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Manmohan Singh visits Babarís tomb

Kabul, August 28
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Sunday visited the Bagh-e-Babar complex in Kabul which houses the tomb and mosque of the 16th century Mughal ruler, Babar.


Accompanied by his entourage of officials, the Prime Minister paid homage to a larger-than -life monarch who ruled over a considerable part of northern India from 1526 to 1530.

Babar was born in Ferghana in present-day Uzbekistan in 1483. After spending many years in Kabul,he invaded India in 1525-26 and defeated the local ruler Ibrahim Lodhi at the First Battle of Panipat, which is not far from Delhi. He sent his son Humayun Mirza on to Agra to capture the Lodhi capital. Babar, travelling from Panipat to Agra, installed himself in the Lodhi citadel of Agra and declared himself Emperor of Hindustan.

So began 332 years of Moghul imperial rule in India.

In an effort to install some semblance of his favourite city of Kabul, Babar had extensive gardens laid out on the left bank of the Yamuna river. These were named Chahar Bagh, Achank Bagh and Zahara Bagh, bagh being the Persian word for garden.

The classical chahar four-square Persian format for the garden became the prototype of the Moghul garden. In a nostalgic move, Babar founded a new ward named Kabul.

Babar missed the cool climes of Kabul. Yet power and glory over-ruled any nostalgic longings. One of Babar‚Äôs favourite couplets was: ‚ÄúGive me fame, and if I die I am contented, If fame be mine, let Death claim my body‚ÄĚ.

Babar died in Agra in 1530. His remains were returned to his beloved Kabul in 1543. His tomb and the mosque in the complex Bagh-e-Babar can be seen in Kabul. Eyewitnesses even today speak of the simplicity and the state of disrepair of both of these constructions. ‚ÄĒ ANI

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I am the Editor News, at Asian News International (ANI), Indiaís leading Multimedia News Agency and the India Correspondent for Channel News Asia, a Singapore based broadcaster.
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