The rise of the Mughal Empire in 1526, embarked the end ofthe Medieval Period in India and beginning of what is referred in history asthe ‘Early Modern Period’ or mostly ‘The Mughal Era’.Mughals continued the tradition of Indo-IslamicCivilization, which began in 1206 A.D. when Qutb-ud-din Aibak became the firstSultan of Delhi. The late Medieval period which spanned over 320 years, was putto the end in the First Battle of Panipat in 1526, when Zahir-ud-din MuhammadBabur, dethroned the Lodhi Dynasty and laid stones of the Mughal Empire whichwould rule for over two centuries which makes his empire, the longest India hasever seen. Childhood and Early Accessions: Babur (Means tiger In Persian) was the direct descendant ofTimur, who was a Turko-Mongol leader who conquered most parts of Central Asia.
He was the eldest son of Umar Sheikh Mirza. Her mother was a direct descendantof Genghis Khan. Babur ascended to the throne of a small territory of Ferganain 1495, after a freakish incident which led to his father’s death. Baburmentioned the demise of his father, in his own words as:’Umar Shaikh Mirzaflew, with his pigeons and their house, and became a falcon’.He was just 12 when he succeeded his father and faced therebellion of his own blood. Babur was a valiant warrior since his childhood andhe soon figured out he had to rely on Military campaigns to expand as well asdefend his own territory. He lost control of Fergana to his step brother Jahangirand lost Samarkand to Shaibani Khan. Babur was landless, ‘A King without aThrone’.
Babur, in 1504, established himself in Kabul. Kabul wasseeking a descendant of Timur to sit on the throne after their King died withno successors. Babur soon realised he couldn’t move west as he would facestrong resistance with the rise of a new empire. The rich lands of Indiaattracted invaders with its limitless possibilities of wealth and power, whichBabur knew, was more lucrative than the arid Central Asia. Major battles: The Battle of Panipat (1526):Babur began his march towards India which saw him captureLahore in 1525. The Battle of Panipat in 1926, against Ibrahim Lodhi announcedhis arrival as Babur, The Barbarian and saw the emergence of the Mughals. Baburwas one of the first emperor to use gunpowder in war. His army was equippedwith guns and cannons which proved decisive in his victory against IbrahimLodhi as Lodhi lacked artillery to match Babur’s and his strong fleet ofelephants created havoc onto his own army when the canons went loose.
Historyrecords this win as how Artillery helped Babur and his 12,000 men defeated theLodhi’s army of 100,000 men. Ruler of Gwalior, Vikramjit was also killed in theFirst Battle of Panipat. This marked the end of the Lodhi Dynasty from IndianTurf and Mughals seized Delhi!With no unified power stopping him, Babur captured Agra.Gwalior, Kanauj and Jaunpur, the other centre of power in North India were alsocaptured by him after this Battle.The Battle of Khandwa (1527):History has it that Babur was invited in India by Rana Sangaof Mewar to dethrone the Lodhi Dynasty and assume the power of Delhi equally.
There are no records of any such offers made. Battle of Khandwa was a directconsequence of both the rulers accusing one another of breach in faith. RanaSanga was more efficient commander and a better leader than the Mughal Sultanbut it lacked the discipline and more efficient tactics and artillery whichpaved Mughal Empire’s way in India. Rana Sanga was defeated and so was the lastRajput against the invading foreigners. The Rajput became ally of Mughals afterthis war.Influence of Babur and Mughal Empire:· Battlefield: Baburis considered to be the oldest ruler to have used Gunpowder in warfare.
Baburintroduced the use of canons and other supreme artillery. He introduced Tulghuma and Araba, two warfare technique which catapult him as the supremeleader of the North India.· Culture: Baburhimself had love for art and he brought with himself, descendants of poets, musiciansand philosophers from the court of Samarkand and appointed them in Lahore,Delhi and Agra. Persian Culture began to mix well with and blended in to producemany unique arts. Hebuilt important monuments such as Panipat Mosque & Jama Masjid. Theinfamous Babri Mosque, which is believed to be the Ram Temple of Ayodhya whichBabar demolished and constructed Babri Mosque at the very place. ReligiousHarmony was preached during the rule of Babur.
He himself announced noconversion to Islam for the war captives and lands. He forbid the killings ofcows as it hurt the sentiments of the Hindus. This religious Harmony was wellpracticed under rule of Akbar, who is considered to be the greatest Mughal Emperor.· Stability: Baburand the empire which flourished under him provided stability. Mughals ruled forover 300 years without any further foreign invasion or siege of Indiansubcontinent.
The tenure of late medieval period from 1200 till fall of IbrahimLodhi saw as many as 5 dynasties ruling Delhi. He created strong relationshipwith other Afghan counterparts which ensured no more invasions. After theBattle of Khandwa, Rajputana too turned friends. Thepolitical stability also ensured the economy to rise. Mughal Empire was one ofthe richest empires of this world, though sometimes accused of manipulation ofthe masses.
They ruled the country which the world called ‘The Golden Bird’.· Literary: Baburhad extra ordinary literary skills. He wrote is autobiography, The Baburnama.
This book is candidhonest and at times poetic. It consists of not only his life, but the historyand geography of the kingdoms he ruled as well the people who touched his life.Akbar later translated this book into Persian. Baburis considered as a national hero in Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan. Many of hispoems have become popular Uzbek folk songs.Death: Babur didn’t live long enough to see his empire expand toextreme east and touch the south.
The distant dream of capturing andcontrolling the south was passed down the Mughal Dynasty, but no one couldrealize it to perfection.He died of ill health in December 1530, at the age of 57. Hewas succeeded by Humayun.