Distribution of Gifts by Emperor Babur, Encamped in Begram
Page from a dispersed manuscript of the Baburnama (Book of Babur)
Artist/maker unknown, Pakistani
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Babur, the first Mughal emperor (ruled 1526-30), was a Muslim born in modern Uzbekistan (central Asia) and a descendent of the Turkish conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) and the famous Mongol leader Genghis Khan. The Baburnama is a diary-like chronicle of Babur's life, including his invasion of northern India and the founding of the Mughal dynasty. This page was part of a manuscript of the Baburnama translated from Chugtai Turkish into Persian; it was the earliest of five manuscripts illustrated for Babur's grandson, the Emperor Akbar. The early Mughal emperors were fascinated with preserving, in words and images, the details not only of their own reigns and their daily lives at court or in battle, but also the lives and deeds of their ancestors.