The "Memoirs of Babur" or Baburnama are the work of the great-great-great-grandson of Timur (Tamerlane), Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (1483-1530). The Baburnama tells the tale of the prince's struggle first to assert and defend his claim to the throne of Samarkand and the region of the Fergana Valley. After being driven out of Samarkand in 1501 by the Uzbek Shaibanids, he ultimately sought greener pastures, first in Kabul and then in northern India, where his descendants were the Moghul (Mughal) dynasty ruling in Delhi until 1858.

The miniatures are from an illustrated copy of the Baburnama prepared for the author's grandson, the Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is worth remembering that the miniatures reflect the culture of the court at Delhi; hence, for example, the architecture of Central Asian cities is portrayed as the architecture of Mughal India. Nonetheless, these illustrations are important as evidence of the tradition of exquisite miniature painting which developed at the court of Timur and his successors. Timurid miniatures are among the greatest artistic achievements of the Islamic world in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Illustrations of Mughals from the Baburnama

in manuscript: British Library Or. 3714

Vol.1 f.2v Accession of Babur, 1494. Asset ID: 27176

Vol.1 f.6v Harvesting of the almond crop at Kandi Badam, 1493?. By Bhawani. Asset ID: 32363

Vol.1 f.7r Nine darvishes trying to protect themselves from the whirlwind in the wasteland known as Ha Danish which lay between Badam and Khujand, 1493?. By Thirpal. Asset ID: 25706

Vol.1 f.13v Babur reunited with his sister Khanzada Begum after a ten year separation, 1493. By Farrukh Chela. Asset ID: 27177

Vol.1 f.22v Ahmad Miran Shahi and Mahmud Chaghata'i, uncles of Babur, routing the enemy on a bridge when they invaded Farghana, 1493 or 4. By Murhan. Asset ID: 28926

Vol.1 f.23r Babur's troops defying the enemy at the fort of Qaba, 1494. By Nand Gwaliori. Asset ID: 28930

Vol.1 f.31v Hasan Ya‘qub leaving Samarkand to go hunting, 1494 or 5. Asset ID: 28927

Vol.1 f.35v Babur receiving Baqi Chaghaniani in his encampment on the Oxus river, 1495. By Bhim Gujarati. Asset ID: 27178

Vol.1 f.44r Hamza Sultan visiting Babur at Andijan, 1496. By Sura. Asset ID: 11354

Vol.1 f.52r Babur's army skirmishing with Baisunghur's army at Khan Yurti, near Samarkand, 1496. By Bhawani. Asset ID: 11254

Vol.1 f.54r Babur's army storming Samarkand, 1497. By Paras. Asset ID: 11255

Vol.1 f.59r Babur rides into Samarkand, 1497. Asset ID: 11256

Vol.1 f.70r Babur treated by doctors during a serious illness, 1498. By Nanha. Asset ID: 11257

Vol.1 f.80v Babur receiving ‘Alidust Tagha'i at Fort Marghinan, 1498. By Nanha. Asset ID: 27179

Vol.1 f.83v (foreground). Babur greeting Nasir Beg. (background). Sultan Ahmad Tambal and Jahangir Mirza on their way to Aush, 1498. By Shivdas. Asset ID: 12303

Vol.1 f.84r Jahangir Mirza and Sultan Ahmad Tambal repulsed by the ‘kizil ayak' at Aush, 1498. Asset ID: 28929

Vol.1 f.94v Babur's army attacking Bishkaran, 1500. By Tulsi, coloured by Tiriyya. Asset ID: 11258

Vol.1 f.128v Sultan Mahmud Khan and Babur at the setting up of the standards, 1502. By Tuluk. Asset ID: 25705

Vol.1 f.133r Sultan Mahmud's elder son meeting Babur and sending his son Sultan Sa‘d Khan forward to greet him, 1502. By Sanwlah. Asset ID: 11231

Vol.1 f.137v Babur trying to rally his troops when they were confused by wrong passwords which caused them to retreat. Asset ID: 28928

Vol.2 f.163r Babur pardoning Sharak whom he defeated on the way to Kabul, 1504. By Narsingh. Asset ID: 27170

Vol.2 f.173v The Gardens of Fidelity '(Baghi vafa)' being laid out at Kabul, 1504. By Dhanu. Asset ID: 25699

Vol.2 f.180v Babur watching men altering the course of the stream at Istalif so that it flowed in a straight line, 1504. By Mahesh. Asset ID: 3299

Vol.2 f.181v A platform being constructed by the altered stream, 1504. By Ramdas. Asset ID: 2072

Vol.2 f.190r Babur and the bird catchers of Kabul, 1504. By Shiyam. Asset ID: 27169

Vol.2 f.194v Babur leading the attack on the Hazara camp, 1504-5. By Paras. Asset ID: 28917

Vol.2 f.195r The Hazara defenders leaving their camp to meet Babur and his army, 1504-5. By Baghwan. Asset ID: 28924

Vol.2 f.196v Babur with a guide during his visit to Bigram, 1505. By Jagannath. Asset ID: 25700

Vol.2 f.197r The ascetics being shaved at Gur Kattri, 1505. By Gobind. Asset ID: 25703

Vol.2 f.204v Babur and his army arriving at Bila on the Indus, 1505. By Dhanraj. Asset ID: 28918

Vol.2 f.208v Babur entertained by Jahangir Mirza at Ghazni, 1505. By Bhim Gujarati. Asset ID: 32359

Vol.2 f.252v Babur meeting the Mirzas, 1506. By Shankar. Asset ID: 25701

Vol.2 f.253r Banquet being prepared for Babur and the Mirzas, 1506. By Banwari Kalan. Asset ID: 121296

Vol.2 f.256v Babur visiting the Begums at Herat in Sultan Husain Baiqara Mirza's college at his mausoleum, 1506. By Khizr Chela. Asset ID: 27166

Vol.2 f.257r Babur entertained to a meal at the South College, 1506. By Jamshid Chela. Asset ID: 32362

Vol.2 f.260v A banquet including roast goose given to Babur by the Mirzas, 1507. By Tiriyya. Asset ID: 32360

Vol.2 f.270v Babur's second raid on the Hazaras, 1507. By Banwari Khurd. Asset ID: 28919

Vol.2 f.271r Babur's second raid on the Hazaras, 1507. By Sanwlah, coloured by Thirpal. Asset ID: 28923

Vol.2 f.273v Babur and his troops warming themselves by fires on their way to Kabul, 1507. By Ramdas. Asset ID: 28920

Vol.2 f.274r Arrival of Babur and his army at Kabul, 1507. By Tiriyya. Asset ID: 28922

Vol.2 f.279v Muhammad Husain Mirza brought before Babur and laughing courtiers in the bedroll in which he tried to hide, 1507. By Shankar Gujarati. Asset ID: 25702

Vol.2 f.283v Babur hunting on the plains of Kattavaz, 1507. By Manohar. Asset ID: 27167

Vol.2 f.284r The 'jarga' in which game was brought up in a circle to be hunted, 1507. By ‘Abdullah. Asset ID: 27168

Vol.2 f.285r Shah Mansur and his servants being attacked by the leaderless Uzbeks watched by Shaibaq Khan, 1507. By Mukhlis. Asset ID: 28921

Vol.2 f.295r Celebrations in honour of the birth of Humayun in the Chahar Bagh of Kabul, 1508. By Sur Gujarati. Asset ID: 32361

Vol.3 f.299r Babur having prisoners brought before him after his army had taken the fort of Bajaur, 1519. By Paras. Asset ID: 27175

Vol.3 f.305v People taking a share of the game after Babur had been hunting rhinoceros, 1519. By Dhanraj. Asset ID: 27171

Vol.3 f.306r Nilabis coming out to meet Babur with gifts which included a horse and money, 1519. By Banwari Khurd. Asset ID: 27174

Vol.3 f.314r Babur carrying a torch riding drunk through the camp after a celebration party on a boat, 1519. By ShankarGujarati. Asset ID: 128513

Vol.3 f.320v Babur visiting ascetics at Gur Kattri, 1519. By Kesu Khurd. Asset ID: 27172

Vol.3 f.322r Humayun and Kamran greeting Babur on his arrival at Kabul, 1519. By Bhagwan. Asset ID: 28925

Vol.3 f.333v Babur being towed across a river on a raft, 1519 or 20. By Pak. Asset ID: 25704

Vol.3 f.347v Babur hunting deer between ‘Ali Shang and Alangar near Kabul, 1520. By Paras. Asset ID: 27173

Vol.4 f.351v Babur hunting rhinoceros in the jungle near Bigram, 1525. By Shivdas. Asset ID: 25698

Vol.4 f.352r Babur and his retinue during the rhinoceros hunt, 1525. By Jagannath. Asset ID: 25697

Vol.4 f.368r The battle of Panipat between the armies of Babur and Ibrahim Lodi, 1526. By Deo Gujarati. Asset ID: 28890

Vol.4 f.417v A party held in the pillared porch of Sultan Ibrahim's private apartments in Agra during which gifts were made to various officers, 1526. By Bhura. Asset ID: 27163

Vol.4 f.418r A party held in the pillared porch of Sultan Ibrahim's private apartments in Agra during which gifts were made to various officers, 1526. By Bhura. Asset ID: 25696

Vol.4 f.453r Babur's army in battle against the army of Rana Sanga at Kanvaha (Kanusa) in which bombards and field guns were used, 1527. By Mahesh. Asset ID: 117295

Vol.4 f.459r Babur on rising ground in Kutila Lake visited by villagers in boats, 1527. By Padarath. Asset ID: 24615

Vol.4 f.468v Babur's army attacking the fort of Chanderi, 1528. By Bhawani. Asset ID: 28916

Vol.4 f.478r Babur visiting the Urvah valley in Gwalior where statues had been cut out of the rocks, 1528. By Dhanraj. Asset ID: 12305

Vol.4 f.491v A feast attended by Uzbek, Hindu and Kizilbash envoys who brought gifts and money to Babur, 1528. By Tulsi Kalan. Asset ID: 27164

Vol.4 f.492r Entertainment provided for the envoys in the form of fighting rams and blackbuck, 1528 or 9. By Bhawani. Asset ID: 32136

Vol.4 f.504v Babur crossing the Jumna seated on an ornate dais on a boat accompanied by other boats carrying musicians and horses, 1528 or 9. By Khem. Asset ID: 27165

Vol.4 f.520r Sultan Jalal al Din entertaining Babur at his house, 1529. By Ramdas. Asset ID: 32135

Vol.4 f.522r Babur standing on the edge of the Ganges where he flung himself when his horse lost its footing. Asset ID: 32134

See also Thumbnails for Baburnama manuscript: Walters Art Museum W.596
Back to Mughal Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers in the Baburnama

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