Not to the poems of Babur in the Russian language for children confused with Babr or Babar. Babur was the eldest son of Umar Sheikh Mirza, governor of Farghana and great grandson of Timur the Great.
He ascended the throne of Farghana in its capital Akhsikent in 1494 at the age of twelve and faced rebellion. After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur turned his attention to creating his empire in the north. Notable among his sons are Humayun, Kamran Mirza and Hindal Mirza. Babur died in 1530 and was succeeded by Humayun.
According to Babur’s wishes, he was buried in Bagh-e-Babur in Kabul, Afghanistan. Babur bore the royal titles Badshah and al-ṣultānu ‘l-ʿazam wa ‘l-ḫāqān al-mukkarram pādshāh-e ġāzī. He and later Mughal emperors used the title of mirza and gurkhan as regalia. Babur’s memoirs form the main source for details of his life. Babur was born on 14 February 1483 in the city of Andijan, Andijan Province, Fergana Valley, contemporary Uzbekistan. Babur hailed from the Barlas tribe, which was of Mongol origin and had embraced Turkic and Persian culture.
Turkic and Iranian people of Central Asia, and his army was diverse in its ethnic makeup. In 1494, twelve years old Babur became the ruler of Fergana, in present-day Uzbekistan, after Umar Sheikh Mirza died “while tending pigeons in an ill-constructed dovecote that toppled into the ravine below the palace”. Most territories around his kingdom were ruled by his relatives, who were descendants of either Timur or Genghis Khan, and were constantly in conflict. At that time, rival princes were fighting over the city of Samarkand to the west, which was ruled by his paternal cousin. In 1501, Babur laid siege to Samarkand once more, but was soon defeated by his most formidable rival, Muhammad Shaybani, Khan of the Uzbeks. Kabul was ruled by Ulugh Begh Mirza of the Arghun Dynasty, who died leaving only an infant as heir.
The city was then claimed by Mukin Begh, who was considered to be a usurper and was opposed by the local populace. In the same year, Babur united with Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqarah of Herat, a fellow Timurid and distant relative, against their common enemy, the Uzbek Shaybani. Babur became the only reigning ruler of the Timurid dynasty after the loss of Herat, and many princes sought refuge from him at Kabul because of Shaybani’s invasion in the west. Babur and the remaining Timurids used this opportunity to reconquer their ancestral territories. Over the following few years, Babur and Shah Ismail formed a partnership in an attempt to take over parts of Central Asia.
In return for Ismail’s assistance, Babur permitted the Safavids to act as a suzerain over him and his followers. Babur was approached by the Ottomans. The Safavids army led by Najm-e Sani massacred civilians in Central Asia and then sought the assistance of Babur, who advised the Safavids to withdraw. Babur’s early relations with the Ottomans were poor because the Ottoman Sultan Selim I provided his rival Ubaydullah Khan with powerful matchlocks and cannons. Babur still wanted to escape from the Uzbeks, and he chose India as a refuge instead of Badakhshan, which was to the north of Kabul.
He wrote, “In the presence of such power and potency, we had to think of some place for ourselves and, at this crisis and in the crack of time there was, put a wider space between us and the strong foeman. Babur started for Lahore, Punjab, in 1524 but found that Daulat Khan Lodi had been driven out by forces sent by Ibrahim Lodi. When Babur arrived at Lahore, the Lodi army marched out and his army was routed. In response, Babur burned Lahore for two days, then marched to Dipalpur, placing Alam Khan, another rebel uncle of Lodi, as governor. In November 1525 Babur got news at Peshawar that Daulat Khan Lodi had switched sides, and he drove out Ala-ud-Din. Babur then marched onto Lahore to confront Daulat Khan Lodi, only to see Daulat’s army melt away at their approach. Babur marched on to Delhi via Sirhind.