Kingdom of Qocho

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Kara-Khoja Kingdom

Capital Gaochang, Beshbalik
Languages Old Uyghur language
Religion Buddhism, Manichaeism, Church of the East (Nestorianism)
Government Monarchy
 -  Established 856
 -  Disestablished 1335

The Kingdom of Qocho, (traditional Chinese: 畏兀兒; simplified Chinese: 畏兀儿 ; pinyin: wèiwùér) (Mongolian ᠦᠶᠭᠦᠷ Uihur) also called the Idiqut state ("Holy Wealth, Glory"), was an Uyghur state created during AD 856–866, based in the cities of Qocho (also called Kara-Khoja) near Turpan, Beshbalik, Kumul, and Kucha. Qocho serves as the winter capital with Beshbalik its summer capital. It was also called Uyghuristan or Uyghurstan in its later period.

The kingdom was a Buddhist state, with state-sponsored Buddhism and Manichaeism, and it can be considered the center of Uyghur culture. The Uyghurs sponsored the construction of many of the temple caves in nearby Bezeklik. They abandoned their old alphabet and adopted and modified the script of the Sogdians, which later came to be known as the Uyghur script.[1] The Idiquts (title of the Karakhoja rulers) ruled independently until they become a vassal state of the Kara-Khitans. In 1209, the Kara-Khoja ruler Idiqut Barchuq declared his allegiance to the Mongols under Genghis Khan, and the kingdom existed as a vassal state until 1335. After submitting to the Mongols, the Uyghurs went into the service of the Mongol rulers as bureaucrats, providing the expertise that the initially illiterate nomads lacked.[2] Qocho continued exist as a vassal to the Mongols of the Yuan dynasty, and were allied to the Yuan against the Chagatai Khanate. Qocho was finally conquered by Khizr Khoja of the Chagatai Khanate around the 1390s.

Professor James A. Millward described the original Uyghurs as physically Mongoloid, giving as an example the images in Bezeklik at temple 9 of the Uyghur patrons.[3]

Uygur Khan Successor (8th and 9th century wall painting)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Svatopluk Soucek (2000). "Chapter 4 - The Uighur Kingdom of Qocho". A history of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-65704-0. 
  2. ^ Svatopluk Soucek (2000). "Chapter 7 - The Conquering Mongols". A history of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-65704-0. 
  3. ^ Millward, James A. (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 43. ISBN 0231139241. Retrieved 10 March 2014.