Zakhiriddin Mohammad Babur was an outstanding writer, poet, and scholar, a talented military leader and statesman. He was born in 1483 in Andijan. He was the son of Omar Sheikh, ruler of the Ferghana principality, and descendent of Amir Temur. His mother, Mikhr Nigar, was the princess from Mogolistan. Being involved in internecine strife of numerous rulers who aspired after the power in his ancestral territories – Mouverannahr – Babur lost his throne in Ferghana. The attacks of Sheibani khan drove him out of his country and together with a scanty team of nukers (body-guards) and few Mongol warriors he settled down in Kabul – the ancestral land of the Temurids. Having defeated Indian rulers in several battles, Babur consolidated vast territories in India and Afghanistan and founded a big centralized state known in European history as the Empire of the Great Mughals. The Baburids ruled India for more than three centuries until India fell under the dominion of Great Britain.
The remaining years of his life Babur spent in his capital in India – Agra where he died on December 25th, 1530. Several years later, in accordance with his wishes, his remains were buried in Kabul.
Babur was one of the most learned people of his time and left a rich literary heritage. He is the author of two divanis –collections of gazel lyric poems. Besides he wrote about 200 rubayee (lyrical quatrain) and other poetic works of oriental genres both in Persian and in Turkic. His most ardent lyrics are about his forced separation from native land – the Ferghana Valley:
I`ve got no homeland, no happiness any more.
And in my heart there’s nothing left but grief.
This land I`ve come to of my own accord.
My will is weak, I dare not to leave.
What made him a celebrity and immortalized his name is his famous prose work Baburnama written in Turkic. This is the vivid description of his life, military and political events he personally took part in. In this book, with striking frankness he writes about his victories and defeats in battles and military campaigns, his hopes and failures, about his attempts to overcome difficulties. This makes Baburnama a unique literary work and invaluable document of that epoch.
A substantial part of Baburnama is dedicated to description of Babur’s homeland – Andijan:
“Ferghana has seven separate townships, five on the south and two on the north of the Saihun (Syr Darya).One of those on the south is Andijan, which has a central position and is the capital of the Ferghana country.
After Samarkand and Kesh, the fort of Andijan is the largest in Movarounnahr. It has three gates. The southern gate is called Khakan, whereas the northern gate is called Mirza. Andijan ark (citadel) is on its south side…
To the southeast of the walled town lies a symmetrical mountain, known as the Bara-Koh. On the top of this, Sultan Makhmud Khan built a retreat and lower down on its shoulder, in 902 AH (1496), I built another with porch. Though his lies the higher, mine is the better placed, the whole of the town and the suburbs being at its foot”.
People of Andijan piously revere the memory of their great compatriot. In the central square of the city they erected an equestrian statue to Babur. Andijan University, city library and one of the avenues were named after him. In south-eastern part of Andijan, on Baghishamal hill, where according to Babur himself there once stood his hijra with avian, a park named after Babur, was laid out. This park accommodates a magnificent architectural complex and a garden full of plants brought from various parts of the world, more than 50 sorts of fruit and decorative trees line the alleys of the park.
Arched entrance, decorated with paintings in traditional oriental style, leads to the territory of the architectural memorial complex. In the centre there stands a symbolic burial-vault of Babur with entombed ground brought from Babur’s graves in Agra and Kabul. The complex comprises the monument to Babur and a theme museum “Babur and world’s culture”, which displays many rare exhibits telling about rich historical legacy of the Baburid dynasty. A chairlift can ride a visitor to the top of the hill from which an unforgettable panorama of Babur’s native city opens up. National park with memorial complex attracts the enthusiasts of oriental literature and admirers of Babur’s great talents who wrote “Wise people understand fame as the second life to live”.