Genghis Khan was the world’s greatest conqueror. Yet his resting place remains undiscovered, despite numerous attempts to find it. Why was there such a mystery?
Genghis Khan (1162-1227) was perhaps the greatest soldier and conqueror the world has ever seen. His victories at the head of his feared armies gave him the greatest land empire that has ever been created, ranging from Korea in the east to Hungary in the west and from Siberia in the north to Java in the south. His name is revered today by nearly all Mongols and large numbers of new products and businesses are named after him.
So where is his tomb? How come it has never been found and neither have any of the tombs of the emperors of the Yuan dynasty that he founded? There are candidates for the site and numerous high-powered and determined efforts to locate it but none of them have produced a generally accepted solution – the most likely candidate for the tomb of the Khan is on the Ordos Plateau, some half a dozen miles south of the Ejin Horo Banner. It is possible that it might be there or thereabouts, since it is widely believed that Genghis met his death prior to preparing to fight yet another battle in what is now China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The answer to the mystery lies in the extraordinary level of secrecy placed upon the hiding of the tomb. Genghis followed the traditional Mongol animistic and shamanistic traditions which worshipped the sun and the blue sky which was its home. It would be entirely appropriate for his body to have been buried on one of the sacred mountains which brought he earth closest to the sky.
After all, Genghis certainly seems to have believed himself to have been specially selected by Heaven to be a divinely-ordained conqueror of humanity. Besides which, it was his soul and not his physical remains which was the proper thing for Mongol followers to have worshipped.
To have had his tomb looted by a jealous usurper or thief would have been regarded as the most grievous crime that could have been committed against him, not least because of the powerful magic that his body parts and possessions might have provided.
This is why, at least so it is said, that tens of thousands of horses were used to walk the ground flat over his resting place and hundreds of slaves leveled to ground before planting scores of trees to obscure its location. Those slaves and indeed their trusted military overseers are said to have been put to death to ensure further security of the secret.
Whatever the truth of this might be, it is nevertheless the case that people still seek fame and fortune by locating the bones of the Great Khan but that, so far, no one has managed it.