Mongolia is known for the rein of Genghis Khan. But how much do you really know about this man?
1. The Mongols pulled their bowstrings back with their thumb. To prevent damage to their thumbs they created thumb rings.
2. In 1254 C.E. Genghis Khan organized a formal religious debate between teams of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. The debate went on for multiple rounds on a variety of theological topics until the participants became so drunk that it concluded without any clear winner.
3. Genghis Khan killed an estimated 40 million people, resulting in a man-made climate change. The Mongol invasions effectively cooled the planet, scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
4. Töregene Khatun, the daughter-in-law to Genghis Khan, ruled the Mongol Empire for 5 years at the height of its power and was arguably the most powerful woman in the history of the world
5. Genghis Khan never allowed anyone to paint his portrait, sculpt his image or engrave his likeness on a coin. The first images of him appeared after his death.
6. Genghis Khan would marry off a daughter to the king of an allied nation, dismissing his other wives. Then he would assign his new son-in-law to military duty in the Mongol wars, while the daughter took over the rule. Most of his sons-in-laws died in combat, giving him shield around the Mongol lands.
7. The Mongol Empire installed empire-wide messenger/postal stations 15-40 miles apart, stocked with food and fresh mounts that required passports for use, allowing for communication over the largest continuous empire in history – the beginning of the Pony Express.
8. Shah Jahan, the emperor who built the Taj Mahal was a direct descendent of Genghis Khan
9. Genghis Khan exempted the poor and clergy from taxes, encouraged literacy, and established a free religion, leading many people to join his empire before they were even conquered.
10. Mongols were actually outnumbered in most of their victories in battles. They still managed to deceive their enemies by elaborate ruses like mounting dummies atop horses and tying sticks to the horses’ tails to create dust storms.
If this has made you want to discover more about Mongolia then why don't you come with us this summer and see this magnificent country for yourself? Find out more