Baburnama.

More than the autobiography of the first Mughal emperor.

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Image sourced. Book Cover and original painting from the Shahjehan Album – Mughal Period, 1650.

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Memoirs of the first Mughal Emperor.

Remembered by history as a gifted military genius who on the strength of his sword arm defeated armies twice the size of his own and founded an empire that at the height of its power encompassed nearly every inch of the Indian subcontinent with five noted emperors of his bloodline ruling with absolute authority, Babur (or ‘the tiger’ as the name translates in ancient Turki) was one of the most charismatic warrior kings of the medieval world.

Yet behind the legend that was Babur is the story of a simple man, albeit an educated and cultured one, who inspite of being the descendant of two of the greatest military commanders to be born in Central Asia (the fearsome Tamerlane and the universally recognized Genghis Khan), suffered the greatest of set backs, fought overwhelming odds and through exhausting trials of strength and perseverance prevailed in the end.

Baburnama is the work that sheds light on the life of this man. The book is Babur’s own autobiography that takes readers deep into the life of the Emperor, who at the tender age of thirteen was driven into exile from his homeland of Farghana, in present day Afghanistan, acquainted with hardship and heartaches and shaped by adversity and treachery.

Written in Babur’s own native tongue of Chagatai (a now extinct Turkic dialect), translated into Persian and then finally into English from a surviving copy much of which is lost to time, Baburnama, also abounds with rich historical information of the life and times of Babur’s era, customs of the people, descriptions of cities, events and politics.

For generations of historians and scholars the book has severed as a major source of reference in deciphering a world that now lies in the cryptic shroud of the ancient past while for men and women burdened with trials of their own in this modern age, the story of Babur itself has served as an inspiration to prevail ‘come what may’ by the strength of one’s will.

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1 COMMENT

  1. In these ancient paintings Babar, Jahangir etc are Mangoloid (Asian) looking rather than looking like the Pakistani Punjabis and Sindhis, or the Afghanistani Pathans or the Urdu people from India. Yet, these guys now claim Babar and Jahangir to be their own!