Biography of Zahir al-Din Muhammad Baber (1483-1530)

Turcomogol conqueror, writer and poet, born on 15 February 1483 in Andijan, in the Principality of Fergana (Uzbekistan), and died in Agra (India) 26 December 1530. He/She was the founder of the Mughal Empire of India, which ruled between 1526-1530; It expanded its borders at the expense of the Rajput - another great power Hindustani-, and established his capital at Agra. His real name was that of Zahir al - Din Muhammad, and was also known as Babar or Babur the lion.

His early years

Baber was a member of the tribe of the Barlas of mongol origin but due to his long tenure among the Turkish tribes had adopted their language and their culture had assimilated. For this reason, Baber, despite being Mongolian, he/she was a character and a fully Turkish formation, and his empire was more marked by this culture than by the Mongolian. His family belonged to the Chagatai clan, Baber was the fifth descendant, paternal line, Timur Lang and the thirteenth, matrilineal, of Genghis Khan, the great Mongol conquerors.

The descendants of Timur Lang had distributed the vast territories controlled by the latter, giving rise to a series of more or less independent small principalities. The father of Baber, name Umar Shaykh Mirza, was one of these princes, ruled the tiny Principality of Ferghana in Uzbekistan. Umar Shaykh Mirza, faithful to the tradition of the Timurid, employed his life in an attempt to regain Samarkand, the old capital of the Empire of Timur Lang, who was in power of the Uzbeks.

To take over the power in the region was essential to achieve control the different princely dynasty and ending the civil wars which weakened to different States. Baber was not only able to join the Timurid, they also possessed a military talent capable of carrying these form a large Empire. He/She continued the family tradition of trying to seize control of Samarkand, in this way, when in 1494 succeeded his father, first thing he/she did was attack the Uzbeks, but without success. He/She managed to capture the city in 1497 and, after losing it, he/she won it again in 1501, but once again returned to be expelled from it by the Uzbek Muhammad Shaibani Kan, another descendant of Genghis Khan-driven. Two years later, pressed by the Uzbeks, he/she lost the Principality of Ferghana.

In 1504, accompanied only by his personal guard, was able to conquer Kabul (Afghanistan), where tried to restore its power in the remnants of the Empire Timurid in Turkestan, unsuccessfully against other Turkish rivals. Between 1511 and 1512 he/she attempted again to conquer Samarkand, but despite the help of shah Ismail Safawi of Persia, it did not succeed, so he/she decided to direct his efforts towards another place. He/She engaged in business relations with various kingdoms of the Sultanate of Delhi.

In 1519 Baber launched their first RAID on the India, so it counted with the collaboration of the Governor of Punjab, Dawlat Khan Lodi, which was estranged with the sultan of Delhi, his Lord, Ibrahim Lodi. The expedition not consisted of more than the plundering of some of the fabulous wealth of the Sultanate, but Baber attack served to Baber is give account of the important consequences that you would have control of these assets; that added to their disappointment regarding the conquest of Samarkand, caused the mongol leader to focus your attention from that moment in the India. In 1522, date in which Baber was already decided to expand into Sindh and India, managed to conquer the strategic enclave of Kandahar.

In 1524 Baber invaded Punjab three times, but could not consolidate their domain due to the complicated political struggles in which the area was engulfed and that he/she could not find a stable ally. However, Baber realized that the internal dissensions of the Sultanate had become this easy prey for his army, at the time, an attack of the Uzbeks on Kabul that Baber leading it back to defend his Kingdom.

The conquest of the India

In November of 1525, once solved their problems with the Uzbeks, he/she left Kabul with an army of 12,000 soldiers. April 21, 1526 Baber army met the army of the sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, 80 kilometres north of Delhi, at Panipat. The Delhi army was far superior in number, it is estimated that it was made up of some 100,000 soldiers and 100 elephants, but their combat tactics were very outdated and lacked the necessary internal unity; in contrast, the small army of Baber was integrated by a powerful Cavalry, perfectly trained for combat, with exemplary discipline and dominated the artillerylearned of the Ottoman Turks.

Baber earned a landslide victory at Panipat, where Ibrahim Lodi died. After the battle it occupied all of the territory controlled by the Sultanate, at such a speed that prevented the reaction of local governors, three days after the battle had already arrived to Agra. After seizing the cities of Delhi and Agra, was awarded the Indostan.el Emperor Baber army faced, then an enemy far more dangerous than the troops of Delhi, crushing wet heat of India, which were not used in their territories of Kabul, much further to the North, but in which the troops of different Indian kingdoms were naturally. To the South of the Valley of the Ganges were a series of States controlled by Afghan, very disorganized heads but with a formidable military power. To the South were the sultanates of Malwa and Gujarat, in Rajasthan, Rana Sanga of Mewar led a powerful Confederation which threatened the Muslim positions in the North of the India.

The main problem of Baber were their own troops, by the hostile environmental conditions and desiring to return to Kabul. To save time, Baber tried to negotiate with Rana Sanga, but, aware that Baber had no intention of retiring, as had its predecessors, decided to attack the invading army demoralized. With an army led by the Lords of Gwalior, Ajmer and Marwar, Amber, along with 120 other heads, and which was composed of approximately 100,000 horses and 500 elephants, launched Baber, East, completely isolated domains it is entrusted to wing, for which forbade alcohol in a solemn ceremony that inflamed his army by the mercy shown by their leader.

The armies met at Khanua, 60 kilometres west of Agra, March 16, 1527. Baber put his army in a risky position, laid out a ring of carriages inside which entrenched their artillery and placed the cavalry on the wings. The artillery fire caused the rout of the enemy elephants. Taking advantage of the chaos caused by the elephants, cavalry charged the enemy flanks and after ten hours of fierce fighting, the troops of Baber won a surprising victory. Baber then negotiated with challenging Eastern Afghans, which captured Lucknow while his troops faced Rana Sanga. Meanwhile, another Afghan Prince, Mahmud Lodi, brother of Ibrahim Lodi, held Bihar. Some Princes took advantage of the situation to arise against Baber, but this managed to prevail in a series of three battles, Panipat, Khanwar and may 6, 1529 in Ghaghara, where he/she definitively defeated his enemies. Agra then became the new capital of the Empire.

His successors, Humayun (1530-1556), Akbar (1556-1605), continued the work of Baber, but above all to consolidate the Mughal Empire, and provided him with effective management and organization, that made possible their survival time.

The borders of Baber domains extended from Kabul to Kandahar and from there, to Bengal; from the South to the Thar desert and the strengths of Ranthambhor, Gwalior and Chanderi; and it reached the Himalayas eastward. Baber had conquered an empire, but it lacked an organization and defined legislation. This work, the organize the Empire, was undertaken by his successor, Humayun, once Baber died in 1530.

It exists, how it could be otherwise, a fabulous legend about the death of Baber; According to which, his son Humayun fell sick seriously and Baber, despair since the early death of his stem prayed to Allah to transmit the disease to his own body to save his son. Wing accepted and Baber received the deadly illness of her son, fruit of which died December 26, 1530.

The body of Baber was buried in Agra, but was subsequently taken to Kabul where they buried him in one of their favorite gardens.


Baber is regarded as the founder of the Mughal Empire of India, however, the consolidation of the Empire was due to his grandson, Akbar. Baber was a military genius, daring and audacious, built his empire through a series of hand blows and actions, sometimes reckless. He/She was a man of a strong personality, whose traces remained for generations as a model to follow. Great lover of nature, sent to build splendid gardens to decorate both the cities conquered as their places of residence.

Following the tradition of his lineage, he/she cultivated literary hobbies with remarkable artistic results in poetry, whose most representative example is the Diwan, which brings large number of compositions in Turkish and Persian languages and in prose, the Baber Nama or memories of Baber, his autobiography, one of the great works of chagatai Turkish literature.