Kulug Khan

Image Source: Public Domain

About Kulug Khan

Lifespan: 1281-1311 A.D

Reign Years: 1307 – 1311 A.D

Given Name: Borjigin Qayshan

Reign Name: Wuzong

Külüg Khan – Yuan Dynasty

Kulug Khan was born with the name Khayishan. He became the emperor of the Yuan dynasty and was known as the 7th great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Also, he was called Emperor Wuzong of Yuan.

He was also the first son of Darmabala and Dagi, who was from the Khunggirad clan. In addition to this, he was Ayurbawada’s full brother.

The reign of Kulug as a Yuan emperor only lasted for a short few years. Specifically, from 1307 to 1311. During this time, their empire was suffering from great debt and inflation issues and continuously growing discontent.

Early Career of Kulug Khan

At a young age, Kulug Khan was sent off to Mongolia. There, he assumed troops that protected the western-front of the Yuan Empire against Kaidu. The latter was the de facto leader of the Chagatai Khanate. He was also the ruler of the other princes from Central Asia that were under him.

In 1289, Khayishan’s army was almost routed. But luckily, he was rescued by the Kipchack commander Tutugh from being captured by Kaidu’s troops.

When 1301 came, he ended up clashing with Kaidu, who fell due to battle wounds. To recognize and honor his success, Kulug Khan was given the title of Prince Huaning. This occurred in the year 1304.

When Chapar assaulted Duwa, Temur Khan helped the former by sending troops under Khayishan’s lead. In 1306, his forces pushed Melig Temur, son of Ariq Boke, who aligned himself with Kaidu, to surrender. Due to the assaults, Chapar, Kaidu’s successor, escaped to the west.

For these military achievements, Kulug Khan acquired a high reputation among the non-Mongol corps and Mongol princes. His uncle, Temur Khan, didn’t have a male heir. This resulted in Kulug being considered as a primary candidate for the title of Yuan emperor.

Enthronement of Kulug Khan

When Temur Khan died in 1307, Khayishan traveled to the Karakorum to watch and observe the situation. The widow of Temur Khan, Bulugan of the Bayaud Tribe, kept and protected the Khuggirad brothers Ayurbawada and Khayishan. She tried setting up Ananda, the Muslim cousin of Temur, who was also a prince of the An-hsi.

Her agreement was backed by other Secretariat senior officials who were under Aqutai.

Bulugan eventually became the regent while they intended to place Ananda on the throne. He was a popular prince who protected the Yuan province against the Chaghatayid and Ogedeid armies. There were even a large number of the imperial army under his leadership in the An-hsi.

Despite these, Ananda lacked military power in the imperial capital city. Plus, he was a Muslim who was aversed to most of the Yuan Mongols.

Darkhan Harghasun, Chagatai Khan’s great-great-grandson and the descendant of Tolui Khan named Yakhutu fought for Darmabala’s son’s candidacy. The pro-Darmabala group arrested both Bulugan and Ananda through a coup, then recalled Dagi and Ayurbarwada from Henan.

From there, Khayishan held the coronation ceremony in Shangdu like what his great-grandfather did. Then, he headed south with 30,000 Mongolian soldiers.

He was eventually welcomed by Ayurbarwada, who soon ascended to the throne. But before taking the title, he executed both Ananda and Bulugan. Even the son of Ariq Boke, Melig-Temur, was executed due to his support for Ananda.

The enthronement of Khayishan as the Emperor Wuzong in 1307 was performed during a Kurultai. And as promised, he appointed Ayurbarwada as the apparent heir.

Early Yuan dynasty Antique Porcelain Vase Qilin with incised design.

This richly detailed Yuan Dynasty vase features a beautiful combination of shades of cobalt oxide blue with delicate carved designs. A small foot gives way to a slender lower medallion that marks the point where the body begins to grow into wide majestic rims

Buy Now!

Antique Chinese Yuan Dynasty Porcelain Vase with Phoenix Qilin Ducks and Fish

This large Yuan Dynasty porcelain vase is exquisitely painted in brilliant tones of cobalt oxide blue. The base begins with slender arches with a lotus flower motif that makes way for curled stems enclosed in two medallions, followed by two beautiful small portraits.

Buy Now!

Late Yuan Dynasty Blue and White Porcelain Vase Warrior on Horse

This late Yuan Dynasty blue and white vase has been exquisitely hand-painted with the traditional cobalt oxide used by oriental artisans. Under a flared rim is a double-line medallion with elegant curled flowers. Below, a second medallion frames beautifully detailed chrysanthemums.

Buy Now!

Reign of Emperor Wuzong

After Emperor Wuzong’s ascension, the Hiaoking was distributed to the empire. The Hiaoking was a treatise related to filial obedience. It’s among the works associated with Confucius and was translated to the Mongolian language.

The princes and officials who attended his ceremony were granted splendid gifts. These were in accordance with the amount given by the earlier Khan.

Buddhism in the Rule of Kulug Khan

Kulug Khan favored Buddhism a lot, so he ordered Chogdi Osor, the Tibetan Lama, to translate Buddha’s sacred books. He passed a law wherein whoever struck a Lama would lose their tongue.

The Yuan emperor was also the first Khagan to make land taxes for Buddhist monks and those who followed Taoism.

Dropping Value of Money

During the rule of Kulug Khan, the paper currency’s value dropped by about 80%. This somehow enriched the court and the Mongols. However, it impoverished the general population, especially those rich Chinese officials and merchants.

Because Mongol rulers printed as much paper currency as they wished, they ended up printing too much. It resulted in a continuous drop in value.

Death of Kulug Khan

After his rule of less than four years, Kulug Khan died in 1311. Immediately, Ayurbarwada succeeded the throne in 1311. From there, the Khunggirad group came together under his mother’s lead and removed the pro-Khayishan officials.

It also broke the promise of Ayurbarwada to appoint Khayishan’s son as the crown prince. During his rule, the court drove out Khayishan’s sons from the central government.