The chapters are based on a study of the official archival records from the period of Mughal rulers and Nawab-Wazirs and the correspondences of the Mughal officials with the Portuguese authorities at Goa during1700-1701. The chapters explore the facets of the administration at the local level and of the families enjoying hereditary village rights like the office of the Chaudhary, Muqaddam and Qanungo. They explore the tripartite relationship of the land grantees with the Mughal royalty and bureaucracy.
Few chapters specifically deal with the long term relationship of the eccleciastical institutions with the State and cover their changing fortunes under the different regimes. Moreover, the official documents from the Mughal and Nawabi times from the Sufi family of Salon are brought out for the first time including the Persian texts especially the documents from the Nawabi period that provide new interesting facts about the policies of resumption of A'imma grants pushed forward by the Nawab Wazirs.
Thus, the book brings to focus the family papers spanning for a period of more than two centuries from the family of the Qazis of sarkar Sambhal (Delhi); the official papers of the family of the Qanungo from sarkar Chanderi (Malwa) and sarkar Khairabad (Awadh); and the papers from the family of the herediatary Chaudhary from Sarkar Kooch Bihar (Bengal). By exploring the rich collection of the Persian archival data at the National Archives of India, New Delhi and at other repositories, the book is an important complement [and corrective] to much of the current historical writings on the subject.