Sher Shah Suri Biography

(1st Sultan of the Suri Empire)

Born: 1486

Born In: Sasaram, India

Sher Shah Suri was the founder of the Sur Empire in North India. After taking control of the Mughal Empire in 1540, he set up a new civic and military administration and implemented several reforms in the financial and postal sectors. He reorganized the empire and revived the historical city of Pataliputra as Patna which had been in decline since the 7th century CE. He was known to be a great warrior and an able administrator whose works laid the foundation for the later Mughal emperors. Born as one of the several sons of a horse breeder, he grew up to be a brave young man with an ambitious and adventurous spirit. He rebelled against his father and left home to join the service of Jamal Khan, the governor of Jaunpur. He then moved on to work for Bahar Khan, the ruler of Bihar, and impressed him greatly with his valour and courage. He soon rose through the military ranks and became the governor of Bihar following the death of Bahar Khan. Growing in stature with each passing day, he went on to conquer Bengal and at the Battle of Chausa he defeated the Mughal Emperor Humayun and assumed the royal title of Farid al-Din Sher Shah. Counted amongst the greatest Muslim rulers of India, he died during the siege of Kalinjar fort in 1545.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Farīd Khān, Farid Khan Lodhi

Died At Age: 59


Spouse/Ex-: Rani Shah

father: Hasan Khan Sur

siblings: Nizam Khan

children: Adil Khan, Islam Shah Suri

Emperors & Kings Indian Men

Died on: May 22, 1545

place of death: Kalinjar, India

Cause of Death: Killed In Battle

  • 1

    What were Sher Shah Suri's major achievements during his rule?

    Sher Shah Suri is known for his administrative reforms, including the introduction of the land revenue system, construction of roads, and establishment of an efficient postal system.
  • 2

    How did Sher Shah Suri's military strategies contribute to his success?

    Sher Shah Suri's military strategies, such as the effective use of artillery and the organization of a strong cavalry, helped him win battles and establish his rule.
  • 3

    What impact did Sher Shah Suri have on the economy of India?

    Sher Shah Suri's economic policies, like the issuance of a standard coinage and promotion of trade, helped in boosting the economy during his reign.
  • 4

    How did Sher Shah Suri contribute to the development of infrastructure in India?

    Sher Shah Suri is credited with the construction of the Grand Trunk Road and several other infrastructure projects that enhanced communication and trade within his empire.
  • 5

    What was Sher Shah Suri's approach towards governance and justice?

    Sher Shah Suri was known for his strict administration, emphasis on justice, and fair treatment of his subjects, which earned him respect among the people.
Childhood & Early Life
Sher Shah Suri was born as Farid Khan in 1486 in Sasaram, Rohtas district, Bihar in India. His grandfather Ibrahim Khan Suri was a land lord (Jagirdar) in Narnaul area and his father Mian Hassan Khan Suri, was a horse breeder and a prominent figure in the government of Bahlul Khan Lodi. Farid had several brothers.
Farid Khan grew up to be a brave young man and was given a village in Fargana, Delhi (comprising present day districts of Bhojpur, Buxar, Bhabhua of Bihar) by Omar Khan Sarwani, the counselor and courtier of Bahlul Khan Lodi.
Farid often got into disputes with his father and ran away from home to independently seek his fortunes.
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Later Years
He then enlisted as a soldier in the service of Jamal Khan, the governor of Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile his father died and he took possession of his paternal jagir.
Farid Khan entered the service of Bahar Khan, the ruler of Bihar, in 1522. He quickly impressed Khan with his bravery and valor, and was appointed his deputy. He also became the tutor and mentor of Bahar Khan's minor son.
Once on a hunting trip Farid killed a full grown tiger with his bare hands, and earned the title of Sher Khan from Bahar Khan in recognition of his bravery.
An aggressive personality, Sher Khan developed difference with Bahar Khan and left his services to join Babur’s camp in 1527-28. He returned to Bihar after the death of Bahar Khan and became the governor. In this position he effectively reorganized the administration and established a well-disciplined army. Within a course of four years he became the recognized ruler of Bihar.
He grew more ambitious and attacked Bengal in 1538, easily defeating Ghiyashuddin Shah. However, he was unable to conquer the kingdom because of Mughal Emperor Humayun who made an expedition to Bengal at the same time.
Sher Khan faced Humayun at the Battle of Chausa in June 1539. Sher Khan defeated the Mughal Emperor and assumed the royal title of Farid al-Din Sher Shah. The confrontations between Sher Shah and Humayun continued as Humayun retried to capture lost territories and the men faced each other again at Kannauj in May 1540.
Sher Shah was once again successful in defeating Humayun who was forced to flee India. By 1540, Sher Shah had managed to drive out all his enemies from Bengal, Bihar, and the Punjab. He took control of the Mughal Empire and founded the Sur Empire in North India, with its capital at Delhi. He then went on to conquer Malwa in 1542; Raisin, Multan and Sindh in 1543; and Marwar and Mewar in 1544.
Sher Shah Suri was not only a courageous warrior, but also an able administrator. He introduced several reforms and reorganized the civil and administrative structures. He is also credited to have introduced the tri-metal coinage system which later came to characterize the Mughal coinage system.
He undertook notable architectural works during his reign and built structures like Rohtas Fort, Sher Shah Suri Masjid, and Qila-i-Kuhna mosque. He also built a new city Bhera of Pakistan in 1545.
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Major Battles
One of the most famous battles fought by Sher Shah Suri was the Battle of Chausa in which his forces defeated the Mughal emperor Humayun's army in 1539. Sher Shah’s victory in the battle marked the beginning of the downfall of Humayun’s reign and laid the foundation for Suri to establish the foundation of the Sur Empire in North India.
Major Works
Sher Shah Suri rebuilt the Grand Trunk road, which existed during the Maurya Empire, extending from the mouth of the Ganges to the north-western frontier of the Empire. The purpose behind building the road was to link together the remote provinces of his vast empire for administrative and military reasons.
He also built several monuments including Rohtas Fort, Sher Shah Suri Masjid in Patna, and Qila-i-Kuhna mosque at Purana Qila, Delhi
Personal Life & Legacy
Sher Shah Sur married Lad Malika, widow of Taj Khan, governor of Chunar. This marriage helped him greatly in consolidating his powers as a powerful ruler as it gave him the possession of the Fort of Chunar.
He remained a brave and ambitious warrior till the very end. Sher Shah Suri was killed in a freak accident during the siege of Kalinjar fort on 13 May 1545. He was succeeded by his son, Jalal Khan who took the title of Islam Shah Suri. His successors, however, proved to be weak rulers and the Mughals were able to re-establish their rule in India after a few years.
Facts About Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri was known for his innovative administrative reforms, including the introduction of a standardized currency system and a postal network.
He was a skilled military strategist who successfully defeated the Mughal emperor Humayun and established the Sur Empire in India.
Sher Shah Suri was also a patron of art and architecture, commissioning the construction of several impressive structures, including the Grand Trunk Road and the Rohtas Fort.
Despite his reputation as a formidable ruler, Sher Shah Suri was also known for his compassion towards his subjects, implementing policies to improve the welfare of the common people.
He was a self-made man who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most powerful rulers in Indian history, showcasing his determination and leadership abilities.

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