Kulug Khan: Seventh Great Khan of the Mongol Empire

Kulug Khan: Seventh Great Khan of the Mongol Empire


Kulug Khan, also known as Wuzong in the temple, was a Yuan dynasty monarch born Khayishan. Apart from becoming Emperor of China, he is known as the Mongol Empire's or Mongols' seventh Great Khan. However, this title was primarily nominal due to the empire's partition. In Mongolian, his name means "warrior Khan" or "excellent horse Khan."

Khayishan Kulug Khan

Emperor Wuzong of Yuan

3rd Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty


From 21 June 1307 to 27 January 1311


21 June 1307


Temur Khan


Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan


On 4 August 1281 in Khanbaliq, Yuan China


On 27 January 1311, at the age of 29, in Khanbaliq, Yuan China










Dagi Khatun



Early Career

He was the full brother of Ayurbarwada and the first son of Darmabala and Dagi of the powerful Khunggirad dynasty. He was dispatched to Mongolia to command an army that would defend the Yuan's western front against Kaidu, the de facto ruler of the Chagatai Khanate, and other princes in Central Asia. Khayishan's army was nearly annihilated in 1289, but Tutugh, the Kipchak commander, rescued him from Kaidu's army. In 1301, he fought Kaidu, who died as a result of a battle wound. In 1304 Kulug Khan has bestowed the title of Prince Huaining in appreciation of his outstanding success. When Chapar attacked Duwa, Temur aided him and dispatched an army under Khayishan's command. In 1306 Khayishan compelled Melig Temur, a son of Ariq Böke, to admit of defeat in the Altai Mountains and pushed Kaidu's inheritor Chapar westward. He earned a good reputation among Mongol rulers and non-Mongol corps for his military successes. Because his uncle Temur Khan lacked a male successor, he was considered a leading contender.


When Temur Khan died in 1307, he returned to the Karakorum and observed the situation. Bulugan of the Bayaud tribe, Temur's widow, had kept the Khunggirad-mothered brothers of Khayishan and Ayurbarwada at bay and attempted to set up Ananda, Temur's Muslim cousin and prince of An-hsi. Some high Secretariat officials, including Aqutai, backed her partnership. Bulugan was made regent to put Ananda on the throne. Ananda was a well-liked prince who successfully defended the Yuan province against the Ögedeid and Chaghatayid armies and commanded the majority of the imperial army in An-hsi. However, he lacked military power in the imperial capital city and was a Muslim who opposed the Yuan Mongol majority. The Darkhan Harghasun, Tura, Chagatai Khan's great-great-grandson, and Yakhutu, a descendant of Tolui, battled for Darmabala's sons' candidacy against them. Ananda and Bulghan were detained by the pro-Darmabala side in a coup, while Ayurbarwada and Dagi were recalled from Henan. Then, like his great-grandfather Kublai Khan, Khayishan decided to hold the coronation ceremony in Shangdu and marched south with thirty thousand Mongolian soldiers. Ayurbarwada, who had given up the emperorship and ascended to the throne, greeted him warmly. Before succession, he had executed Ananda and Bulughan. Melig-Temur Böke, Ariq Böke's son, was also hanged for supporting Ananda. On 21 June 1307, Khayishan was formally enthroned at Shangdu in a kurultai. He then declared his younger brother Ayurbarwada the heir apparent, promising that their descendants would succeed in succession.      


The Classic of Filial Piety, one of Confucius' works translated into Mongolian, was distributed throughout the empire shortly after Khayishan's ascension. According to the quantities determined by the previous khan, he lavished gifts on the princes and officials who attended his ceremony. Furthermore, significant sums were spent on the construction of Buddhist temples in Dadu and Shangdu. The old sage's memory was given new honours, and Ta ching's characters were added to his titles. The uneasy equilibrium between Khayishan, his younger brother Ayurbarwada, and their mother, Dagi of the Khunggirad tribe, formed his rule's foundation. Ayurbarwada was appointed Crown Prince by Khayishan to pass the title on to Khayishan's son after the succession. He was well-liked by imperial princes and Mongol nobility because he lavished bonuses on them. Khayishan Kulug Khan spontaneously gave away noble and certified titles, and the government was brimming with extras. Despite Kublai Khan's unwritten rule that only sons of Khagans might be named princes of the first rank, he bestowed numerous princely titles on the Genghisids and non-Borjigins.

Meanwhile, he was beset by financial problems brought on by his free-spending policies and decades of military spending. As a result, he reinstated the Department of State for financial matters and the Central Secretariat for administrative matters. He switched Zhongshu Sheng's branch offices to Shangshu Sheng's to increase his monopoly in salt and other items. To replace Zhiyuan-Chao, he issued new bills named Zhida-yinchao. His anti-inflation initiatives failed to produce satisfactory results during his brief rule, displeasing Han Chinese commanders and commoners. He tried to impose new nonconvertible silver money but was met with public opposition.

Despite sharing the tutorship of Confucian scholar Li Meng with Ayurbarwada at first, he seemed to have been unaffected by Confucian culture. Despite Harghasun's effective service, he relocated him to Mongolia as grand councillor of the left-wing of the Branch secretariat of Lin-pei. Khayishan placed a great deal of trust in his Mongolian retainers and commanders. He promoted them to important positions and preferred non-Mongol forces such as the Kipchak, Asud, and Qangl. In contrast, he did not lavishly reward the Khunggirad faction for their coup against Bulughan. Khayishan accused Tula of having a second object after he shouted something suspicious in wrath, so he had him tried and executed. Khayishan was so enamoured with Buddhism that he had the Tibetan Lama Chogdi Osor translate the Buddha's sacred writings. He declined to punish Buddhist monks who made mistakes, except in the circumstances involving the Yuan dynasty. A law was passed that said anyone who struck a Lama would lose his tongue, but Ayurbarwada abolished it since it was unconstitutional. Khayishan, on the other hand, was the first Khagan to tax the lands held by Buddhist monks and Taoists, which had previously been exempt. To cut the cost of supporting the Yuan bureaucracy, he proclaimed in 1307 dismissing the supernumeraries and bringing the total number of officials following his uncle Temur Khan's quota. The decree had a little practical effect; the number of bureau chief officials increased from 6 to 32 during Kublai's reign. At Dadu and Zhongdu, he also ordered the construction of court officials and a new palace city.

Chungnyeol, the Goryeo king of Korea, died in 1308, and Khayishan issued a patent to Chungseon, his successor. That year, Chapar and other leaders of the Ögedei Khanate came to Khayishan with their submission, putting an end to Khaidu's sons' threat to the Chagatai Khanate and the Yuan dynasty. The Yuan completed the subjugation of Sakhalin during his reign, forcing the Ainu people to accept their rule in 1308. The paper had depreciated to the point that a new issue was issued in 1309 to replace the discredited paper, but this, too, quickly lost value, and the Emperor, Khaissan, decided to return to the ancient money and two types of copper coins bearing Mongol characters were minted in 1310. Some have the inscription Zhida era valuable money, while others have the legend Great Yuan precious money. These copper coins were available in three sizes: one li, ten li, and coins worth numerous li from the Tang and Song dynasties. The court of Khayishan ran into financial troubles. For example, in the year 1307, the government spent 10 million tings on paper notes and 3 million dan on cereals. By 1310, the reserves had been depleted, and 10,603,100 tings had been borrowed for current expenses.

In 1310, Tula's son Kokechu plotted against the Emperor with the help of top court officials and Buddhist monks; however, their plot was discovered, the monks were put to death, and Kokechu was exiled to Korea. Arslan, the governor of Dadu and kheshig commander, met the same end as the conspirators. He and three of his colleagues were executed. All Branch Secretariats were renamed Branch Departments of State Affairs under Khayishan's rule. Toghta, the left's grand councillor, Sanpanu and Yueh shi, the government affairs managers, and Paopa, the right's assistant administrator, were in charge of the new main department of state affairs. The price of salt licenses given under the state monopoly was increased by 35% over the previous year's pricing. The wealthier families of Chiang-nan were subjected to a 2% grain tax levy. Tax collectors were judged based on the percentage increase in taxes collected above the tax quota at the end of Temur's reign. Khayishan's government erected granaries in towns to combat inflation and substantially expanded the quota for grain shipments by sea from the Yangtze Valley, reaching 2.9 million shih in 1310. In the Secretariat, the Censorate, the Bureau of Military Affairs, and the Bureau of Transmission and supernumeraries in numerous agencies, Khayishan cut the number of key officials.


Khayishan died abruptly on 27 January 1311, after a reign of fewer than four years. The unsatisfied Khunggirad party banded together under his mother Dagi and ousted pro-Khayishan officials shortly after his death and Ayurbarwada's reign in 1311. Ayurbarwada's vow to select Khayishan's son as Crown Prince was likewise broken. Kuala and Tugh Temur, Khayishan's sons, were expelled from the central government by his court. Pro-Khayishan generals held grudges until 1328, overthrowing another of Khayishan's kin, Ragibagh, and established Tugh Temur.



  • Darmabala, posthumously Shunzong (From 1264 to 1292)
  • Dagi (From 1266 to 1322)

Wives, Concubines and Children

  • Empress Xuancihuisheng
  • Empress Sugeshili: cousin of Zhenge
  • Concubine Yiqilie: posthumously Empress Renxianzhangsheng
    • Khutughtu, Emperor Mingzong (From 22 December 1300  to  29 August 1329)
  • Concubine Tangwu: posthumously Empress Wenxianzhaosheng
    • Jayaatu, Emperor Wenzong (From 16 February 1304 to 2 September 1332)

Last updated: 2021-October-26
Tags: Mongol Empire Yuan Dynasty
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