The system of administration was practically that of the Gupta Empire on heritance from earlier times. Hieun Tsang the Chinese pilgrim visited India during the reign of Harsha and left a detailed account of his administration. Although it was an autocracy it was decentralized to the point that even villages were governed by village community functioning as a democracy within the field of its local affairs. The king used to visit and inspect posts throughout his dominion. There was a council of ministers known as Mantriparishad to assist him. Besides having a say in the election of the king, the council of ministers influenced foreign policy. For the convenience of administration the entire empire was divided into provinces and each province was placed under the control of a viceroy of Governor.
Provinces were called Bhukti and were divided into districts called Visaya. The district of Visayas was further divided into tehsils called Pathakas. The smallest units were known as Uparika. The village headman was called Gramika. The government was based on principle of serving the people. The penal code was severe. The main source of income was the land tax, duties at ferries and barrier stations paid by the traders and merchants. Taxation was light. One sixth of the crops were considered as land revenue.