What are the Main Features of the Jagirdari System?

By Devyani Singh|Updated : July 27th, 2022

The Jagirdari System was a land tenancy and/or feudal system that was introduced in India under the Delhi Sultanate in the early 13th century. The Jagirdari system kept the foundational stone for the other forms of feudal systems that would continue in India till it got its freedom the colonial rule of the British crown. 

The Jagirdari system, in its essence, continued till the Mughal Empire with minor changes in the tax collection methods. After the Mughal Empire’s collapse, this system of taxation by jagirs was retained by the Marathas, Rajputs, and Sikhs. The British East Indian Company later modified it for its own benefits.

Main Features of the Jagirdari System

The Jagirdari system was a feudal land tenancy system that functioned primarily around the ‘Jagir’, who was the state’s appointee responsible for collecting taxes. There were three distinct features that were integral to the Jagirdari system. These were as follows: 

  1. The Jagir’s bestowal could be unconditional or conditional. 
  2. The Mughal times observed the salary of the Jagir being paid from the taxes he collected while the rest of the amount went to the treasury. 
  3. The Jagir functioned as a ‘feudal life estate’ as upon his death; the grant was reverted to the state.

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FAQs about Jagirdari System 

  • The Jagirdari system was a form of land tenancy that developed in India during the time of the rule of the Delhi Sultanate (in the early 13th century). The collection of an estate's revenues and the governance power were given to an official appointee of the state called Jagir. 

  • The Delhi Sultanate introduced the Jagirdari system.

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