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Planets, Stars and Atmosphere
Abode 16th floor in the Sky
Symbol Pleiades
Parents Kayra and Yer Tanrı
Siblings Umay
Ay Tanrı

Bai-Ülgen or Ülgen (Old Turkic: Bey Ülgen; also spelled Bai-Ulgen, Bai-Ülgen, Bay-Ulgan, Bay-Ulgen, or Bay-Ülgen; Khakas: Ülgen, Cyrillic: Ӱлген, Russian: Ульгень or Ульге́нь, Ottoman: اولگن) is a Turkic and Mongolian creator-deity, usually distinct from Tengri but sometimes identified with him in the same manner as Helios and Apollo. His name is from Old Turkic bay, "rich", and ülgen, "magnificent". Ulgan is believed to be without either beginning or end.


In Turkic and Mongolian mythology, the birch tree, regarded as a cosmic axis between earth and sky, was regarded as sacred to him, as was the horse (horse-sacrifice was a part of his worship).[1] Ulgan symbolizes goodness, welfare, abundance, plentiness of food, water, etc. Furthermore, he created earth, heaven and all living beings. In addition, he controls the atmospheric events and movements of stars.[2] He creates land for people to live on, the heads of both humans and animals and the rainbow. He was regarded as the patron god of shamans and the source of their knowledge.

It is believed that Ulgan has been created from Tengri (Tengere Kayra Khan). He is the highest deity after Tengri in the Mongo-Turkic pantheon. Often, Ulgan is compared with Tengri and at times they are thought to be on par, or even the same. In some sayings, the name/function of Ulgan may be (partially) interchangeable with that of Tengri.

Ulgan is described as the enemy of Erlik who is the god of evil and darkness. Ulgen assumes the protectorship of humankind against him.

Bai-Ulgan lives on the sixteenth floor of the sky above the stars, sun and moon in a golden house. Mere humans may never reach him, excepting shamans or kams, who possess astral powers. Animals are used for sacrifice in worship of him, especially horses. Once in every third, sixth, ninth, or twelfth year, a shaman may sacrifice a white horse as the first step of reaching Ulgan. Then he must ride its soul, penetrate through all the layers of heaven until he reaches Ulgan. Firstly, the kam(shaman) meets Yayık who is the servant of Ulgan. This entity informs the kam whether or not the offering has been accepted. If the sacrificial rite has been successful, the shaman is able to learn from the omniscient Ulgan of impending dangers, such as bad harvests.

Children of Ulgan[edit]

Ulgan has seven sons, named Akoğlanlar (White Boys) or Kıyatlar. They are “Karakush Khan, Karshyt Khan, Pura Khan, Burcha Kan, Yashyl Khan, Er-Kanym Khan, Bakty Khan”. And he has nine daughters,[3][4][5] that named Akkızlar and Kıyanlar. But no one knows their names. His daughters are source of inspiration for shamans.[6]


They are the sons of Ulgan.

  1. Karshyt Han or Karşıt: The god of purity.
  2. Pura Han or Bura: The god of horses.
  3. Burcha Han or Burça Kan: The god of prosperity.
  4. Yashyl Han or Yaşıl Kan: The god of nature.
  5. Karakush Han or Karakuş: The god of birds.
  6. Kanym Han or Er Kanım: The god of confidence.
  7. Bakhty Han or Baktı Kan: The god of blessing.


  1. ^ Horse Sacrifice and The Shaman's Ascent to The Sky, Adapted from: Mircea Eliade
  2. ^ Altay ve Şor Mitolojisinde Ülgen Tanrısı
  3. ^ Türk mitosları ve Anadolu efsanelerinin izsürümü, Zühre İndirkaş, Can Göknil, 2007
  4. ^ Türk mitolojisi, Murat Uraz, Page 86
  5. ^ Mitolojiden efsaneye: Türk mitolojisinin Türkiye'deki efsanelerde izleri, Muharrem Kaya
  6. ^ Türk Söylence Sözlüğü (Turkish Mythological Dictionary), Deniz Karakurt, e-Book (OTRS: CC BY-SA 3.0)


External links[edit]