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Babur (Persian: بابر, romanized: Bābur, lit. 'tiger'; Persian pronunciation: [bɑːbʊr]; 14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530), born Mīrzā Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad, was the founder of the Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent. He was a descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan through his father and mother respectively.[3][4][5] He was also given the posthumous name of Firdaws Makani ('Dwelling in Paradise').[6]

Of Chagatai Turkic origin[7] and born in Andijan in the Fergana Valley (in present-day Uzbekistan), Babur was the eldest son of Umar Sheikh Mirza (1456–1494, governor of Fergana from 1469 to 1494) and a great-great-great grandson of Timur (1336–1405). Babur ascended the throne of Fergana in its capital Akhsikent in 1494 at the age of twelve and faced rebellion. He conquered Samarkand two years later, only to lose Fergana soon after. In his attempt to reconquer Fergana, he lost control of Samarkand. In 1501, his attempt to recapture both the regions failed when Muhammad Shaybani Khan defeated him. In 1504 he conquered Kabul, which was under the putative rule of Abdur Razaq Mirza, the infant heir of Ulugh Beg II. Babur formed a partnership with the Safavid ruler Ismail I and reconquered parts of Turkistan, including Samarkand, only to again lose it and the other newly conquered lands to the Sheybanids.

After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur turned his attention to India and employed aid from the neighbouring Safavid and Ottoman empires.[8] He defeated Ibrahim Lodi, Sultan of Delhi, at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 CE and founded the Mughal Empire. At the time, the sultanate at Delhi was a spent force that was long crumbling. The Mewar kingdom, under the able rule of Rana Sanga, had turned into one of the strongest powers of northern India.[9] Sanga unified several Rajput clans for the first time after Prithviraj Chauhan and advanced on Babur with a grand coalition of 100,000 Rajputs. However, Sanga suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Khanwa due to Babur's skillful positioning of troops and modern tactics and firepower. The Battle of Khanua was one of the most decisive battles in Indian history, more so than the First Battle of Panipat, as the defeat of Rana Sanga was a watershed event in the Mughal conquest of northern India.[10][11][12]

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