All over the world people know of Mongolia because of Genghis khan. With the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Mongolian Empire by Genghis Khan coming up in 2006 interest in this fascinating country has never been higher. Mongolians has been planning a lot of events and activities for this anniversary.
In anticipation of this event, we at Discover Mongolia Travel are offering visitors from other countries a special horse trek through his land. Click here to learn more about this horse trek. (Opens a new window)
WHO IS GENGHIS KHAN?
Regarded by many as the founder of the Mongolian nation, Genghis Khan was a great warrior, military genius and adroit leader. The twenty-third generation after the legendary Blue Wolf, Temujin, whose destiny was Heaven's Will, Temujim was born on the banks of the Onon River, in the heart of Mongolia.
A member of the Borjigin clan, his mother was named Ho'elun and his father Yesuhei. Various dates have suggested for his birth date, but has been decided that 1162 is the most likely. Legend says that the newborn Temujin had a blood clot in the palm of his hand, an omen that he was destined to be a hero.
When Temujin was young, his father was poisoned by a group of Tatars, and the Kiyat tribe broke up and scattered, abandoning their leader's family and leaving Temujin's mother, Ho'elun, to raise her children alone.
Accounts of Temujin extol him as intelligent, brave, and an adept fighter, even from an early age, and as such a potential threat to the leaders of other tribes of the steppe. As a young man, despite extreme hardships, he repeatedly met perils and endured crises through force of character and willpower.
At this time Mongolia was inhabited by several ethnic groups and clans who were often at war amongst themselves. Through a period of gradual consolidation, Temujin gathered many clans to his banner and destroyed those who opposed him. When he was approximately 45 years old, there was a great "Khuriltai" (assembly), where he was proclaimed "Genghis Khan," the leader of all of the clans in Mongolia. Genghis Khan then set his sights beyond Mongolia's borders. His first campaigns were against the Chinese. Although his armies, for the most part, defeated their Chinese counterparts, the Mongols never established a lasting occupying force. Instead, they would extract concessions from the Chinese and return to Mongolia laden with silks, jewelry, weapons and other booty. Losing interest in China, Genghis Khan turned westward. At that time, the Khwarazam Empire, ruled by the Khwarazam Shah, controlled the land west of the Tian Shan Mountains to the Caspian Sea. After a short-lived attempt to develop trade between the two empires, a disagreement arose between the two leaders and Genghis Khan decided to mount a major campaign against the Khwarazam Empire. Despite the fact that the Mongolian armies were outnumbered by more than two to one, the brilliant battle tactics of Genghis Khan and his generals resulted in total defeat of the Shah and brought an end to the Khwarazam Empire.
By Genghis Khan's death in 1227, the Mongol Empire reached from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea. Upon his death, the lands were divided between Genghis Khan's descendants who continued his legacy of conquest until they controlled the largest contiguous land empire the world has ever known (including all of present-day China, Korea, all of the former Soviet Central Asian Republics, major portions of Russia, including Kiev and Moscow, eastern Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan). Eventually, after the Mongol Empire had disintegrated, Genghis Khan's legacy continued when his distant descendants established the great Moghul Dynasty, which ruled the Indian Sub-continent for generations. One important accomplishment of Genghis Khan is that he was unified the Mongol nation and established the United Empire of Mongols.
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