Mirza Khizr Sultan

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Mirza Khizr Sultan
Red Fort, Delhi, Mughal Empire
Died21 September 1857(1857-09-21) (aged 22–23)
Delhi gate, Delhi, Mughal Empire
  • Mirza Muhammad 'Usman Bahadur
  • Khurshid uz-Zamani Begum
  • Rahmat Sultan Begum
Full name
Mirza Khair ud-din Muhammad Khizr Sultan Bahadur
FatherBahadur Shah II
MotherRahim Bakhsh Bai

Mirza Khair ud-din Muhammad Khizr Sultan Bahadur (1834 – 21 September 1857) was a son of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II.

Khizr Sultan was a prominent military leader during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. However, that same year he was captured and executed by the British, alongside other members of his family.


Born in 1834, Khizr Sultan was the ninth son of Bahadur Shah II. His mother was a palace concubine, Rahim Bakhsh Bai.[1]

Noted for his physical beauty, Khizr Sultan was described by his tutor Ghalib as being "as beautiful as Yusuf". He had some talent as a poet, in addition to his skills as a marksman. He appears to not have been favoured by his father, possibly due to his closeness with his disgraced elder brother, Mirza Fakhru.[2]

During a Durbar in August 1852, Khizr Sultan was publicly rebuked by his father for physically abusing his wife. The prince was described as falling at the emperor's feet and begging for forgiveness. Bahadur Shah angrily struck his son two or three times before pardoning him, warning him to treat his spouse better in the future.[3]

1857 Rebellion[edit]

Khizr Sultan was one of several Mughal Princes who joined the Indian rebellion against the British in 1857.

He was the commander of the Indian troops during the Battle of Badli-ki-Serai in June of that year. Though the rebels seemed initially favoured to win, the defection of one of the leaders of the cavelry resulted in their defeat. Khizr Sultan fled the battlefield, though his soldiers fought on before retreating to Delhi.[4]

In September, Khizr Sultan, Bahadur Shah and other members of the Imperial family were taking refuge in Humayun's Tomb when they were captured by the British. He, along with his brother, Mirza Mughal and nephew, Mirza Abu Bakht were taken to the Delhi Gate by Major William Hodson, near an archway later nicknamed "the Bloody Gate". Hodson ordered the three princes to strip naked and, using his revolver, shot each of them twice in the heart, one after the other.[5][6]

Their bodies were hanged in front of the police station for a few days, before being buried unceremoniously.[7]


Khizr Sultan had one son and two daughters:[8]

  • Mirza Muhammad ‘Usman Bahadur (b. 1850);
    • Mirza Muhammad ‘Umar Bahadur ;
    • Umda uz-Zamani Begum;
  • Khurshid uz-Zamani Begum;
  • Rahmat Sultan Begum;


  1. ^ William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal: The Fall of Delhi, 1857 (2006), p. 2, 190
  2. ^ Dalrymple (2006, p. 190)
  3. ^ Dalrymple (2006, p. 190)
  4. ^ Prabha Chopra, Delhi in 1857 (2008), p. 76
  5. ^ Chopra (2008, p. 135)
  6. ^ Dalrymple (2006, p. 345)
  7. ^ Institute of Historical Studies, The Quarterly Review of Historical Studies - Vol. 44-45 (2004), p. 17
  8. ^ "INDIA The Timurid Dynasty GENEALOGY". The Royal Ark Royal and Ruling Houses of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Christopher Buyers. Retrieved 17 March 2019.