Babur was the founder of the biggest empire on the Indian subcontinent in modern history. His invasion of India was going to change the face of India. But did he plan to do all this? Quite the opposite, he was destined to do this. His legacy was bounded to his bloodline. His father belonged to the family of conqueror Timur while his mother was from the lineage of Genghis Khan. The Stars aligned for him to invade India. And that was all that destiny wanted from him. He died a year later after successfully winning over the Delhi sultanate.

Babur was born in the tribal village ‘Fergana’ in present-day Uzbekistan. He was the son of the governor. His father passed away when he was just 12 years old. He took over the reign and faced a lot of rebellion because of his young age. What seemed like a curse at the start became a boon in the end. His coming into power at a young age gave him a lot of experience in military tactics. He used this experience against the might of Lodhi and Rana Sanga to enter India.

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His initial days as a ruler were spent suppressing rebellions. He conquered a neighbouring village of Samarkand. But in his absence, the rebel forces took over his home city of Fergana. When he tried to take Fergana back, he lost Samarkand. This game of cat and mouse gave him immense experience and by the age of 22, he was leading the army to conquer the major city of Kabul. His men have followed him through wins and losses and trusted him with their life.

Once after winning Kabul, he ruled it successfully for two decades. He earned himself a good reputation in the Islamic states. His work was also noticed by the ministers of the Lodhi dynasty sitting in Delhi. Back in Delhi, Ibrahim Lodhi inherited the throne from his father. He wanted to reform the core group of decision-makers. He wanted to replace the old ministers and generals with young ones. This made his senior commanders conspire against him.

They had two options. First, they could approach a Hindu Rajput King Rana Sanga, who controlled central India. The second was to approach Babur, who for twenty years had a stable rule in Kabul. They went with the latter, thinking Babur would give Muslims higher positions once in command. They went to Kabul and invited him to invade Delhi. They promised him a safe passage to Delhi.

Babur’s army was well supported by the Ottoman Empire. He was provided with more advanced cannons and stronger metal alloys for arrowheads. He also held a strategic advantage by being a more experienced military general. Babur and Lodhi fought in the first battle of Panipat. Babur came out victorious and took over Delhi.
His second opponent in India was Rana Sanga. This was a more balanced battle. Both the leaders were equally good and experienced. But the battle was fought in the deserts of Kanwa. Babur’s army was much more suited for this type of battle with stronger horses and wide-wheel canons. Even though Babur won, he recognized Rana as the greatest military general he had ever seen.

Babur died a year later, at the age of 47. He was initially buried at Agra, but according to his last wish, his mortal remains were moved back to Kabul. Babur became part of a legend in the regions of the middle east. People hailed him as the champion who successfully breached India. As for India, he remains the father of the ‘Mughal dynasty’.

To read more about the Mughal Empire, click here!

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