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BABER, or BABUR

Books about Babur :

Mughal Weapons in the Babur Nama

(1483-1530). The first Mughal, or Mongol, emperor of India (1526-30) and founder of the Mughal Dynasty there was Baber. He also won distinction as a military commander, a gifted poet and diarist, a statesman, and an adventurer.
As ruler of the principality of Fergana in Turkestan, his birthplace, Baber first tried to recover Samarkand, the former capital of the empire founded by his Mongol ancestor Timur Lenk, or Tamerlane (see Timur Lenk). He occupied the city briefly in 1497 and in 1501, but could not hold it. He lost his own kingdom in 1503, seized Kabul, Afghanistan, the next year, and made a final unsuccessful attempt to capture Samarkand in 1511-12. Raiding India repeatedly, he defeated the sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, at the battle of Panipat (1526). He extended his domain in 1527 when, fighting with an outnumbered army, he defeated Rana Sanga, who led an army formed by a confederacy of Indian kingdoms. In 1529 Baber subdued the last major resistance in northern India. His grandson, Akbar, consolidated the empire (see Akbar).
A descendant of the first Mongol conqueror, Genghis Khan, Baber was born on Feb. 15, 1483. His original name was Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad. His prose memoirs, the 'Babur-nameh', were translated from Turki into Persian (1589) in Akbar's reign, and later into English (1921-22). His poems and diaries show him to be a man of wit, generosity, and culture. He died in Agra, India, on Dec. 26, 1530.

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