In 1526, Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat, the first decisive event in the making of the Mughal Empire.

Babur was from Fergana, a region whose clothing had Persian, Turkish and Central Asian influences including long robes called chaftan/kaftan, overcoats made of sheepskin and turbans worn in the Timurid style as seen on Babur in Pic 1. His first impressions of India include his astonishment at the minimal amount of clothing worn by the natives. Eventually the hot climate of India resulted in a Mughal style that can be seen on Shah Jahan in Pic 2 - a ”jama” with a lapped front often made of light, diaphanous materials, chudidar/ trouser and turban derived from the pagri, a Rajput design. This became a universal Northern Indian style that persists till the present day in contemporary wedding ensembles for men

Unusually for a king, Babur wrote an engaging and frank memoir which can be read online in English here. And a review of a recent English translation can be found here


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