Salimansar Excepts from a Book at http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=231323 From Peshawar to Delhi in the Year 1525
BOOK NAME: Invasions of India from Central Asia
Invasions of India from Central Asia
Baber arrived at Peshawur in India, on the 10th of December having taken three weeks to perform a journey of about two hundred miles, but which he had on other occasions performed in six days. Peshawur was at that time called Bekram, and was an outlying province of Kabul. The Turks had built a fort there. Baber was now in Hindustan, �the Gurmsil, or country of warm temperature�. Immediately on reaching it, he writes, �I beheld a new world. The grass was different, the trees different, the wild animals of a different sort, the birds of a different plumage, the manners and customs of the Ils and Uluses (the wandering tribes) of a different kind. I was struck with astonishment, and indeed there was room for wonder�.
�Whilst at Peshawur, Baber and his courtiers hunted the wild rhinoceros. Peshawur was an ancient Hindoo city. Near it was a celebrated place of Hindoo worship, called Gurh-Katri. Baber, with his usual curiosity, visited it, and thus described it: �There are nowhere else in the whole world such narrow and dark hermits� cells as at this place. After entering the doorway and descending one or two stairs, you must lie down, and proceed crawling along stretched at full length. You cannot enter without a light. The quantities of hair, both of head and beard, that are lying scattered about and in the vicinity of the place, are immense�. These excavations are very ancient, and are of Buddhistic origin. The hair lying scattered about was what had been cut off and left by the pilgrims as votive offerings.
Until the Turks should reach the very heart of the Indian Empire at Delhi, they had no very serious opposition to fear. The whole of the Punjab, now a rich agricultural country watered by five great rivers, was then an almost uninhabited waste, except for a few strongly-defenced and walled cities, in which the unwarlike Hindoos could live in some security from their bad neighbours, the highlanders of Kabul. �The Moghuls of Balkh and Kabul every year, used to make raids on the Punjaub, and for this reason this country remained depopulated for a long time, very little agriculture was carried on. Rai Ram Dio Bahti, of Patiyala, rented the whole Punjaub from the Governor of Lahore for nine hundred thousand takas (about to thousand pounds of our money).
�The two strongest fortresses of the Punjaub, Lahore and Sialkote, were already in the hands of the Turks, and had Turkish garrisons. Baber had taken them some years before in one of his numerous inroads into India.
�The king had strengthened his position as much as possible by diplomacy. Many of the discontented nobles of Ibrahim�s court had been gained over. Among these were Allaodeen Lodi, and Dowlet Khan Lodi, kinsmen of Sultan Ibrahim. The Rajpoot chief of Udipore had also promised Baber assistance.
��This day� (Dec 12th), �when we stayed at Peshawur, I sent for several beys and noblemen who were about my person, as well as for the paymasters and Diwans� and having nominated six or seven of them as superintendents, appoint them to attend at the Nilab passage to conduct the embarkation, and to take down the name of the every man in the army, one by one, and to inspect them. That same night I had a defluxion and fever. The defluxion ended in a cough, every time I coughed, I spat blood. �I was considerably alarmed, but praise be to God! It went off in two or three days�.
�We made two marches for Bekram, and after the third, on Thursday the 12th, we encamped on the banks of the river Sind, or Indus. �On Saturday, the first day of the first Kebi (Dec 16th) we passed the Sind, and having also crossed the river Kechkot halted on its banks. The Beys, paymasters, and Diwans, who had been placed to superintend the embarkation, brought me the return of the troops who were on the service; great and small, good and bad, servants and no servants, they amounted to twelve thousand persons�.
�This Turkish force was divided into three commands-one under Baber himself, one under his young son Humayon, and one under his trusted old comrade-in-arms, Khwajeh Kilan. Two of his cousins, one of the race of Tamerlane, Muhammad Sultan Mirza and Chin Timor Sultan, had high commands. Abdul-Aziz was master of the horse. Ustad Ali Kuli, from Khorasan, and Mustafa, the cannoneer, a Turk from Constantinpole, commanded the artillery.
�The king of India at the time was Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi, and Afghan by race from Kohistan. The house of Lodi had been reigning for sixty years-since 1450. Three kings of that name had ruled-Behloh Lodi, Sekander Lodi, and Ibrahim. Ibrahim had inherited his throne from his father and grandfather. �The prince, contrary to the maxims and policy of his father and grandfather, behaved himself with insupportable pride and arrogance to his friends and family. One foolish expression of his was that kings had no relations, but that everybody should be the slaves of royalty. The Omrahs (nobles, plural of Amir), of the tribe of Lodi, who had always been honoured with a seat in the presence, were now constrained to stand before the throne with their hands crossed. They were so much disgusted with this insolence, that they privately became his enemies�. By this haughtiness, and by more substantial injuries, Ibrahim Lodi had alienated his brother Allaodeen, and his kinsman, Dowlet Khan Lodi, who was governor of Lahore. They had been in treasonable negotiation with Baber; but they had broken faith with Baber when he arrived in person in India, as they had done with Ibrahim, their lawful ruler.
�Baber continued his advance on Delhi. On the 30th December, he reached Perserur; on the 31st, Kilanur, a town between the Kavi and the Biah. From thence he went to a valley called �Dun�, and took a castle of Dowlet Khan Lodi, in which he found a valuable library. Ten days were expended on this successful expedition; the traitor, Dowlet Khan Lodi, a very old man, fell into the hands of the Turks, and soon afterwards died. From Dun, they came to the Rupur on the Sutlej, and from thence to Sirhind, a place of great importance. It was a walled town, six miles round, containing a fort, a fine mosque, and fine gardens; on the east side was a large lake. Two marches beyond Sirhind, at Chiter, a small town on the river Kagar, near Thanaser, Baber �had information that Sultan Ibrahim, who lay on this side Delhi, was advancing, and that the Shekdar of Hissar-Firozeh, Hamid Khan Khasl-Khail, had also advance ten or fifteen kos towards us, with the army of Hissar-Firozeh and of the neighbouring districts�.
�On February 25th the Turks reached Umballah. On the 26th Prince Humayon attacked Hamid Khan, the Shekdar of Hissar-Firozeh (Shekdar is a military governor of a district), and took him by surprise. �Our troops,� writes Baber, �brought down one hundred or two hundred of the enemy, cut off the heads of the one half, and brought the other half alive into camp, along with seven or eight elephants. Bey Merak Moghul brought the news of this victory of Humayon to the camp at this station on Friday the 18th of the month. I directed a complete dress of honour, a horse from my own stable, with a reward in money, to be given to him.�
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