KĀMRĀN MIRZĀ b. Moḥammad Bābor (b. Kabul, ca. 1509; d. Mecca, 1557), second son of the founder of the Mughal empire, Ẓahir-al-Din Moḥammad Bābor and of Golroḵ Begom, and half-brother of the emperor Homāyun. At a young age Kāmrān Mirzā was given control of Kandahar by his father in 1522, and during the early part of Homāyun’s reign he was governor of the Punjab. In 1536, while defending Kandahar, he defeated a band of Qezelbāš led by Sām Mirzā, brother of the Safavid ruler Shah Ṭahmāsp I. During the interregnum of Homāyun’s reign, Kāmrān was in control of Kabul (Kābol). His rebellious behavior and, ultimately, his role in the death of their half brother, Hendāl, led Homāyun to give the order to have Kāmrān blinded in 1553. The following year he was allowed to go to Mecca, where he died in 1557. Among his wives was Māh Čičak Begom, daughter of Shah Ḥosayn the Arghun ruler of Sindh, who accompanied him in exile to Mecca. He fathered several daughters and one son, Abu’l-Qāsem Šawkati, a poet like his father, who was imprisoned and executed in Agra during the reign of Akbar (p. 454).

In his Haft eqlim, Aḥmad Amin-Rāzi (pp. 449-54) devotes a long section to Kāmrān Mirzā in which he extols the prince’s bravery, generosity, and piety. The historian Badāʾuni (I, p. 310) also praises him as a courageous and learned man, renowned as a poet, but who was led to ruin by excessive drinking, while Abu’l-Fażl (pp. 297-300) portrays him as a treacherous ingrate. He was the most accomplished poet among his brothers, and copies of his small poetic Divān that contain poems in various forms, chiefly ghazals in Persian and Chaghatai Torki, are found in several Indian collections. The royal Mughal copy in the Khuda Bakhsh Library (Patna), in the hand of the renowned calligrapher Maḥmud Esḥāq Šehābi, bears the seals of the emperors Jahāngir and Shah Jahān, as well as other grandees (Marshall, p. 241). These poems probably did not have a circulation beyond court circles, since few of the later taḏkera writers mention him. (He did not author the Mirzā-nāma listed by Marshall [p. 241] in his survey.)


Primary sources.

Kāmrān Mirzā, Divān-e Mirza Kāmrān: fārsi, ed. Maḥfuẓ al-Ḥaqq, Calcutta, 1929.

Secondary sources.

Abu’l-Fażl, Akbar-nāma: Tāriḵ-e Gurkāniān-e Hend, ed. Ḡolām-Reżā Ṭabāṭabāʾi, Tehran, I, 1993.

Bābor, Bābor-nāma, Chaghatay Turkish text with Abdu’l-Raḥim Khankhanan’s Persian translation, ed. W. M. Thackston, 3 vols., Cambridge, Mass., 1993.

ʿAbd-al-Qāder Badāʾuni, Montaḵab al-tawāriḵ III, ed., Mawlawi Aḥmad-ʿAli, Tehran, 2001.

Amin Rāzi, Haft eqlim, ed. Jawād Fāżel, Tehran, 1960, I, pp. 449-54.

H. Beveridge, “Kāmrān Mīrzā,” in EI2 IV, 1978, p. 523.

Faḵri Heravi, Taḏkera-ye rawżāt al-salāṭin va jawāher al-ʿajāyeb, ed. Ḥosām-al-Din Rāšedi, Hyderabad, 1998.

D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey of Manuscripts, London, 1967, no. 849, p. 241.

Mirzā Moḥammad Ḥaydar, Tāriḵ-e rašidi, ed. ʿAbbāsqoli Ḡaffārifard, Tehran, 2004.

Wheeler M. Thackston, ed. and tr., Three Memoirs of Humáyun, Costa Mesa, Calif., 2009 (comprises Golbadan Begom’s Homāyun-nāma, Jawhar Āftābčí’s Tazkerat al-wāqeʿāt, and Bāyazíd Bayāt’s Tāri-e Homāyun).

(Sunil Sharma)

Originally Published: December 15, 2010

Last Updated: September 20, 2015

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Vol. XV, Fasc. 4, p. 440