Prior to the advent of the British in India and their acquisition of the territory of Bengal, Suri was but merely a small village. Yet, the British colonists preferred to choose Suri as the district headquarters of Birbhum, probably owing to convenience of transport and communication. Suri was well-connected to many places via road, however, it is not possible to tell about the conditions of those roads clearly. These roads can be traced in James Rennel's map of the 'Jungleterry District'(1779). After the defeat of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, the British placed many puppet-kings in his place. When Mir Quasim was the Nawab, he ordered all the zamindars (landlords) to pay more revenue. At this, the ruler of Rajnagar, Asad Jama Khan disagreed. In December 1760, the army of the Nawab and the British marched together to attack Birbhum. Asad Jama Khan also got prepared with a cavalry of about 5,000 soldiers, and an infantry of nearly 20,000. In the battle, Asad Jama Khan was defeated and his zamindari was snatched. He took shelter amidst the very dense woods of Chotanagpur. There he had a clandestine meeting with a Maratha army general, Shivabhatta, and Shivabhatta joined him with a cavalry of two to three thousand soldiers as well as a large infantry. Another battle was fought near Kariddhya in 1763 in which he was defeated again. Thus, the British got the control of Suri. During the early years of the British rule, Bishnupur and Birbhum was administered from Murshidabad. Then, a new district was formed joining Birbhum and Bishnupur, and Suri was made the headquarters. During this time, British officials used the name '(Laat) Hydrabad', the name Suri was also used, but only later. G.R. Foley was the first District Collector of Birbhum. He was appointed in 1786. Then, J. Sherburne became the collector and after him, Christopher Keating became the collector. Suri Municipality started functioning from 1876. Then, the population of Suri was no more than 7,000. The first Chairman of the municipality was A.A. Owen. Rail transport arrived in Suri in 1859 when the first train started on the route Andal-Sainthia.
The chief industries of Suri include rice milling, cotton and silk weaving, and furniture manufacture.
In March 2008, a private Kolkata-based firm, Ramsarup Group, unveiled a proposal for large-scale investment in a greenfield power plant and cement manufacturing plant worth Rs 2200 crores (US $550 million) was submitted to the Government of West Bengal. Bakreshwar Thermal Power Plant is around 12 kilometres away from Suri town.
According to 1991 census Suri had a population of 54,298. As of 2001 census Suri had a population of 61,806. As of 2011 census Suri had a population of 67,864. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Suri has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79%, and female literacy is 68%. In Suri, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. According to the 2011 census, the Sex Ratio in Suri is 963, higher than the national average 940. The overall literacy rate is 86.95% with the male literacy rate being 90.83% and the female literacy rate being 82.92%.
The Scheduled Castes (SC) population constitutes 18.95% of the total population of Suri Municipality while the Scheduled Tribes (ST) population constitutes 0.92% of that.
Suri is 220 km from State capital Kolkata (Calcutta), 90 km from Durgapur, 34 km from Bolpur, Santiniketan, 55 km from Andal and 19 km from Sainthia on the Andal-Sainthia Branch Line of Eastern Railway. It is on Panagarh–Morgram Highway.(known as N.H 60).Suri connects to Ahmadpur station via Purandarpur, and Kondaipur Village.
Transport system mainly depends on Govt. Bus Service & Private Bus service. The town is well connected to major towns like - Kolkata, Durgapur, Asansol, Sainthia, Medinipur, Digha, Burdwan, English Bazar, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Katwa, etc. through roadway.
Suri is a model Railway Station. From Suri Railway Station, there are few trains to go to Howrah (via Andal-Durgapur-Bandel), like the Hool Express, Mayurakshi Fast Passenger, Siuri-Howrah(via-Sainthia), etc.
Principal language of communication is Bengali. Hindi, English and Urdu are also common.
Colleges in Suri include Birbhum Mahavidyalaya and Suri Vidyasagar College, both affiliated to the University of Burdwan. Birbhum Institute of Engineering & Technology and Sri Ramkrishna Shilpa Vidyapith, also known as "L. C. College" provide technical education.Another 2 diploma technical colleges (private)at tasarkanta, suri,and bandhersole, suri. Also 5(five)D.ED. colleges and 5(Five) B.ED. colleges situated at Suri. Total 18 higher secondary schools including a West Bengal Govt. School ( Birbhum Zilla School ) 3 C.B.S.E. senior secondary Schools-K.E.Karmel,JNV,KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA and UP PUBLIC SCHOOL.One W.B.B.S.E. English Medium school-St.Andrews. The Albatross Public School follows CBSE curriculum and also allows Cambridge International Examination. The Levelfield School has also joined the list of private schools offering higher secondary education.
Suri Vidyasagar College was established on 9 March 1942, as a branch of Calcutta Vidyasagar College. Later it came under the University of Burdwan. Many great personalities, such as, the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee and the former Prime Minister of Nepal, Dr. Tulsi Giri studied here.
Some notable schools of Suri are Birbhum Zilla School (established-1851), R.T. Girls' High School (established-1884 as River Thompson Girls' High School, later renamed as Rabindranath Tagore Girls' High School), Suri Public and Chandragati Mustafi Memorial High School (established-1856 as Suri Middle English School), Suri Benimadhava Institution (established-1917), Kaligati Smriti Narishiksha Niketan, Suri Ramkrishna Vidyapeeth and Muuk-Badhir Vidyalaya (Deaf and Dumb School, estblished-1936).
The first library set up in Suri was the library of Birbhum Zilla School(established-1851). Then, "Ratan Library" was set up by Sibratan Mitra, a writer as well as the father of another writer, Gourihara Mitra, in Malipara, Suri. It had a vast collection of rare manuscripts, ancient statues, idols, coins, maps and images. All these were donated to the library of the Visva-Bharati University later. The Ramaranjan Town Hall and Public Library was set up in 1900. Now it is known by the name -"Vivekananda Granthagaar o Ramaranjan Paurabhawan (Viivekananda Library and Ramaranjan Town Hall)". This library cum town hall has been a witness to many a great and remarkable incident in the history of Suri. The District Library of Birbhum(established-1955), set up during the implementation of the first five-year plan, stands beside the Vivekanada Library and Ramaranjan Town hall.
There is a Suri municipality. It is divided into 19 wards. It was controlled by the Indian National Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance. In the 2010 municipal elections, the municipality faced a hung verdict. Later, the Trinamool Congress with 8 councillors, formed the municipal board by taking the support of 6 Congress councillors. In municipal elections of 2015, TMC won 15 seats, INC won 3 seats, and BJP got 1 seat. The chairman is Ujjal Mukherjee (TMC). Presently , Ujjal Chatterjee is appointed as the Chairman of Suri municipality on July,2016.
Suri is famous for a special sweetmeat called Murabba & Achar (fruits/vegetables preserved in sugar syrup) comes in a wide number of varieties, which includes Murabba of Satamooli.
Suri is one if those places where religious harmony is found. Some famous temples are situated in Suri. Moumachhi Club has established a Kali temple in Suri, which is unique and grand in this town. Other famous temples are Bamni Kalibari, Bhabatarini Kalibari, Dangalpara Anandpur Sarbajanin Matrimandir and Shib Mandir, Radha Ballav Mandir, Shani Mandir, Damodar Mandir, Rabindrapalli Kalibari, Rakshakali Temple, Kendua Dakshin Para Kali Mandir, etc.
Durga temple of CHATTORAJ family is a very old and heritage temple of the town. it is situated at Seharapara. A lot of people visit this temple during the Durga Puja. The newly established Shiv Mandir attracts many people of the area. People will love to experience the rituals of the traditional Durga Puja.
There are a few mosques in Suri and among them, the Masjid at Masjid More and the one at Madrasa Road deserve special mention. Suri is famous for Dargah of Hazrat Data Mehboob Shah. Dargah is flocked by thousands of devotees every day. There are three churches in this town.One is situated near the Fire Brigade Office, one beside the SH near SP More, and the other one is situated beside the R.T.Girls High School.
Every year in Suri there is a very famous fair held, called the 'Barobagan Mela'(Now postponed due to political problems). This historic fair was inaugurated by the then Governor of Bengal Lord Brabourne. Religious festivals like Durga puja, Laxmi puja, Kali puja, Jagatdhatri puja, Hanuman puja, Eid, Muharram,Kurbani,Christmas etc. are celebrated in Suri. Book-fairs are also held every 3–4 years.
The climate of the district is generally dry, mild and healthy. The hot weather usually lasts from the middle of March to the middle of the June, the rainy season from the middle of June to the middle of October, and the cold weather from middle of October to the middle of March. They do not always correspond to these limit. The wind is from the south-east in the summer and from the north-west in the winter. The minimum and maximum temperature data for Suri is given below - For the Year 2011 (in degree Celsius)-
For the year 2012 (in degree Celsius)-
The average precipitation in Suri is 1307 mm (130.7 cm). It is the lowest in December with an average of 3 mm, while it is the highest in August (299 mm) and in July(297 mm). The average annual temperature is 26.2 °C.