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The Sur Empire (Pashto: د سوریانو ټولواکمني‎) was an empire established by a Muslim dynasty of Pashtun origin who ruled a large territory in Northern part of South Asia[2] for nearly 16 years, between 1540 and 1556, with Delhi serving as its capital.[3] It interrupted the rule of the Mughal Empire under Humayun, who later restored the Mughal Empire by ending the Sur Empire.

Sur Empire
د سوریانو ټولواکمني
Territory of Sur Empire in green
Capital Sasaram (Bihar)
Languages Pashto
Religion Sunni Islam
Government Sultanate
 •  Established 17 May 1540
 •  Disestablished 1556
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
Today part of  India




The Rohtas Fort in northern Pakistan was built under Sher Shah Suri, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The empire was founded by Sher Shah Suri, an ethnic Pashtun of the tribal house of Sur,[2] who supplanted the Mughal dynasty as rulers of North India during the reign of the relatively ineffectual second Mughal Humayun. Sher Shah defeated badhsah-i-Hind ('Hindustani emperor') Humayun in the Battle of Chausa (26 June 1539) and again in the Battle of Bilgram (17 May 1540).[4]

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

During the almost 17-year rule of the Sur dynasty, until the return of the Mughals to the throne, the region of the South Asia witnessed much economic development and administrative reforms. A systematised relationship was created between the people and the ruler, minimising corruption and the oppression of the public.

Their rule came to an end by a defeat that led to restoration of the Mughal Empire. Today, the Sur are part of the Pashtun tribal system and belong to the sub-groups of the Ghilzais.

It was at the time of this bounty of Sultán Bahlol [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.[5]

— Abbas Khan Sarwani, 1580

List of Sur dynasty rulersEdit

The 178 grams silver coin, Rupiya released by Sher Shah Suri, 1540–1545 CE, was the first Rupee[6][7]
Name Picture Reign started Reign ended
Sher Shah Suri
  17 May 1540[8] 22 May 1545[8]
Islam Shah Suri
26 May 1545[9] 22 November 1554[9]
Firuz Shah Suri
Muhammad Adil Shah
1554[10] 1555[11]
Ibrahim Shah Suri
Sikandar Shah Suri
1555[11] 22 June 1555[11]
Adil Shah Suri
22 June 1555[11] 1556[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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. 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). 
  2. ^ a b Kissling, H. J.; N. Barbour; Bertold Spuler; J. S. Trimingham; F. R. C. Bagley; H. Braun; H. Hartel (1997). The Last Great Muslim Empires. BRILL. pp. 262–263. ISBN 90-04-02104-3. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sūr dynasty". Encyclopædia Britannica Online Online. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Sher Khan". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th edition. Columbia Encyclopedia. 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Mughal Coinage Reserve Bank of India RBI Monetary Museum,
  7. ^   Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rupee". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 885. 
  8. ^ a b Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, p.83
  9. ^ a b Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, pp.90–93
  10. ^ a b Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-407-1, p.94
  11. ^ 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

External linksEdit