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Upper Mongols

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Title: Upper Mongols  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mongols, Four Oirat, Khoshut, Mongolian Revolution of 1911, Greater Mongolia
Collection: Ethnic Groups in Asia, History of Tibet, Mongol Peoples, Mongols, Oirats, Tibetan Kings
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Upper Mongols

Upper Mongols
Regions with significant populations
 China 100 000 (2009)
Khoshut dialect of Oirat
Tibetan Buddhism and Shamanism
Related ethnic groups
Oirats, Mongols, Mongols in China

The Upper Mongols (Mongolian: Deed mongol Дээд монгол, Mongolian Script: ᠲᠡᠭᠡᠲᠦ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ), also known as the Köke Nuur Mongols (Mongolian: Хөх нуурын Монгол, Mongolian Script: ᠬᠦᠬᠡ ᠨᠠᠭᠤᠷ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ, "Blue lake Mongol") or Qinghai Mongols (Chinese: 青海蒙古) are the Mongol people of Oirat and Khalkha origin who settled around the Qinghai Lake of Upper Mongolia. They under name as Khoshuud Khanate of Tsaidam and the Koke Nuur are played a major role in SinoMongolTibetan politics of 17-18th centuries. The Upper Mongols adopted Tibetan dress and jewelry despite still using Mongolian ger and script.


  • History 1
  • Khans of Khoshut Khanate 2
  • Ethnic groups of the Upper Mongols 3
  • References 4


After the disintegration of the Mongolic Xianbei state, nomadic groups (Monguor) were migrated under rule of their Khan, Tuyuhun, from their original settlements on the Liaodong Peninsula to the eastern region of modern Qinghai.[1] The Tuyuhun Empire (284-670) stretched 1,500 kilometers from east to west and 1,000 kilometers from north to south.

Although, the Mongols of the GansuQinghai Lake areas under the Great Khan of the Yuan Dynasty submitted to the Ming Dynasty after the fall of the Yuan Dynasty in 1368, the Upper Mongols came there in 16th and 17th centuries. Many Mongol emperors and rulers of the Northern Yuan Dynasty such as Dayan Khan, Ligdan Khan, the Ordos and Tümed princes invaded, or took refuge, in Qinghai from 1509-1632. The Tümed Mongols ruled in the Ordos region and they gradually extended their domain into northeastern Qinghai.[2]

The Khoshut's leader Toro Baikhu Güshi Khan defeated all the Dalai Lama V's enemies in 1637-1642. He was enthroned by the Dalai Lama as Khan of Tibet. His grandson and successor Gonchug Dalai Khan (1669–98) welcomed dissident Zunghars when Galdan Khan began despising Guushi Khan's Oirats.

Khoshut Khanate
State of Khoshut
Capital Not specified
Religion Shamanism
Tibetan Buddism
Government Monarchy
 -  Established 1642
 -  Disestablished 1717
Area 1,400,000 km² (540,543 sq mi)
Today part of  China
Warning: Value not specified for ""
Statue of Güshi Khan (right) in the Dalai Lama's palace, next to the statue of the Dalai Lama himself (left). (Drawing by Johann Grueber, 1661)

With the defeat of Galdan in 1697, Dalai Khung Taiji Dashi Batur submitted to the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty in a personal audience. In 1705, with the approval of the Kangxi Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, Lha-bzang Khan of the Khoshud deposed the regent and sent the 6th Dalai Lama to Beijing; the 6th Dalai Lama died soon after, probably near Qinghai Lake (Koko nur) in Amdo. The Zunghar Mongols invaded Tibet in 1717, and held the entire region until their final defeat by the Qing imperial army in 1720.[3]

The Upper Mongols revolted against the Manchu under rule of the prince Lubsan Danzan in 1723 but they were defeated. Lubsan Danzan killed by the Manchus in 1755.

The Qing Empire conquered Upper Mongolia or the Khoshut Khanate in the 1720s and 80,000 people were killed.[4] By that period, Upper Mongolian population reached 200,000.

The Upper Mongols in North-West China revived their cultural ties with Inner Mongolia with the liberalization in 1979. The Tibetan culture strongly influenced them, however they use Mongolian script unlike other major Oirat tribes that use Zaja Pandita's Todo Bichig Clear script.

The separation of the Tibetans from the Mongolian banners weakened the Upper Mongols. After 1775, the Tibetans made increasingly bold attacks on the Mongols. Hence, small group of the Upper Mongols fled to Gansu to escape the Tibetan nomads and they formed Subei Mongol county. In 1821 the Tibetan nomads made a mass migration north, sweeping away the Qinghai Mongol banners between the Yellow River and Qinghai Lake due to the internal strife between the Tibetans. In 1897 the Hui Muslims plundered the Upper Mongols.

Khans of Khoshut Khanate

  • Güshi Khan Toro-Baikhu (1642–1655)
  • Dayan Ochir Khan (1655–1669)
  • Gonchug Dalai Khan (1669–1698)
  • Lhazang Chingis Khan (1698–1717)

Ethnic groups of the Upper Mongols

All Upper Mongols are not khoshut oirats and there are few khalkha, choros and torghuts.The Ligdan Khan came here with 150-200 000? Subei Mongol Autonomous County (2010).


  1. ^ The T'u-yü-hun from the Northern Wei to the time of the Five Dynasties, p. XII. 1970. Gabriella Molè. Rome. Is.M.E.O.
  2. ^ W.D.Shakabpa, Tibet: A Political History
  3. ^ Richardson 1986, pp. 48–49
  5. ^ Хөх нуурын Монголчууд буюу Дээд монголчууд гэж хэн бэ? (in Mongolian)
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