Humayun

Humayun (AD. 1530-40 and 1555-56)

After Babur’s death his eldest son Humayun ascended the throne at the age of 23. He was born to Mahim Begam and Babur. Babur got no time to consolidate his position and authority. He was gone before he put the whole country on a stable basis. 

Battles of Humayun:

Humayun's first step was the seizure of Kalinjar.  He defeated the Afghan leader Mahmood Lodi who had moved out of Bihar and occupied Jaunpur at Daurah in 1532.  He tried to check the growing power of Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujarat.  Both Malwa and Gujarat fell into hands of the Mughals, but Humayun was unable to crush Bahadur Shah fully.  He lost the opportunity of winning over the Rajputs by not providing assistance to Rani Karnavati of Mewar against Bhadur Shah.

Humayun faced the real Afghan threat in the person of Sher Khan. Sher Shah Suri gradually gained power during his time. Though Sher Khan had acknowledged the overlordship of emperor, he was steadily extending his jurisdiction. Humayun was attacked by Sher Shah at Chausa (Battle of Chausa) in 1539, but escaped. Here Humayun was saved by Nizam, a water carrier (saqqa). In the Battle of Kannauj (also called Battle of Bilgrama) in 1540, He was defeated by Sher Shah and had to flee. Humayun kept wandering for about 15 years(1540-1555) in exile. First fled to Sind, which was under Shah Hussain Arghuna. In 1545, he went to Persian emperor’s court. It was during this period at Amarkot that Akbar was born to Hamida Banu Begum in 1542.

Had the chance to return in 1555. Sher Shah, the victor of Kannauj, died in 1545. He was succeeded by his son Islam Shah, who ruled up to 1553. He was succeeded by Muhammad Adil Shah. He was very fond of pleasures and left the affairs of his government in the hands of Hemu, his minister. His authority was challenged by Ibrahim Shah and Sikandar Shah. There were a large number of bloody battles among the various rival groups. The net result was the Suri empire was broken up. Humayun defeated the Afghan forces of Sikandar Sur and occupied Agra and Delhi in 1555. Bairam Khan, his most faithful officer, helped him in this. Before he could consolidate his gains and organize the administration, he died in 1556, due to a fall from his library building stairs (Sher Mandal, Delhi) seven months after he captured Delhi. It is said about him that “Humayun tumbled through life and he tumbled out of it”. Humayun built Dinpanah at Delhi as second capital.

Gulbadan Begum, his half-sister, wrote Humayun-nama.


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