Genghis Khan’s Mausoleum

Known as Emperor Taizu of the Yuan Dynasty and also named Temujin, Genghis Khan (1162-1227) is a leader of the Mongol tribe, as well as a strategist and a statesman.DSCF2294

Among all the significant rulers in Chinese history, Genghis Khan was  one of the greatest. He was the founder of Mongol Empire and the  sequential Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and by the end of his life, the  Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China.DSCF2292

The present Genghis Khan’s Mausoleum was built in 1954 in Erdos city,  about 185 km from Baotou, the largest city of Inner Mongolia.DSCF2293

Most people believe that this mausoleum is not where he was actually  buried but is rather a gathering place for Mongolian people to worship  the spirit of the mighty Genghis Khan. The great ruler’s real burial  place still remains a mystery. The mausoleum consists of three grand halls, which are shaped like Mongolian yurts.DSCF2303

The joss sticks and candles in the halls of the tomb burn all year round. Every year, four grand sacrificial ceremonies are held here to commemorate Genghis Khan, a hero of the Mongolian people.DSCF2300

These pictures were taken at the mausoleum, as part of my trip to Inner Mongolia.

 

Inner Mongolia and ShanXi- Steppes, Desert, Grottoes and Hanging Temple

On China’s northern edge there is a territory that combines the wonder of the desert and the beauty of the grasslands for an experience that will take your breath away; this autonomous region is known as Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia’s vastness maintains a feeling of timeless tranquility unlike anywhere experienced in China.

As a city boy, I have never visited any grassland or desert; have seen some small grottoes but never visited any major one or any temple like the Hanging Temple. June and July are the best time visiting  the steppes of Inner Mongolia when the grass is green; but it may be too hot in the desert.  As a compromise, we started our trip end August 2012 and found ourselves in the grassland in the early part of September.

I was always fascinated with the story of Genghis Khan; how, in 25 years, he had conquered an area even larger than the Romans were able to conquer in 400 years. This is the land where he once roamed and lived. He was good in strategies, did not have a hugh army (maybe only around 100,000 soldiers) but his speed of moving his army around in Mongul horses, his tatics and his well planned sieges allowed him to conquer a large part of Asia and even part of Europe.

In our last trip, we were able to fulfill our dreams by combining all these into one trip which included:

Horse riding in the steppes in Gegent Tala of Inner Mongolia.

Camel riding in the Resonant Sand Desert near Baotao.

Wandering aimlessly in the desert.

Sleeping in a Mongolia yurt.

Visiting the Masouleum of Genghis Khan.

On our way back from Inner Mongolia, we also stopped by the Yungang Grottoes.

Travelling further along, we were awed by the Hanging Temple in Da Tong, Shanxi which is south of the Great Wall of China.

Our trip started with first flying to Beijing where we changed plane to Hohhot of Inner Mongolia. Using Hohhot as a base, we visited the Steppes in Gegent Tala, the Resonant Sand desert near Baotao. From there we travelled 8 hours on a coach to DaTong, Shanxi where we had a good look of the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Temple which was part of the Hen Mountains in China. From Da Tong, we flew to Beijing to complete our journey.

We learned more about Genghis Kahn and started digging deeper into his history and as to where his burial place is (still unknown and being investigated by National Geographic and other bodies).

It was indeed an eye opening journey. We were totally impressed by what we saw .