History of Tamerlane (Timur the Lame)

Tamerlane, popularly known as Timur the Lame, was a Turko Mongol King and the founder of Timurid Dynasty (Timurid Empire). Mughal Emperor Babur, founder of Mughal Empire in India, belonged to the family of Tamerlane.

Tamerlane was born in 1336 at Transoxiana near Samarkand. His father was Taraghai. They belonged to the Barlas Tribe and were of Mongol origin.

Tamerlane ascended the throne of Samarkand in 1369 A.D. and soon afterwards started on a career of conquest. After over-running Mesopotamia, Persia and Afghanistan, Timur invaded India with a large number of cavalry in 1398. At that time the Delhi Sultanate was on the brink of collapse.

Tamerlane’s army captured the Punjab and Multan with relative ease. He crossed the Indus, the Jhelum and the Ravi river without opposition and reached the gates of Delhi. Sultan Muhammad Shah, then the Sultan of Delhi, offered resistance, was defeated and fled to Gujarat. Timur stayed in Delhi for a fortnight. His soldiers massacred thousands of citizens for three days and collected immense booty. The enormous wealth of the Delhi Sultans was taken away by Timur.

Tamerlane’s invasion once again revealed the danger of a weak government ruling in India. It resulted in the drain of a large amount of wealth, gold, silver, jewellery etc. from India. It also hastened the downfall of the Tughlaq dynasty.

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