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Bairam Khan Biography

Bairam Khan Biography

Bairam Khan was an extraordinary military general who served for Mughal emperors Humayun and his son Akbar and had great contributions in expanding their kingdom. Bairam led Akbar to his victory against Hemu in the second battle of Panipat. As an able regent, he guided Akbar during hostile situations. Bairam was loyal to the Mughal Empire until Akbar came close to his nurse Mahan Anga’s that developed differences between the two.

When Humayun got the news about Islam Shahs death, he became enthusiastic to invade India. At this point of time, Bairam Khan came to his aid. Punjab was conquered, the Afghans were defeated and Delhi was captured without any oppositions. Bairam’s contribution was immense as the Mughal Empire again rose to glory. Humayun died when Akbar was only fourteen years old and Bairam took the responsibility to guide Akbar. Under his care, Akbar consolidated the shaken Mughal kingdom, into a vast empire. The Afghan army under Hemu Vikramaditya captured Agra and Delhi but Akbar’s army led by Bairam defeated Hemu in the second battle of Panipat (1556) and recaptured the lost territories.

Akbar’s nurse Mahan Anga had other ideas. She, along with his son Adham Khan hoped to rule herself. She forced Akbar to remove Bairam who in any way had grown old. Akbar was influenced and he arranged an excursion for Bairam to go on Hajj to Mecca. Bairam left for Mecca but on his way was met by an army sent by Adham Khan, which as per say was sent to escort him from the Mughal territories. Bairam felt humiliated and led an attack against the forces. Bairam was imprisoned and brought to the court of Akbar. Instead of disrespect, Akbar offered respect and honor and funded his proper excursion to Mecca. However destiny had other plans for Bairam, when he reached the port city of Cambay he was stabbed to death by a Afghan, whose father had been killed five years ago in a battle let by Bairam. Bairam died on January 31, 1561.

Facts and Information about Bairam Khan


Service Period 1517-1561
Born 1501 in Badakhshan
Died 31 January 1561, Gujarat
Wife Salima Sultan Begum
Son Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana
Religion Shia Islam
About Bairam Khan was a military commander, among top generals, a commander in chief of the Mughal army, a powerful statesman as well as a regent at the court of the Mughal emperors
Monarch Akbar
Allegiance Mughal Empire
Commands Mughal Army
Military service Bairam had served Babur’s empire since he was 16 and actively participated in the early Mughal conquests of India.
Bairam Khan also played a key role in setting up the Mughal empire under Humayun.
After Humayun’s death in 1556, Bairam Khan became the regent as Akbar was still too young to rule.
In November 1556 at the Second Battle of Panipat, the Mughal forces were led by Bairam Khan.
Salima Sultana Salima Sultana was one of Bairam’s wives. She married Akabar after Bairam died.
Death In 1560, Akbar dismissed Bairam and ordered him to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. However, he died mid- way on 31January 1561 in Gujarat.
Battle of Khanwa The Battle of Khanwa was fought by the first Mughal emperor Babur after the Battle of Panipat on March 17 1527, about 60 km west of Agra.
Battle of Ghaghra The Battle of Ghaghra was fought in 1529 by the Mughal Empire against the Eastern Afghan Confederates ruled by Sultan Mahmud Lodi, and the Sultanate of Bengal ruled by Sultan Nusrat Shah.
Siege of Sambhal Babur sent a force to Sambhal, a district held by Kasim Sambhali.
Battle of Panipat (1556) The Second Battle of Panipat was fought on 5 November 1556 between Akbar and Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya (Hemu), the Hindu ruler. Akbar’s generals Bairam Khan and Khan Zaman ensured a victory for him.
Books in English Khan-i-Khanan Bairam Khan, a political biography by Janaki Prakashan
Bairam Khan: Soldier and Administrator
Life and Achievements of Muhammad Bairam Khan
Books in Hindi Khan-i-Khanan Nama Pratibha Pritishthana