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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 1286Book's First Page
difficulties. He enjoyed absolute authority in Law of Succession It was based generally on the hereditary principle. But there were instances of successors being nominated by the reigning rulers to ensure peaceful succession. There were also instances of usurpation. The Sangama dynasty ended when Saluva Narasimha usurped the throne. When a minor succeeded the throne, the practice of appointing a regent to look after and the administration was also prevalent. Central Administration There was a council of ministers, headed by a prime minister, to assist and advise the king in administrative matters. But it was left to the king’s discretion whether or not to abide by them. The king also consulted, besides the ministers, his own favourite individuals on very important issues. Central administration was· divided in to several departments, each supervised by a royal officer. Provincial and Local Administration The empire was divided in to different administrative units manadalams or rajyas (provinces), nadus (districts), sthalas (sub-districts) and finally in to gramas (villages). The number and size of the mandalams varied from time to time. Each province was under a governor, described as mandalesvara or nayaka. The Vijayanagar rulers did not interfere in local administration, and hence local bodies had complete autonomy. Gauda, village headman, looked after the administration of the village which was the basic unit of administration. Revenue Administration Chief Sources of Income Land revenue from crown lands was the most important source. Tributes and gifts from vassals and feudal chiefs; customs collected at the ports, and tolls on inland commerce; taxes on various professions, houses, markets and licences; fines inflicted by courts, etc. were also important sources of income.