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Land of the PROUD Tarkanri and Utman Khel Tribes.
Bajaur is one of the Seven Agencies of FATA, Pakistan; smallest area-wise but largest population-wise. Its terrain is a diverse mix of hills, valleys, torrents, mountain passes and fertile plains. It borders Mohmand Agency, Dir, Malakand Agency and Afghanistan's Kunar province. Khar is the chief town where Civil Colony, FC HQ, AHQ Hospital, Colleges etc are located. Nawagai, Pashat, Inayat Qilla & Qazafi are other major towns.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mughal Ruler Zaheeruddin Babur in Bajaur

Mughal Ruler Zaheeruddin BABUR in BAJAUR 
(Excerpts from BABURNAMA translated by Annette Susannah Beveridge) 
Babur arrives at the fort of Bajaur (Khar) 
{4 Jan 1519} Marching at dawn from that camp with the intention of attacking the fort of Bajaur (actually Khar), we dismounted near it and sent a trusty man of the Dilazak Afghans to advise its Sultan (Haider Ali Gibari) and people to take up a position of service (qulluq) and surrender the fort. Not accepting this counsel, that stupid and ill-fated band sent back a wild answer, where-upon the army was ordered to make ready mantelets, ladders and other appliances for taking a fort. For this purpose a day's (5th Jan) halt was made on that same ground. 
{6 Jan 1519} On Thursday the 4th of Muharram, orders were given that the army should put on mail, arm and get to horse; that the left wing should move swiftly to the upper side of the fort, cross the water at the water-entry and dismount on the north side of the fort; that the centre, not taking the way across the water, should dismount in the rough, up-and-down land to the north-west of the fort; and that the right should dismount to the west of the lower gate. While the begs of the left under Dost Beg were dismounting, after crossing the water, a hundred to a hundred and fifty men on foot came out of the fort, shooting arrows.
The begs, shooting in their turn, advanced till they had forced those men back to the foot of the ramparts, Mulla 'Abdu'l-maluk of Khwast, like a madman, going up right under them on his horse. There and then the fort would have been taken if the ladders and mantelets had been ready, and if it had not been so late in the day. Mulla Tirik-i-Ali and a servant of Tingri-birdi crossed swords with the enemy; each overcame his man, cut off and brought in his head; for this each was promised a reward.
As the Bajauris had never before seen matchlocks (tufang) they at first took no care about them, indeed they made fun when they heard the report and answered it by unseemly gestures. On that day Ustad 'Ali-quli shot at and brought down five men with his matchlock; Wali the Treasurer, for his part, brought down two; other matchlockmen were also very active in firing and did well, shooting through shield, through cuirass, through kusaru and bringing down one man after another. Perhaps 7, 8, or 10 Bajauris had fallen to the matchlock-fire (sarb) before night. After that it so became that not a head could be put out because of the fire. The order was given, "It is night; let the army retire, and at dawn, if the appliances are ready, let them swarm up into the fort."

Babur takes the fort of Bajaur (Khar)

{7 Jan 1519}  At the first dawn of light (fars waqi) on Friday the 5th of Muharram, orders were given that, when the battle-nagarets had sounded, the army should advance, each man from his place to his appointed post (yirlik yirdin) and should swarm up. The left and centre advanced from their ground with mantelets in place all along their lines, fixed their ladders, and swarmed up them. The whole left hand of the centre, under
Khalifa, Shah Hasan Arghun and Yusuf's Ahmad, was ordered to reinforce the left wing. Dost Beg's men went forward to the foot of the north-eastern tower of the fort, and busied themselves in undermining and bringing it down. Ustad Ali-quli was there also; he shot very well on that day with his matchlock, and he twice fired off the firangi (cannon). Wali the Treasurer also brought down a man with his matchlock. Malik 'Ali qutni was first up a ladder of all the men from the left hand of the centre, and there was busy with fight and blow. At the post of the centre, Muh. Ali Jang-jang and his younger brother Nau-roz got up, each by a different ladder, and made lance and sword to touch. Baba the waiting man (yasawal), getting up by another ladder, occupied himself in breaking down the fort-wall with his axe. Most of our braves went well forward, shooting off dense  flights of arrows and not letting the enemy put out a head; others made themselves desperately busy in breaching and pulling down the fort, caring naught for the enemy's fight and blow, giving no eye to his arrows and stones. By breakfast-time Dost Beg's men had undermined and breached the north-eastern tower, got in and put the foe to flight. The men of the centre got in up the ladders by the same time, but those (aul) others
were first (awwal) in. By the favour and pleasure of the High God, this strong and mighty fort was taken in two or three astronomical hours! Matching the fort were the utter struggle and effort of our braves; distinguish themselves they did, and won the name and fame of heroes.

Massacre of Bajauris by Babur’s Army

{7 Jan 1519}  As the Bajauris were rebels and at enmity with the people of Islam, and as, by reason of the heathenish and hostile customs prevailing in their midst, the very name of Islam was rooted out from their tribe, they were put to general massacre and their wives and children were made captive. At a guess more than 3000 men went to their death ; as the fight did not reach to the eastern side of the fort, a few got away there.
The fort taken, we entered and inspected it. On the walls, in houses, streets and alleys, the dead lay, in what numbers! Comers and goers to and fro were passing over the bodies.
Returning from our inspection, we sat down in the Bajaur sultan's residence. The country of Bajaur we bestowed on Khwaja Kalan assigning a large number of braves to reinforce him. At the Evening Prayer we went back to camp.

Babur’s Movements in Bajaur

{8 Jan 1519}  Marching at dawn (Muharram 6th), we dismounted by the spring of Baba-Qara in the dale of Bajaur. At Khwaja Kalan's request the prisoners remaining were pardoned their offences, reunited to their wives and children, and given leave to go, but several sultans and of the most stubborn were made to reach their doom of death. Some heads of sultans and of others were sent to Kabul with the news of success; some also to Badakhshan, Qunduz and Balkh with the letters-of-victory.
Shah Mansur Yusufzai, — he was with us as an envoy from his tribe — was an eye-witness of the victory and general massacre. We allowed him to leave after putting a coat (tun) on him and after writing orders with threats to the Yusufzai.

{11 Jan 1519}  With mind easy about the important affairs of the Bajaur fort, we marched, on Tuesday the 9th of Muharram, one kuroh (2 miles) down the dale of Bajaur and ordered that a tower of heads should be set up on the rising-ground.

{12 Jan 1519}  On Wednesday the loth of Muharram, we rode out to visit the Bajaur fort. There was a wine-party in Khwaja Kalan's house several goat-skins of wine having been brought down by Kafirs neighbouring on Bajaur. All wine and fruit in Bajaur comes from adjacent parts of Kafiristan.

{13 Jan 1519}  We spent the night there and after inspecting the towers and ramparts of the fort early in the morning, I mounted and went back to camp.

{14 Jan 1519}  Marching at dawn, we dismounted on the bank of the Khwaja Khizr torrent.

{15 Jan 1519}  Marching thence, we dismounted on the bank of the Chandawal torrent. Here all those inscribed in the Bajaur reinforcement, were ordered to leave.

{16 Jan 1519}  On Sunday the 14th of Muharram, a standard was bestowed on Khwaja Kalan and leave given him for Bajaur.
A few days after I had let him go, the following little verse having come into my head, it was written down and sent to him : —

Not such the pact and bargain betwixt my friend and me,
At length the tooth of parting, unpacted grief for me!
Against caprice of Fortune, what weapons (chara) arm the man?
At length by force of arms (ba jaur) my friend is snatched from me!

{19 Jan 1519}  On Wednesday the 17th of Muharram, Sl. 'Alaud-din of Sawad (Swat), the rival {mu'ariz) of Sl. Wais of Sawad came and waited on me.

{20 Jan 1519}  On Thursday the 18th of the month, we hunted the hill between Bajaur and Chandawal. There the bughu-ifiardl have become quite black, except for the tail which is of another colour; lower down, in Hindustan, they seem to become black all over. Today a sdriq-qush was taken; that was black all over, its very eyes being black! Today an eagle (burkut) took a deer (kiyik). Corn being somewhat scarce in the army, we went into the Kahraj valley, and took some.

{21 Jan 1519}  On Friday (Muh. 19th) we marched for Sawad, with the intention of attacking the Yusuf-zal Afghans, and dismounted in between the water of Panjkura and the united waters of Chandawal and Bajaur. Shah Mansur Yusufzai had brought a few well-flavoured and quite intoxicating confections (kamali); making one of them into three, I ate one portion, Gadal Taghal another, 'Abdu1lah the librarian another. It produced remarkable intoxication; so much so that at the Evening Prayer when the begs gathered for counsel, I was not able to go out. A strange thing it was! If in these days, I ate the whole of such a confection, I doubt if it would produce half as much intoxication.

An impost laid on Kahraj

{22 Jan 1519}  Marching from that ground, (Muh. 20th), we dismounted over against Kahraj, at the mouth of the valleys of Kahraj and Peshgram. Snow fell ankle-deep while we were on that ground ; it would seem to be rare for snow to fall there-abouts, for people were much surprised. In agreement with Sl. Wais of Sawad there was laid on the Kahraj people an impost of 4000 ass-loads of rice for the use of the army, and he
himself was sent to collect it. Never before had those rude mountaineers borne such a burden ; they could not give (all) the grain and were brought to ruin.

Babur’s Marriage with Afghan (Yousufzai) Wife, Bibi Mubaraka

In order to conciliate the Yusufzai horde, I had asked for a daughter of one of my well-wishers, Malik Sulaiman Shah's son Malik Shah Mansur, at the time he came to me as envoy from the Yusufzai Afghans.
While we were on this ground news came that his daughter was on her way with the Yusuf-zai tribute. At the Evening Prayer there was a wine-party to which Sl. Alaud-din (of Sawad) was invited and at which he was given a seat and special dress of honour {khilcat-i-khasa).

{30 Jan 1519} On Sunday the 28th, we marched from that valley. Shah Mansur's younger brother Taus (Handsome) Khan brought the above-mentioned daughter of his brother to our ground after we had dismounted.

Repopulation of the Fort of Bajaur

For the convenience of having the Bi-sut 1 people in Bajaur fort Yusuf’i-Ali the taster was sent from this camp to get them on the march and take them to that fort. Also, written orders were despatched to Kabul that the army there left should join us.

{4 Feb 1519} On Friday the 3rd of the month of Safar, we dismounted at the confluence of the waters of Bajaur and Panjkura.

{6 Feb 1519} On Sunday the 5th of the month of Safar, we went from that ground to Bajaur where there was a drinking-party in Khwaja Kalan's house.

{9 Feb 1519} Next day, Wednesday, we bestowed horses and robes on Sl. Wais and Sl. 'Alaud-din of Sawad, gave them leave to go, marched off ourselves and dismounted over against Bajaur.

{10 Feb 1519} We marched next day, leaving Shah Mansur's daughter in Bajaur-fort until the return of the army. We dismounted after passing Khwaja Khizr, and from that camp leave was given to Khwaja Kalan ; and the heavy baggage, the worn-out horses and superfluous effects of the army were started off into Lamghan by the Kunar road.

{11 Feb 1519} Next morning Khwaja Mir-i-Miran was put in charge of the camel baggage-train and started off by the Qurgha-tu and Darwaza road, through the Qara-kupa-pass. Riding light for the raid, we ourselves crossed the Arnbahar-pass, and yet another great pass, and dismounted at Pani-mali nearer the Afternoon Prayer. Aughan-birdi was sent forward with a few others to learn how things were.

1 Bi-sut aili-ning Bajaur-qurghani-da manasabati-bdr jihati; a characteristic phrase.


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1 comment:

  1. for more information on mughal history...check following link.