Sites such as The Tiny Man: Was Islamic Emperor Babur Gay? Or was Babur impotent?, Collecting Indian ness and Rainbow Rays: Was Babur Gay? claim that Babur the founder of the Mughal dynasty and the first Mughal emperor of India wrote love poems for men.

Ziya Us Salam, an Indian literary and film critic, also concurs:

By his own admission, he was infatuated with Baburi, a teenage boy, on seeing whom Babur composed a couple of couplets. “Nor power to stay was mine, nor strength to part; I became what you made of me, oh thief of my heart.” Indeed Babur pined for the love of Baburi even after he had acquired several wives and sired many children. Source: An emperor with foibles

Did the first Indian Mughal emperor Babur write about his sensual love for a man?

  • 1
    Removed all references to his sexual orientation. Changing the title was not enough to reopen.
    – Sklivvz
    Mar 15, 2017 at 8:33
  • Relevant: quora.com/… Mar 15, 2017 at 8:59

1 Answer 1


The first Mughal emperor did express his feelings, frankly, through poems. And some of them indeed highlight his infatuation with a young man:

... Babur writes of the travails of being a king, of his grief at having lost his family, of his love for Kabul’s garden parties and his infatuation for a 14-year-old boy, Baburi. His memoirs, the Baburnama, is unparalleled in its candidness in the premodern Islamic world ... He also punctuates the political narrative with poetry that reveals his feelings with an unmatched frankness. When he sees Baburi in the Andijan Bazaar (modern-day Uzbekistan), he speaks of being ‘maddened’ and ‘afflicted’ and of walking ‘bare-hood, bare-foot, through street and lane’. Expressing his desperation, he writes:

May no person be as ravaged, lovesick and humiliated as I.
May no beloved be as pitiless and unconcerned as thou.

(Translations by Prof. Stephen F. Dale)

Source: Away from Home, How Babur Versified his Pain of Exile and Homelessness

(Historians thus speculate that Babur was of bi-sexual orientation).

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