Saturday, May 1, 2010


Khan-i-Sama: Khan-i-Sama was also known as Mir Saman. The office is not found mentioned in the sources related to Akbar. Muhammad Arif Qandhari, the author of Tarikh i Akbar Shahi (In Manuscript) was mir-i-saman under Bairam Khan. However, the office is prominently mentioned in the times of Jahangir and Shajahan. Khan-I-sama was head of Department of Imperial Household. All the personal servants of the emperor came under the supervision of the office of Khan-I-sama. He also supervised the daily expenditure, food, stores of the imperial household.(For the details of Diwan-i-Bayutat, check the separate entry) Among the most important offices during the Mughal period, the office of Diwan, Mir Bakshi and Khan-I-sama were the most notable high ranking officers. Among them, Khan-I-sama had usually major role in politics as they, by virtue of the nature of their duty, had nearness to the emperor. Many Diwans/Wazirs had also worked as Khan-I-sama. In some of the books, the post is noted as head of the kitchen or head cook of the imperial household. It is very simplistic version and clumsy vulgarization. Khan-I-sama was an important post. The English historians had translated as Lord Steward. In the capacity of Lord Steward, he was also in-charge of imperial workshop and directly involved in manufacturing. Apart from the above activities, Khan-i-Sama or Khanisama was also in-charge of department of Canon. In that capacity he was assisted by Mir Atish which was the Daroghah-i-topkhana. Later, Mir Atish became equally important as the head of artillery and ultimately overshadowed the work of Khanisama as the in-charge of topkhana.

Important mir-i-saman or Khan-i-Saman
1. Abul Hasan, later titled Asaf Khan. He later became the wazir in the rein of Jahangir. He was brother of Nur Jahan and important member of Nur Jahan Junta about which numerous foreign visitors to the Jahangir court had referred. He was father-in-law of Prince Khurram who later became Emperor Shah Jahan.

Digital Source:

authorities referred: Evolution of artillery in India by Brig R. C. Butalia (AVSM) Medieval India: from Sultanat to the Mughals, Volume 2 By Satish Chandra

Edit Repor: Added reference of Muhammad Arif Qandhari, dated May 8, 2010. 

Remark: Subject to further research and validation

Land of the Maharajas Land of the Maharajas: The MoghulsA Young Nobleman of the Mughal Court, from the Large Clive Album Giclee Poster Print, 18x24Parties and Politics at the Mughal Court, 1707-1740Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)

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