Territory of Sur Empire in green
|Common languages||Sanskrit, Persian|
|Sher Shah Suri (first)|
|Adil Shah Suri (last)|
|17 May 1540|
|Today part of|
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The Sur Empire was an Afghan dynasty which ruled a large territory in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent for nearly 16 years, between 1540 and 1556, with Sasaram, in modern-day Bihar, serving as its capital.
The empire was founded by Sher Shah Suri, an ethnic Afghan of the tribal house of Sur, who supplanted the Mughal dynasty as rulers of North India during the reign of the relatively ineffectual second Mughal Humayun. Sher Shah defeated badshah-i-Hind ('Hindustani emperor') Humayun in the Battle of Chausa (26 June 1539) and again in the Battle of Bilgram (17 May 1540).
Sher Shah Suri was known for the destruction of some old cities while conquering parts of India. He has been accused by `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni and other Muslim historians for destroying old cities in order to build new ones on their ruins after his own name. One example included Shergarh. Sher Shah is also said to have destroyed Dinpanah, which Humayun was constructing as the "sixth city of Delhi". The new city built by him, was itself destroyed in 1555 after Humayun re-conquered the territory from the Surs. Tarikh-i-Da'udi states, however, that he destroyed Siri. Abbas Sarwani states that he had the older city of Delhi destroyed. Tarikh-i-Khan Jahan states that Salim Shah Suri had built a wall around Humayun's imperial city.
During the almost 17-year rule of the Sur dynasty, until the return of the Mughals to the throne, the region of South Asia witnessed much economic development and many administrative reforms. A systematised relationship was created between the people and the ruler, minimising corruption and the oppression of the public.
Their rule came to an end by a defeat that led to the restoration of the Mughal Empire.
It was at the time of this bounty of Sultán Bahlol [Lodi], that the grandfather of Sher Sháh, by name Ibráhím Khán Súr,*The Súr represent themselves as descendants of Muhammad Súr, one of the princes of the house of the Ghorian, who left his native country, and married a daughter of one of the Afghán chiefs of Roh. with his son Hasan Khán, the father of Sher Sháh, came to Hindu-stán from Afghánistán, from a place which is called in the Afghán tongue "Shargarí",* but in the Multán tongue "Rohrí". It is a ridge, a spur of the Sulaimán Mountains, about six or seven kos in length, situated on the banks of the Gumal. They entered into the service of Muhabbat Khán Súr, Dáúd Sáhú-khail, to whom Sultán Bahlol had given in jágír the Parganas of Hariána and Bahkála, etc., in the Panjáb, and they settled in the pargana of Bajwára.— Abbas Khan Sarwani, 1580
List of Sur dynasty rulers
|Name||Picture||Reign started||Reign ended|
|Sher Shah Suri||17 May 1532||22 May 1545|
|Islam Shah Suri||26 May 1545||22 November 1554|
|Firuz Shah Suri||1554|
|Muhammad Adil Shah||1554||1555|
|Ibrahim Shah Suri||1555||1555|
|Sikandar Shah Suri||1555||22 June 1555|
|Adil Shah Suri||22 June 1555||1556|
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Hindavi was recognized as a semi-official language by the Sor Sultans (1540-55) and their chancellery rescripts bore transcriptions in the Devanagari script of the Persian contents. The practice is said to have been introduced by the Lodis (1451–1526).
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- Abbas Khan Sarwani (1580). "Táríkh-i Sher Sháhí; or, Tuhfat-i Akbar Sháhí, of 'Abbás Khán Sarwání. CHAPTER I. Account of the reign of Sher Sháh Súr". Packard Humanities Institute. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
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