[132 ] CHAPTER X. The Mughal Dynasty, 1526-1761. Babar, 1482-1530. — When, therefore, Babar the Mughal invaded India in 1526, he found it divided among a number of local Muhammadan kings and Hindu princes. An Afghan Sultan of the house of Lodi, with his capital at Agra, ruled over what little was left of the historical kingdom of Delhi. Babar, literally ' the Lion,' born in 1482, was the sixth in descent from Timur the Tartar. At the early age of twelve, he succeeded his father in the petty kingdom of Ferghana on the Jaxartes (1494) ; and, after romantic adventures, conquered Samarkand, the capital of Tamerlane's line, in 1497. Overpowered by a rebellion, and driven out of the valley of the Oxus, Babar seized the kingdom of Kabul in 1504. During twenty-two years he grew in strength on the Afghan side of the Indian passes, till in 1526 he burst through them into the Punjab, and defeated the Delhi sovereign, Ibrahfm Lodi at Panrpat. This was the first of three great battles which, within modern times, have decided the fate of India on that same plain of Panipat, viz. in 1526, 1556, and 1761. Having entered Delhi, Babar received the allegiance of the Muhammadans, but was speedily attacked by the Rajputs of Chitor. Those clans had brought all Ajmere, Mewar, and Malwi under their rule, and now threatened to found a Hindu empire. In 1527, Babar defeated them at Fatehpur Sfkri, near Agra, after a battle memorable for its perils, and for Babar' s vow in his extremity never again to touch wine. He rapidly extended his power as far as Multan in the Southern Punjab, and Behar in the eastern valley of the Ganges. Babar died at Agra in 1530, leaving an empire which stretched from the river Amu in Central Asia to the borders of the Gangetic delta in Lower Bengal. Humayiin, Emperor, 1530-1556. — His son, Humayun, sue-
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/136
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