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Medieval History / Mughal Sultanate Period

Sur Dynasty and its Administration


    Sher Shah Suri (1540-45) was the founder of Sur dynasty. It is the second Afghan dynasty to rule over Delhi. Sher Shah was born at Sasaram to a Jagirdari family. He also started his career as a Jagirdar. He conquered Bihar and Bengal and became powerful.

    History of Sur Dynasty

    • History of Sher Shah Suri can be found through the book, Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi (history of Sher Shah) that was written by Abbas Khan Sarwani. The original name of Sher Shah is Farid Khan. Sher Shah died in an accident while besieging the Fort of Kalinjar. He was killed by his own cannon after the blast.
    • Sur dynasty ruled for about 15 years and held control of almost all the Mughal territories, starting from eastern Afghanistan to Bangladesh.
    • Sher Shah has been succeeded by his son Islam Shah Suri. He ruled for about 9 years from 1545 to 1554. After the death of Islam Shah Suri, his minor son was murdered by Muhammad Adil Shah, who became the last ruler of united Sur dynasty. After that Sur dynasty got divided into four smaller kingdoms.
    • Humayun has defeated Sikandar Shah Suri in the Battle of Sirhind to re-establish Mughal rule.
    • During the reign of Sur dynasty, Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque was built in the Purana Qila Complex of Delhi. At Sasaram, Tomb of Sher Shah was built in the middle of a lake.

    Administration of Sher Shah Suri

    • Central administration of Delhi Sultanate was continued by Sher Shah.
    • He divided the Empire into Sarkars (Districts, 47 in number). There were 3 important officers in each Sarkar, namely (i) Chief Shiqdar or Shiqdar-i-Shiqdaran (incharge of Police administration or Law and Order), (ii) Chief Munsif or Munsif-i-Munsifan (incharge of Revenue administration) and (iii) Poddar (Treasurer).
    • Sarkars were further being divided into Parganas. Here also, there were 3 officers present, namely (i) Shiqdar (sub-district Police officer), (ii) Munsif (sub-district Revenue officer) and (iii) Khazanadar (Treasury officer).
    • The last unit of administration is village. Patwari was the incharge of the village administration.
    • In revenue system, he introduced Patta (Title Deed) System. He was the first king of India to give property rights to peasants.
    • He gave impartial justice to the people and took the title Nyaya Simha.
    • Transport and Communication system was strengthened and a network of highways was built by him. On Highways Sarais (Guest Houses) were built. Some of the Sarais were converted as Dak Chowkis (Post Offices).
    • He introduced new coins called Gold Mohar and Silver Rupaiya. British and Mughals continued the Rupaiya.