Sunday, April 12, 2020

Babur of Andijan, Making of a Padshah-2

Babur of Andijan, Making of a Padshah-2

Following the victory over Delhi by his great great grand father Timurbek in 14th century, Babur after establishing in Kabul, launched invasion over north-western India. Ever since he came into Kabul, it has been in his mind to move on Hindustan. He pictured countries held by the Turk as his own and was resolved to get them in his hands whether peacefully or by force.

There were four roads lead into Kabul from Hindustan side: one by Khyber mountains, another by way of Bangash, another by way of Naghr and another through Farmul. Hindu Kush could only be crossed during autumn when the snow is less and the water are low. Indus could be crossed by ferry.

He made five expeditions to Hindustan.

When Sun being in Aquarius, he rode out of Kabul for his first expedition to Hindustan in February 1505 took a Pekhi Malek Abu Saeed Kamari as a guide from Garam Chesmeh and crossed Khyber and Jan in March 1505. Jan (Gorkhatri) was a holy place of Jogis and Hindu who come from long distances to shave their heads and beards there. From Jamrud he wanted to cross Indus but Baqi Cheghanisni advised him to proceed through Kohat. He plundered Kohat which was under Gagiani Afghans and then moved towards Bangash. He went through the route of Bigram, Kohat, Hangu, Bangash, Til, and reached Bamu. He plunde the Afghans and was marching forward with the help of the guides, but when his brother Jahangir Mirza informed him about a conspiracy of Baqi Cheghaniani might be with his confidant Beks to leave him, Babur decided to return and after crossing Deh Yakub and Kamari rivers by boat reached Kabul in May 1505.

His second expedition started in September 1507 but he returned to Kabul by mid winter as Shadiq Khan retired from Qandhar. When Sun bring in Pieces, on 6th March 1506, Humayun was born in Kabul. He remained busy in Kabul (1508-1519) settling conflicts of Shia-Sunni. He conquered Samarkand and Bukhara in 1511 but was defeated by Ubaid as he moved out of the town without preparation.

In his third expedition in March 1519, Babur crossed Indus for the first time. He received news of birth of baby boy from Kabul. He named him Hind-al, taking of Hind. He sent Mulla Murshid with peace proposal to Ibrahim Lodi, and returned to Kabul thinking that if they were to go into Hindustan, it should be on a proper basis. He saw rhinoceros first time in Swati side of Kashmir and Hindukush mountains. Swat-Swati (white) river might be named after Goddess Saraswati. In Sanskrit and Kashmiri script of Kashmir, Sharada is another name of Goddess Saraswati. Swat therefore, might be the river Saraswati we are searching for. The area near Hindukush mountain was known as Kafiristan and was famous for grapes (shahibi) wine. Males preferred wine to water, tying leather bags around their necks and were drinking wine sip by sip from. Was it a Som Rasa made of grapes (somvallari creeper), described in Vedas? One may study the routes of Vedic India in the valleys of Kashmir to Hindukush mountains.

Tatar Khan, the father of Daulat Khan, was one of the six Sardars who, sallying out and becoming dominant in Hindustan, made Bahlul Lodi Padshah. He held the country north of Satluj and Sirhind, the revenue exceeded 3 crores. On Tatar Khan’s death, Sikandar Lodi as over lord, took those countries from Tatar Khan’s sons and gave Lahore only to Daulat Khan. Under Ibrahim’s rule, Ibrahim was annoyed with disobedience. When Ibrahim summoned Daulat Khan, he sent his son Dilawar Khan who received bad reception and scolding for their disobedience. He escaped and reported the matter to his father and both opted for the alliance with Babur. Accordingly, Dilawar Khan went to Kabul with his father’s message of help. Babur asked, why he, whose family had so long eaten the salt of Lodi, had so suddenly deserted them for himself. Dilawar answered that his family through 40 years had upheld the Lodi throne, but that Ibrahim maltreated Sikandar’s amirs, had killed 25 of them without cause, some by hanging, some burned alive, and there was no hope of safety in him. Therefore, he had been sent by many Amirs to Babur whom they were ready to obey and for whose coming they were on the anxious watch.

At the dawn of the day following the feast, Babur prayed in the garden for a sign of victory in Hindustan, asking that it should be a gift to himself of mango or betel, fruit of that land. It so happened that Daulat Khan had sent him, as a present, half ripened mangoes preserved in honey. When these were set before him, he accepted them as a sign, and from that time forth, made preparation for a move on Hindustan.

Babur’s Fourth Expedition to Hindustan (1523-1524)

Babur took the route after fording Indus by the sub montane road through Kakar country, crossed Jhelum and Chenab and moved towards Lahore. Daulat Khan had fled for refuse to the colony of Baluchi as army of Ibrahim under Bihar Khan was after him. Babur defeated Bihar Khan with great slaughter, plundered Lahore and burned some of it’s Bazars. After staying for four days in Lahore, he moved to Dibalpur on 22nd January 1524, made a start for Sihrind but while looking at the hostility of Daulat Khan and Dilawar Khan non fulfilment of their engagement, placing danger in the rear of the eastward advance, he returned to Lahore, garrisoned Punjab and Lahore, places his men in Lahore, Dibalpur, Sialkot and Kalanur and returned to Kabul. Alam Khan was made Governor of Dibalpur. It took them four months (March-July 1524) to reach Kabul.

On return of Babur to Kabul, Daulat Khan took Sultanpur. He defeated Alam Khan (uncle of Ibrahim Lodi) in Dibalpur but couldn’t get back Sialkot and Lahore. Ibrahim Lodi sent army to re-conquer Punjab. Alam Khan fled to Kabul and promised Babur that he would take place of Ibrahim in Delhi and Babur would hold Lahore and all west of it with full suzerainty. Babur issued a royal letter for Lahore Begs to assist him and started working on his fifth the last expedition to Hindustan.

Babur’s Fifth expedition to Hindustan (1525-26)

He was 42 years old and became philosophical in his approach to life. He knew that death takes away life, therefore, focused on fame. He wrote, “with fame, even if I die, I am contented. Let fame be mine, since my body is death’s. When we are passed away and gone, God only surviver, unchangeable. Whosoever comes to the feast of life, must, before it is over, drink from the cup of death. He who arrives at the inn of mortality, must one day inevitably take his departure from the house of sorrow, the world. How much better is to it to die with honour than to live with infancy.”

When the Sun was in Sagittarius, he set out on his march to invade Hindustan on 17 December 1525. He crossed the hill of Yek-Kengch collected army and marched. At Barik-ab brothers of Nur joined bringing 20,000 shahrokhis in gold, in ashrefis and tenkis, sent by the Diwan of Lahore, Khwajeh Hussain. Greater part of it was sent to Balkh. At Bagh-e-wafa, Humayun joined him. For the delay, he had written a sharp letter to him and when he arrived spoke to him with considerable severity. Next day, they marched and halted at new garden between Sultanpur and  Khwajeh Rustam. He embarked on raft and ceded down the river and reached Kosh-Gumbez and joined camp. Next day he again embarked on a raft, halted at Kerik Arik, went to Germ Cheshmeh, moved to Yedeh-bir and joined the troops.

While camping, he with his closer group used to write and exchange verses good or bad for amusement. That night he made a unworthy verse and then his heart was stuck within regret. Babur had fever and was coughing up blood. He was cursing his tongue for composing satire, broke his pen and regretted before God for the tyrannised over his soul. He put self control kept himself away from such satirical vituperative and marched forward.

At Bekram, he appointed seven of his men as Superintendent to conduct embarkation at Nilab-Indus, to take down the name of every man in the army one by one and to inspect them. They camped for three days on the bank of river Indus, crosses it at Kech-ket, the Superintendents counted great and small, good and bad, servants and no servants, total 12000 persons. After passing river Behat, he sent two of his confidants to Lahore to enjoin troops with him at Sialkot or Perserur. The march reached the bank of river Chenab, then rode on towards Behlulpur and reached Sialkot on 29 December 1525. They were annoyed with the chief hardships created by Jets and Gujers, pouring down their buffalos and oxen in prodigious numbers from the hills and wilds to the road. He received news of defeat of Alam Khan by Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. Alam Khan, Dilawar Khan (son of Daulat Khan) and Haji Khan with 30-40000 men laid seige to Delhi but Ibrahim’s army made a night-early morning attack, set fire to tents and pavilions, shouting the war cry, dispersed the troops of Alam Khan. Alam Khan ran away.

From Sialkot, Babur moved to Perserur, found Ghazi Khan camp on the banks of Rabi towards Lahore. He sent party to get intelligence, but they ran away. Next day, they reached Kilanur where Ismael Khan, grandson of Daulat Khan joined. Daulat Khan was arrested with the two swords on his neck. Daulat Khan, Dilawar Khan and Ali Khan were made prisoners at Kitteh. Daulat Khan died in prison. They then reached Dun, the beautiful place with finest running water. Babur was eying over the movement of Ghazi Khan but no intelligence was received. He sent a detachment in pursuit of Ghazi Khan, and then placed his foot in the stir up of resolution, and hand on the reins of confidence in God and marched against Sultan Ibrahim.

They came to Rupur, it was extremely cold. They halted at Keril opposite to Sehrind. One Hindustani presented himself as an ambassador from Sultan Ibrahim but was without any royal letter. After two marches, they halted on the banks of the stream of Banur and Janur and received information that Sultan Ibrahim was advancing.

Babur reached Ambala on 25 February 1526. Humayun defeated Hamid Khan on 26 February. On 12 March, he received information that Ibrahim Ludi was advancing slowly by kos or two and halting for 2-3 days at each station. Babur camped at Sirsaweh. His men chased advanced party of Ibrahim and slaughtered them all the way to the limit of Ibrahim’s camp and created terror into the enemy. He then arranged whole army in order of battle and performed Vim. Under the custom of Vim, the whole army being mounted, the commander takes a bow or whips in his hand and guesses at the number of the army, and affirm that the army may be so many. Babur then fortified his force into right-left-centre-front-gun carriage, etc, designed and strategised in 5-6 days and held a general council.

19 October 2019


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