Akbar was declared the ’emperor, on 24 January, 1556 at Kalanaur, in Punjab after the death of Humayun. Meanwhile the news reached him that one Himu, the general and chief adviser of Adil Shah, had occupied Delhi under the title of ‘Vikramjit’.
Immediately Bairum Khan rushed towards Delhi at the head of a huge army and met Himu in the field of Panipat. In the second battle of Panipat (1556) Himu was defeated by the Mughal army under the command of Bairum Khan, the guardian of the boy king Akbar.
The greatest importance of the second battle of Panipat lies in the fact that if the Mughal army would have been defeated in the battle nothing worth the name of the ‘Mughal Empire’ could have developed in India.
However, Bairum Khan was at the helm of affairs of the empire for another four years. In 1560, after the fall of Bairum Khan, Akbar took upon himself the task of managing the affairs of the state independently.