|Biographical detail : ||The founder of the Mughal Empire in India.
Babar succeeded his father, as the ruler of Farghana, in 1494, but had to leave his country and seek refuge in Kabul, the place he conquered together with Qandhar and Badakhshan in 1504.
Born far to the north of modern Afghanistan, Babar went to Kabul only because he had failed in Central Asia. It was Samarkand he dreamed of capturing. Yet when the demands of building an empire drove him south, he yearned to return to Kabul. He reigned there for 22 years, before he advanced towards the East. In the battle of Panipat he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, in 1526, and founded the Mughal dynasty in India. Not only did he create a dynasty whose empire stretched from Afghanistan to southern India he also gave the world with some of its greatest cultural riches.
In his book, Tuzk-e-Babri in Turkish language, translated by Abdur Rahim Khan Khanan in Persian, during the reign of his grandson Akbar, Babar wrote about his life.
Always longing for Farghana, the small kingdom in present-day Uzbekistan that he lost when he was 13, Babar tried to recreate its beauty wherever he went, building gardens in different parts of his growing empire, and introducing new plants and fruits to the regions he conquered. Babar’s gardens were more natural pieces of land reclaimed from the wilderness and transformed with some ordered plots, flowers, fruit trees, and watered by streams. His attention to detail in the creation of his gardens is recorded in his memoirs, the Babarnama. “It is necessary to make geometrical grass plots and plant some flowers with nice colours and scents around the edges of the grass.” He developed a lifelong passion for gardening.
In his autobiography, Babarnama (or Baburnama) Babar recounts the barbarity and hardship of a princeling’s life in a chaotic world; but it is also full of delight and humanity. Sometimes self-aggrandising, sometimes self-critical, Babar emerges from his autobiography as a real person, in a way no other great leader, perhaps, does. And because the author is so open, and the style so clear, the book offers an intimate view of a world the reader would otherwise struggle to imagine. Annette Beveridge first translated the autobiography in English in 1922. The popularity of Babarnama deserved by a recent translation by Stephen Dale, entitled “The Garden of the Eight Paradises”.
Born Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar, from his father side he was related to Tamerlane (Taimur) and from his mother side to Chingez Khan.
After his death Babar was first buried in Agra until, at the urging of his Afghan wife Bibi Mubarika, Humayun brought the remains to his garden in Kabul, fulfilling Babar’s wishes. Emperor Babar’s final resting place is in Kabul’s Bagh-e-Babar, which is spread over 11 hectares.
The tomb blasted and pock marked during the civil war of the 1990s has been lovingly restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Some visitors come because it is now Kabul’s most tranquil public space; some because Babur is emerging as an unlikely national hero. People pray at the foot of his low, simple grave. One enthusiast sacrifices a buffalo to him every year, and distribute the meat to the gardeners who tend the place.