The foundation of the empire was laid in 1526 by ahir al-Din Mu?ammad Babur, a Chagatai Turk (so called because his ancestral homeland, the country north of the Amu Darya [Oxus River] in Central Asia, was the heritage of Chagatai, the second son of Genghis Khan). Babur was a fifth-generation descendant of Timur on the side of his father and a 14th-generation descendant of Genghis Khan. His idea of conquering India was inspired, to begin with, by the story of the exploits of Timur, who had invaded the subcontinent in 1398.
Babur inherited his father’s principality in Fergana at a young age, in 1494. Soon he was literally a fugitive, in the midst of both an internecine fight among the Timurids and a struggle between them and the rising Uzbeks over the erstwhile Timurid empire in the region. In 1504 he conquered Kabul and Ghazni. In 1511 he recaptured Samarkand, only to realize that, with the formidable ?afavid dynasty in Iran and the Uzbeks in Central Asia, he should rather turn to the southeast toward India to have an empire of his own. As a Timurid, Babur had an eye on the Punjab, part of which had been Timur’s possession. He made several excursions in the tribal habitats there. Between 1519 and 1524—when he invaded Bhera, Sialkot, and Lahore—he showed his definite intention to conquer Hindustan, where the political scene favoured his adventure.
Conquest Of Hindustan
Having secured the Punjab, Babur advanced toward Delhi, garnering support from many Delhi nobles. He routed two advance parties of Ibrahim Lodi’s troops and met the sultan’s main army at Panipat. The Afghans fought bravely, but they had never faced new artillery, and their frontal attack was no answer to Babur’s superior arrangement of the battle line. Babur’s knowledge of western and Central Asian war tactics and his brilliant leadership proved decisive in his victory. By April 1526 he was in control of Delhi and Agra and held the keys to conquer...