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Talabuga, Tulabuga, Talubuga or Telubuga was the khan of the Golden Horde, division of the Mongol Empire between 1287 and 1291. He was the son of Tartu and great-grandson of Batu Khan. He assumed the throne in the Golden Horde in 1287 with the help of Nogai Khan, but was dethroned four years later by the same, replaced by Tokhta.
He accompanied the Mongol invasion of Lithuania with Nogai under the command of Burundai in 1259. Alongside Nogai Khan, he led the second Mongol invasion of Hungary in 1284-1285 and the third Mongol raid against Poland in 1287. Despite initial success most of attacks were unsuccessful.
As a matter of rule, the Galician and Rus' dukes were ordered to accompany the Mongol raid on Hungary together with Tulabuga and Nogai in 1285. Although Nogai and his Tatars plundered villages and some cities, they were beaten back by the Hungarian royal army and Vlachs upon their return. For Tulabuga, his army had strayed in the Carpathian Mountains and lost many of their horses due to cold weather. Soon after that, Nogai made him the Khan of Ulus of Jochi and overthrew the previous khan. Tulabuga shared his authority with his brother and cousins who were the sons of Mongke Temur Khan. Their next raid clearly showed disagreements and tensions among them. In 1286 Khan Tulabuga decided to organize the raid on Poland, together with Khan Nogai. For this purpose, Khan Tulabuga arrived with his armies to Nogai's headquarters, but there was "a great disagreement between them." In the end Khan Tulabuga moved against Poland by himself. Tulabuga left part of his troops in Volodymyr, then the capital of Galicia-Volhynia, and moved against Poland together with his Rus' regiments. Note that the Tatar-Mongols had plundered the Volhynian lands during that time. Tatar and Rus' troops had advanced towards Cracow through Sandomierz and Zawichost. The Mongols afterwards had returned with 20,000 Polish captives.
In 1287, Khan Tulabuga raided Poland one last time. This time he was joined by Alguy, the son of Mengu-Timur. Upon their return, Tulabuga was accompanied by both Dukes Leo and Mstislav to Lviv. At this point Duke Vladimir, in the presence of Tulabuga and Alguy, decided to pass his throne on to Mstislav, the son of Danylo. Duke Leo attempted to prevent this from happening, by calling into mind the existence of "his friend" Khan Nogai. Duke Mstislav then forced him to withdraw, explaining that the power transfer was already made and agreed upon by the rulers of the Golden Horde and their counselors. It was a frightening prospect to make complains to the Golden Horde.
In 1290, Khan Tulabuga and Nogai had attacked the land of Zichia (probably Circassia). Weather turned out to be terribly cold. Nogai left him and returned to his lands. Khan Tulabuga lost all of his companions and troops except his chief khatun. Tulabuga had suspected that Nogai was behind his failure.
Wars against the Ilkhanate
Tulabuga was primarily focused on Europe. During his reign, the Jochid army invaded the Ilkhanate through the Caucasus mountains in 1288 and 1290. Both of these attempts were repelled by the Ilkhan Arghun. All these actions made his reputation inglorious among the Mongol nobles. Even so, Tulabuga never sent envoys to Egypt to encourage the Mamluks to fight against his relatives in the Ilkhanate.
Control of the Rus' principalities was divided among Khan Tulabuga and Nogai. Nogai had exercised de facto control over the North-Western part of the Rus' lands, while the North-Eastern Rus' lands had sided with Tulabuga. Tulabuga was obviously not satisfied with such a division of his empire.
Nogai had asked for a meeting with the Khan with other Chingisids. Tulabuga, who came without his bodyguards, was fooled into an ambush and arrested. Nogai then had Tulabuga executed by Tokhta in 1290/1291.
- Howorth, H. History of the Mongols. Vol. 2, New York: Burt Franklin, 1888.
- David Morgan, The Mongols
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