Born on October 14, 1542 in the Rajput Fortess of Umerkot during the exile of his father Humayun ,Jalal ud Din Mohammad Akbar took the reins of Mughal Empire in 1556. He was in a war against Sikander Shah when Humayun, his father died and he asserted as the Emperor. Bairam Khan, the military commander of Humayun sheltered him against the enemies.
Akbar reigns supreme among the rest of the Mughals as in his 49 years’ regime, the Mughal Empire was strengthened. Humayun and Babur, his successors could not hold the over lordship over India for a long time and passed away. When he ascended the throne at the age of thirteen, the Empire was endangered by the descendents of Sher Shah Suri who were trying to grab the occasion of snatching the Empire from the Mughals.
He had to fight against Hemu, the Army Chief and Prime Minister of Adil Shah (of Suri Dynasty) in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556. Sikander Shah, one of the strongest enemies of Akbar, did not resist him. When Akbar marched towards Punjab to punish Sikander Shah, the later withdrew the field for Akbar. Unlike Sikander Shah, Hemu was more determined to regian the Empire as he was stabilized by Lodhis who had a vengeance against Akbar’s father. Due to his military power it was a hard nut to crack to combat and defeat him in the battle field. He conquered Delhi on October 1556 defeating the Mughal forces. Akbar hesitated to encounter him but Bairam Khan, his minister and guardian was on his mettle. Therefore, he decided to face him on November 5, 1556 in the historical Battle of Panipat. The war was going against the Mughal army when Hemu was wounded in his eye and fell from his elephant. His army retreated seeing him not present at his place and Akbar’s army jubilated the day. The victory conferred Hemu’s 1500 elephants to Akbar stabilizing his military muscle. In the siege of Mankot he forced Sikander Shah to capitulate and dominated the whole of Punjab. Raja Kapur Chand of Jammu was restrained soon. Rajputana, Gwalior, and Jaunpur were conquered between 1558 and 1560. Despite being the only illiterate emperor of the Mughal Era, Akbar has rightly been called the “Military genius”.
After coming of age, Akbar dismissed Bairam Khan in 1560 on the pretext of a dispute and sent him to Makkah for a pilgrimage. But on his way to Makkah, he revolted against Akbar but the Mughal army defeated him. Akbar forgave him and asked him to opt out of either serving in the Court of Emperor or leaving for pilgrimage to Makkah. He chose the second option but on the way to Makkah was killed by one of his enemies against whom he had fought. Akbar’s early phase successes are wholly and solely because of the loyalty and valor of Bairam Khan who protected him from the adversaries all around and won battles on his behalf.