UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Feb 14

14 February 1483

Birth of Babur


What happened?

Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty was born on 14 February 1483 in Andijan, Fergana Valley in present-day Uzbekistan.

Biography

  • Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur was born to Umar Sheikh Mirza and his wife Qutlugh Nigar Khanum. Mirza was the ruler of the Fergana Valley.
  • Through his father, Babur is a descendant of Timur and through his mother, of Genghis Khan.
  • He belonged to the Barlas tribe which was Mongol in origin. However, his people had been culturally more Turkic and Persian. His mother tongue was Chaghatai but he was equally at home with Persian.
  • When he was 11 years old, his father died and he succeeded as the ruler of the Fergana Valley.
  • His rule was marked with conflicts with rivals and relatives. He had an ambition to conquer Samarkand but was not successful. He also lost his own Fergana in the meantime and he had to stay with an uncle at Tashkent in humiliation and poverty.
  • In 1504, Babur, who had no land of his own then, crossed the Hindu Kush and captured Kabul. He ruled over this new kingdom of his until 1526.
  • His new kingdom proved poor in generating revenues and he wanted to pursue Hindustan in 1505.
  • He reached Punjab in Pakistan in 1519. During that time, Delhi and parts of north India were ruled by Ibrahim Lodi. On arriving at Lahore, Babur’s army was routed by Lodi’s.
  • By 1525, Babur was able to occupy Punjab. Then, he marched on to Delhi.
  • He reached Panipat on 20th April 1526. The First Battle of Panipat took place there between the armies of Babur and Lodi. Babur was able to defeat the numerically superior army of Lodi and Lodi himself was killed in battle. This ended the Lodi dynasty in Delhi and laid the foundation of the Mughal Empire in Delhi and subsequently, much of India. (Mughal is Persian for Mongol.)
  • On March 17, 1527 the Battle of Khanwa was fought between Babur and Rana Sanga, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. The battle was won by Babur.
  • Babur had many children, the eldest being Humayun.
  • He was an educated man and this is reflected in his memoirs, Baburnama, written in Chaghatai. He wrote on such varied subjects in his memoirs as society, politics, nature, history, economics and geography.
  • The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was built on his orders.
  • Babur died on 26 December 1530 at the age of 47 in Agra. He was buried at Kabul in a garden built by him. Humayun succeeded him as the emperor.
  • Babur is considered a national hero in Uzbekistan.
Also on this day

1556: Coronation of Akbar, grandson of Babur. 1628: Coronation of Shah Jahan, son of Akbar.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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