Toghrulkhan (1130-1204) – The famous ruler, Khan of the XII century of the state of Kerait, founded in the VII century.


Toghrulkhan (1130-1204) – famous ruler, Khan of the state of Kerait, founded in the VII century. He was the son of Kursakuz Buyryk – the eldest son of Khan Kerait Markhuz. The named father of Temuzhin, as well as his first mentor of military art. He put Genghis Khan on the golden throne [1].

Toghrulkhan was born in 1130. He was older 32 years than Genghis Khan. His father Esugei was a his friend of, associated with oath (Anda).Currently, Mongolian archaeologists are conducting complex excavations and have begun a full-fledged study of the ancient Khan Horde in the floodplain of the Tula River, where at one time Toghrulkhan first hoisted the banner. The Horde of Toghrulkhan is located 30 km from the capital of Mongolia, Ulan-Bator, in the lower reaches of the Bugda Mountain, along the Tula River, later called the “Khan’s Mountain”. In 1204, after the fall of the Kerait Khanate in connection with the creation of Genghis Khan, the Horde was named the Third Horde of Genghis Khan in history. Toghrulkhan fully using the achievements of the culture of Western Europe and Chinese culture in the East, masterfully built his architectural ensemble “Khan’s Horde”. According to modern scholars, Toghrulkhan and the state of Kerait, which he headed, were not an ordinary middle-level country, as shown in Russian and Chinese sources. Researchers of the history of the Mongol empire have no doubt that under the influence of Toghrulkhan, Genghis Khan became an individual, later he was able to lift people out of poverty and rally them together. And even among the Mongolian nationality to this day there are many people who proudly consider themselves descendants of the Toghrulkhan dynasty. If the name of Genghis Khan was mentioned among the prominent personalities who formed the Kazakh nationality, there are also many chronicles about his mentor and the planted father Toghrulkhan. At the head of them it should be noted that the “Secret History of the Mongol”, consisting of 282 articles (“Mongolyn nuutz tovchoo”) 21 of them are related to the Kerait, Luvsandanzan’s chronicle “Altan tovch” 233 articles are repeated, such repetitions are also found in the “Collection of Chronicles” by Rashid ad-Din. Traces of the courage of Toghrulkhan and his descendants are found not only in Mongolian, Arabian-Persian, Turkish, Chinese, Russian, Japanese records, but in the works of Marco Polo (Book by Marco Polo. Series: Travels. Discoveries. Adventures. – Alma-Ata: Science , 1990. – 352 p.). His name became known throughout the world through research works such as: P. Karpini and G. Rubruk (Travel to the eastern countries of Plano Carpini and Guillaume de Rubruk. Series: Travel. Discoveries. Adventures. – Alma-Ata: Gylym, 19930. – 248 S.), K. D. Osson (from Genghis Khan to Tamerlane (Translation and Foreword by Prof. M. Kozmin) 2nd edition. – Almaty, “Sanat”, 1996. – 256 pp.), B.Ya. Vladimirtsov (The social system of the Mongols. (Mongolian nomadic feudalism), L., 1934), E. Hara-Davan (Genghis Khan as a commander and his legacy. Cultural and historical essay of the Mongol Empire of the XII-XIV centuries. Alma-Ata: Kodzha-Ahmed Yassaui , 1992, -272 p.) Abelgazy (Turkic Annals. Almaty, 1992. 39 b.), S. Kudaiberdyuly (Annals of Turks, Kyrgyz-Kazakhs and Khans – Almaty: Kazakhstan; Sana, 1991.-80 p.), Z. Kinayatuly (Genghis Khan and the Kazakh state. Scientific research in two volumes (Monograph). – Almaty, Tarih talylymy, 2010.-728 p.

The founders of the Siberian Khanate Taibug, Seydak direct descendants of Toghrulkhan. As the saying goes, no matter how we shy away from restoring the white spots of our history, we cannot bypass the era of Genghis Khan. Together with his name in all respects the name of one of the historical figures – Toghrulkhan will also be mentioned. He was a teacher and mentor, and named father of Genghis, which testifies to his high status and role in history. As you know, a recognized person who left a mark in history under the names “Ohan Khan”, “Wahan Khan”, “Tooril”, “Togyrilkhan”, “Toghrulkhan” – was the ruler of the ancient state, making up the history of the Kazakh people.

Among the four sons of Kursakuz Buyryk Toghrul became too tough and scorched politician. He gained control of the country by supporting with his friend Yesugei. Later, Genghis Khan helped Toghrulkhan so that he could maintain power over the country.

In the Mongolian chronicles there is a one-sided interpretation, which shows that the Kerait Khan Toghrul from the time of his ancestors supposedly relied only on the support of the Khabul Khan dynasty. In fact, in the chronicles of the Mongols one can see that in fact the existence of help to each other was on both sides. So, in 1179, a campaign against the Merkits for the liberation of Borte was organized with the direct support of the Kerait Khan Toghrul. At this time, Temuzhin was too vulnerable [2].

In 1182, when Temuzhin was elected khan of the Hamag Mongols, he received this news as a blessing and supported his named son (Temuzhin). For Toghrul, the oath friend of Temuzhin’s father, this act was a logical step. If you do not take into account the friendship with Temuzhin’s father and responsibilities as a planted father, for the Keraits, unity and tranquility of neighboring peoples was necessary. The Kerait were also tormented by internecine clashes. Therefore, undoubtedly, Toghrul put peace in the state in the first place.

And Genghis Khan considered it right that for a calm future, you still need to rely on the support of Toghrul, becoming his ally. Thus, relationship between Toghrul and Temuzhin has now grown into a relationship a Khan with a Khan. This was indeed the beginning of a big policy that was looking for an answer to the question of who should become the main ruler on the Mongolian plateau in the future. From the day of the death of Yesugei, the Keraitts have been the driving force and support of the joint actions of the two tribes, and Kiyat-Borzhugs were considered his patron. And after Temuzhin became a Khan, these two tribes exchanged roles among themselves: the Mongols, led by Temuzhin, took up the military-political power of the Mongolian plateau. At the same time, One remained faithful to the oath to Khan Temuzhin.

Temuzhin and Toghrul became allies with each other in many campaigns. The struggle against the Alakai Bulak alliance for Wang Khan and Temuzhin was a serious test. If this time Wang Khan would not have gone on a campaign with Temuzhin side by side against the Alakai Bulak alliance, then Temuzhin could have been in distress. Thanks to the fact that Wang Khan kept his oath, Temuzhin passed the test this time. Of course, this victory was not easy. The victory resulted in a strategic priority in the direction of the Mongols and Kerait, led by Temuzhin. It is known that if there are two equal forces and two personalities in one union, it is difficult to maintain such a priority. Realizing this, Temuzhin begins to consider the ways of conquering the Kerites. But the Kerait, who have independent power, could not have taken such a step. (Volume I “Mongolian Sources on the History of Kazakhstan” (Almaty: Dyke-Press, 2006. -400 page. Original transcription in the ancient Mongolian language, scientific semantic translation and interpretation, indicators compiled by N. Bazylkhan), there is a lot of historical data on Toghrulkhan [3]. 

In the book “The Secret Chronicle of the Mongol” – article 96: “In ancient times, my father Yesugey and Wang Khan of the state of Kerait were (anda) friends. “Anda of my father, probably like my father,” – with such thoughts, Wang Khan set off, meaning that the Tuul River is located somewhere in the Kara-Tun area. Upon arrival to Wang Khan, Temuzhin told him: “I consider a longtime friend of the late father to be my father, when I got married, my mother-in-law brought a black velvet sable fur coat, and I give it to you,” and presents it with a fur coat. Satisfied Wang Khan will capture with verses:

“The black deer is in you,

Don’t let it snow.

Your worn country,

Let me summarize,

Your scattered country,

Let me combine,

Oh, let’s say grandfather,

The sheep is the master. ”[4]

As narrated in this section, the young Genghis’s named father – Khan Toghrul presents a black sable fur coat as a gift. In fact, Wang Khan did not need furs. The point is that here is the story of a man who was once in a dependent position and the recognition of the good memory of his father, Yesugei, who did a lot of good and saw future Genghis Khan in the person of his future – a sign of wisdom. So begins the story of Genghis, his formation as a person. If we turn to the sources, then Toghrul Khan did not come by inheritance to Wang Khan’s throne of his father.

His father before his death, Tai Temur Taichi identified his heir, and he was on Wang Khan’s throne [5]. And Toghrul at that time was at his disposal in the border zone of the country. Then, Toghrul Khan killed Tai Temur Taichi and his supporters, and he himself sat on Wang Khan’s throne. At this time, Toghrul Khan was thirty years old. Given various circumstances, the history of his khan’s throne was around the 1160s.

Due to the fact that there is no reliable information about his first removal from the throne and about the time of the reverse interception of the Kerait Khanate with the help of Yesugey, we can only assume that these events occurred over several decades in the period from 1160 to 1171. The time of the abduction by the Merkits of Borte Uzhun and then, when Toghrul marries her to Temuzhin, these events approximately occur around 1183. Since, in sources in 1184 and after 1190, the name Toghrul Khan is found as an important person in Mongolia. In this regard, it is necessary to conclude that the Kerait Khanate again took Wang Khan’s throne from Erkekar until 1190.

Kerait and the Mongols had principled friendships, in which an oath reigned. These relations continued under Toghrul and Temuzhin (Genghis Khan). When Temuzhin was elected Khan of his dynasty in 1189, one of the first to support him was the same Wang Khan. To protect the honor of Temuzhin in 1179, he was the organizer of the Triple Alliance against Merkit (Wang Khan, Zhamuka and Temuzhin).

In this campaign, only at Kerait, the army included about 20 thousand soldiers. Kerait, together with a group led by Temuzhin, attacked the Tatars in 1198, and attacked the Alakay Bulak alliance in 1201. In 1203, he attacked the western wing of the Naimans, teaming up with Temuzhin.

In these data, Toghrul drew attention to the fact that, as the most significant event after the next Khan’s throne, his Jin kingdom (China) was honored with the title of “Wang”. According to the Jinshi book, this event occurred in 1196. The main image of Toghrulkhan’s personality in Mongolia was formed until 1196, the proclamation of the Jin kingdom under the name “Wang”, considering himself a heavenly master, became a legally recognized recognition of his authority in the steppe zone. This inauguration allowed Toghrul Khan to take bold steps for his ulus and even other nomads. In unity with the Mongols belonging to Temuzhin Toghrulkhan, the victorious Naiman, and then the taishygut and his triumphant glory, began to disturb the rulers of the steppe tribes and tribal unions. This data states: “Genghis Khan and the Kerait ruler, Wang Khan, said to each other: they must suddenly strike the enemies. How we will strike with one common force, or how we will catch a wild beast, creating a group ”[6].

They felt that they were in danger. Such a panic also interested them in concluding alliances with each other. According to historical data, the initiative to create the Union was the Katagan and Taizhiut tribe. After some time, Temuzhin sent an envoy to submit their novans to him, unfortunately, they poured hot soup on the face of the newly arrived ambassador and expelled them with insult. Among the allies were the tribes of Durban, Tatars, Ikiras, Korolas, Konyrat and Taishigut. They created the Union, swore an oath to slaughter a white horse, and then Toghrul Khan and Temuzhin quickly prepared, set off on a campaign along the Onon River towards Lake Kolun Buir, and defeated the Allied army in the region of Lake Buir in the territory of modern Mongolia and north China. This event occurred in 1200. As a result of the conquest of Toghrul by Wang Khan of the East Mongol tribe in East Mongolia after 1199, the second group of Turkic-Mongol tribes, including Naimans, Jamukha temporarily became the “Gurkhan” of the country. According to sources, Wang Khan and his son Sengum, who fled from the front of the war, immediately went to the western uluses of the Naiman. However, when they reached the border of the Naimans, the border guards of the Naiman Tayan Khan, Kura Subechi and Tink Shal, seized Wang  Khan and killed him, despite his words “I am Wang Khan”, chopped off his head and sent him to Tayan Khan. Khan Tayan did not support their behavior and said: “Why are you killing such a great ruler? You should have brought him to me alive! ”And punished. He kept the head of Wang Khan for a long time casting silver on his golden throne to illustrate the greatness of [Wang Khan] and his [honor] respect [7].

Researchers of the history of the Mongol empire have no doubt that Genghis Khan was the first person to take a flame on a horse, who was able to kill and collect the burnt people with the help of Toghrul Khan. And even among the Mongolian nationality, to this day there are many people who consider themselves proudly descendants of the Toghrul Khan. It is well known that winter and summer pastures were in a village nearby Ulanbatyr, which to this day the Mongols consider as “the place of Tugiril Khan – the house of Wang Khan.”

According to historical data, the emperor of the Golden Country Toghrul was given the name “Wang Khan”, which means “Khan of Khans”, over time he was named as the name of a Khan. The Italian jihanger Marco Polo writes: “The world-famous, especially the European “Ioan” in the East, where Europeans are very influential, is “ Wang Khan ”. In Russian chronicles it is known as “Van Khan.” Sometimes there are those who called “Wang Khan.”

After the death of the grandson of Markuz Buyryk, Kurzhakuz Buyryk, his descendants fought a lot for Wang Khan’s power. On the one hand, the Keraits were under pressure from the Tatars, Tungus, on the other hand, the Erke Kara group was supported by the Naiman. The Toghrul Khan group (“Toghrul” is the real name, and the “Wang Khan” or “ulus ruler” the title – Toghrul Khan was given the title by the Chinese Jin empire Vangin Chinsan) were helped by the Mongols from the Borzhigin clan Vangin from the Tatars, who was ruled by Yesugei Batyr [8] .

Over time, Toghrul Khan was also defeated by Genghis Khan while fighting. Having escaped, fled, on the road in the west to the Naiman Khanate he was attacked by border guards and he dies. It was said above that Tayan Khan wished and he kept his head for a long time Toghrul Khan casting silver on his golden throne to illustrate greatness. This event occurred in the year. From that time until today, the poem has survived:

O Toghrul, Toghrul,

The rear was a big khan,

The whole world knew you

You were a great man

Grandmother Kutlyk raised

Born from Buyryk … – such lines are written.

Brother Toghrul Jaca batyr had four beautiful daughters. His third daughter, Surtokty, is married to Tole, the youngest son of Genghis Khan. Four Khans were born – Monke, Kublay, Kulagu and Arykbuk. However, Kazakh words, such as “batyr is born close to tagayyin” (tagayy are mother’s relatives) or “batyr good from mother”, were pronounced to this. The nephews of the famous Toghrul Khan became famous personalities with whom the whole world was in their hands.

Despite the fact that Toghrulkhan died, its population is not out of date. They became the main force in the Turkish-Mongolian troops of Genghis Khan. He conquered the world with horse hooves and served as the basis for the formation of the Kazakh people. In fact, considering the origin of Kazakh statehood as a nation, and not one of the most ancient stories of the Kipchaks, Khangars, Merkits, Keriy and Naiman states, one of the ancient founders of the Turgullikhan state.

Descendants of Toghrul did not lose their dominance until the time of the Golden Horde. During the collapse of the Golden Horde, the descendants of the Taibug reigned, despite the Juchi-Shiban race and the initial victory over the Shiban dynasty. In the midst of a scandalous struggle for power, Seydak Khan entered the historical scene. In 1582, the Siberian Khan Seydak, as a descendant of the Taibug, signed an alliance with the Kazakh Khan Tauekel, in which he inherited the son of his brother Oraz Mohamed.

Seidak Khan defeated Yermak and recaptured the Siberian Khanate. He was a Khan until 1588. Seydak Khan, a descendant of the Toghrul (Wang ) Khan, was captured in the Tobolsk fortress, detained together with the Kazakh sultan Oraz-Muhamed and sent to Moscow.

According to sources that still need further investigation, the years of Wang Khanate of the son of Toghrul Khan of Taibug were 1220-1290, and his life expectancy was 1201-1290. Among the names of Wang Khan’s heirs and princes are Mamyk Khan, Khoja Mardanuly (in Russian sources Khoja Marovich), Alshagyr Kaganuly, Sauyskan, Shegir Alshagyruly, Dauletshe Omaruly, Abulkhair, Abakak (Abak) khan, Angish (Angal) Khan, Musa biha and etc. Next year marks the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Siberian Khanate. Although the Siberian Khanate, in which Wang Khan  and the people laid the foundation of the Kazakh people, tribal tribes did not rise to the highest platform on the political stage of Asia, the descendants of the tribes forming the state became an order country under the flag of Kazakh statehood.

To this day, the centers of Togyrylkhan and his descendants of Taibug and Seidak Khan have not died out. Many generations live on modern Kazakh land. Not so little that was scattered around the globe. We can proudly say that one department of sons and daughters of Khans lives in the Kyzylzhar, Akmola region, Kokchetav, Burabay, Birzhan-Sal, Stepnogorsk, with. Aksu, the city of Schuchinsk. We would also like to remind you that the settlements of the Taibuga and Seydak Khan communities require research.

Kazakh writers – S. Kudaiberdy, M. Kopeiuly, M. Magauin, Z. Kinayatuly, G. Oshan, Sh. Kumarovich, Z. Sanikuly, and others in their writings left a lot of information about Toghrulkhan and the state and its heirs created by him.


The era of the Kerait was the reign of Wang Khan. It is known that Western Catholics, who arrived according to the legend of the “Eastern Priest John,” shook Western Europe during the name of Wang Khan.

However, the friendship of Wang Khan and Temuzhin also did not last long. With increasing popularity, Temuzhin urged the Kerait to “peacefully unite in the country.” But the Kerait rejected Temuzhin’s opinion. In 1203, both sides fought, Kerait with defeat descended from the historical throne [9].

A group of Kerait remained in the hereditary community and served the empire of Genghis Khan. Another group moved west – to Central Asia. Those who arrived here were under the rule of Juchi, Chagatai ulus, Mogulistan, and most of them were subordinate to the Kazakh Khanate and made up the Kazakh nation. Keraittsy are found among Uzbeks, Kyrgyz and younger zhuzes.

After the death of Toghrulkhan, its population became a part of Mongol tribe. They became the main force in the Turkic-Mongolian army of Genghis Khan. They conquered the world with horse hooves and served as the basis for the formation of the Kazakh people. According to the Siberian Chronicles,  a descendant of the Wang Khan of Taibug, controlled the army of Genghis Khan, which conquered the peoples along the Ob, Irtysh, and then ruled these lands with the permission of the Mongol khan. It is noteworthy that Genghis Khan was ready to restore relations with them, initially appointing heirs to the Taibug Khan horde, on the northern edge of a vast empire. After the Taibuga conquered the Siberian region, in the Tura River builds a city called Shyngy (Shymga) which is the foundation of the modern city of Tomen. The descendants of Taibug ruled in this region until the last quarter of the 15th century.

Later, with the intensification of Russian colonialization, Kerait moved to the North Kazakhstan region. M. Tynyshbayuly noted that some of the Kerait, who did not obey Genghis Khan, with the Merkits were forced out to the Turgai steppe, today in the composition of Zhetyru the Kerait tribe may become a descendant of the same refugees, from the record about the campaigns of Aksak Temir it is said that then the Kerait lived from Black Irtysh to Alakol [10].

From the beginning of the 15th century, the Dzungars turned into a powerful force; they again endangered the Kerait in Balkhash and the Alakol region.

At the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, one group of Kerait also took part in the campaigns of Khan Mohammed Shaibani, a descendant of Jochi – Mauerennahre and Khorasan.


The name of Toghrulkhan is contained in “The Secret Chronicles of the Mongols”, “The Golden Chronicle”, “Zhamikh-at tauarikh” by Rashid ad-Din, in the “Turkish Chronicle” by Abilgazy, and among Kazakh writers Sh. M. Mukanov, M. Magauin, Sh. Kumaruly, Z. Sanikovich, M. Kozybaev, Z. Kinayatuly, A. Kuzembaev, K. Sartkozhauly, J. Oshan and other works of writers a lot of information.

From Shynjan Kazakhs Zeynolla Sanik wrote the documentary book “Toghrul Khan”, Shamis Kumaruly wrote the novel “Toghrul Khan”. Murat Dakeyuly, the deputy of the parliament of Mongolia, initiated the celebration of the name of Toghrulkhan, creating a special association, creating a museum under the name of Wang Khan. In Kazakhstan, in the city of Nur-Sultan, the “Toghrulkhan-On Khan” corporate fund begins its work.

Institute of History and Ethnologynamed after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov and the “Tugurul Kan – On Khan” corporate foundation announced a republican contest named after the famous Toghrul Khan and his descendants at the time of Genghis Khan – the Siberian Khans of the Taibug Khan, Seydak Khan for young historians. Following the results of the competition, the agenda includes a plan for international conferences dedicated to Wang Khan. On the part of the “Tugurul Khan – On Khan” corporate foundation (as a result of the creation, scientific editing by A.Zh. Igbaev and Zhadi Shakenuly), a collection of historical data “Toghrulkhan” (volume 1) was published. The “Toghrulhan -On Khan” Corporate Fund also works to write the history and annals of the Kazakh people. It is planned that in the coming days it is planned to give the name of Toghrulkhan in the settlements and streets, as well as objects related to them.

Used books and literatures:

1.”Tugylylkhan” / historical data collection. – Almaty: Nurprint, 2019.

2. Z. Kinayatuly (Genghis Khan and the Kazakh state. Two-volume scientific research (Monograph) – Almaty, History lessons, 2010. -728 p.)

3. Secret Mongolian Chronicle (Napil Bazylkhan, who made the original Mongolian transcript, scientific translation, interpretation). Series “Mongolian requisites on the history of Kazakhstan”. -I big. -Almaty: Dyke-Press, p.

4.The Secret History of Mongolia. Chronicles of the nomads of XIII-XIII centuries. Aud. – Almaty: Oner, 1998.

5.Chen Deach. Kerait Khanate before the XIII century // Research on the history of the Mongolian and Yuan epochs. – Beijing: Zhen Min Chu Ban She, 2005 (Chén Dezhī. Méng yuánshǐ yánjiū cóng gǎo, Běijīng: Rénmín chūbǎn shè, 2005 nián), p. 222.

6.N. Mynzhan. Ancient history of the Kazakhs. – Almaty: Flame, 1994.- 357 p.

7.Rashid al-Din Sworn Lethyssy / Translations from persian O.I. Smirnovoy, B.I. Pankratova and O.I. Smirnovoy, edited by prof. A.A. Semenova. – M.-L .: Research of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1952. -T. I, day 2. P. 133

8.Liu Qi Bay shi tsi (Memories of an Embassy to the North). Chinese sources on the history of Kazakhstan. – Selected excerpts from travels and historical geographic works / Translated Chinese requisites, wrote comments and remarks Ezhenhanuly, Zh. Oshan, S. Well done. Scientific editor – Almaty: Dyce-Press, 2005. I. Pp. 68-71

9.Sun Liang Yanxi (History of the Yuan Kingdom). – Beijing: CHF, 1976. 121 h. (Sòng Lián. Yuánshǐ, Běijīng: Zhōnghuá shūjú jiàokān běn, 1976 nián).

10. Oshan J., Ezhenhanuly B. Chinese sources on the history of Kazakhstan. – V large. – Historical chronicles of the dynasty. – Section 3. – Almaty: Dyke Press, 2005. pp. 44-45.

Author: Shashaev A.K., Ph.D.