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Politics & War

Politics & War

Sher Shah Suri

Sher Shah Suri




  • His grandfather Ibrahim Suri traded in horses. But as he could not get much success in his trade, he and his son Hasan entered into military service and settled at Bajwara, two miles south-east of Hastinapur in Punjab..
  • Here at Bajwara or according to Dr Qanungo in the pargana of Narnaul, Farid was born in 1486 A.D. by the first wife of Hasan.


  • Hasan went to Jaunpur with his master Jamal Khan during the reign of Sikandar Shah Lodi and was assigned by him the Jagir of Sasaram, Hajipur, Khawaspur and Tanda. Hasan had four wives and eight sons.
  • Farid studied for three years in Jaunpur, acquired knowledge of Arabic and Persian and was able to impress Jamal Khan, the master of his father by his knowledge and labour..
  • After the death of Hasan in 1520 A.D., Farid was granted the Jagir of his father. He immediately took possession of it.


  • Farid entered the service of Bahar Khan Lohani, the master of south Bihar. Here he got the title of Sher Khan for killing a tiger.
  • Sher Khan was forced to leave Bihar. He went to Agra and took up service under the Mughul ruler, Babur. He participated in the campaign of Babur against Chanderi. But, very soon, he felt insecure about of his life and fled away from the Mughul camp.
  • Sultan Muhammad died in 1528 A.D. and his wife Dudu appointed Sher Khan as the deputy or the Naib of his minor son, Jalal Khan.


  • Sher Khan who 1530, had monopolised its administration. The Lohani nobles could not tolerate Sher Khan any more and conspired to murder him.
  • But they failed and, finding no alternative, fled to Bengal along with the nominal ruler Jalal Khan. The flight of Jalal Khan cleared the way of Sher Khan who now assumed the title of Hazrat-i-Ala and became the virtual ruler of south Bihar.


  • He now started organising the Afghans and called them from distant places to assemble under him.
  • Humayun proceeded to Bengal and when he returned after some months, Sher Khan blocked his way of return. He defeated Humayun at the battle of Chausa in 1539 A.D. After this battle, he assumed the title of Sher Shah, Sultan-i-Adil with the consent of all his present Afghan nobles.
  • Thereafter, he attacked Bengal and captured it. Now, he became the master of Bengal and Bihar. In 1540 A.D., he again defeated Humayun at the battle of Kannauj. He then occupied cities like Agra, Delhi, Sambhal, Gwalior, Lahore and all the territory of the Mughuls. He, thus, established the second Afghan empire in India.


  • Sher Shah’s primary interest was to safeguard his empire from any fresh invasion of the Mughuls. His second task was the extension of his empire and its consolidation.
  • Therefore, he engaged himself in the double task of making further conquests and administering his empire till his death in 1545 A.D


  • Sher Shah built a strong fort, ten miles north of the town of Jhelam, named it Rohtasgarh and garrisoned it with 50,000 Afghan soldiers.
  • He divided Bengal into several sarkars (districts) and placed each of them under a military officer called the Shiqdar with a small force.
  • Sher Shah reduced Rajasthan to submission. But except Marwar and Raisin, he did not annex the territories of Rajput rulers. He allowed them to rule over their kingdom once they accepted his suzerainty.


  • After the conquests of Malwa and Rajasthan, Sher Shah decided to conquer Kalinjar in Bundelkhand. The fort of Kalinjar was strong and its ruler Kirat Singh.
  • Sher Shah then attacked and laid siege of the fort of Kalinjar in 1544 A.D. Nearly seven months passed but the fort could not be captured. On 22 May 1545 A.D., an attempt was made to breach the wall of the fort by artillery.
  • It led to an explosion in which Sher Shah was seriously burnt. The fort was captured by the Afghans by the evening. But, then, Sher Shah died on 22 May 1545 A.D