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
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.