THIS OFT-FORGOTTEN country squeezed between two land-hungry superpowers changed the course of world history 8-900 years ago. The last legacy of Imperical Mongolia lived right up to Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal ruler of India, deposed by the British in 1858. Mongol “hordes” – The Golden Horde, Blue Horde, White Horde – ruled from Beijing to Hungary.
It so nearly never came to be.
Temujin was just 10 when his father was poisoned, and his family cast out from the clan, in a land where tribal fighting and kidnapping was a way of life. Once captured himself, Temujin led his small and poor family, and eventually made alliances with others.
Temujin’s strength, alliances and miltary skill grew until by 1205 he controlled an area the size of modern Mongolia. It was just the beginning for the young man formally proclaimed as “Ruler of the Universe”, or Chinggis Khan.
The nomadic way of life is under threat, from climate change, drought, population, but the culture is still strong, and the land still vast and beautiful.