamir-i- imarat-i- qila-i- Shahrpanah-i- balda-i- Burhanpur, for example, contain accounts of expenditure incurred on various items as also the quantity of material used in connection with the repairs of the city walls of Burhanpur in 26 Julus of Muhammad Shah (1744 A.D.). Similarly, the awarja-i- Jama wa Kharch-i- marammat-i- Shikast wa rkht-i- imarat-i- mahalsara of the same year relate to the accounts of the repairs of the female apartments in the haveli of Azam Khan at Burhanpur carried out under the supervision of Nasir Ali, the Amin, Maloji, the Mushrif and Ram Kishan, the Tahwildar. Likewise the awarja-i- jama wa kharch-i- ibtiyakhana contain details of cloths, their colours and the expenditure incurred on their purchase. Some of them aso record the names of the Tahwildars who looked after this department. The awarja-i- jama wa Kharch-i- ibtiyakhana of Rabi-I-, 2 Julus of Shah Alam Bahadur Shah-I (May-June 1708 A.D.) gives the prices of different kinds of cloth purchased for Khila (robes of honour) under the tahwildari of Khwaja Yaqut.
            It would have been observed from what has been stated above that the acquisition of the Inayat Jang Collection by the National Archives of India is of immense interest to the students of Mughal history. The outstanding value of this accession lies in its rarity, most of the Mughal records having vanished completely. The collection is also of great value to the students of the history of Mughal administration which has hitherto been based on chronicles and dastur al-amals. The records in the present collection vividly reflect the working of the different departments of the Mughal Empire. They also constitute raw materials for the reconstruction of the agrarian history of the Deccan during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

1- Reproduced from the Studies in Islam, July 1964, with the permission of the Indian Institute of Islamic Studies, New Delhi.
2- J.N. Sarkar, Mughal Administration, Calcutta, 1952, P. 10.
3- Shah Nawaz Khan, Maathir al-Umara, vol.III. 1891, P.874; The Chronology of Modern Hyderabad, Central Record office, Hyderabad, 1954, PP. 31, 49.
4- Index to the Foreign and Political Department Records, National Archives of India, Vol. I. 1957; Calendar of Persian Correspondence, Vol. II, Imperial Record Department. 1914, no. 861.
5-Sarkar, op. cit., pp. 19, 47; P. Saran, The Provincial Government of the Mughals, Allahabad, 1941, PP. 170-71.
6- W. Irvine, The Army of the Indian Moghuls, Delhi, 1962, PP. 38-40; Saran, op. cit., p.201.
7- Ibn-i- Hasan, The Central Structure of the Mughal Empire, 1936, PP. 268-69; Sarkar, op. cit., p. 24.
8-Ibid., pp. 257-58.
9- R. Sharma, Magha Government and Administration, Bombay, 1951, P. 242.