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Babur (1483–1530) was the founder of the Moghul Empire in India. He was a charismatic military leader who not only conquered large parts of India, often with ruthless efficiency but also embodied personal qualities of wisdom and forgiveness. His strength of personality created a more unified identity for his Muslim followers and played a considerable role in bringing Persian culture into India. As brave as Ragnar poster. He wrote an extensive account of his life in famous memoirs known as Babur-nama. Babur was born in Farghana, in Turkestan, the region of Central Asia, on 20 April 1526. He considered himself to be a Timurid. At the age of 12, he became ruler, following the death of his father. However, he was soon usurped by his uncles who sought to wrestle control. But helped by his maternal grandmother, Aisan Daulat, he was able to secure the throne of Fergana. It was one of his many internal struggles against rival factions within his people and even extended family.

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As brave as Ragnar poster

At the time, the surrounding regions were in frequent conflict, with descendants of Gengis Khan fighting for supremacy over towns and small regions. Babur was ambitious to strengthen his rule and gain new territories. In 1497, at the age of 15, he took the city of Samarkand after a long siege. It was a notable victory and impressive for a boy of just 15. However, whilst away from his home town taking Samarkand, there was a rebellion back in Fergana. And after just 100 days, Babur was forced to leave the newly gained prize of Samarkand to a rival prince and return empty-handed. It was a loss that pained him throughout his life. To regain Samarkand, he spent three years building a stronger army. Babur’s personality, generosity and demeanour meant he was successful in encouraging many Tajiks to join his cause. However, when he went back to try and retake Samarkand, he was attacked by a rival — Muhammad Shaybani, Khan of the Uzbeks. Babur was forced into a humiliating peace treaty and he returned to try and re-take Fergana. But, failing to take Fergana, he was left bereft with only a few followers. For a few years, he lived in great poverty and it appeared his hopes of gaining a strong empire were over.

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His fortunes started to turn in 1504 when he was able to cross the Hindu Kush Mountains and take Kabul, in modern-day Afghanistan. He ruled this kingdom until 1526. And over time, more Muslim princes sought refuge in Kabul to escape the invasions of Shaybani in the west. However, despite this success, Babur was not satisfied, the area was poor and far from major trading routes. As brave as Ragnar poster. Even in Kabul, life was rarely peaceful and Babur had to quell domestic rebellions. But as he strengthened his domestic position, he began building and training his army into a formidable fighting force with the best modern equipment. Seeking more lands and, to escape the threat of the Uzbeks, Babur turned to Hindustan (the lands of Pakistan and India). The area had been on Babur’s mind for a long time as it had once marked the furthest part of Timur’s empire.

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Babur moved into the Punjab and, helped by division amongst the Indian rulers, he took Lahore in 1524. In 1526, he marched on to Panipat, where he met the large army of Ibrahim Lodi. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Babur’s superior tactics enabled him to comprehensively beat the opposition army of 100,000 men and 100 elephants. Babur encircled Lodi’s army and fired artillery from all sides. Babur’s superior tactics and discipline of his army was a landmark victory in his move into India. He remarked in his journal. Babur was the key figure in establishing the Mughul Empire in India. He was helped by weak and divided Hindu forces, but his conquest changed India forever, leading to a growth of Muslim inhabitants amongst a largely Hindu population. The early years of the Moghul empire were marked by vicious violence. Babur often wrote how he felt he was doing God’s work in defeating the ‘pagan’ Hindu The Sikh prophet Guru Nanak records seeing the great violence of the Moghul Emperors.

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