Sher Shah Suri [Medieval History Of India For UPSC]

Sher Shah Suri (1486 – 22 May 1545), born Farīd Khān, was the founder of the Suri Empire in India, with its capital in Sasaram in modern-day Bihar. He introduced the currency of rupee. Sher Shah of Sur took control of the Mughal Empire in 1540.

His reorganization of the empire laid the foundations for the later Mughal emperors, notably Akbar, son of Humayun

In this article, get NCERT notes on Sher Shah Suri and the Sur Dynasty. The Sur Interregnum is an important topic for Civil Services Exam.

Sher Shah Suri (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

Sher Shah’s Administration

  • Sher Shah was the founder of Sur Dynasty.
  • His original name was Farid.
  • He was the son of Hasan Khan, a jagirdar of Sasaram in Bihar.
  • He was given the title Sher Khan for his bravery under the Afghan Rule of Bihar.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the UPSC 2022.

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Sher Shah Sur (1486-1545)
  • Sher Shah Sur’s conquests include Bundelkhand, Malwa, Multan, Punjab, and Sind.
  • His empire occupied the whole of North India except Assam, Gujarat, Kashmir, and Nepal.
  • Though his rule lasted for only 5 years, he has organized an excellent administrative system.
  • The king was aided by four important ministers.
    1. Diwan –i- Wizarat or Wazir – in charge of Revenue and Finance
    2. Diwan-i-Ariz – in charge of Army
    3. Diwan-i-Rasalat – Foreign Minister
    4. Diwan-i-Insha – Minister for Communications
  • Sher Shah’s empire was divided into forty-seven Sarkars
  • Each sarkar was further divided into various Parganas and in charge of various officers.
    • Shiqdar – Military Officer
    • Amin – Land Revenue
    • Fotedar – Treasurer
    • Karkuns – Accountants
  • Iqtas – various administrative units
  • Under Sher Shah, the land revenue administration was well organized.
  • The land survey was sensibly done.
  • All cultivable lands were classified into three classes – good, middle and bad.
  • The state’s share was one-third of the average production and it was paid in cash or crop.
  • Sher Shah introduced new copper coins called “Dam”. It is believed that this coin is one of the possible sources for the English phrase “I don’t give a dam(n)″, due to its small worth.
  • Police were competently restructured and crime was less during his regime.
  • Shah borrowed many ideas like the branding of horses from Alauddin Khalji
  • Sher Shah had also developed the communications by laying four important highways.
    • Sonargaon to Sind
    • Agra to Berhampur
    • Jodhpur to Chittor
    • Lahore to Multan

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Estimate of Sher Shah
  • Sher Shah remained a pious Muslim and generally tolerant towards other religions.
  • He also employed Hindus in important offices.
  • The old fort called Purana Qila and its mosque was built during his period.
  • He also built a Mausoleum at Sasaram, which is considered as one of the masterpieces of Indian architecture.
  • The famous Hindi work Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi was written during his reign.
  • In 1545, Sher Shah died and his successors ruled till 1555 later when Humayun reconquered India.

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