The Bogd Khaan. Bogd Khan.
INFORMATION FOR TRAVELERS
MONGOLIAN LEGENDARY PERSONS
BOGD KHAN (1870-1924)
Last Khan of Mongolia
The Bogd Khan (BOGD JAVZANDAMBA).
Bogd Khaan (Mongolian).
The eighth Jebtzun Damba (Lord of Refuge) is most commonly referred to as the Bogd Khaan (partly because his real name is over 14 syllables long). He was a colourful and
controversial character. One famous story tells how he hooked up a car battery to a long metal cord, hung it over the Winter Palace walls and then waited for believers to grab hold of the rope and
attribute the shock to the living Buddha's great powers. His love of exotic animals (he owned a giraffe and an elephant) was matched only by his weakness for alcohol (he was sometimes drunk for days
at a time).
Bogd Javzandamba Agvaanluvsanchoijinnyam VIII
was born in 1870 to the rich family of Gonchigtseren, financier of the Dalai
Lama in Lhasa City, Tibet.
In 1871, he was recognized as the 8th
reincarnation of Bogd Javzandamba. In 1874, he was invited to Mongolia as
the leader of the Mongolian Buddhist religion and, between 1911 and 1921, he was
elevated to the Khaan's throne as the dual theocrat of Mongolian monarchy.
Between 1921 and 1924, at the time of the People's Revolution, he was recognized
as the constitutional monarch and, in 1924, died due to illness.
Bogd Javzandamba VIII -the spiritual leader of the 1911 national revolution -
named himself the descendent of the Great Khaan and as being the reincarnation
of the First Bogd - Saint Zanabazar who was a descendent of Chinggis Khaan.
At that time, nobody could compare with
Javzandamba due to the number of his students and serfs and property, including
livestock. Thanks to this, he was promoted and elevated to the Khaan's throne,
but he devoted his whole life and spirit to Mongolia.
Bogd Javzandamba VIII played a prominent
role in the development of Khuree (the capital) culture. For instance, in 1915
he encouraged the introduction of telecommunications and established a zoo park
with various exotic inhabitants. He also organized concerts, making a
contribution to the development of khuree songs. In 1917, a long song was taught
to his guards at his decree. There are also songs composed by him and for him.
Depending on which version of history you read, the Bogd Khan was either a great visionary and nationalist, or a promiscuous bisexual cross-dresser who was eventually blinded by syphilis. One of
his wives was the former wife of a wrestler and was well known for her sexual exploits with her hairdresser.