Sher Shah Suri Tomb the resting place of Emperor Sher Shah Suri is located in Sasaram, Bihar. Sher Shah Suri Tomb was built in 1545 by Sher Shah for himself.
Sher Shah Suri Tomb the resting place of Emperor Sher Shah Suri, the founder of Sur Dynasty in India is located in Sasaram, Bihar. Sher Shah Suri Tomb was built in 1545 by Sher Shah for himself. The Tomb is truly an architectural masterpiece. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful tombs that I have ever seen. Sher Shah Suri Tomb is situated amidst an artificial lake.
Originally Sher Shah Suri Tomb was constructed as an island tomb i.e. no pathway or bridge was constructed to access it and visitors used to take rafts to reach the monument. The bridge connecting tomb to mainland was built in 1881.
About Sher Shah Suri:
Sher Shah Suri was an Afghan Pathan from Bihar who earlier worked for Mughal Empire as a military commander and governor of Bihar during the reign of Babur and Humayun. After the death of Babur, Sher Shah wished to have his own empire. Eventually, he drove Humayun out and took over as the Emperor.
Sher Shah Suri was a fierce commander, an intelligent administrator, and a brilliant strategist. He is credited with constructing Gand Trunk road, improving trade and commerce, the introduction of Rupaiya as currency and postal services.
He died in Kalinjar fort of a gunpowder explosion accident on May 13th, 1545 while trying to take over the same fort. Sher Shah and his men were trying hard to breakthrough Kalinjar fort. They tried everything but were unable to break the walls of this fort. In order to break the walls, Sher Shah ordered his men to blow off the wall with a gunpowder explosion. As his orders were executed Sher Shah suffered fatal injuries as a result of mine explosion which eventually led to his death.
Sher Shah Suri Tomb:
The construction of Sher Shah Suri Tomb began during his lifetime and was completed during the reign of his son Islam Shah. As per an inscription on the outer wall of building the construction of the tomb was completed on Aug 16, 1545, three months after his death.
Sher Shah Suri Tomb is a three storey structures built of red sandstone in the middle of an artificial lake. This massive red sandstone tomb has a height of 122 ft. It was once adorned with glazed tiles most of which are gone.
The mausoleum and the lake are situated between walled gardens that not only makes for the beautiful setting but also protects the tomb as well.
A stone bridge connecting the tomb with mainland leads you to it and there after one has to take stairs to reach to the primary structure. There is only one entrance to Sher Shah Suri Tomb.
Architecture and Layout of Sher Shah Suri Tomb:
Sher Shah Suri Tomb shows an amalgamation of Indo- Islamic architectural styles in its construction. The chief architect of the monument was Mir Muhammad Aliwal, he is credited with the stunning design of this beautiful mausoleum. Sher Shah Suri Tomb is often compared with Taj Mahal of Agra and some call it the second Taj Mahal.
Sher Shah Suri Tomb stands on a square stone plinth which is in the center of an artificial lake. Several chhatris and kiosks topped with domes can be seen at its corners. The artificial lake is bordered by stone banks.
The tomb has an octagonal plan which is crowned by dome spanning 22 meters. Several domed kiosks are built around it; these were once covered with colorful glazed tiles although only a few of these tiles can be seen today the appearance of this mausoleum is still grand.
The primary chamber of the tomb has 3 massive arches. These 22 ft tall arches support the colossal dome of the structure. Inside the grand structure, one would see beautifully calligraphed Quran verses inscribed on its walls.
A verandah runs around the octagonal chambers of the tomb. In the verandahs are 24 smaller domes standing on four arches. All four sides of the tomb have a flight of steps on its which leads to the lake.
There are a total of 25 graves within the tomb out of these, one Sher Shah’s father, the other of Sher Shah Suri and rest 23 of his generals. Tomb of Sher Shah’s son Aslam and architect of Sher Shah’s tomb Mir Muhammad lies near the tomb of Sher Shah.
Sher Shah Suri Tomb is an architectural and historical marvel. It is a stunning structure amidst picturesque settings.
There are a lot of other monuments in this area worthy of exploring. Once you are done exploring this beautiful structure go ahead and wander some more and see the unseen. Happy exploring.