Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ancestral village of Sher Shah Sur in Roh (Pakhtunkhwa)

Sher Shah's father name was Hasan and they belonged to the Shera Khel sept of the Sur  tribe [1] which was settled in the present-day Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Sher Shah’s grandfather Ibrahim Khan was a horse-dealer in his native country. He migrated to India along with his son Hassan in the early years of Sultan Bahlul’s reign and adopted the profession of soldiery there. [2]

According to Abbas Sarwani, the family of Sher Shah belonged to a village of Roh which was known as Zhaghri in Afghani (Pashto) and Ruhri in Multani (Seraiki) [3]. Dera Ismail Khan is region where both Seraiki and Pashto are spoken. K.R.Qanungo has misidentified Zhaghri or Ruhri with Surgurgai near Aab-i Istadeh in Ghazni province of Afghanistan where no Seraiki is spoken [4]. Abbas Sarwani further informs us that Zhaghri or Ruhri village is located on a ridge which has emerged from the Sulaiman mountains and stretched for six or seven kuroh on the banks of the Gomal river [5]. According to the survey of Suleiman mountains published under the Direction of Brigadier E.O.Wheeler (Surveyor General of India) in 1941 [6], Ruhri is a village , situated on an offshoot of the Sulaiman mountains which is roughly 15 miles long, that is the six or seven kuroh of Abbas Sarwani. This branch of Suleiman mountains is known locally as "Mian Nur” ridge. The river Gomal runs close by Ruhri village. According to Aminullah Khan Gandapur, village Ruhri is located 11 miles north west of Kulachi town in the Kulachi Tehsil of Dera Ismail Khan. [7]

In the middle of sixteenth century, Sur tribe in Roh was attacked and defeated by neighboring Nuhani tribes [8]. Perhaps the fall of Sur dynasty in India encouraged Nuhanis to attack and displace Surs. Most of the Surs were killed and the survivors fled to India. Later the chief of Nuhanis gifted the lands conquered from Surs to nomadic Gandapurs in late 16th century who inhabit it now.


1- “Akbar nama”, English translation by H.Beveridge, p-326
2- Ibid.
3- “The History of India, as told by its own Historians”, Vol-4, p-308
4- “Sher Shah and his times”, K.R.Qanungo, p-05
5- “The History of India, as told by its own Historians”, Vol-4, p-308
6- "Transition of power from the early Mughals to Sher Shah Suri", by Hussain Khan, pp.80-81
7- "Tarikh-i-Sarzameen-i-Gomal", by Aminullah Khan Gandapur, p-39
8- "Afghanistan and Its Inhabitants: Translated from The HAYAT-I-AFGHANI of Muhammad Hayat Khan , p-286

Portrait of of Sher Shah Sur. Water colour painting. Date of Creation: 1900-1949

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