This is a sacred memorial complex dedicated to Tonyukuk, 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 Aimag. In 1957 a doctor N.Ser-Odjav
dag and 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 an ashet of 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 person.
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 is equal to the number of
enemy soldiers killed by a particular person. Second, those stones represent
people who participated the funeral.
Octahedral two steles in the complex have a 62-rowed inscription.
The first stele is 170m high and the second one is 160m. 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 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 the age of 86.