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The court of Akbar, an illustration from a manuscript of the Akbarnama

The Ain-i-Akbari (Persian: آئینِ اکبری‎) or the "Constitution of Akbar", is a 16th-century, detailed document recording the administration of emperor Akbar's empire, written by his vizier, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak.[1] It makes the Volume III and the final part of the much larger document, the Akbarnama (Persian: اکبر نامه‎), the Book of Akbar, also by Abul Fazl, and it itself is in three volumes.[2]

It is currently housed in the Hazarduari Palace, in West Bengal.


The Ain-i-Akbari is the third volume of the Akbarnama containing information regarding Akbar's reign in the form of, what would be called in modern times, administration reports, statistical compilations, or gazetteers. It contains the áín (i.e., mode of governing) of Akbar, and is, in fact, the administration report and statistical Return of his government. The first volume of the Akbarnama contains the history of Timur's family and the reigns of Babar, the Súr kings, and Humayun. The second volume is devoted to the detailed history of the nearly forty-six years of the Akbar's reign. Since it was written around 1590, it also contains details of Hindu beliefs and practices as well as a history of India.[3][4]

The Ain-i-Akbari is itself divided into five books. The first book deals with the imperial household, and the second with the servants of the emperor, the military and civil services. The third book deals with the imperial administration, containing the regulations for the judicial and executive departments. The fourth book contains information about Hindu philosophy, science, social customs and literature. The fifth book contains sayings of Akbar,[3] along with an account of the ancestry and biography of the author.


The original Persian text was translated into English in three volumes. The first volume, translated by Heinrich Blochmann (1873) consisted of Books I and II. The second volume, translated by Colonel Henry Sullivan Jarrett (1891), consisted of Book III. The third volume, also translated by Jarrett (1896), consisted of Books IV and V. These three volumes were published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta as a part of their Bibliotheca Indica series.[3][5][6]


  1. ^ Majumdar, R.C. (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, p.5
  2. ^ Introduction to Akbaranama and Ain-e-Akbari Columbia University
  3. ^ a b c Blochmann, H. (tr.) (1927, reprint 1993). The Ain-I Akbari by Abu'l-Fazl Allami, Vol. I, Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, preface (first edition)
  4. ^ Preface
  5. ^ Jarrett, H.S. (tr.) (1949, reprint 1993). The Ain-I Akbari by Abu'l-Fazl Allami, Vol. II, Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, editor's introduction
  6. ^ Jarrett, H.S. (tr.) (1948, reprint 1993). The Ain-I Akbari by Abu'l-Fazl Allami, Vol. III, Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, editor's introduction

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