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Politics & War

Politics & War

Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur

Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur




  • He was born on 14th February A.D. 1483 in Foreghana. He was the eldest son of Umar Sheikh Mirza,ruler of the Fergana Valley, the son of Abū Saʿīd Mirza (and grandson of Miran Shah, who was himself son of Timur) and his wife Qutlugh Nigar Khanum daughter of Yunus Khan, the ruler of Moghulistan (and great-great grandson of Tughlugh Timur, the son of Esen Buqa I, who was the greatgreat-great grandson of Chaghatai Khan, the second-born son of Genghis Khan
  • He descended from two Central Asian warriors; Timur, The Turkish hero from his father’s side and Changiz Khan, the great Mongol hero from his mother’s side.
  • His family belonged to the Chagatai section of the Turkish race, but he was commonly known as “Mughal”.


  • Forghana was a small state in Transoxiana (now a part of Turkistan). There was constant danger to Forghana .
  • In 1494, his father died in an accident & Babur at the young age of 11 years succeeded to Forghana. This was in-fact a critical situation for him as the Timurid Princes were busy fighting one another.
  • He, too, made a bid to conquer Samarkand from his uncle. He won the city twice but lost it in no time on both the occasions.


  • In 1504, Babur was able to cross the snowy Hindu Kush mountains and capture Kabul from the remaining Arghunids, who were forced to retreat to Kandahar.
  • With this move, he gained a new kingdom, reestablished his fortunes and would remain its ruler until 1526.
  • In 1505, because of the low revenue generated by his new mountain kingdom, Babur began his first expedition to India.


  • Like other earlier invaders of Central Asia, Babur was attracted to India by the force of its fabulous wealth. India was the Land of gold and riches.
  • Babur’s ancestor, Timur had not only carried away a vast treasure and many skillful artisans, but also annexed some areas of the Punjab.
  • These areas remained in the possession of Timur’s successors for several generations. When Babur conquered Afghanistan, he felt that he had a legitimate right to these areas.


  • Babur ruled over Badakhshah, Kandhar and Kabul which did not yield sufficient income for the requirements of the army. In-fact the expenses on controlling the armies and administration were greater than the income.
  • After his third loss of Samarkand, Babur gave full attention to the conquest of North India, launching a campaign; he reached the Chenab River, now in Pakistan, in 1519. • Babur started for Lahore, Punjab, in 1524 but found that Daulat Khan Lodi had been driven out by forces sent by Ibrahim Lodi.


  • Babur had conducted five expeditions to India between 1519 and 1525 A.D. In 1524 Babur made the fourth expedition against India.
  • On the initiation of Daulat Khan Lodi, the Governor of Punjab who wanted to dethrone Ibrahim Lodi in favour of his uncle Alam Khan. Babur took this opportunity and proceeded to India.
  • Ibrahim defeated Daulat Khan and expelled him from Punjab. By the time Babur realized and captured Lahore. Dault Khan helped Babur to occupy Dipalpur which was given to Alam Khan


  • Then Babur left for Kabul after keeping a small contingent at Lahore and Sialkot. After Babur’s departure, Daulat Khan Lodi came back from the hills and conquered Sultanpur, Sialkot and Dipalpur.
  • Babur made his fifth expedition in 1525 and defeated Daulat Khan and his son Dilwar Khan who beg apology for their misconduct.
  • Now a war between Ibrahim Lodi and Babur become inevitable. Both the forces went to Panipat to test their luck.


  • Ibrahim Lodi’s force was estimated at 100.000 men and 1000 elephants. Though his force was a vast one but the number of fighting men was far less as most of them were recruited hastily on the eve of the war.
  • But in comparison to Lodi’s army that of Babur was much less in number but they were well trained and well equipped.
  • In April 1526 Babur reached Panipat through Sirhind and Ambala.


  • The main difference between the two armies was not the strength but the technique. Babur was in an advantageous position from this point of view.
  • He reached Panipat on 21 April 1526 and there met Ibrahim Lodi’s numerically superior army of about 100,000 soldiers and 100 elephants.
  • In the battle that began on the following day, Babur used the tactic of Tulugma, encircling Ibrahim Lodi’s army and forcing it to face artillery fire directly, as well as frightening its war elephants.Ibrahim Lodi died during the battle, thus ending the Lodi dynasty


  • After the victory of Panipat, Babur immediately sent his son Humayun to Agra and Mehdi Khweja and others to Delhi in order to take charge of the fort and the treasure of Delhi.
  • On 27th of April, 1526, Khutba was read in Delhi in the name of Babur and the citizens welcomed him with great rejoicing.
  • After the occupation of Delhi and Agra, Babur made his intentions clear to stay in India. He knew that the resources in India alone would enable him to found a strong empire and satisfy his ambitions.


  • The Battle of Khanwa was fought between Babur and the Rajput ruler Rana Sanga on 17 March 1527. Rana Sanga wanted to overthrow Babur, whom he considered to be a foreigner ruling in India, and also to extend the Rajput territories by annexing Delhi and Agra.
  • According to Babur, Sangha’s forces exceeded 200,000 including 10,000 Afghan cavalry men.
  • Babur ordered his soldiers in the centre to launch an attack which drove the backbone of Sang’s army ended the battle of Khanwa with the defeat of Rana Sangha.


  • Babur assumed the title of Ghari or victor in holy war. He also won the battle of Chander in 1528 A.D. over Rajput’s.
  • Babur defeated the combined forces of Mahmud Lodi and Nusrat Shah in the battle of Ghaghra in 1529. This was perhaps the last battle of his life.
  • Babur died in Agra at the age of 47 on 1530 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Humayun. He was first buried in Agra but, as per his wishes, his mortal remains were moved to Kabul.


  • His collection of poems in Turki called the Diwan ranks among the best contemporary poetic works. He composed poems in Persian also and invented a style of verse. He also translated in Turki the Risala-i-Walidia written by Khwaja Ubaidulla.
  • He wrote a collection of Masnavis called the Mubayyin which is a treatise on Muslim law. He also wrote another treatise called Khat-i-Baburi in a new style.
  • One of the relatives of Babur and a contemporary writer, Mirza Haider Dagalata wrote. “Only Mir Ali Sherbeg was ahead of him in writings of Turki.” Therefore, Babur has been legitimately regarded as a scholarly king.