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Sher Shah Suri

Sher Shah Suri
Sketch work of Sher Shah Suri by Afghan artist Abdul Ghafoor Breshna
Sultan of the Suri Empire
Reign 17 May 1540 – 15 May 1545
Coronation 1540
Predecessor Humayun
Successor Islam Shah Suri
Born 1486
Sasaram, Rohtas district, Bihar in India[1]
Died 15 May 1545
Kalinjar, Bundelkhand
Burial Sher Shah Suri Tomb, Sasaram
Malika Bibi
Issue Jalal Khan
House Sur dynasty
Dynasty Sur dynasty
Father Mian Hassan Khan Sur
Religion Islam

Sher Shah Suri (1486 – 22 May 1545) (Akbar the Great, son of Humayun.[8]

During his five-year rule from 1540 to 1545, he set up a new civic and military administration, issued the first

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Shah of Sur Empire
Succeeded by
Islam Shah Suri
  • Encyclopædia Britannica – Sher Shah of Sur
  • Encyclopædia Britannica – Sur Dynasty
  • Columbia Encyclopedia – Sher Khan
  • Sher Shah Suri – The Lion King
  • Sher Shah brief biography as ruler
  • Coins of Sher Shah Suri

External links

  1. ^ a b c  
  2. ^ "Sher Shah – The Lion King". 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Shēr Shah of Sūr".  
  4. ^ Chaurasia, Radhey Shyam (2002). History of medieval India: from 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. Crabtree Publishing Company. p. 179.  
  5. ^ Schimmel, Annemarie; Burzine K. Waghmar (2004). The empire of the great Mughals: history, art and culture. Reaktion Books. p. 28.  
  6. ^ Singh, Sarina; Lindsay Brown; Paul Clammer; Rodney Cocks; John Mock (2008). Pakistan & the Karakoram Highway. 7, illustrated. Lonely Planet. p. 137.  
  7. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2003). A Historical Atlas of Pakistan. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 28.  
  8. ^ a b c "Sher Khan".  
  9. ^ a b c "Mughal Coinage".  
  10. ^ Patna
  11. ^ Weiner, Myron; Ali Banuazizi (1994). The Politics of social transformation in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Syracuse University Press. p. 488.  
  12. ^ a b  
  13. ^ a b c d Muhammad Ansar Ali , Sher Shah, Banglapedia: The National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Retrieved: 17 March 2012
  14. ^ Rupee  .
  15. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica
  16. ^ Catherine B. Asher (1977). "The mausoleum of Sher Shah Suri". Artibus Asiae (Artibus Asiae Publishers) 39 (3/4): 273–298.  


See also

Additional reading


Sher Shah neighbourhood and Sher Shah Bridge in Kiamari Town of Karachi and Sher Shah Park in Wah Cantt, Pakistan, are named in the honour of Sher Shah Suri.


Some soldiers were left behind by Sher Shah Suri as he escaped from Bengal, avoiding the Humayun invasion. These people are known as Shersabadia. They made a colony named Shershahabad which is no more due to a course change of Ganges. Today the people of this community are found in parts of Malda, Murshidabad, Chapai Nawabganj and a few other parts of Bengal.

Shersabadia community

Mughals extended Grand Trunk Road westwards: at one time, it extended to Kabul in Afghanistan, crossing the Khyber Pass. The road was later improved by the British rulers of colonial India. It was extended to run from Calcutta to Peshawar (present-day Pakistan). Over the centuries, the road acted as a major trade routes in the region and facilitated both travel and postal communication. Since the era of Sher Shah, the road was dotted with caravansarais (highway inns) at regular intervals, and trees were planted on both sides of the road to give shade to the travellers and merchants. Sher Shah made many roads for tax free trade. The Grand Trunk Road is still used for transportation in present-day India and Pakistan.

An inspection of Sher Shah Suri's Great North Road

Grand Trunk Road


Sher Shah Suri was succeeded by his son, Jalal Khan who took the title of Islam Shah Suri. His mausoleum, the Sher Shah Suri Tomb (122 ft high) stands in the middle of an artificial lake at Sasaram, a town that stands on the Grand Trunk Road.[16]

Sher Shah was killed during the siege of Kalinjar fort on 13 May 1545.[15]

Death and succession

Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi (History of Sher Shah), written by Abbas Khan Sarwani, a waqia-navis under later Mughal Emperor, Akbar around 1580, provides a detailed documentation about Sher Shah's administration.

Qila-i-Kuhna mosque, built by Sher Shah in 1541, at Purana Qila, Delhi, a Humayun citadel started in 1533, and later extended by him, along with the construction of Sher Mandal, an octagonal building inside the Purana Qila complex, which later served as the library of Humayun.

Sher Shah built monuments including Rohtas Fort (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Pakistan), many structures in the Rohtasgarh Fort in Bihar, Sher Shah Suri Masjid, in Patna, built in 1540–1545 to commemorate his reign. He built a new city Bhera of Pakistan in 1545 and inside the city built historical grand Sher shah suri Masjid.

The system of tri-metalism which came to characterize Mughal coinage was introduced by Sher Shah. While the term rūpya had previously been used as a generic term for any silver coin, during his rule the term rūpiya came to be used as the name for a silver coin of a standard weight of 178 grains, which was the precursor of the modern rupee.[9] Rupee is today used as the national currency in India, Indonesia, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka among other countries. Gold coins called the Mohur weighing 169 grains and copper coins called Dam were also minted by his government.[9][14]

Specially Sher Khan was not an angel (malak) but a king (malik). In six years he gave such stability to the structure (of the empire) that its foundations still survive. He had made India flourish in such a way that the king of Persia and Turan appreciate it, and have a desire to look at it. Hazrat Arsh Ashiyani (Akbar the great) followed his administrative manual (zawabit) for fifty years and did not discontinue them. In the same India due to able administration of the well wishers of the court, nothing is left except rabble and jungles...

Mirza Aziz Koka, son of Ataga Khan, in a letter to Emperor Jahangir
Rupiya released by Sher Shah Suri, 1540–1545 CE, was the first Rupee

Government and administration

After this victory, Sher Shah's general Khawas Khan Marwat took possession of Jodhpur and occupied the territory of Marwar from Ajmer to Mount Abu in 1544. But by July, Maldeo reoccupied his lost territories.

In 1543, Sher Shah Suri with a huge force of 80,000 cavalry set out against

Battle of Sammel

In 1538, Sher Khan attacked Bengal and defeated Ghiyashuddin Shah.[13] But he could not capture the kingdom because of sudden expedition of Emperor Humayun.[13] On June 26, 1539, Sher Khan faced Humayun in the Battle of Chausa and defeated him. Assuming the title Farīd al-Dīn Shēr Shah, he defeated Humayun once again at Kannauj in May 1540 and forced him out of India.[3]

Farid Khan started his service under Bahar Khan Lohani, the Mughal Governor of Bihar.[3][13] Because of his valor, Bahar Khan rewarded him the title Sher Khan (Tiger Lord). After the death of Bahar Khan, Sher Khan became the regent ruler of the minor Sultan, Jalal Khan. Later sensing the growth Sher Shah's power in Bihar, Jalal sought assistance of Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah, the independent Sultan of Bengal. Ghiyasuddin sent an army under General Ibrahim Khan. But, Sher Khan defeated the force at the battle of Surajgarh in 1534. Thus he achieved complete control of Bihar.[13]

Conquering Bihar and Bengal

"If my father wants me back to instruct me in learning, there are in this city many learned men: I will study here."[12]

Jamal Khan had advised Farid to return home but he refused. Farid replied in a letter:

"Faríd Khán, being annoyed with me, has gone to you without sufficient cause. I trust in your kindness to appease him, and send him back; but if refusing to listen to you, he will not return, I trust you will keep him with you, for I wish him to be instructed in religious and polite learning."[12]

During his early age, Farid was given a village in Fargana, Delhi(comprising present day districts of Bhojpur, Buxar, Bhabhua of Bihar) by Omar Khan Sarwani, the counselor and courtier of Bahlul Khan Lodi. Farid Khan and his father,a jagirdar of sasaram in Bihar, who had several wives, did not get along for a while so he decided to run away from home. When his father discovered that he fled to serve Jamal Khan, the governor of Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, he wrote Jamal Khan a letter that stated:

"It was at the time of this bounty of Sultán Bahlol, that the grandfather of Sher Sháh, by name Ibráhím Khán Súri,*[The Súr represent themselves as descendants of Muhammad Súri, one of the princes of the house of the Ghorian, who left his native country, and married a daughter of one of the Afghán chiefs of Roh.] with his son Hasan Khán, the father of Sher Sháh, came to Hindu-stán from Afghánistán, from a place which is called in the Afghán tongue "Shargarí,"* but in the Multán tongue "Rohrí." It is a ridge, a spur of the Sulaimán Mountains, about six or seven kos in length, situated on the banks of the Gumal. They entered into the service of Muhabbat Khán Súr, Dáúd Sáhú-khail, to whom Sultán Bahlol had given in jágír the parganas of Hariána and Bahkála, etc., in the Panjáb, and they settled in the pargana of Bajwára."[1]
— Abbas Khan Sarwani, 1580

Sher Shah Suri was born as Farid Khan in the present day place Sasaram State Bihar India. As his real name is Farid Khan but he was known as Sher Shah because he alone hunted a Lion in his early age in the place Sherghati Bihar .His surname 'Suri' was taken from his Hometown "Sur". His grand father Ibrahim Khan Suri was a land lord (Jagirdar) in Narnaul area and represented Delhi rulers of that period. Mazar of Ibrahim Khan Suri still stands as a monument in Narnaul. Tarikh-i Khan Jahan Lodi (MS. p. 151).[1] also confirm this fact. However, the online Encyclopædia Britannica states that he was born in Sasaram (Bihar), in the Rohtas district.[3] He was one of about eight sons of Mian Hassan Khan Suri, a prominent figure in the government of Bahlul Khan Lodi. Sher Khan belonged to the Pashtun Sur tribe (the Pashtuns are known as Afghans in historical Persian language sources).[11] His grandfather, Ibrahim Khan Suri, was a noble adventurer who was recruited much earlier by Sultan Bahlul Lodi of Delhi during his long contest with the Jaunpur Sultanate.

Early life and origin


  • Early life and origin 1
  • Conquering Bihar and Bengal 2
  • Battle of Sammel 3
  • Government and administration 4
  • Death and succession 5
  • Legacy 6
    • Grand Trunk Road 6.1
    • Shersabadia community 6.2
    • Karachi 6.3
  • Gallery 7
  • Additional reading 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

in the far northwest of the country. Afghanistan in Kabul in near eastern India to Bengal in the frontiers of the province of Chittagong from Grand Trunk Road He extended the [8][3] with his bare hands in a jungle of Bihar.tiger He is also famously remembered for killing a fully grown [10] which had been in decline since the 7th century CE.Patna and revived the historical city of Pataliputra as Shergarh city and named it Dina-panah He further developed Humayun's [9]

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