Zahiruddin Muhammad to Babur (1526–1530)
Who was the first Mughal emperor?
The answer is Babur, the real founder of the Mughal dynasty. The race for power in Central was between Uzbeks- A Turkic ethnic group, Safavids (Shia Muslims of Iran), and Ottomans (Sunni Muslims of Turkish ethnic group).
The Ottomans forced the ruler of Samarkand, Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, to make a political career somewhere. The central Asia people have the knowledge of India as there was business happening through the Silk route with India.
Babur is inspired by Timur who had established an empire in Delhi in 1526 which is popularly called Delhi Sultanate. Babur from the throne of Samarkand City, Uzbekistan. The throne ascended from his father.
He lost the throne and then he reclaimed it. Bahur realized he was surrounded by enemies such Safavid in Iran and Uzbeks in Central Asia decided to build an empire in India. Babur as Timurid had an interest in Punjab which was in Timur’s Possession.
Between 1519 to 1524, Babur invaded Bhera, Sialkot, and Lahore. Babur has an interest in conquering India, as the political scene in India favoured his wish. He conquered Kabul and Ghazni and crossed the Indus river to reach India and formed a small kingdom.
The political scenario in India favoured Babur. Lodi Dynasty, Delhi sultan Ibrahim Lodi decided to expand his territory, his effect frustrated Afghans and Rajputs. Babur was invited to attack India by Daulat Khan Lodi who was the enemy of Ibrahim Lodi and also Babur also from Rana Sangha ruler of Mewar and leader of Rajput Kingdoms or confederacy.
Babur marched with his forces to India, first defeating the forces of Daulat Khan Lodi at Lahore, as Daulat khan Lodi backed off in helping Babur.
First Battle of Panipat, 21 April 1526
First battle of Panipat was fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi. Babur defeated Ibrahim lodi after several invasions. He defeated the small army compared to lodi forces. Babur won because of strategic position and great use of artillery.
This victory gave him hopes of settling in India permanently. He then conquered Delhi and Agra. Even after the victory, he had to deal with Rajputs and Afghans.
Battle of Khanwa, 1527
Babur decided to take on Rana Sanga of Chittor, who as ruler of Mewar, had a strong influence over Rajasthan and Malwa. Babur selected Khanwa, near Agra, as a favourable site for this inevitable encounter.
The ferocious march of Rana Sanga with a formidable force strengthened by Afghan Muslims, Mahmud Lodi, brother of Ibrahim Lodi, and Hasan Khan Mewati, ruler of Mewat, confronted the forces of Babur.
With strategic positioning of forces and effective use of artillery, Babur defeated Rana Sanga’s forces.
This victory was followed by the capture of forts at Gwalior and Dholpur which further strengthened Babur’s position.
Battle of Chanderi, 1528
Then next important that ensured Babur’s power over the Malwa region was the war against Medini Rai at Chanderi. After this victory Babur turned towards the growing rebellious activities of Afgans.
The next significant battle that ensured Babur’s supremacy over the Malwa region was fought against Medini Rai at Chanderi. Following this victory Babur turned towards the growing rebellious activities of Afghans.
Battle of Ghagra, 1529
The Battle of Ghagra was the last battle Babar fought against the Afghans. Mahmud Lodi who was brother of sultan Ibrahim Los and Sultan Nusrat Shah who was son-in-law of Ibrahim Lodi, conspired against Babur.
Babar took the war against them, in Ghagra, a tributary of Ganga. Babur defeated the Afghans but died on his way from Agra to Lahore in 1530.
Estimate of Babur
The founder of the Mughals was Babur. He was a scholar of Persian and Arabic. He wrote Baburnama (Tuziuk-i-Baburi), which is considered a world classic. Babur description of India is delightful.
He found nothing admirable in Afghans who ruled India nor in the majority of people they governed. Babur’s view is described as follows: ‘The chief excellence of Hindustan is that it is a large country and has an abundance of gold and silver. Another convenience of Hindustan is that the workmen of every profession and trade are innumerable and without end.’
Babur’s dominions were now secure from Kandahār to the borders of Bengal. However, in the great area that marked the Rajput desert and the forts of Ranthambhor, Gwalior and Chanderi, there was no settled administration, as the Rajput chiefs were quarrelling among themselves.
So Babur left a difficult task for his son Humayun.