Kamran Mirza

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Shahzada of the Mughal Empire
Humayun finally defeated his rebellious brother Kamran in Kabul in 1553.jpg
Humayun finally defeated his rebellious brother Kamran in Kabul in 1553
Born 1509
Kabul, Mughal Empire (present-day Afghanistan)
Died 5 October 1557(1557-10-05) (aged 47–48)
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Spouse Mihr Afroz Begum
Muhtirma Khanum
Mah Begm
Mah Chuchuk Begum
Hazara Begum
Issue Sultan Ibrahim Mirza
Habiba Sultan Begum
Gulizar Begum
Gulrukh Begum
Aisha Sultan Begum
Dynasty Timurid
Father Babur
Mother Gulrukh Begum
Religion Islam

Kamran Mirza, sometimes known simply as Kamran, (1509 – 5 (or 6) October 1557) was the second son of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire and the first Mughal Emperor. Kamran Mirza was born in Kabul to Babur's wife Gulrukh Begum. He was half-brother to Babur's eldest son Humayun, who would go on and inherit the Mughal throne, but he was full-brother to Babur's third son, Askari.

During the Reign of Babur[edit]

While his father, Babur, was conquering northern India from 1525 onwards, Kamran remained in Kandahar in order to secure his northern flank. He was still in charge of the northern part of the newly formed empire, when his father died in 1530. According to the Mughal historian Abul Fazl, Babur’s last words to Humayun were “do nothing against your brothers, even though they may deserve it.”

In India[edit]

In 1538, Kamran first crossed into India, bringing with him 12,000 soldiers, while Humayun was away fighting in Bengal. He appeared to have come in order to put down the rebellion of his brother Hindal against Humayun. However, despite Humayun's calls for help, Kamran offered him no aid whatsoever. After Humayun returned from his defeat at the Battle of Chausa, Kamran refused to place his troops under Humayun's command as he was more interested in taking power for himself. Seeing no chance of furthering his ambition, Kamran withdrew back to Lahore.

Rivalry with Humayun[edit]

Sher Shah defeated Humayun in the battle of Kanauj in May 1540 and became the new ruler of northern India. He ordered Humayun to leave India. Humayun went back to Kabul but Kamran was unwilling to hand the city over to his brother. At this point Kamran went behind Humayun's back and offered to support Sher Shah, if the latter would give him the Punjab in return. His offer was refused. At this point Humayun was urged by his advisors to put his brother to death, but he refused.

After a series of disastrous attempts to retake his throne, Humayun crossed the Indus in 1543. Rather than welcoming him, Kamran sent his younger brother Askari out to catch him and bring him to Kabul. Humayun managed to escape his brother’s clutches though and sought refuge in the court of the ruler of Persia, Shah Tahmasp I.

When Humayun was in Persia, Kamran offered the Shah the city of Kandahar if he would hand his brother over to him. Shah Tahmasp favoured Humayun in this fraternal squabble however, and provided him with troops with which he defeated Kamran.

Conflict over Kabul[edit]

Humayun was able to enter Kabul in November 1545 in a bloodless takeover, as Kamran's rule had been oppressive, and the population of the city was keen to be rid of him.

After his ignominious flight, Kamran managed to retake Kabul twice but he remained a hated figure to the residents of the city, as his periods of rule involved atrocities against large numbers of them.

Following his third and final ejection from Kabul, Kamran went to the court of Humayun's enemy, the Afghan king Islam Shah in Delhi in 1552, where he was effectively rebuffed in his hopes for an alliance against his brother. Islam Shah arrested him and deputed his trusted adviser Hemu to hand over Kamran to Humayun at Kabul.


The only significant architectural structure built by Kamran exists today in Lahore, Pakistan. It is called Kamran ki Baradari. Bara means twelve and dar means doors. Kamran ki baradari was a twelve-door building on the bank of River Ravi. The river changed its course over time, with the result that the Baradari stands not on the bank but in the waters as an island while the gardens have deteriorated.

Exile and death[edit]

Although Humayun resisted the pressure to put his rebellious brother to death, he was persuaded that something needed to be done about him so he reluctantly had him blinded. Humayun then sent him off to perform the Hajj to Mecca, where he died in 1557.



He married five times and had five children:

  1. Mihr Afroz Begum (m. November 1528), daughter of his maternal uncle, Amir Sultan Ali Mirza Taghai Begchik;
  2. Muhtarima Khanum, daughter of Shah Muhammad Sultan Jagatai, Sultan of Kashghar, by his wife, Khadija Sultan Khanum, fourth daughter of Sultan Ahmad Khan Jagatai;
  3. Mah Begum, daughter of Sultan Uwais Qibchaq, of Kulab, sometime Governor of Badakshan;
  4. Mah Chuchak Begum, daughter of Mir Shah Husain Arghun, Lord of Sind, Kandahar and Kabul, by his wife, Mah Chuchak Begum, daughter of Mirza Muhammad Muqim Beg Aghun;
  5. Hazara Begum, niece of the Hazara chief, Khizr Khan;
  • Sultan Ibrahim Mirza - with Mah Afroz Begum
  • Habiba Sultan Begum - with Mah Afroz Begum, married firstly (div. 1551) Yasin ud-Daula, Aq Sultan Jagatai, fourth son of Aiman Khwaja Khan Jagatai, a descendant of the Sultans of Kashghar, married secondly Mirza Abdur Rahman Khan Dughlat;
  • Gulizar Begum - with Mah Afroz Begum, went on the pilgrimage to Mecca in October 1575, thereafter known as Haji Begum;
  • Gulrukh Begum - with Mah Afroz Begum, married Ibrahim Husain Mirza, third son of Sultan Muhammad Mirza, of Azampur, sometime Governor of Sambhal;
  • Aisha Sultan Begum
  • Haji Begum