NCERT Notes: Humayun - Mughal Empire [Medieval History Of India For UPSC]

Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad, known by his regnal name, Humayun was the second emperor of Mughal empire.

In this article, find NCERT notes on Humayun, the successor of Babur. The reign of Humayun and the Mughal Empire, in general, are important from the perspective of the Civil Services Exam 2023.

To know more about UPSC 2023, refer to the linked article.

Mughal Emperor Humayun: UPSC Notes – Download PDF Here

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Background of Humayun

MUGHAL EMPIRE - HUMAYUN (1530-1540, 1555-1556)
  • Humayun was the eldest son of Babur.
  • Humayun means “fortune” but he remained the most unfortunate ruler of the Mughal Empire.
  • Six months after his succession, Humayun besieged the fortress of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand, gained a decisive victory over Afghans at Douhrua and drove out Sultan Mahmood Lodhi from Jaunpur, and even defeated Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. His victories, however, were short-lived due to the weakness of his character.
  • Humayun had three brothers, Kamran, Askari and Hindal
  • Humayun divided the empire among his brothers but this proved to be a great blunder on his part.
  • Kamran was given Kabul and Kandahar.
  • Sambhal and Alwar were given to Askari and Hindal respectively.
  • Humayun captured Gujarat from Bahadur Shah and appointed Askari as its governor
  • But soon Bahadur Shah recovered Gujarat from Askari who fled from there.
  • In the east, Sher Khan became powerful. Humayun marched against him and in the Battle of Chausa, held in 1539, Sher Khan destroyed the Mughal army and Humayun escaped from there.
  • Humayun reached Agra to negotiate with his brothers.
  • In 1540, in the Battle of Bilgram or Ganges also known as Battle of Kanauj, Humayun was forced to fight with Sher Khan alone and after losing his kingdom, Humayun became an exile for the next fifteen years.
  • In 1952, during his wanderings in deserts of Sindh, Humayun married Hamida Banu Begum, daughter of Sheikh Ali Amber Jaini, who had been a preceptor of Humayun’s brother Hindal.
  • On November 23, 1542, Humayun’s wife gave birth to Akbar
  • Amarkot’s Hindu chief RanaPrasad promised Humayun to help him to conquer Thatta 
  • However, Humayun could not conquer Bhakker or secure  Thus, he left India and lived under the generosity of ShahTahmashp of Persia.
  • Shah of Persia agreed to help Humayun and lend him a force of 14,000 men on a condition to confirm to Shia creed, to have the Shah’s name proclaimed in his Khutba and to give away Kandhar to him on his success.
  • In 1545, with Persian help, Humayun captured Kandhar and Kabul but refused to cede Kandhar to Persia.
  • Humayun sought help from the Safavid ruler.
  • Later, he defeated his brothers Kamran and Askari.
  • In 1555, Humayun defeated the Afghans and recovered the Mughal throne.
  • After six months, he died in 1556 due to his fall from the staircase of his library.
  • Humayun was kind and generous, though he was not a good General and warrior.
  • He also loved painting and wrote poetry in the Persian language.

Mughal Emperor Humayun: UPSC Notes – Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions about Humayun


How did Humayun lose the Mughal territories in India?

Humayun was an inexperienced ruler when he came to the throne in 1530. A combination of feuds with his step-brothers and inaction on his own part made it easy for Sher Shah Suri to concentrate his attacks on Mughal territories from his base in Bengal. Following the battle of Kanauj in 1540, Humayun had to flee to Lahore while Sher Shah

What were the cultural changes that came about when Humayun returned to India?

Humayun’s return from Persia was accompanied by a large retinue of Persian noblemen and signalled an important change in Mughal court culture. The Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language, and literature. There are many stone carvings and thousands of Persian manuscripts in India dating from the time of Humayun.

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