251,246 Pages

The 1221 siege of Bamiyan by the Mongol Empire under the leadership of Genghis Khan[1] occurred in modern Bamiyan, Afghanistan.


The siege occurred while the Mongols were pursuing Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, the last ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire, and his newly raised forces in Afghanistan.[2]

The name of the last ruler of the Khawarzam Empire was Jilaludin Mohammad Khawarazam Shah.


During the siege Mutugen (Mö'etüken), son of Chagatai Khan and grandson of Genghis Khan, was killed in battle by an arrow from the besieged walls.[3] This death, compounded by the heavy casualties sustained by his forces during the siege and the realization of his own mortality, angered Genghis to the extent that once he captured Bamiyan he completely destroyed it and killed its entire and surrounding regions population. The destruction was so complete that even the Mongols referred to Bamiyan as "the city of sorrows", while another title was "city of noise (or screams)" - in reference to the cries of its murdered victims.[4][5]


Following the siege, Genghis continued his pursuit of Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu into India.[6]

A common belief is that after the local Afghan population was wiped out, Genghis repopulated the area with some of his Mongol troops and their slave women, in order to guard the region while he continued his campaign. These settlers would become the ancestors of the Hazara people - with the word “Hazara” most likely derived from the Persian word “yek hezar” (“one thousand”), for the Mongol military unit of 1000 soldiers.[7][8][9]

See alsoEdit


  1. A Historical Atlas of Afghanistan, by Amy Romano, p.25.
  2. Dictionary of Wars, by George C. Kohn, p.55.
  3. The Conquests of Genghis Khan, by Alison Behnke, p.106.
  4. Dictionary of Wars, by George C. Kohn, p.55.
  5. A Historical Atlas of Afghanistan, by Amy Romano, p.25.
  6. Dictionary of Wars, by George C. Kohn, p.55.
  7. Out of Steppe, by Daniel Metcalfe, p.168.
  8. Ratchnevsky, Paul. Genghis Khan His Life and Legacy. Cambridge and Oxford U.K.: Blackwell, 1991, p.164.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.