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Orda Ichen (Lord Orda, Орд эзэн ("Ord ezen")) was a Mongol Khan and military strategist who ruled eastern part of the Ulus of Jochi during the 13th century.

First Khan of the Blue HordeEdit


Orda Ichen ( c. 1204-1251 CE) is credited for founding the Blue Horde; he was the eldest son of Jochi and the first grandson of Genghis Khan. At the death of his father and grandfather, Orda Khan inherited the Eastern portions of his father’s lands; while he was the elder, he nevertheless agreed that his younger brother Batu Khan ruled the whole Jochid Ulus (also known as the Golden Horde). This mainly consisted of the territories between Lake Balkhash and the Volga river; it was in these lands that Orda eventually founded the Blue Horde (also known as the Koke Orda). West of the Volga river were the lands of his younger brother Batu, who became the first ruler of the White Horde and the supreme khan of the Golden Horde. The Great Khan Guyuk ordered Temuge Otchigin, who tried to illegally usurp the throne for himself, to be investigated by Orda and Mongke in c.1246.

Family tree originsEdit

Hoelun from the Olkhunut of Onggirat tribe was supposed to marry a Mergid warrior called Yehe Chiledu, but Yesugei Baghatur from the Khiyad tribe abducted Hoelun while she was traveling from the Onggirat to the Mergid. This event triggered hostilities between the Mergit and Khiyad tribes.

Temüjin was born from the marriage between Hoelun and Yesugei. When Temüjin became 16 years old he married Börte Ujin from the Onggirat tribe, the Mergids took revenge by abducting Börte when Temüjin was 18. Temüjin formed an alliance with his blood brother Jamuha and his foster-father Toghril, the Mergids were defeated by the alliance which Temüjin had formed and his wife Börte was reclaimed.

Jochi supposedly was born shortly after Börte was liberated and Genghis Khan always accepted Jochi as his first-born son, but to some it remained uncertain whether Temüjin Borjigin or Chilger Bökh was the real father of Jochi. As Genghis Khan’s first-born son, Jochi was favored as rightful heir to the Mongol Empire. It was Chagatai who brought up the dispute of Jochi’s illegitimacy, but Genghis Khan remained determined that Jochi was his legitimate first-born son. It was when Genghis named Ögedei as his rightful successor that Jochi rebelled against his father, Chagatai and Ögedei were sent against Jochi who died in February 1227 before it came to any hostilities. Jochi’s descendants were the oldest branch of the Genghis Khan family, although they were not favored for succession by other rivaling family members.

Younger brothersEdit

Orda Ichen was the first-born son of Jochi, his younger brothers were Batu, Berke, Shayban, Sinkur, Toga-Timur and Baul-Teval. After the death of Genghis Khan the Mongol empire was divided into four sub-khanates, after the invasion of Europe four other Khanates also established within the empire; the princes of the left wing commanded by Orda Khan, the Blue Horde commanded by Batu Khan, Sibirean Khanate commanded by Shayban and a Khanate on the upper reaches of the Volga river centered around Volga Bulgaria commanded by Toga-Timur (which later became known as the Qasim Khanate). All these were brothers of each other and Orda Khan was the oldest, Orda was known to have participated in the massive Mongol invasion of Rus' in 1237-1242. His younger brother, Batu Khan, claimed his authority over the Jochid Hordes in accordance with Orda's wish.

Invasion of PolandEdit


Mongolian Horse Archers

Subutai & Batu Khan led two armies against Hungary, while Orda Khan with Chagatai's sons Baidar & Kadan attacked Poland as a diversion to prevent the Poles and Czechs from assisting Hungary in combat. Orda’s forces assaulted the southwestern border of Lithuania, then sacked the cities of Sandomierz and Kraków in April 1241, but were unable to conquer Wrocław (Breslau), the capital of Lower Silesia. While Orda was preparing siege on Wrocław, Baidar and Kadan received glowing reports that king Wenceslaus I of Bohemia was two days away with an army of 50,000 soldiers. Orda Khan broke off the siege and turned to Legnica where he intercepted the military forces of Henry II the Pious, before there could be any kind of merging between the forces of Henry II and the forces of king Wenceslaus I.

Orda’s deployment of 20,000 mounted archers demonstrated speed & tactical superiority versus the slower more heavily armored European armies, series of deceptive Mongolian attacks separated the Polish formation making them vulnerable for salvoes of Mongolian arrows. A smoke screen was used to conceal the Mangudai’s withdrawal, thereby misleading Henry’s military forces. After the European knights pursued the fleeing Mangudai, the Mongols were able to separate the knights from the infantry and defeated them one by one. Henry II the Pious was intercepted while trying to escape the battlefield, his head was paraded on a spear while marching through the town of Legnica.

King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia arrived at the battle field too late. When he heard that one Mongol group raided as far as the Saxonian town Meissen promptly marched there and seek reinforcements from Thuringia and Saxony. Meanwhile, rapid Mongol troops returned to the East (i.e. Central Silesia) and tried attack Bohemia via Kłodzko Land but they were stopped at the border. Afterwards Orda with Mangudai joined forces of Kadan and Baidar at Otmuchów (Otmachau) and together quickly passing through Moravia (which severely looted and devastated) joining with the main Mongolian army in Hungary around the city of Esztergom.


Orda Khan died in 1251 before he could consolidate his ülüs (district). After his death his grandson Köchü extended the line of successors for the Blue Horde (White Horde in modern sources).


Very little is known about Orda’s wife and children, however his dynastic lines lived on for many generations. His early successors were friendly towards Ilkhanate and Yuan emperors. Urus the eighth Khan of the White Horde was a direct descendant of Orda khan, Urus Khan became the leader of both the Blue and White Horde. Tokhtamysh was one of Orda's descendants, he dethroned the Batukhanids and ascended the throne of the Golden Horde in the late 14th century.

Orda Khan
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Khan of the left wing of the Jochid Ulus
1226 – c. 1251
Succeeded by
Qun Quran

See alsoEdit

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