The Khalkha (Mongolian: Халх, Halh Mongolian
pronunciation: [xɑɮx]) is the largest subgroup of Mongol
Mongolia since the 15th century. The Khalkha, together
with Chahars, Ordos and Tumed, were directly ruled by
until the 20th century; unlike the Oirats, who were ruled by Dzungar
nobles, or the Khorchins, who were ruled by Qasar's descendants.
The two original major Khalkha groups were ruled by the direct male
line descendants of Dayan Khan. The Baarin, Khongirad, Jaruud, Baigut,
and the O'zeed (Ujeed) became Dayan Khan's fifth son Achibolod's
subjects, thus formed the Southern Five Halhs. The Qaraei, Jalairs,
Olkhonud, Khatagin, Besut, Iljigin, Gorlos, Uriankhai, Sartuul,
Tanghut, Khotogoid, Khuree, and Tsookhor became Dayan Khan's youngest
(could be third) son Geresenje's (Mongolian: Гэрсэне
Жалайр Хан) subjects, thus formed the "Аглагийн
арван гурван хүрээ Халх" or Thirteen Khalkhas of
the Far North.
There were also numerous direct descendants of
Genghis Khan who had
formed the ruling class of the Khalkha
Mongols prior to the 20th
century, but they were and still also regarded as Khalkha Mongols
rather than belonging to a special unit.
The Thirteen Khalkhas of the Far North are the major subethnic group
of the independent state of Mongolia. They number 1,610,400 (78.8%) of
Mongolia's population (1989 figures).
The Khalkha or Halh dialect is the standard written language of
3 Khalkha diaspora
4 Loss of Khalkha territory to Imperial Russia and the Buriatized
The term Халх ("Halh, Khalkha") has always puzzled linguists and
historians. One possible interpretation is that it share the same root
with the words xалхавч "shield" and xалхлах "to protect;
to cover; to shield; to hide; to intercept", etc., although there is
no noun or verb xалх that independently exists besides the ethnic
group's name. In the similar manner, the sub-ethnic groups within the
Khalkha Unit have been historically recorded in books, journals, and
documents as "Jalair Khalkha", "
Sartuul Khalkha", "Tanghut Khalkha"
etc. Even the word order in the phrases Southern Five Khalkha and
Northern Thirteen Khalkha implies that the word Халх correlates to
the units within the Southern and Northern tribal federations, but it
does not stand for the entire group as a whole. Lastly, Mongolians
have always linked the term Халх to the name of the Khalkhyn Gol.
Mongols during the early Northern Yuan period.
Erdene Zuu Monastery
Erdene Zuu Monastery was established in the 16th century by Abatai
Sain Khan in the heartland of the Khalkha territory
Dayan Khan created Khalkha Tumen out of
Mongols residing in the
territory of present-day central
Mongolia and northern part of Inner
Mongolia. In Mongolian historical sources such as Erdeniin Erih ("The
Beads of Jewel") it clearly stated how Khalkha Tumen was created and
where these people resided at the time of its creation. The statement
goes as follows:
Hangai Khand nutuglan suuj
Hari daisind chinu Khalkha bolson
Haluun amind chinu Tushee bolson
Irehiin uzuur, Harahiin haruul bolson
Khalkha tumen chinu Ter bukhii beer ajaamuu
Хангай ханд нутаглан сууж
Харь дайсанд чинь халх болсон
Халуун аминд чинь түшээ болсон
Ирэхийн үзүүр, харахын харуул болсон
Халх түмэн чинь тэр бүхий бээр ажаамуу
"Dwelling in the Hangai Mountains" (Central Mongolian Mountain range
called Hangai Mountain Range, near which Harakorum, the ancient
capital, was built)
"A shield (in Mongolian, khalkha means "shield" or "protection")
against alien enemies"
"A support for your precious life"
"A blade towards those who come, a guard towards those who look"
"Your Khalkha Tumen is indeed for you"
It is also believed that Southern Khalkha people who now reside in
Mongolia were moved to south from its original territory Khangai
Mountains. To commemorate and signify its origin, every new year
during white month/moon celebration all southern Khalkhas perform
special Khangai Mountain worshipping ceremonies and they face
northwest and pray. This special ceremony is maintained by only
southern khalkhas and no other southern
Mongols have such rituals.
Under Dayan Khan, the Khalkha were organized as one of three tümen of
the Left Wing.
Dayan Khan installed the fifth son Alchu Bolad and the
eleventh son Geresenje on the Khalkha. The former became the founder
of the Five Halh of Southern
Mongolia and the latter became the
founder of the Seven Halh of the Northern Mongolia. They were called
Inner Khalkha and Outer Khalkha respectively, by the Manchus.
Mongolian chronicles called Geresenje as "
Khong Tayiji of the
Jalayir", which indicates that the core part of the Khalkha were
descendants of the
Jalayir tribe. By extension, some scholars consider
that the Halh had a close connection with the Five Ulus of the Left
Wing of the former Yuan dynasty, which was led by the five powerful
tribes of Jalayir, Onggirat, Ikires, Uruud and Mangghud.
"The Country of the Khalkha" (Pays des Kalkas) on a 1734 map by
d'Anville, based on Jesuits' fieldwork ca. 1700
The Five Halh consisted of five tribes called Jarud, Baarin, Onggirat,
Bayaud and Öjiyed. They lived around the Shira Mören valley east of
the Greater Khingan. They clashed with but were eventually conquered
by the rising Manchus. The Five Khalkha except for the Jarud and the
Baarin were organized into the Eight Banners. Note that Khalkha Left
Banner of Juu Uda League and Khalkha Right Banner of Ulaanchab League
were offshoots of the Seven Khalkha.
Tögs-Ochiryn Namnansüren of Khalkha, a leader of the National
Liberation Movement of 1911
The Seven Khalkha were involved in regular fights against the Oyirad
in the west. Geresenje's descendants formed the houses of Tüsheet
Khan, Zasagt Khan and Setsen Khan. They preserved their independence
until they had to seek help from the
Kangxi Emperor of the
dynasty against the Zungar leader
Galdan in 1688. In 1725 the
Yongzheng Emperor gave Tsering independence from the house of Tüsheet
Khan, forming the house of Sain Noyon Khan.
The Khalkha led the
Mongolian independence movement
Mongolian independence movement in the 20th
century. After enduring countless hardships, they established the
independent state of
Mongolia in northern Mongolia.
The overwhelming majority of Khalkha
Mongols now reside in the modern
state of Mongolia. However, there are four small banners in China: 2
in Inner Mongolia; 1 in Qinghai; and 1 in Jehol. There are also
several groups among the Buriats in Russia, however, they no longer
retain the Khalkha self-identity, culture, and language. The Halh
Mongols in Qinghai, China and the ones among the Buriats in Russia
were subjects to Khalkha's Tsogtu Khan and his sons.
The Choghtu Khong Tayiji's Khalkhas (1 banner): Poet, supporter of
Ligdan Khan, and opponent of the Dalai Lama's "Yellow Hat" order,
Tsogtu Khong Taiji moved to
Qinghai with his subjects sometime after
Ligdan Khan and Tsogtu Khong Taiji were supposed to meet in
Qinghai and eventually build a Mongol base that is independent of the
Manchu rule which was geographically far from the
reach. Moreover, it was clear to the two Mongol Khans that Tibetan
Dalai Lama's influence in Mongol affairs was increasing. So the two
decided to end the influence of
Dalai Lama and the "Yellow Hat" order
by supporting the "Red Hat" order. However, majority of Ligdan Khan's
subjects and soldiers died because of smallpox on the way to Qinghai.
After Ligdan's death, Tsogtu Taiji began attacking dGe-lugs-pa
monasteries. When Tsogtu sent 10,000 men under his son Arslang against
Dalai Lama in Lhasa, Arslang switched sides and supported the
Dalai Lama. The dGe-lugs-pa hierarch, the Fifth Dalai Lama
(1617–82), summoned the Oirat Güshi Khan Toro-Baiku, whose 50,000
men in early 1637 crushed Tsogtu’s 30,000 at Ulaan-Khoshuu; Tsogtu
Taiji was killed. Today the
Oirats of Gushi Khan is also known as
the "Upper Mongols" or the "ДЭЭД МОНГОЛ", and they still
Qinghai forming 21 banners. The remnants of Tsogtu Khong
Taiji's Halhs form only one banner and are known as the "Lower
Mongols" or "ДООД МОНГОЛ". Tsogtu Khong Taiji is known as
Tsogtu Khan among the Khalkha
Mongols in Qinghai.
The Khalkha Right Wing Banner: This banner was popularly known as the
Darkhan Beili Banner and the ruler of this banner was the descendant
of Gersenz Jalair Khan's grandson Bunidari. In 1653 they migrated into
Mongolia from the Tusheet Khan Aimak of Outer Mongolia.
The Khalkha East Wing Banner: This banner was popularly known as the
"Chokhor Halh" and the ruler of this banner was the descendant of
Gombo-Ilden, the fifth generation grandson to Gersenz Jalair Khan.
They fled from the Zasakto Khan Aimak of Outer
Mongolia to Inner
Mongolia in 1664. Its boundaries as given by the Mongol Pastures run
125 by 230 "li", or about 41 by 76 miles.
The Tanggot Khalkha Banner: This Banner formerly subordinated for
administrative purposes to the East Wing Tumet (Monggoljin) Banner, is
popularly known as Tanggot Khalkha. This tiny territory, of not more
than 12 by 15 miles, is said to have a population of about 500 people.
There are practically no Chinese, as the surrounding districts are
held by Mongols. The tribe, which has a prince of its own, was founded
by immigrants from the Jasakto Khan division of Outer Mongolia, who
fled to Inner
Mongolia and offered submission to the Manchus in 1662,
during the wars between the Northern (Khalkha) and Western (Ulot)
Loss of Khalkha territory to Imperial Russia and the Buriatized
During the rise of
Genghis Khan in the 12th to 13th centuries, neither
the Selenge valley in today's southern Buriatia or the Aga steppe had
at this time any connection with the Buriats; these were the lands of
the Merkid tribe and the Mongol tribe proper. Starting 1628 with the
Russian Conquest and Buriat Migration, the Selenge Valley, as before,
was inhabited by Mongol clans under the rule of the Khalkha khans. By
1652 the Khalkha khans were protesting the Russian incursions into
Transbaikalia, and from 1666 on Khalkha raiding parties reached as far
as Bratsk, Ilimsk, Yeravninsk, and Nerchinsk, while the khans besieged
the forts on the Selenge. At the same time, however, the Khoris along
the Uda River in 1647 surrendered as a block to the Russians to escape
paying tribute to the Khalkhas. Smaller Mongol clan fragments also
defected north to the protection of Cossack forts. The invasion of
Galdan Boshogtu Khan in 1688 stopped Khalkha resistance to
the Cossack advance and sent more Mongol refugees fleeing into Russian
Finally, the Selenge Mongols, cut off by the new border from their
Khalkha kinsmen and mixed with displaced Buriats and Khori, gradually
accepted the Russian designation as Buriat. These groups are:
Descendants of Okhin Taij (grandson of Khalkha's Tsogtu Khan);
Khatagin; Atagan; Ashabagad; Sartuul; Tavnanguud; Yungsiebu; O'zeed;
Uuld; Tsongool. The Tsongool subclans are as follows: 1. Uriankhad, 2.
Bolingud, 3. Baatud, 4. Ashibagad, 5. Avgachuud, 6. Sharnuud, 7.
Nomkhod, 8. Khamnigan, 9. Arshaantan, 10. Khorchid, 11. Naimantan, 12.
Yunshööbü, 13. Khotgoid, 14. Eljiged, 15. Örlüüd, 16.
Tavnanguud, 17. Orongoi, 18. Tsookhor, 19. Sartuul, 20. Sharaid, 21.
Temdegten. Mongolian academician, writer, and scholar Byambyn Renchin
(Mongolian: Бямбын Ренчин) is a representative of this
ethnic group. His father belonged to the Yungshiebu tribe and his
mother was a direct descendant of
Genghis Khan through Khalkha's
^ National Census 2010 of
Mongolia Archived 2011-09-15 at the Wayback
^ C. P. Atwood Encyclopedia of
Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, Khalkha
^ C.P.Atwood-Encyclopedia of
Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, Tsogtu
Morikawa Tetsuo 森川哲雄: Haruha Tumen to Sono Seiritsu ni Tsuite
ハルハ・トゥメンとその成立について, Tōyō Gakuhō
東洋学報 Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 32–63, 1972.
Okada Hidehiro 岡田英弘: Dayan Hān no Rokumanko no Kigen
ダヤン・ハーンの六万戸の起源, Enoki Hakushi Kanreki
Kinen Tōyōshi Ronsō 榎博士還暦記念東洋史論叢,
pp. 127–137, 1975.
Atwood, Christopher. "Khalkha.", "Tsogtu Taiji.", and "Buriats."
Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. 2006.
Lattimore, Owen. The
Mongols of Manchuria. Rahway: Quinn & Boden
Company, Inc., 1934
Shabad, Theodore. China's Changing Map. New York: Praeger Publishers,
Inc., 2nd ed. 1972
Shirnen.B Б. Ширнэн: Buriadyn Noudel Hel Ayalgouny Ouchir
Буриадын Нүүдэл-Хэл Аялгууны Учир,
pp. 67–70, 2005.
Northern Yuan dynasty
Northern Yuan dynasty (1368–1635)
List of Khans
Terms and prominent people
Six Tumen Mongols
Three Eastern Tumens
Three Western Tumens
Ukhaantu Khan Toghun-Temur (1368–1370)
Biligtü Khan Ayushiridara (1370–1378)
Uskhal Khan Tögüs Temür (1378–1388)
Jorightu Khan Yesüder (1388–1392)?
Engke Khan (?–1392)
Elbeg Nigülesügchi Khan (1392–1399)
Gün Temür Khan (1400–1402)
Örüg Temür Khan Gulichi (1402–1408)
Öljei Temür Khan
Öljei Temür Khan Bunyashiri (1403–1412)
Delbeg Khan (1415)
Oyiradai Khan (1415–1425)
Adai Khan (1425–1438)
Tayisung Khan Toghtoa Bukha (1433–1452)
Esen Taishi (1453–1454)
Markörgis Khan (Ükegtü) (1454–1465)
Molon Khan (1465–1466)
Manduul Khan (1475–1478)
Dayan Khan (1478–1516)
Bars Bolud Jinong (deputy)
Bodi Alagh Khan (1516–1547)
Darayisung Gödeng Khan (1547–1557)
Tümen Jasaghtu Khan (1557–1592)
Buyan Sechen Khan (1592–1604)
Ligdan Khan (1604–1634)
Ejei Khan (1634–1635)
Prominent politicians and generals
Örüg Temür Khan
Slab Grave culture
Khatso (Yunnan Mongol)