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Sher Shah Suri

Facts of Sher Shah Suri :

Sher Shah Suri:

Born: 1472, Sasaram
Children: Islam Shah Suri, Adil Khan
Parents: Hasan Khan Sur
Died: 22 May 1545 , Kalinjar Fort

 Sher Shah Suri (1486 – 1545 CE) :       

                      Sher Shah Suri was the founder of the Sur dynasty and the Second Afghan Empire.Initially known as Sher Khan for his bravery in killing a tiger, he served under Bahar Khan Lohani, the governor of Afghanistan in Bihar.Sher Shah defeated Sultan Mahmud Shah of Bengal and emerged as a powerful Afghan military commander in the Eastern Province.He was the son of Mughal Emperor Humayun Chauza ( 1539) and Kannauj (1540)  defeated in battles and received the title of Sher Shah.Sher Shah’s empire extended from Bengal to Sind, excluding Kashmir.He also conquered Malwa and significant parts of Rajasthan.

                             Battle of Samel (1544) marked his victory over Maldeo, which led to the capture of the cities of Ajmer, Jodhpur and Mewar.Sher Shah tolerated other religions and appointed Hindus to important posts.He was a patron of art and architecture, known for building Purana Qila, Sher Mandal, Rohtas Fort (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Shershah Suri Masjid .Sher Shah died in 1545  CE due to an accidental explosion of bullets during the Kalinjar campaign.He was succeeded by his son Islam Shah.b.He ruled until , faces conflicts with brothers and Afghan nobles.After the death of Islam Shah, a civil war between his successors gave Humayun the opportunity to recover Delhi and Agra


                Sher Shah greatly reconstructed and modernized the Grand Trunk Road,  a significant artery from modern Bangladesh to Afghanistan.Caravanserai (inns) and mosques were built along the roadside, and trees were planted for shade.Wells were dug especially on the western side of the road.He established an efficient postal system, using horseback riders’ relays for mail

The four key ministers are:

  1. Diwan-i-Visarat or Wazir – responsible for revenue and finance
  2. Diwan-i-Aris – Responsibility of the Army
  3. Diwan-i-Rasalat – Minister of Foreign Affairs
  4. Diwan-i-Insha – Minister of Communications

Provincial and Local Administration:

                            The Sur Empire was divided into Iqtas,  with military governors  ruling some provinces.The likes of Haibat Khan in Punjab and Qas Khan in Rajasthan are examples of this.The leaders of Iqtas, known as Hakim, Faujdar or Momin, are responsible for maintaining order and law in their territories.The iqtas were further divided into districts called sarkars.Sarkars had two chief officers : Shikar (Civil Administration) and Munsif (Revenue Collection and Civil Justice).Shikhar can field players (200-300) to  maintain law and order in their districts.Munsifs are responsible for revenue collection and civil justice .

The sarkar was further divided into various parganas and was in charge of different officials.

  1. Shiqdar – Army officer
  2. Ameen – Land Revenue
  3. Fottar – Treasurer
  4. Carkuns – Accountants

Village Administration:

                            Villages are mostly governed by autonomies and panchayats (meetings of elders).Panchayats took care of the needs of the villagers and enforced punishments based on social The heads of the villages acted as diplomats between the villages and the higher levels of government.Sher Shah respected the autonomy of villages and their panchayats during hisEvery meeting of elders in a village took care of local matters.


              Sher Shah introduced rupia, the forerunner of the modern rupee, during his reign (1538-1545 CE). Tri-Metalism, characteristic of Mughal currency, was initiated by Sher Shah.The word “rupee”  became the name of a standard silver coin weighing 178 grains  .Mohur (gold coins) and paisa (copper coins) were also minted during his reign.

After Sher Shah‘  s death:

           Sher Shah ruled for a  relatively short period from 1540 to 1545, but made a lasting impact on India.Highlighting the importance of Suri Empire‘s influence even after Sher Shah’s death, Humayun’s successors continued to rule until he reconquered India in 1555.

          Sher Shah Suri‘s legacy is multifaceted, encompassing religious tolerance, architectural marvels, literary patronage, and lasting administrative reforms. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the socio-cultural and political landscape of medieval India.

Tomb of Sher Shah Suri:

  • The tomb of Sher Shah Suri, the founder of the Sur Empire is located in Sasar, Bihar.It was built by Mir Muhammad Aliwal Khan, an.
  • He was appointed by Sher Shah during his lifetime and completed on 16 August 1545, three months  after his death.The tomb is made of bricks and rests on a square stone pedestal 22 feet high.


                      Sher Shah Suri remains a pivotal figure in Indian history, renowned for his administrative reforms, military prowess, and contributions to infrastructure development. His innovative administrative policies, such as the introduction of the efficient revenue system and the establishment of an extensive road network, left a lasting impact on governance in the region. Despite his relatively short reign, his legacy endures as a symbol of effective governance, military strategy, and visionary leadership in medieval Indian history.

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