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Timur World History

Last updated date: 01st Mar 2024
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About Timur

Timur bin Taraghay Barlas (Chagatai Turkic: Temor, "iron") was a 14th-century Turco-Mongol warrior who conquered most of Western and Central Asia and founded the Timurid Empire (1370–1405) in Central Asia, as well as the Timurid dynasty, which lasted until 1857 in some form. He was also known as Timur-e Lang, which translates to Timur the Lame, due to a leg injury he sustained as a youngster. 

He reigned over a vast empire that included modern-day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran, as well as parts of Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and India, all the way to Kashgar in China. While Central Asia flourished, even peaked, under Timur's rule, other towns such as Baghdad, Damascus, Delhi, and other Arab, Persian, Indian, and Turkic cities were looted and destroyed, with tens of thousands of people killed.

As a result, while Timur is revered in Central Asia, he is revealed in Arab, Persian, and Indian civilizations. Nonetheless, many Western Asians continue to name their children after him, and Persian literature refers to him as "Teymour, World Conqueror." 

He adopted the name Timur Gurkani after marrying into the family of Mongol ruler Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Gurkan is the Persianized version of the Mongolian term Kurugan, which means "son-in-law." Temur, Taimur, Timur Lenk, Timur-i Leng, Temur-e Lang, Amir Timur, Aqsaq Timur, and the Latinized Tamerlane and Tamburlaine are all variations of his name.

Who is Timur the Lame?

Timur was born in central Asia around 1336, some 50 miles south of the modern-day city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. His ancestors were the Mongols and he was Turkic. Today, Western academics refer to Timur as Tamerlane, a moniker derived from the words "Timur the Lame." Timur was born with two missing fingers on his right hand and was largely paralysed from an early age. He had a limp as he walked. Timur's father was Taraqai, a minor chieftain of the Barlas tribe. Timur thought of himself as a devoted Muslim. He and his family were abducted and taken to Samarkand when he was a child by a renegade gang of Mongol invaders. 

Timur's insatiable desire for battle and deft ability to enlist the support of his subjects appears to have been evident from an early age. Timur was extraordinarily brilliant, charming, and unquestionably a military genius, according to scholars today. He was also literate, which was not something that everyone had at the time. 

Timur was a multilingual man who could read, write and speak a variety of languages. He formed a small gang of warriors when he was young, and they raided the countryside, taking sheep, livestock, and treasure. Timur rashed everyone who couldn't stop him. Timur's injuries, according to historians, were caused by stray arrows while attempting to take sheep from nomadic shepherds.

A Rise to Power

Timur gained experience and became a more adept commander as a military leader of Turkic forces in Chagatai, where he trained with the army of the khans. He was eventually put in charge of an army of 1,000 horsemen and led an invasion of Khorasan, which he eventually subdued. 

Timur was promoted to head of the clan previously governed by his father, Barlas, as a result of his military prowess. Even though he was still working under the Chagatai khans, Timur's growing military dominance allowed him to rule from a position of general, thus making the Chagatai khans his puppets.

Timur and his brother-in-law Husayn formed a bitter feud during this period. They reigned jointly for a while, even though they were both powerful and disliked sharing authority. Timur finally deposed Husayn and became khan of all Chagatai. Timur was ready to begin pursuing his dream of world conquest from a position of absolute power, both militarily and politically. This meant acquiring complete authority over the Mongol Empire as well as all of Central Asia's Muslim-controlled countries.

10 Interesting Facts about Timur the Lame

  • Timur (meaning "iron") was born in 1336 in the Transoxiana city of Kesh. In modern-day Uzbekistan, this old Persian city is known as Shahrisabz.

  • Timur's Persian moniker, Timur-e Lang, which means "Timur the Lame," became Tamerlane in Europe.

  • The lines "When I emerge from the dead, the world shall shake" were supposedly carved on Timur's grave.

  • He was tall (1.73 m) and had a wide chest, according to the excavation. His cheekbones were pronounced, and he had Mongoloid features (see reconstruction).

  • Tamerlane aimed to reconstruct Genghis Khan's kingdom, which had been destroyed a century before.

  • His troops are thought to have murdered 17 million people, or roughly 5% of the world's population at the time.

  • He was known as the 'Sword of Islam,' as he converted most of his empire to Islam. The Borjigin clan, descendants of Genghis Khan, were among them.

  • Tamerlane was born to command. He spent his adolescent years as the leader of a gang of minor criminals. Farmers' cattle were stolen, as were goods from tourists and merchants.

  • Timur and his brother-in-law, Amir Husayn, saw an opportunity when Tughlugh Khan died and left Transoxiana to his son Ilyas. They conquered the territory by force.

  • Tamerlane ruled over the Chagatai chieftains in the northeast, and by marrying Saray Mulk Khanum, a Chagatai princess and a descendant of Genghis Khan, he finally claimed Mongol dominion.

Military Leader

Timur rose to prominence as a military leader in 1360. In Transoxania battles, he fought with the ruler of Chagatai, a descendant of Genghis Khan. The Memoirs provide a concise summary of his career over the following 10 or eleven years. He was to attack Khorasan with a thousand horsemen, allying himself both in cause and by familial connection with Kurgan, the dethroner and destruction of Volga Bulgaria. 

This was his second military expedition, and its success prompted other operations, including the conquest of Khwarizm and Urganj. The invasion of Tughluk Timur of Kashgar, another descendant of Genghis Khan, put an end to the conflicts that developed among the various contenders to sovereign power after Kurgan's assassination. Timur was sent on a mission to the invaders' camp, which resulted in his nomination as the leader of his tribe, the Barlas, in lieu of Hajji Beg, the prior chief.

The demands of Timur's quasi-sovereign status forced him to turn to his powerful benefactor, whose presence on the banks of the Syr Darya caused widespread concern. The Barlas, along with the remainder of Mawarannahr, were captured from Timur and given to a son of Tughluq; nevertheless, he was destroyed in combat by the courageous warrior he had replaced at the head of a numerically considerably smaller force.


Timur was a Turco-Mongol warrior who conquered most of Western and Central Asia in the 14th century. He was the ruler of a large empire that comprised what is now Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran. In Central Asia, Timur is venerated, while in Arab, Persian, and Indian cultures, he is loathed. 

Timur was born in 1336, some 50 miles south of Samarkand, today's capital. He was born with two missing fingers on his right hand and was partially paralysed. Timur was a smart, charismatic, and undeniably brilliant military genius. While attempting to steal lambs from nomadic herders, Timur was injured by stray arrows.

FAQs on Timur World History

1. When did Timur invasion India?

Timur invaded India during the reign of the year 1398 in the guise of the Muslim sultans of Delhi being overly tolerant of their Hindu people. On September 24, he marched across the Indus River, leaving a path of devastation in his wake.

2. Who was the first king of the Delhi Sultanate?

The Qutb Minar was begun in the year 1192 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the governor of Delhi and, later, the first sultan of the Delhi Sultanate (ruled from 1206–1210 CE). It was finished after his death by his successor Iltutmish.

3. How did Timur come to India?

Timur's journey began at Samarkand. On September 30, 1398, he crossed the Indus River and conquered the north Indian subcontinent (modern-day Pakistan and North India). The Jats were against him, but the Delhi Sultanate did little to stop him. By October 1398, Timurid armies had sacked Tulamba and subsequently Multan.