Babur

Babur

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Babur was a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 conqueror from Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 of South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. He was a direct descendant of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 through his mother. Babur identified his lineage as Timurid
Timurid Dynasty
The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

 and Chaghatay-Turkic
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

, while his origin, milieu, training, and culture were steeped in Persian culture and so he was largely responsible for the fostering of this culture by his descendants, and for the expansion of Persian cultural influence in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

, with brilliant literary
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

, artistic, and historiographical results.

Babur's name


Ẓahīr ad-Dīn Muḥammad , is more commonly known by his nickname, Bābur (بابر).

According to Stephen Frederic Dale, the name Babur is derived from the Persian word babr, meaning "tiger", a word that repeatedly appears in Firdawsī's
Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi was a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran and related societies.The Shahnameh was originally composed by Ferdowsi for the princes of the Samanid dynasty, who were responsible for a revival of Persian cultural traditions after the...

 Shāhnāma
Shahnameh
The Shahnameh or Shah-nama is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies...

 and had also been borrowed by the Turkic languages of Central Asia. This thesis is supported by the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, explaining that the Turko-Mongol name Timur underwent a similar evolution, from the Sanskrit word cimara ("iron") via a modified version *čimr to the final Turkicized version timür, with -ür replacing -r due to the Turkish vowel harmony (hence babrbabür).

Contradicting these views, W.M. Thackston argues that the name cannot be taken from babr and instead must be derived from a word that has evolved out of the Indo-European word for beaver, pointing to the fact that the name is pronounced bāh-bor in both Persian and Turkic, similar to the Russian word for beaver (бобр - bobr).

Sources for the biography


The main source for Babur's biography is a written account of his life, written by Babur himself. His memoirs are known as the Baburnama
Baburnama
Bāburnāma is the name given to the memoirs of Ẓahīr ud-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur , founder of the Mughal Empire and a great-great-great-grandson of Timur...

and are considered the first true autobiography
Autobiography
An autobiography is a book about the life of a person, written by that person.-Origin of the term:...

 in Islamic literature.
He wrote the Bāburnāma in Chaghatai Turkic
Chagatai language
The Chagatai language is an extinct Turkic language which was once widely spoken in Central Asia, and remained the shared literary language there until the early twentieth century...

, his mother-tongue, though his prose was highly Persianized in its sentence structure, morphology, and vocabulary. The work gives a valuable impression of Babur's surrounding environment.


History of the text and translations


The memoirs were originally much more extensive than they are now. The gaps in the text, particularly those between 1508 to 1519 and from 1520 to 1525, are likely the result of quires during a storm. A year before his death Babur was reworking parts of his memoirs in 1528-29. His son and successor Humāyūn knew Chaghatay well and read his father's memoirs. Babur corresponded with him in that language, correcting his spelling and commenting on his style. His grandson Akbar
Akbar the Great
Akbar , also known as Shahanshah Akbar-e-Azam or Akbar the Great , was the third Mughal Emperor. He was of Timurid descent; the son of Emperor Humayun, and the grandson of the Mughal Emperor Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur, the ruler who founded the Mughal dynasty in India...

 was enthroned at the age of fourteen when Humayun died in 1556. The young emperor was raised by the regent, Bayram Khān, an Iranian statesman whose father and grandfather had joined Babur's service. Bayram Khān himself wrote poetry in Chaghatay and Persian. His son, Abdul-Rahim, was fluent in Chaghatay, Urdu, and Persian and composed in all three languages. Using Babur's own text, he translated the Bāburnāma into Persian. The Chaghatay original was last seen in the imperial library sometime between 1628 and 1638 during Shah Jahāngīr's reign.

Background




Babur was born on in the town of Andijan
Andijan
Andijan or Andizhan is the fourth-largest city in Uzbekistan, and the capital of the Andijan Province. It is located in the east of the country, at , in the Fergana Valley, near the border with Kyrgyzstan on the Andijan-Say River...

, in the Fergana Valley
Fergana Valley
The Fergana Valley or Farghana Valley is a region in Central Asia spreading across eastern Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Divided across three subdivisions of the former Soviet Union, the valley is ethnically diverse, and in the early 21st century was the scene of ethnic conflict...

 in contemporary Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. He was the eldest son of Omar Sheykh Mirzā, ruler of the Fergana Valley, the son of Abū Saʿīd Mirza
Abu Sa'id (Timurid dynasty)
Abū Saʿīd b. Muḥammad b. Mīrānshāh b. Timūr , was a Timurid Empire ruler in what is today parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan and member of the Timurid dynasty....

 (and grandson of Miran Shah
Miran Shah
Miran Shah was a son of Timur, and a Timurid governor during his father's lifetime.Miran Shah's first charge was a vast region centered around Qandahar, which he was granted in 1383. That same year, he destroyed a rebellion against Timurid authority by the Kartids, then vassals of Timur in...

, who was himself son of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

) and his wife Qutlugh Nigar Khanum
Qutlugh Nigar Khanum
Qutlugh Nigar Khanum was a Turkman noble and a descendant of Genghis Khan. She was the mother of Babur, founder of the Mughal empire of India. She is believed to have been born a princess in the Ak Koyunlu dynasty....

, daughter of Yunus Khan
Yunus Khan
Yunus Khan , was Khan of Moghulistan from 1462 until his death. He is identified by many historians with Ḥājjī `Ali , of the contemporary Chinese records.- Background and Family :...

, the ruler of Moghulistan
Moghulistan
Moghulistan or Mughalistan is a historical geographic unit in Central Asia that included parts of modern-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Chinese Autonomous Region of Xinjiang...

 (and great-great grandson of Tughlugh Timur
Tughlugh Timur
Tughlugh Timur was the Khan of Moghulistan from c. 1347 and Khan of the whole Chagatai Khanate from c. 1360 until his death. He is believed to be the son of Esen Buqa...

, the son of Esen Buqa II
Esen Buqa II
Esen Buqa II was Khan of Moghulistan from 1429 until his death. He was the younger son of Uwais Khan.When Uwais Khan was killed in 1428 the Moghuls were thrown into a state of confusion. Some of them supported Esen Buqa, while others supported his older brother, Yunus Khan...

, who was the great-great-great grandson of Chaghatai Khan, the second born son of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

)

Although Babur hailed from the Barlas
Barlas
The Barlas were a Mongol - later Turkicized - nomadic confederation in Central Asia and the chief tribe of the Timurids who ruled much of Central Asia, Iran, and South Asia in the Middle Ages.- Origins :According to the Secret History of the Mongols, written during the reign of Ögedei Khan, the...

 tribe which was of Mongol origin, his tribe had embraced Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 and Persian culture, converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and resided in Turkestan
Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

 and Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

. His mother tongue was the Chaghatai language (known to Babur as Turkī, "Turkic") and he was equally at home in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

of the Timurid elite.

Hence Babur, though nominally a Mongol (or Moghul in Persian language), drew much of his support from the local Turkic and Iranian peoples of Central Asia, and his army was diverse in its ethnic makeup, including Tajiks (Sart
Sart
Sart is a name for the settled inhabitants of Central Asia which has had shifting meanings over the centuries. Sarts, known sometimes as Ak-Sart in ancient times, did not have any particular ethnic identification, and were usually town-dwellers.-Origin:There are several theories about the origin...

s
as called by Babur), Pashtuns
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 (Afghans), Arabs, as well as Barlas and Chaghatayid Turco-Mongols from Central Asia. Babur's army also included Qizilbāsh fighters, a militant religious order of Shi'a
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 Sufis
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

from Safavid Persia who later became one of the most influential groups in the Mughal court.

Babur is said to have been extremely strong and physically fit. He could allegedly carry two men, one on each of his shoulders, and then climb slopes on the run, just for exercise. Legend holds that Babur swam across every major river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 he encountered, including twice across the Ganges River
Ganges River
The Ganges or Ganga, , is a trans-boundary river of India and Bangladesh. The river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India into Bangladesh, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. By discharge it...

 in North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

. His passions could be equally strong. In his first marriage he was "bashful" towards ʿĀʾisha Ṣultān Begum, later losing his affection for her. Babur also had a great passion to kill people, cut heads of people and create pillars out of cut head. He claimed to have created several such pillars in his autobiography.

Though religion had a central place in his life, Babur also approvingly quoted a line of poetry by one of his contemporaries: "I am drunk, officer. Punish me when I am sober". He quit drinking alcohol before the Battle of Khanwa
Battle of Khanwa
The Battle of Khanwa, was fought near the village of Khanwa, about 60 km west of Agra on March 17, 1527. The second major battle fought in modern day India, by the first Mughal Emperor Babur after the Battle of Panipat . As the Mughal Empire expanded it faced new opponents especially in the...

, only two years before his death for health reasons, and demanded that his court do the same. But he did not stop chewing narcotic preparations, and did not lose his sense of irony. He wrote:

Babur's early relations with the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 were very troubling because the Ottoman Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 provided, his arch rival Ubaydullah Khan with powerful Matchlock
Matchlock
The matchlock was the first mechanism, or "lock" invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm. This design removed the need to lower by hand a lit match into the weapon's flash pan and made it possible to have both hands free to keep a firm grip on the weapon at the moment of firing,...

s and Cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

s. In the year 1507, when ordered to accept Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 as his rightful suzerain Babur refused, and gathered Qizilbash servicemen in order to counter the forces of Ubaydullah Khan during the Battle of Ghazdewan
Battle of Ghazdewan
After the defeat of Babur at the Battle of Kul Malek he applied for assistance to Biram Khan Karamanlu who commanded for the Safavid Persian Shah Ismail I at Balkh and who sent a detachment to support him, on the arrival of which the Uzbeks withdrew from the country of Hissar...

. In the year 1513, Ottoman Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 reconciled with Babur (probably fearing that he would join the Safavids), dispatched Ustad Ali Quli
Ustad Ali Quli
Ustad Ali Quli was a commander of the Mughal Empire. Under the reign of Babur, he commanded artillery for his army. At the Battle of Khanwa against the Hindu Rajputs, he commanded his cannon batteries....

 the artilleryman and Mustafa Rumi
Mustafa Rumi
Mustafa Rumi was a Turkish-Indian general who served the Mughal Empire. At the Battle of Khanwa, he commanded the Matchlock gun infantry. His role in the battle as commander of rifle troops was a vital one, as it was the riflemen and the cannons under Ustad Ali Quli that won the day....

 the Matchlock
Matchlock
The matchlock was the first mechanism, or "lock" invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm. This design removed the need to lower by hand a lit match into the weapon's flash pan and made it possible to have both hands free to keep a firm grip on the weapon at the moment of firing,...

 marksman and many other Ottoman Turks, in order to assist Babur in his conquests. Thenceforth this particular assistance proved to be the basis of future Mughal-Ottoman relations.

Military career



In 1495, At only twelve years of age, Babur obtained his first power position, succeeding his father as ruler of Farghana, in present-day Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. His uncles were relentless in their attempts to dislodge him from this position as well as many of his other territorial possessions to come. Thus, Babur spent a large portion of his life shelterless and in exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

, aided only by friends and peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s. In 1497, Babur attacked the Uzbek city of Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 and after seven months succeeded in capturing
Siege of Samarkand (1497)
The Siege of Samarkand was a brief capture of the city by the Kingdom of Fergana, led by the forces of Babur. In 1497, after Samarkand fell to the Uzbeks, Babur came back again when he turned fifteen years old. After seven months of brutal siege, Babur seized the city...

 the city. Meanwhile, a rebellion amongst nobles back home approximately 350 kilometres (217.5 mi) away robbed him of Farghana. As he was marching to recover it, Babur's troops deserted in Samarkand, leaving him with neither Samarkand nor Fergana.

By 1501, he was ready again to regain control
Siege of Samarkand (1501)
The Siege of Samarkand was the third and last campaign against the city by both belligerents. Four years after its recapture by the forces of Babur, there was a rebellion that lost the King of Ferghana his kingdom and his capital. In 1501, Babur and his army felt ready to besiege the city again...

 of Samarkand, but was shortly thereafter defeated by his most formidable rival, Muhammad Shaybani
Muhammad Shaybani
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad , known in later centuries as Shaybani Khan , was a khan of the Uzbeks who continued consolidating various Uzbek tribes and laid foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana. of Genghis Khan through his grandson Shayban and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the...

, khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 of the Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

. Samarkand, his lifelong obsession, was lost again. Escaping with a small band of followers from Fergana, for three years Babur concentrated on building up a strong army, recruiting widely amongst the Tajiks of Badakhshan
Badakhshan
Badakhshan is an historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan. The name is retained in Badakhshan Province which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the far northeast of Afghanistan, and contains the Wakhan Corridor...

 in particular. In 1504, he was able to cross the snowy Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 mountains and capture Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 from the Arghunids
Arghun Dynasty
The Arghun Dynasty was a dynasty of either Mongol, Turkish or Turko-Mongol ethnicity that ruled parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and would later be focused around the region of Sindh in south east Pakistan for most of the 16th century...

, who were forced to retreat to Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

. With this move, he gained a wealthy new kingdom and re-established his fortunes and assumed the title of Padshah. In the following year, Babur united with Husayn Bayqarah
Husayn Bayqarah
Husayn Bayqarah was a Timurid ruler of Herat from 1469 to 1506, with a brief interruption in 1470. His father was Mansur, a great-grandson of Timur...

 of Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, a fellow Timurid
Timurid Dynasty
The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

 and distant relative, against the usurper
Usurper
Usurper is a derogatory term used to describe either an illegitimate or controversial claimant to the power; often, but not always in a monarchy, or a person who succeeds in establishing himself as a monarch without inheriting the throne, or any other person exercising authority unconstitutionally...

 Muhammad Shaybani. However, the death of Husayn Bayqarah in 1506 delayed that venture. Babur instead occupied his allies' city of Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, spending just two months there before being forced to leave due to diminishing resources. Nevertheless, he marvelled at the intellectual abundance in Herat, which he stated was "filled with learned and matched men.", and became acquainted with the work of the Uzbek poet Mir Ali Shir Nava'i
Mir Ali Shir Nava'i
' was a Central Asian Turkic politician, mystic, linguist, painter, and poet of Uyghur origin who was born and lived in Herat. He is generally known by his pen name Navā'ī...

, who encouraged the use of Chagatai
Chagatai language
The Chagatai language is an extinct Turkic language which was once widely spoken in Central Asia, and remained the shared literary language there until the early twentieth century...

 as a literary language
Literary language
A literary language is a register of a language that is used in literary writing. This may also include liturgical writing. The difference between literary and non-literary forms is more marked in some languages than in others...

. Nava'i's proficiency with the language, which he is credited with founding, may have influenced Babur in his decision to use it for his memoirs, Baburnama
Baburnama
Bāburnāma is the name given to the memoirs of Ẓahīr ud-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur , founder of the Mughal Empire and a great-great-great-grandson of Timur...

.

A brewing rebellion finally induced him to return to Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 from Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

. He prevailed on that occasion, but two years later a revolt among some of his leading generals drove him out of Kabul. Escaping with very few companions, Babur soon returned to the city, capturing Kabul again and regaining the allegiance of the rebels. Muhammad Shaybani
Muhammad Shaybani
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad , known in later centuries as Shaybani Khan , was a khan of the Uzbeks who continued consolidating various Uzbek tribes and laid foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana. of Genghis Khan through his grandson Shayban and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the...

 was defeated and killed by Ismail I
Ismail I
Ismail I , known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil , was a Shah of Iran and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, an extremist heterodox Twelver Shi'i militant religious order and unified all of Iran...

, Shah of Shia Safavid Persia
Safavid dynasty
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning...

, in 1510, and Babur used this opportunity to attempt to reconquer his ancestral Timurid territories. Over the following few years, Babur and Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

 Ismail would form a partnership in an attempt to take over parts of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. In return for Ismail's assistance, Babur permitted the Safavids to act as a suzerain
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 over him and his followers. Conversely, Shah Ismail reunited Babur with his sister Khānzāda, who had been imprisoned by and forced to marry the recently deceased Shaybani
Muhammad Shaybani
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad , known in later centuries as Shaybani Khan , was a khan of the Uzbeks who continued consolidating various Uzbek tribes and laid foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana. of Genghis Khan through his grandson Shayban and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the...

. Persia had become the bastion of Shia Islam under Shah Ismail, who claimed descent from Imam Musa al-kazim, the seventh Shia Imam. Coins were to be struck in Ismail's name, and the Khutba
Khutba
Khutbah serves as the primary formal occasion for public preaching in the Islamic tradition.Such sermons occur regularly, as prescribed by the teachings of all legal schools. The Islamic tradition can be formally at the dhuhr congregation prayer on Friday...

 at the Mosque was also to be read in his name. In effect, Babur was supposed to be holding Samarkand as a vassal territory for the Persian Shah, though in Kabul, coins and the Khutba would remain in Babur's name.

With this assistance, Babur marched on Bukhara, where his army were apparently treated as liberators, Babur having greater legitimacy as a Timurid, unlike the Uzbegs. Towns and villages are said to have emptied in order to greet him, and aid and feed his army. At this point, Babur dismissed his Persian aide, believing them no longer needed. In October 1511 Babur made a triumphant re-entry into Samarkand, ending a ten year absence. Bazaars were draped in gold, and again villages and towns emptied to greet the liberator.

Conquest of the Lodi Empire


Writing in retrospect, Babur suggested his failure in attaining Samarkand was the greatest gift Allah bestowed him. Babur had now resigned all hopes of recovering Fergana, and although he dreaded an invasion from the Uzbeks to his West, his attention increasingly turned towards India and its lands in the east, especially the rich lands of the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

.

Babur claimed to be the true and rightful Monarch of the lands of the Lodi dynasty. He believed himself the rightful heir to the throne of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

, and it was Timur who had originally left Khizr Khan in charge of his vassal in the Punjab, who became the leader, or Sultan, of the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

, founding the Sayyid dynasty
Sayyid dynasty
The Sayyid dynasty ruled Delhi sultanate in India from 1414 to 1451. They succeeded the Tughlaq dynasty and ruled that sultanate until they were displaced by the Lodi dynasty.This family claimed to be Sayyids, or descendants of Prophet Muhammad...

.
The Sayyid dynasty, however, had been ousted by Ibrahim Lodi, a Ghilzai
Ghilzai
Ghilzai are the largest Pashtun tribal confederacy found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are also known historically as Ghilji, Khilji, Ghalji, Ghilzye, and possibly Gharzai...

 Afghan, and Babur wanted it returned to the Timurids. Indeed, while actively building up the troop numbers for an invasion of the Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 he sent a request to Ibrahim; "I sent him a goshawk and asked for the countries which from old had depended on the Turk," the 'countries' referred to were the lands of the Delhi Sultanate.

Following the unsurprising reluctance of Ibrahim to accept the terms of this "offer," and though in no hurry to launch an actual invasion, Babur made several preliminary incursions and also seized Kandahar — a strategic city if he was to fight off attacks on Kabul from the west while he was occupied in India - from the Arghunids. The siege of Kandahar, however, lasted far longer than anticipated, and it was only almost three years later that Kandahar and its Citadel (backed by enormous natural features) were taken, and that minor assaults in India recommenced. During this series of skirmishes and battles an opportunity for a more extended expedition presented itself.

Upon entering the Punjab plains, Babur's chief allies, namely Langar Khan Niazi advised Babur to engage the powerful and famous Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, Janjua Rajputs to join his conquest. The tribe's rebellious stance to the throne of Delhi was well known. Upon meeting their chiefs, Asad Malik Hast
Asad Malik Hast
Asad Malik Hast Khan, was a Mughal commander of Muslim, Janjua Rajputs heritage, he met Babur in the year 1520, and joined the Mughal Army during the Battle of Panipat and later on during the Battle of Khanwa....

 and Raja Sanghar Ali Khan
Raja Sanghar Ali Khan
Raja Sanghar Ali Khan, was a Mughal commander of Muslim, Janjua Rajputs heritage, he met Babur in the year 1520, and joined the Mughal Army during the Battle of Panipat and later on during the Battle of Khanwa....

, Babur made mention of the Janjua's popularity as traditional rulers of their kingdom and their ancestral support for his patriarch Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 during his conquest of the Tughluq dynasty. Babur aided them in defeating their enemies, the Gakhars
Gakhars
The Gakhars are an ancient warrior clan who have predominantly resided in what is present day northern Punjab and South-Western Kashmir, Pakistan. In particular in the cities of Rawalpindi, Jhelum and regions of Gilgit, Baltistan, Chitral, Khanpur and Mirpur, Pakistan...

 in 1521, thus gaining their alliance. Babur then won their support and service during the Battle of Panipat and later on during the Battle of Khanwa
Battle of Khanwa
The Battle of Khanwa, was fought near the village of Khanwa, about 60 km west of Agra on March 17, 1527. The second major battle fought in modern day India, by the first Mughal Emperor Babur after the Battle of Panipat . As the Mughal Empire expanded it faced new opponents especially in the...

.

The section of Babur's memoirs covering the period between 1508 and 1519 is missing. During these years Shah Ismail I
Ismail I
Ismail I , known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil , was a Shah of Iran and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, an extremist heterodox Twelver Shi'i militant religious order and unified all of Iran...

 suffered a large defeat when his large cavalry-based army was obliterated at the Battle of Chaldiran
Battle of Chaldiran
The Battle of Chaldiran or Chaldoran occurred on 23 August 1514 and ended with a victory for the Ottoman Empire over the Safavid Empire of Persia . As a result, the Ottomans gained immediate control over eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq...

 by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

's new weapon, the matchlock musket
Matchlock
The matchlock was the first mechanism, or "lock" invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm. This design removed the need to lower by hand a lit match into the weapon's flash pan and made it possible to have both hands free to keep a firm grip on the weapon at the moment of firing,...

. Both Shah Ismail and Babur, it appears, were swift in acquiring this new technology for themselves. Somewhere during these years Babur introduced matchlock
Matchlock
The matchlock was the first mechanism, or "lock" invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm. This design removed the need to lower by hand a lit match into the weapon's flash pan and made it possible to have both hands free to keep a firm grip on the weapon at the moment of firing,...

s into his army, and allowed an Ottoman
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

, Ustad Ali, to train his troops, who were then known as Matchlockmen, in their use. Babur's memoirs give accounts of battles where the opposition forces mocked his troops, never having seen a gun before, because of the noise they made and the way no arrows, spears, etc. appeared to come from the weapon when fired.

These guns allowed small armies to make large gains on enemy territory. Small parties of skirmishers who had been dispatched simply to test enemy positions and tactics, were making inroads into India. Babur, however, had survived two revolts, one in Kandahar and another in Kabul, and was careful to pacify the local population after victories, following local traditions and aiding widows and orphans.

First battle of Panipat


However, while the Timurids were united, the Lodi armies were far from unified. Ibrahim was widely detested, even amongst his nobles, and it was several of his Afghan nobles who were to invite Babur's intervention. Babur assembled a 12,000-man army, and advanced into India. This number actually increased as Babur advanced, as members of the local population joined the invading army. The first major clash between the two sides was fought in late February 1526. Babur's son, Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

 (then aged 17), led the Timurid army into battle against the first of Ibrahim's advance parties. Humayun's victory was harder fought than the previous skirmishes, but it was still a decisive victory. Over one hundred prisoners of war were captured along with around eight war elephants. However, unlike after previous battles, these prisoners were not bonded or freed; by decree from Humayun, they were shot. In his memoirs, Babur recorded that "Ustad Ali-quli and the matchlockmen were ordered to shoot all the prisoners, by way of example; this had been Humayun's first affair, his first experience of battle; it was an excellent omen!" This is perhaps the earliest example of execution by firing squad
Execution by firing squad
Execution by firing squad, sometimes called fusillading , is a method of capital punishment, particularly common in the military and in times of war.Execution by shooting is a fairly old practice...

.

Ibrahim Lodi advanced against him with 100,000 soldiers and 100 elephants; and though Babur's army had grown, it was still less than half the size of his opponents, possibly as few as 25,000 men. This was to be their main engagement, the First battle of Panipat
First battle of Panipat
The first battle of Panipat took place in Northern India, and marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery.-Details:...

, and was fought on 21 April 1526. Ibrahim Lodi was slain and his army was routed; Babur quickly took possession of both Delhi and Agra. That very day Babur ordered Humayun to ride to Agra (Ibrahim's former capital) and secure its national treasures and resources from looting. Humayun found the family of the Raja of Gwalior there — the Raja himself having died at Panipat — sheltering from the invaders, fearing the dreadful nature of the 'Mongols' from the stories that preceded their arrival. After their safety was guaranteed they gave Humayun their family's most valuable jewel, a very large diamond, which some believe to be the diamond which came to be called the Koh-i-Noor
Koh-i-Noor
The Kōh-i Nūr which means "Mountain of Light" in Persian, also spelled Koh-i-noor, Koh-e Noor or Koh-i-Nur, is a 105 carat diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Kōh-i Nūr originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India along with its double, the Darya-ye Noor...

or "Mountain of Light'. It is thought that they did this to retain their Kingdom. Whether it was because of the gift or not, the family remained the rulers of Gwalior, though now under their new rulers the Timurids.

Babur, meanwhile, marched onward to Delhi reaching it three days after the battle. He celebrated his arrival with a festival on the river Jumna, and remained there at least until Friday (Jum'ah), when Muslim congregational prayers were said and he heard the Khutba
Khutba
Khutbah serves as the primary formal occasion for public preaching in the Islamic tradition.Such sermons occur regularly, as prescribed by the teachings of all legal schools. The Islamic tradition can be formally at the dhuhr congregation prayer on Friday...

, (sermon), read in his name in the Jama Masjid
Friday Mosque
Friday Mosque is the English translation of the Arabic term masjid al-jumʿa or Jama Masjid . This term is applied as a proper name to many mosques worldwide...

, a sign of the assumption of sovereignty. He then marched to Agra to join Humayun. Upon arrival Babur was presented with the fabulous diamond, and Babur reports that "I just gave it back to him", adding, "an expert in jewels said its value would provide two and a half days food for the whole world."

Battles with the Rajputs


Although master of Delhi and Agra, Babur records in his memoirs that he had sleepless nights because of continuing worries over Raja Hasan Khan, Mewatpatti (title, Lord of Mewat), the Khanzada ruler of Mewat, Rana Sanga
Rana Sanga
-Historical Fact:Maharana Sangram Singh was the ruler of Mewar state, a region lying within the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan, a desert region, between 1509 and 1527. He was a scion of the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs...

, the Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

 ruler of Mewar
Mewar
Mewar is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Pratapgarh, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and some of the part of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The region was for centuries a Rajput kingdom that later...

.

In A.D. 1526 a new power appeared in India. Babur, who claimed to be the representative of Timur Lang, after winning the battle of Panipat, took possession of Dehli and Agra ; and determined that his enterprise should not be a mere raid like Timur's, but the foundation of a new and
lasting empire. Then it was that the Rajputs made their last great struggle for independence. They were led by Rana Sankha, a chief of Mewar, who invited the Mewatti chief, Hasan Khan, to aid the nation from which he had sprung in resisting the new horde of Musalmans from the north.

The political position of Hasan Khan at this time was a very important one. Babur, in his autobiography, speaks of him as the prime mover in all the confusions and insurrections of the period. He had, he states, vainly shown Hasan Khan distinguished marks of favour, but the affections of the infidel lay all on the side of the natives i.e., the Hindus ( Indians ) ; and the propinquity of his country to Dehli, no doubt, made his opposition especially dangerous. Hasan Khan's seat at this time was at Ulwur, but local tradition says that he was originally established at Bahadarpur, eight miles from Ulwur.

The Emperor Babur, speaking of Hasan Khan of Mewat, who was one of his opponents at the great battle of Khanwa, says that he "had received the government of Mewat from his ancestors, who had governed it in uninterrupted succession for nearly 200 years."

The Emperor Babur, in his autobiography THE BABUR-NAMA, speaks
apostates - Babur so-calls both Hasan and his followers, presumably because they followed their race sympathies, as of Rajput origin, and fought against co-religionists. Though Hasan's subjects,Meos, were nominally Muhammadans, it appears that they practised some Hindu customs. For an account of Miwat, see Gazetteer of Ulvur (Alwar, Alur) by Major P. W. Powlett.

Miwat - Alwar being in Miwat, Babur may mean that bodies were found beyond that town in the main portion of the Miwat country which lies north of Alwar towards Dihli.

Miwati - This word appears to have been restricted in its use to the Khan-zadas of the ruling
house in Miwat, and was not used for their subjects, the Meos (Powlett I.e. Cap. I.,Gazetteeer of Ulwur). The uses of " Miwati " and " Meo " suggest something analogous with those of "Chaghatai" and " Mughul " in Babur's time. The resemblance includes mutual dislike and distrust (Powlett I.e.,Gazetter of Ulwur).

The Emperor Babur, in his autobiography THE BABUR-NAMA, speaks "Hasan Khan of Miwat was enrolled in the list of the dead by the force of a matchlock (zarb-i-tufak) ; most of those headstrong chiefs of tribes were slain likewise, and ended their days by arrow and matchlock (tir u tufak)."

The Rana Sankha escaped from Battle of Khanwa
Battle of Khanwa
The Battle of Khanwa, was fought near the village of Khanwa, about 60 km west of Agra on March 17, 1527. The second major battle fought in modern day India, by the first Mughal Emperor Babur after the Battle of Panipat . As the Mughal Empire expanded it faced new opponents especially in the...

. He died in this year, not without suspicion of poison. "aichimni khali qildim", a seeming equivalent for English, "I poured out my spleen."

Baber says that the ancestors of his opponent Hasan Khan had governed Mewat in uninterrupted succession for nearly 200 years, and that Tejara was their capital. In another place he calls him Raja Hasan Khan Mewati, an infidel, who was the prime mover and agitator in the insurrection against the Mughals. The title of Raja and the term " infidel " show that Baber was aware of Hasan Khan's Hindu descent, and the period of '* nearly 200 years" most probably refers to the date when his ancestor became a Muhammadan in the reign of Firoz Shah between A.H. 752 and 790.

The Rajput lords had, prior to Babur's intervention, succeeded in conquering some of the Sultanate's territory. They ruled an area directly to the southwest of Babur's new dominions, commonly known as Rajputana
Rajputana
Rājputāna was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. George Thomas was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana...

 as well as fortified dominions in other parts of northern India. It was not a unified kingdom, but rather a confederacy of principalities
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

, under the informal suzerainty of Rana Sanga, head of the senior Rajput dynasty.

The Rajputs had possibly heard word of the heavy casualties inflicted by Lodi on Babur's forces, and believed that they could capture Delhi, and possibly all Hindustan
Hindustan
Hindustan or Indostan, literal translation "Land of River Sindhu ", is one of the popular names of South Asia. It can also mean "the land of the Hindus"...

. They hoped to bring it back into Hindu Rajput hands for the first time in almost three hundred and fifty years since Sultan Shah-al Din Muhammad of Ghor
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori , originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām , was a ruler of the Ghurid dynasty who reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.Shahabuddin Ghori reconquered the city of Ghazna Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori...

 defeated the Rajput Chauhan
Chauhan
Chauhan, Chouhan or Chohan , , - is a clan who ruled parts of northern India in the Middle Ages. The clan is most famous for Rajput King Maharaja Prithviraj Chauhan...

 King Prithviraj III
Prithviraj III
Prithvi Raj III, commonly known as Prithviraj Chauhan , was a king of the Hindu Chauhan dynasty, who ruled the kingdom of Ajmer and Delhi in northern India during the latter half of the 12th century....

 in 1192.

Furthermore, the Rajputs were well aware that there was dissent within the ranks of Babur's army. The hot Indian summer was upon them, and many troops wanted to return home to the cooler climes of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. The Rajputs' reputation for valour
Courage
Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation...

 preceded them, and their superior numbers no doubt further contributed to the desire of Babur's army to retreat.According to Babur's own calculations the potential strength of the Rajput army was much larger than that deployed by the Lodis at Panipat
Panipat
Panipat بَنِبَت is an ancient and historic city in Panipat district, Haryana state, India. It is 90 km north from Delhi and 169 km south of Chandigarh on NH-1. The three battles fought at the city were turning points in Indian history. The city is famous in India by the name of "City of...

. Babur resolved to make this an extended battle, and decided to push further into India, into lands never previously claimed by the Timurids. He needed his troops to defeat the Rajputs.

Despite the unwillingness of his troops to engage in further warfare, Babur was convinced he could overcome the Rajputs and gain complete control over Hindustan. He made great propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 of the fact that for the first time he was to battle non-Muslims, the Kafir
Kafir
Kafir is an Arabic term used in a Islamic doctrinal sense, usually translated as "unbeliever" or "disbeliever"...

, to the extent of taking a vow to abstain from drinking (a common fraction among his people) for the rest of his life to win divine favour, and declared the war against, Rana Sanga
Rana Sanga
-Historical Fact:Maharana Sangram Singh was the ruler of Mewar state, a region lying within the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan, a desert region, between 1509 and 1527. He was a scion of the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs...

.

Death and legacy



After Babur fell seriously ill, Humayun was told of a plot by the senior nobles of Babur's court to bypass the leader's sons and appoint Mahdi Khwaja, Babur's sister's husband, as his successor. He rushed to Agra and arrived there to see his father was well enough again, although Mahdi Khwaja had lost all hope of becoming ruler after arrogantly exceeding his authority during Babur's illness. Upon his arrival in Agra it was Humayun himself who fell ill, and was close to dying.

Babur is said to have circled the sick-bed, crying to God to take his life and not his son's. The traditions that follow this tell that Babur soon fell ill with a fever and Humayun began to get better again. His last words apparently being to his son, Humayun, "Do nothing against your brothers, even though they may deserve it."

He died at the age of 47 on , and was succeeded by his eldest son, Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

. Though he wished to be buried in his favourite garden in Kabul, a city he had always loved, he was first buried in a Mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 in the capital city of Agra
Agra
Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

. Roughly nine years later his wishes were fulfilled by Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

and Babur was buried in Bagh-e Babur
Bagh-e Babur
The Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur , is a historic park in Kabul, Afghanistan, and also the last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur...

 (Babur Gardens) in Kabul, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. The inscription on his tomb reads (in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

):
Babur is considered a national hero in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 and Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

, and is held in high esteem in Afghanistan where he is buried. In October 2005 the Pakistan military developed the Babur (cruise missile), named in honour of him.

Impact on architecture


Babur travelled the country, taking in much of the land and its scenery, and began building a series of structures which mixed the pre-existing Hindu intricacies of carved detail with the traditional Muslim designs used by Persians and Turks. He described with awe the buildings in Chanderi, a village carved from rock, and the palace of Man Singh I in Gwalior. He, was, however, disgusted by the Jain
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 "deities" carved into the rock face below the fortress at Gwalior. Fortunately, the statues were not destroyed entirely, rather the faces and genitalia of the offending pieces were removed. (Modern sculptors have restored the faces).

To remind himself of the lands he had left behind, Babur began a process of creating exquisite gardens in every palace and province, where he would often sit shaded from the fierce Indian sun. He tried to recreate the gardens of Kabul, which he believed were the most beautiful in the world, and in one of which he would eventually be buried. Almost thirty pages of Babur's memoirs are taken up describing the fauna and flora of his Hindustan.

Babri mosque



Babur is popularly believed to have built Babri Mosque
Babri Mosque
The Babri Mosque , was a mosque in Ayodhya, a city in the Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, on Ramkot Hill . It was destroyed in 1992 when a political rally developed into a riot involving 150,000 people, despite a commitment to the Indian Supreme Court by the rally organisers that the mosque...

 in Ayodhya. However, from the three inscriptions which once adorned the surface of the mosque it becomes apparent that the mosque was constructed during his reign on the orders of Mir Baqi
Mir Baqi
Mir Baqi Tashqandi , also known as Mir Banki was a Mughal nobleman of medieval India, during the reign of the first Mughal emperor, Babur. He was the governor of the then province of Awadh. In 1528, he had the Babri Mosque constructed in Ayodhya, which later became the focal point of the Babri...

, who was one of the generals of Babur's forces sent towards this region. In 2003, The Archaeological Survey of India was asked to conduct a more in-depth study and an excavation to ascertain the type of structure that was beneath the rubble of babari masjid. The summary of the ASI report indicated definite proof of a temple under the mosque. It was destroyed in 1992 by a Hindu mob sparking off communal clashes around the country.
resulting in the killing of thousands of Muslims and Hindus.

In fiction

  • "Babur, the First Moghul in India", by Farzana Moon, Unlimited Publishing LLC, 2009
  • The story of Babur's rise to power is covered in the 2009 historical novel "Raiders from the North" (Bk1 in the Empire of the Moghul" series) by Alex Rutherford, a pseudonym for English husband-and-wife team, Michael and Diana Preston...

Additional references

  • The Babur-nama. Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor
    Baburnama
    Bāburnāma is the name given to the memoirs of Ẓahīr ud-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur , founder of the Mughal Empire and a great-great-great-grandson of Timur...

    . Translated, Edited and annotated by Wheeler M. Thackston (New York) 2002
  • Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat
    Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat
    Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat was a Chagatai Turko-Mogol military general, ruler of Kashmir, and a historical writer. He was a Turkic speaking Dughlat prince who wrote in Persian and Chagatai languages. Prince Haider was a first cousin of Prince Zahir .-Life:He first campaigned in Kashmir in 1533,...

     Ta'rikh-e Rashidi Trans. & Ed. Elias & Denison Ross (London) 1898.
  • Cambridge History of India, Vol. III & IV, "Turks and Afghan" and "The Mughal Period". (Cambridge) 1928
  • Muzaffar Alam & Sanjay Subrahmanyan (Eds.) The Mughal State 1526-1750 (Delhi) 1998
  • William Irvine The army of the Indian Moghuls. (London) 1902. (Last revised 1985)
  • Bamber Gasgoigne The Great Moghuls (London) 1971. (Last revised 1987)
  • Jos Gommans Mughal Warfare (London) 2002
  • Peter Jackson The Delhi Sultanate. A Political and Military History (Cambridge) 1999
  • John F. Richards The Mughal Empire (Cambridge) 1993
  • James Tod Annals & Antiquities of Rajasthan (Oxford) 1920 Ed. Wm Crooke (3rd Edition)
  • Babur Nama: Journal of Emperor Babur, Zahir Uddin Muhammad Babur, Translated from Chaghatay Turkic by Annette Susannah Beveridge, Abridged, edited and introduced by Dilip Hiro
    Dilip Hiro
    Dilip Hiro is a playwright, political writer, journalist, historian and analyst specializing in South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Islamic affairs. He was born to Hindu parents in Larkana, British India, who migrated to independent India after partition in 1947. Hiro received a masters...

    . ISBN 978-0-14-400149-1 or ISBN 0-14-400149-7. - Complete Baburnama online version
  • Eraly, Abraham. Emperors of the Peacock throne, Penguin, 2000. ISBN 0-14-100143-7.
  • Elliot, Sir H. M., Edited by Dowson, John. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; published by London Trubner Company 1867–1877. (Online Copy: The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; by Sir H. M. Elliot; Edited by John Dowson; London Trubner Company 1867–1877 - This online Copy has been posted by: The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation; Also find other historical books: Author List and Title List)
  • Gordon, Stewart. When Asia was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks who created the "Riches of the East" Da Capo Press, Perseus Books, 2008. ISBN 0-306-81556-7.

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