OpenSource Books | Ājnāpatra or The Royal Edict

The complete Ājnāpatra (आज्ञापत्र), or the Royal Edict is available as an English translation from the Digital Library of India (DLI)

This translation was published in the Journal of Indian History, Volume VIII ,Part 1 in the year 1929 (Serial No. 22).

In this Volume, the text of the Adnyapatra has been split into 2 parts. The first section is in pages 81 – 105. The second section is in pages 207 – 233.

This is a very important primary source to gain an insight into the administrative setup of Shivaji’s kingdom, foreign/trade policy, management of forts, weapons and armoury of the time, duties of a king, practical wisdom on how to keep employees happy and satisfied, the nature of rewards and remuneration. It also describes the policy towards watandars and hereditary grants. It ends with a treatise on naval policy.

From the Introduction:

This Ājnāpatra was first published in the Marathi Monthly Vividha-dyānavistāra in 1875 and 1876. The original manuscript from which it was printed seems to have been lost. It was reprinted in the same magazine in 1890 and 1891. […] It was issued on November 21, 1716, by Sambhaji of Kolhapur (1712-1760). Rāmachandrapant Amātya is responsible for the contents. The importance of the work is due to Rāmachandrapant’s knowledge of Maratha state policy and the political events during the most important period of Maratha history from 1672 to 1717. He took part in the establishment of Swarājya under Śivāji, in its protection under Rājarām and Tārābai, and in the civil war between Tārābai and Shāhu. […] It mainly relates to the methods and principles of Śivāji the Great. They were approved of as the best, and laid down as the standard to be followed. This Ājnāpatra consists of nine chapters relating to various aspects of state policy. It seems to have been written when Rājarām was alive (1700), but issued later in 1716 under Sambhaji’s order.




  1. Troubles of the Kingdom during the War of Independence
  2. Troubles of the Kingdom during the War of Independence (Continued)
  3. The General principles of State Policy and Organisation
  4. Administrative and Ministerial Policy & Organisation
  5. Commercial Policy
  6. Policy towards Watandārs
  7. Policy regarding Hereditary Vrittis and Inams
  8. Policy about Forts and their Construction and Organisation
  9. Naval Policy

Download the scanned PDF from this page on the DLI site. [49.6 MB]

We are grateful to Brigadier Gerard for the permission to adapt this post, from the series of tweets, posted recently.

OpenSource Books | Riyazu-s-Salatin; A History of Bengal

The Riyazu-s-Salātīn, is a description of the History of Bengal by Ghulam Husain Salim. This book was translated from the original persian by Maulvi Abdus Salam, and an English translation was published by the Asiatic Society in 1902.

The Riyazu-s-Salatin translates to “Gardens of Kings”. The Riyazu-s-Salatin, was completed by Ghulam Husain Salim Zaidpuri, during 1787-8. Salim Zaidpuri, as he addresses himself in the book, wrote this book when he was the Dak Munshi or the Post Master in Malda, under Sir George Udny (a Commercial Resident of the East India Company). He was originally from Zaidpur in Oudh (Awadh). Ghulam Husain Salim died in 1817. (The dates are suspect; Sir George Udny was born in 1813, and entered the civil services around 18 years of age.)

Bengal, at the time was one of the richest and most flourishing of the provinces. It contributed maximum revenue, of all provinces to the Delhi Emperors and was a coveted post for viceroyalty for the nobles.

The early part of the book covers the region and other demographic information, characteristics of the land and the cities, and a brief history of the pre-mughal period. It then follows the history of the rulers of the region, the Nizamat period, and ends with the arrival of the Europeans, and eventual domination of the English.

The book is 478 pages, the searchable and scanned PDF is about 30 MB. It available for download from Visit Riyazu-s-Salatin, on, and select the format of your choice.