Sur Empire

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Sur Empire
امپراطوری سور (Persian)
د سرو امپراتورۍ (Pashto)
Territory of Sur Empire[1]
Territory of Sur Empire[1]
Common languagesBengali, Bhojpuri, Hindavi, Persian[2]
Sunni Islam
GovernmentAbsolute Monarchy
• 1538-1545
Sher Shah Suri (first)
• 1555-1556
Adil Shah Suri (last)
• Established
6 April 1538
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mughal Empire
Bengal Sultanate
Mughal Empire
Bengal Sultanate
The 17.8 grams silver coin, Rupiya released by Sher Shah Suri, 1540–1545 CE, was the first Rupee[3][4]

The Sur Empire (Pashto: د سرو امپراتورۍ, romanized: dë sru amparāturəi; Persian: امپراطوری سور, romanizedemperâturi sur) was a Pashtun dynasty which ruled a large territory in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent for nearly 16 years,[5] between 1540 and 1556, with Sasaram (in modern-day Bihar) serving as its capital.[5][6]

The Sur dynasty held control of nearly all the Mughal Empire territories along the Indo-Gangetic Plain, from eastern Balochistan in the west of Indus River to modern-day Rakhine, Myanmar in the east.


Sher Shah, an ethnic afghan of the tribal house of Sur,[5] first served as a private before rising to become a commander in the Mughal army under Babur and then the governor of Bihar. In 1537, when Babur's son Humayun was elsewhere on an expedition, Sher Shah overran the Sultanate of Bengal and established the Suri dynasty.[7] The Sur supplanted the Mughal dynasty as rulers of North India during the reign of the relatively ineffectual second Mughal Humayun. Sher Shah defeated Badshah-i-Hind ('Hindustani emperor') Humayun in the Battle of Chausa (26 June 1539) and again in the Battle of Bilgram (17 May 1540).[8]

Sher Shah Suri was known for the destruction of some old cities while conquering parts of India. He has been accused by `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni and other Muslim historians for destroying old cities in order to build new ones on their ruins after his own name. One example included Shergarh.[9][10][11] Sher Shah is also said to have destroyed Dinpanah, which Humayun was constructing as the "sixth city of Delhi". The new city built by him, was itself destroyed in 1555 after Humayun re-conquered the territory from the Surs.[12] Tarikh-i-Da'udi states, however, that he destroyed Siri. Abbas Sarwani states that he had the older city of Delhi destroyed. Tarikh-i-Khan Jahan states that Salim Shah Suri had built a wall around Humayun's imperial city.[13]

The Sur dynasty held control of nearly all the Mughal territories, from Balochistan in the west to modern-day Bangladesh in the east.

Their rule came to an end by a defeat that led to the restoration of the Mughal Empire.

It was at the time of this bounty of Sultán Bahlul [Lodi], that the grandfather of Sher Sháh, by name Ibráhím Khán Súr,*The Súr represent themselves as descendants of Muhammad Súr, 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.[14]

— Abbas Khan Sarwani, 1580

List of Sur dynasty rulers[edit]

S. n. Picture Name Birth date Death date Reign Notes
1st Shershah.jpg Sher Shah Suri 1486 22 May 1545 6 April 1538[15][16] — 22 May 1545[16]
2nd Islam Shah Suri.jpg Islam Shah Suri 1507 22 November 1554 26 May 1545[17] — 22 November 1554[17] Son of Sher Shah Suri.
3rd Firuz Shah Suri 4 May 1542 1554 1554[18] Son of Islam Shah Suri.
4th Muhammad Adil Shah unknown 1557 1554[18] — 1555[19] Son-in-law of Sher Shah Suri.
5th Ibrahim Shah Suri unknown 1567/1568 1555[19] Brother-in-law of Sher Shah Suri.
6th Sikandar Shah Suri unknown 1559 1555[19] — 22 June 1555[19] Brother-in-law of Sher Shah Suri.
7th Adil Shah Suri unknown April 1557 22 June 1555[19] — 1556[19] Brother of Sikandar Shah Suri.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For a map of their territory see: Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 147, map XIV.4 (i). ISBN 0226742210.
  2. ^ Alam, Muzaffar (1998). "The pursuit of Persian: Language in Mughal Politics". Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge University Press. 32 (2): 317–349. doi:10.1017/s0026749x98002947. S2CID 146630389. Hindavi was recognized as a semi-official language by the Sor Sultans (1540-55) and their chancellery rescripts bore transcriptions in the Devanagari script of the Persian contents. The practice is said to have been introduced by the Lodis (1451–1526).
  3. ^ Mughal Coinage Archived 16 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Reserve Bank of India RBI Monetary Museum,
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rupee" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 885.
  5. ^ a b c Hartel 1997, p. 262.
  6. ^ Berndl, Klaus (2005). National Geographic Visual History of the World. National Geographic Society. pp. 318–320. ISBN 978-0-7922-3695-5.
  7. ^ "Sher Khan". Columbia Encyclopedia. 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  8. ^ "Sher Khan". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th edition. Columbia Encyclopedia. 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Jain inscription from Shergarh (Dr. D. C. Sircar)". South Indian Inscriptions. Manager of Publications, Delhi.
  10. ^ `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni (1898). Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh (English translation (Bib. Ind.) ed.). Calcutta. p. 472.
  11. ^ Qanungo, K. R. (1921). Sher Shah. p. 404.
  12. ^ Bolande-Crew, Tara; Lea, David (2 September 2003). The Territories and States of India. ISBN 9781135356255.
  13. ^ D'Ayala, Diana (2 June 2008). Structural Analysis of Historic Construction: Preserving Safety and Significance. pp. 290, 291. ISBN 9781439828229.
  14. ^ Abbas Khan Sarwani (1580). "Táríkh-i Sher Sháhí; or, Tuhfat-i Akbar Sháhí, of 'Abbás Khán Sarwání. CHAPTER I. Account of the reign of Sher Sháh Súr". Packard Humanities Institute. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
  15. ^ Ahmed, ABM Shamsuddin (2012). "Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. OL 30677644M. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  16. ^ a b Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, p.83
  17. ^ a b Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, pp.90–93
  18. ^ a b Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, p.94
  19. ^ a b c d e f Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, pp.94–96


  • Hartel, Herbert (1997). "India under the Moghol Empire". In Kissling, H. J.; Barbour, N.; Spuler, Bertold; Trimingham, J. S.; Bagley, F. R. C. (eds.). The Last Great Muslim Empires. BRILL. pp. 262–263. ISBN 90-04-02104-3. Retrieved 20 July 2011.