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Medieval History / Mughal Sultanate Period

Sur Dynasty and its Administration

Sur dynasty or Suri dynasty is the second Afghan dynasty to rule over Delhi, the first one being Lodi dynasty. Sher Shah Suri, who was the founder of Sur dynasty, was born at Sasaram to a Jagirdari family. He also started his career as a Jagirdar. He conquered Bihar and Bengal and became powerful.

Rulers of Sur Dynasty

  • In 1540, Mughal emperor Humayun was dethroned by Sher Shah in the Battle of Kannauj. Sher Shah ruled Delhi from 1540 to 1945. 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.

  • The Suri dynasty ruled over Delhi 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 successor, Firuz Shah Suri, who was a minor, was murdered by Muhammad Adil Shah, who became the last ruler of the united Sur dynasty. After that the Sur Empire got disintegrated.

  • Muhammad Adil Shah was overthrown by Ibrahim Shah Suri, who himself was overthrown by Sikandar Shah Suri.

  • 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.


  1. In which battle, Humayun defeated Sikandar Shah Suri to re-establish Mughal empire?

    1. Chunar

    2. Kannauj

    3. Panipat

    4. Sirhind


    Ans: D

  2. Who is the founder of Sur dynasty?

    1. Islam Shah Suri

    2. Muhammad Adil Shah

    3. Sher Shah Suri

    4. Firuz Shah Suri


    Ans: C