The Tomb of Genghis Khan
Situated about 15 kilometers southeast of Xilian Town, Yijinhuoluo County, Ordos Prefecture, the Tomb of Genghis Khan is on the Gandeer Prairie. The scenic spot was opened to the public in the year 1954, and it is now one of the important historical relics in China under state-level protection. Genghis Khan spent almost all his life fighting and conquering other places on the back of horse. He managed to expand the Mongolian Empire to the vast middle and western parts of Asia. Just like his great achievements, the tomb was constructed on a large scale and the architecture looks splendid and stunning. As a result, visitors are always amazed by its magnificence and glamour.
With the tomb palace in its central part, the whole scenic spot is composed of the Sulede Sacrificial Altar, three districts, two pathways, and eight tourist centers. The three districts refer to the Sightseeing District for the Protection of Historic Relics, the Conservation District for Ecosystem Preservation, and the Development Restricted District of Visual Spectacles. The two pathways are the four-kilometer Sacred Pathway of Genghis Khan, from the entrance to the tomb palace, and the sixteen-kilometer sightseeing pathway surrounding Bayinchanghuo Prairie and connecting the various scenic spots. While the eight tourist centers refer to the Tourist Activity Center, the Tourist Education Center, the Sacrificial Sightseeing District, the Mongolian Folk Custom Village, the Shenquan Ecological Tourism Region, the Nadam Equestrian Sport Center, and the Hot Air Balloon Club. The Tomb of Genghis Khan is composed of three big examples of Mongolian-style architecture and several corridors. The whole scenic spot consists of six parts: the Main Hall, the Imperial Burial Palace, the Western Hall, the Eastern Hall, the Western Corridor and the Eastern Corridor. The main part of the tomb consists of the three Mongolian style halls: the Main Hall, the Imperial Burial Palace and the Western Hall. In the Main Hall, there is a big statue of Genghis Khan, which is more than five meters tall.
In the Imperial Burial Palace there are three white Mongolian yurts (portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structures used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia), which are covered with yellow silk on the top. The coffins of Genghis Khan and his wife are in the middle yurt, and the coffins of Genghis Khan's brothers are located in the two yurts either side. The coffin of Genghis Khan is made of silver, with a golden lock and decorated by patterns of rose blooms. On both sides of the coffin are placed sabers, swords, arrows, bows and other weapons which had been used by Genghis Khan. In the Eastern Hall is the coffin of Tuolei and his wife. Tuolei was the fourth and most beloved son of Genghis Khan. In the Western Hall, there are nine banners with Mongolian style decorations, symbolizing the prosperity and the power of Genghis Khan's kingdom. In the Eastern and Western Corridors, connecting the three big halls, there are large murals on the walls. These paintings are about the life experiences and merits of Genghis Khan and his descendants.
There are four ceremonies held here every year to worship Genghis Khan, and all the ceremonies are organized and held by the Daerhute tribe, the ancestors of whom were the guard troops of Genghis Khan. From the year when Genghis Khan died, 1227 AD, the Daerhute tribe began to guard the tomb of their great king. Up to now, there have been thirty-nine generationsof this tribe guarding the tomb. The four ceremonies for worshipping Genghis Khan are very unique. They are held according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar on the 21st of the third month, the 12th of the fifth month, the 12th of the ninth month and the 3rd of the tenth month each year. The first ceremony, held in the third lunar month of the year, is known as the Spring Ceremony, and is held in the Main Hall. On this day, people from various parts of Inner Mongolia and other areas of the country come to attend this great activity. They offer sacrificial gifts and burn incense at the ceremony. After the worshipping ceremony, traditional Mongolian activities are held, such as horse racing, archery and wrestling. Even though this place is called the Tomb of Genghis Khan, it is in fact just a burial site containing the weapons, clothes, and other remnants of the great king. It is still unknown where exactly the real burial place of Genghis Khan is.