Short Biography of Adham Khan



After the fall of Bairam Khan in 1560, Akbar came under the influence of Maham Anaga, his foster-mother. According to Dr. Smith, Akbar threw off the yoke of Bairam Khan only to be brought under the "Monstrous regime of unscrupulous women." Maham Anaga proved to be unworthy of the trust reposed in her. She did not care for the interests of the country but merely favoured worthless persons.

This point of view is not accepted by Indian historians. It is pointed out that if Maham Anaga had been all powerful, she would certainly have helped her own son, Adham Khan, who had distinguished himself as a great general. Not only Adham Khan was not favoured, even the great influence of his mother could not save his life.

Adham Khan :

In 1561, Adham Khan was sent to subdue Baz Bahadur, an Afghan, who had captured Malwa. Adham Khan was assisted by Pir Mohammad. He was able to defeat Baz Bahadur near Sarangpur. [6]

Unfortunately, he did not send the spoils of the conquest to the Emperor. Adham Khan tried to take possession of Baz Bahadur's Hindu mistress Rupmati. She killed herself by taking poison. Akbar did not approve of the attitude of Adham Khan in retaining the spoils.

He left Agra and reached Malwa by forced marches. He took Adham Khan by surprise. He seized the spoils and removed Adham Khan from his office. Pir Muhammad was appointed in his place. However, Baz Bahadur took advantage of the weak Government of Pir Mohammad and reconquered Malwa. Abdullah Khan Uzbeg defeated him and Baz Bahadur entered the Mughal service.

Adham Khan was the victim of a miscalculation. He wrongly counted upon the influence of his mother over Akbar. Adham Khan stabbed Shamus-ud-Din, the Minister of Akbar, in the royal palace. This was too much for Akbar. It is stated that he rushed to the spot and gave a blow to Adham Khan with his fist and knocked him down to the ground. Adham Khan was seized and thrown headlong from the terrace of the palace where the murder had taken place. This happened in May 1562.