Güshi Khan

Güshi (or Gushri) Khan (1582–1655), a Khoshut prince and leader of the Khoshut Khanate, who had supplanted the Tumed descendants of Altan Khan. His military assistance to the Gelug school enabled the 5th Dalai Lama to establish political control over Tibet. In 1637, Güshi Khan defeated a rival Mongolian prince Tsogtu Khung Taiji, a Kagyu follower, near Qinghai Lake (Kokonor) and established his khanate in Tibet.


Gushi Khan was born Torobaikhu, the 3rd son of Akhai Khatun and Khanai Noyan Khonggor, chief of the Oirat Khoshut tribe. At the age of 12 Torobaikhu had already won renown in battle against the Turkestanis. In 1630 he succeeded his elder brother Baibaghas as chief of the Khoshut with the title Gushi or Guushi Khan.

Sonam Rapten, the Regent during the youth of Lozang Gyatso, the 5th Dalai Lama, sought the help of Gushri Khan to end persecution of the Gelugpa school, and unify Tibet. It took three years for Gushri Khan to install Lozang Gyatso as the head of a unified Tibet. The dGe-lugs-pa monasteries sent appeal for help against Karmapa and Bon-po partisans such as Tsogtu Taiji.

The campaign was prepared in 1639. In the winter of 1640, Gushri defeated all the Dalai Lama's enemies and conquered Kham with other Oirat-Mongol forces from the Torghud and the Dorbeds tribes assisted by Tibetans, overcoming resistance from Khalkha and Chahar Mongol tribes, allies of the king of Tsang and other anti-Gelug forces. The Eastern Mongols were defeated in Tibet at the same time as they were being crushed in Mongolia by the invading Manchus.

His invasion of Tibet resulted in overthrowing Karma Tenkyong, the prince of Tsang on April 13, 1642, displacing the rival dominant school of the Karmapas, and the Fifth Dalai Lama was then seated on the throne of the deposed king. 5th Dalai Lama then gave Gushri Khan the title of King of Tibet.

Gushi Khan died in January 1655 leaving ten sons. His son Dayan succeeded him, however, eight of them, with their tribes, settled in the strategically important Qinghai Lake region in Amdo and quarreled constantly over territory. The 5th Dalai Lama sent several governors in 1656 and 1659. The Mongols were gradually Tibetanised and played an important role in extending the Gelug school's influence in Amdo.

Last update 19-06-2012

Site Search


Random Articals

Join Our Newsletter




Send This Page to Friend

To Email this page to a friend

1. Use Your Default Email Client
2. Use Our Recommend Page

Online Contact





If you like this article please feel free to share it to your favorite site listed below:

Choose A Style:

Font Family

Font Colors
black Blue Green Purple Red Default
Font Size

Site Options Help

control panel