Sher Shah Suri Biography

Sher Shah Suri or Sher khan, was the founder of Sur dynasty in India. Born in 1486,he was the son of a jagirdar of Sasaram, Bihar. His original name was Farid. He left his home at the age of 15 and went to Jaunpur. There he studied Arabic and Persian languages. He had very good administrative skills as a result he was appointed by his father to manage his jagir, but due to some reasons he left it and joined the service of Mughal Emperor Babar. In 1522 he joined the service of Bahar Khan, governor of Bihar at that time. He was given the title of Sher Khan by Bahar Khan, for the courage and gallantry shown by him in killing a tiger single-handedly. Later Bahar Khan appointed him as a deputy governor and tutor of his son Jalal Khan. He again joined the service of Babur but came back. As Jalal Khan was a minor so Sher Khan was the virtual ruler of Bihar. In 1531, he asserted his freedom from the Mughal ruler Humayun. He fought many battles with him, initially capturing Gaur in Bengal and finally getting the throne of Delhi after the battle of Kannauj in 1540. He continued to expand his empire and in a very short span of time his kingdom extended from Indus in the east to Bengal in the west. He was a brave soldier and a military genius, he made bunkers using sand bags in the battle of Mevat.

He was a very able administrator and is remembered for his rule and the reforms he introduced. His administration was very efficient but a bit strict. He divided his empire into provinces known as Sarkars, these were further sub-divided into Parganas and these were again divided into smaller units. He is believed to be the first one to introduce “Rupaiya” and “paisa’ in place of “Tanka”. He is also credited with the introduction of custom duty, which is followed even today.

He built many inns, mosques and laid down the network of roads the most famous among them being the Grand Trunk Road. He also had a refined taste in architecture, it is evident in the Rohtas Fort built by him.

He continued his administrative as well as military activities simultaneously. He besieged the strong fort of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand where he died at in an accidental explosion of gunpowder in 1545. Though he ruled India for a short period of five years but changes made by him had the everlasting impact on the lives of people. He is considered to be the most successful ruler of medieval India. In the opinion of S.A. Rashid, as an able general, consummate soldier, as a determined ruler Sher Shah stand head over shoulders above the other rulers. So great was his personality that his greatest enemy, Humayun, on his death referred to him as “Ustad-I-Badshahan”, teacher of kings. Sher Shah Suri was succeeded by his son Jalal Khan who later adopted the name of Islam Shah. He built a magnificent tomb of his father, Sher Shah Suri at Sasaram, Bihar.

Facts and Information about Sher Shah Suri

Nick Name Farid khan, Sher Khan
Born 1472 in Sasaram in Rohtas district
Died 22 May, 1545 in Kalinjar, Bundelkhand
Father Hasan Khan Sur
Grand Father Ibrahim Khan Sur
Son’s Islam Shah Suri
Wife’s Rani Shah.
Siblings Nizam Khan
Reign 17 May, 1540 – 22 May, 1545
Predecessor Humayun
Successor Islam Shah Suri
Dynasty Sur Dynasty
Burried His burial chamber is famous as Sher Shah Suri Tomb situated in Sasaram.
Religion Islam.
About Sher Shah Suri founded the Sur Empire in North India having its capital at Delhi. He ruled the Mughal Empire in 1540. After he died in 1545, his son Islam Shah climbed the throne..
Conquest of Bihar In 1534 in the battle of Surajgarh, Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah’s forces were defeated by Sher Khan, who captured the whole of Bihar.
Conquest of Bengal In 1538, Sher Khan attacked Bengal and defeated Ghiyashuddin Shah. In 1539, Sher Khan and Humayun fought the battle of Chausa. Sher Khan became the Sultan of Delhi, throwing Humayun out of India. He was then titled as Sher Shah.
Battle of Sammel In the ensuing battle of Giri Sumel, Sher Shah won but suffered haevy losses. He was right when he said, “For a few grains of bajra (millet, which is the main crop of barren the Marwar) I almost lost the entire kingdom of Hindustan”.
Monuments Rohtas Fort

Sher Shah Suri Masjid in Patna

Qila-i-Kuhna mosque at Purana Qila, Delhi

Books Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi, Abbas Khan Sarwani


Tarikh-i Khan Jahani wa Makhzan-i Afghani

The Chronicles of the Pathan Kings of Delhi

The Pathans, Sir Olaf Caroe

Death It was because of a blast that he met his end while battling the Rajputs of Chandel.

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