Orghana (Orakina or Ergene Khatun) was an Oirat princess of the Mongol Empire and Empress of the Chagatai Khanate. She was a descendant of Qutuqi Beki, chief of the oirats and Chechigyen, daughter of Genghis Khan.

She married Qara Hulegu, a grandson of Chagatai Khan. Her husband enthroned as Chagatayid Khan in 1242 after deaths of both Ogedei and Chagatai. However, Guyuk Khan replaced Qara Hulegu with his uncle Yesu Mongke in 1246.

When the Toluid family overthrew the Ogedeids, Qara Hulegu supported Mongke Khan in 1251. Mongke reappointed Qara Hulegu khan of the Chagatai Khanate and executed Yesu Mongke. However, he died on the way and Mongke permitted Orghana to serve as regent in the name of her infant son. She ruled the Khanate from 1252-1261. According to Rashid al-Din, she organized banquet for Hulegu when his army marching through Central Asia to Iran in 1255.

In 1260, the civil war broke out in the Mongol Empire with the death of Mongke, and Arik Boke dispatched Alghu to Beshbalik to consolidate his power. Alghu removed Orghana from power and she fled to Mongolia. Taking advantage of the struggle between Arik Boke and Kublai, Alghu acted as an autonomous khan who sided with Kublai and killed Arik Boke's officials. After several battles, Arik Boke sent Masud Beg and Orghana to Alghu to negotiate peace. Alghu married beautiful, wise and discerning princess Orghana and appointed Masud viceroy in Central Asia.

After the death of Alghu in 1266, Orghana nominated his son Mubarak Shah by his first husband, Qara Hulegu as khan of the Chagatai Khanate. The Great Khan Kublai was infuriated and sent Baraq to take power in the Chagatai Khanate. After few months, he usurped the throne from Mubarak Shah with the assistance of the Mongol noblemen. Orghana apparently died by that time.

Last update 18-06-2012

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