This is a sacred memorial complex was built for memorial of
Tonyukuk who was a general and an adviser of the last 3 kings of Turkic empire.
It is situated northwest of Mount Bayantsogt, 15km east from Nalaikh district
and 4km west from Ar Janchivlan spa-resort in Erdene Soum, Tuv province. In
1957 a doctor N.Ser-Odjav studied the grave in a wider range. The building
ruins with a single row of blue brick wall were discovered as a result of the
expedition. It became clear that the floor had been wholly erected with a brick
and the roof had been tiled. The walls were painted in vivid colors
such as a red and a black. Most of the vase finds were like a flared lip and a
flat bottom. A human figure with a rather luxuriant eyebrow, a full eye, a
sharp fanged and flared nose was carved on a column of the building.
Surrounding the Stele, there are 9 granite dressed man stones each designed
differently. Approximately 400 stones were placed along 1300m long distance
from the complex directing east. Ancient Turks used to cremate those dead and
practice a special ceremony to please spirits of them and establish sacred
burials to visit them regularly. These sacred burials vary in size,
construction and design depending on origin and rank of a particular
The arrangement: a sacred burial is enclosed by square slabs, a man
stone is placed in front of the burial and large numbers of white stones are
filed from the stele until downhill. According to researchers, a meaning of
filing stones can be explained in two ways. First, number of stones equals to
the number of enemy soldiers killed by a particular person. Second, those
stones represent people attending the funeral.
62-rowed inscription was craved on the two of steles in the
complex. The first stele is 170 meters high and the second one is 160 meters.
27 rows of the inscription are on the first stele and remained 25 are on the
second one. Turkic general Tonyukuk had the stele built when he was
alive. The inscription said that “I dreamed of Turkic empire having its own
king. Afterwards, it had a king, but soon it again became under the control of
China. It was difficult to unite for Turks who weren’t conquered by China,
because enemies were threatening from all sides – China on the south, Khitan on
the east, Okuz on the north. Further, he mentioned the wars against Kyrgyzstan,
Tardush, Sogd and others clearly. Bending those soft like tearing those thin is
easy. Like that, the country is easy to conquer, when it is weak, but difficult
when it is strong and much brave is needed to conquer. As a result of his
loyalty to the last 3 kings of Turkic empire, Elteres, Kapkan, Bilge, the
country became a real country and the state became a real state”.
Tonyukuk (646-732): He was a nobleman of Ashina
tribe from which the most powerful noblemen were originated. Tonyukuk had been
a state prisoner until he became an advisor of king Kutuluk after his unrest.
King Elteres (Kutuluk) was died in 693 when the Turkic empire was under the
control of China. After his death, his son Mojo was enthroned as a king and
started a sweeping political change by removing old noblemen including Tonyukuk
from state affairs. These persecuted state aristocrats headed by Tonyukuk
plotted against the king and dethroned him. And Prince Mogilyan was claimed as
a king of Turkic empire with a title “Bilge” to whom Tonyukuk served as an
advisor and a general. Tonyukuk was died in 732 at age of 86.