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Queen Anu at the battle of Zuunmod

Queen Anu or Lady Anu (Mongolian language: Ану хатан; also known as Ana Dara; d. 1696) was a queen consort who led warriors into battle at the founding of the Dzungar Khanate in the late 17th century.


Anu was the granddaughter of Ochirtu Secen Khan of Khoshuud (or his youngest daughter according to some written historical sources), who was the nephew and adopted son of Güshi Khan. She wed prince Sengge, son of Erdeni Batur, regarded as the founder of the Dzungar Khanate. After Sengge's assassination by his half-brothers Tseten and Tsobda Batur in 1670, Anu married Sengge's successor, his brother Galdan Boshughtu Khan (1644-1697), who had spent ten years in Tibet as a Buddhist monk.[1] With troops provided by Ochirtu, Galdan avenged his brother's death and assumed the Dzungar Khanate throne.[2] Anu's marriage to Galdan Boshughtu produced one son, prince Sevdenbaljir, and two daughters, princesses Yunchihai and Boum.

Galdan relied on Anu for counsel[3] throughout his reign as he expanded Dzungar Mongol rule from the west end of the Great Wall of China to present-day eastern Kazakhstan, and from present-day northern Kyrgyzstan to southern Siberia. Fearing the rise of a new Mongol empire, the Qing dynasty sent three armies west towards Mongolia in 1696. The Qing Kangxi Emperor personally led the expeditionary forces. Galdan moved his army south from the Khentii Mountains to meet the Qing army's western column at the Battle of Jao Modo in May 1696, but his troops were soon surrounded by the superior Qing forces.[4]

Anu led a counterattack which enabled her husband to escape from the enemy encirclement. Although Galdan managed to flee with a small remnant of his supporters, Anu was killed by an enemy arrow during her charge.[5] She was buried in the foothills of Khangai mountains in an area now referred to as "Hatant" (place of the queen) in present-day Khotont soum of Arkhangai Province.

Cultural references

In 1975, the celebrated Mongolian author Byambyn Rinchen (1905-1977) published his novel Ану хатан "Lady Anu" about the life and death of the eponymous 17th century Mongol Dzungar Khanate queen. The novel went on to become a classic of Mongolian literature and is required reading in Mongolian schools. In 2010, Mongolian novelist Baatarsuren Shuudertsetseg published Домогт Ану хатан (The Legendary Queen Anu). The importance of family, women's empowerment, and national identity were central themes of her treatment of Anu's life. It was named National Book of the Year for Mongolian Literature and was adapted for the stage and opened at the National Academic Drama Theatre in March 2011. Shuudertsetseg then adapted The Legendary Queen Anu as a full-length feature film in 2012. Queen Ahno - Spirit of a Warrior, also titled Warrior Princess, became the most expensive Mongolian film ever made and went on to become one of Mongolia's highest-grossing films.[6]

Further reading

  • Zlatkin, Ilia Iakovlevich (1964). История Джунгарского ханства, 1635-1758. (History of the Jungarian Khanate, 1635-1758 ).
  • B. Rinchen. Lady Anu. Ulaanbaatar 1975.
  • J. Purev. Manan budan. Ulaanbaatar 1988.


  1. Orrin Morgan, David; Amitai, Reuven (2000). The Mongol Empire and Its Legacy. Brill. pp. 328. ISBN 9004119469. 
  2. Howorth, Henry Hoyle (2008). History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century: The Mongols Proper and the Kalmyks. Cosimo, Inc.. pp. 502. ISBN 1605201332. 
  3. Howorth, Henry Hoyle (2008). History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century: The Mongols Proper and the Kalmyks. Cosimo, Inc.. pp. 622. ISBN 1605201332. 
  4. Kychanov EI " Lords of Asia", Moscow: Publishing House of the " Eastern Literature ", RAN, 2004 . ISBN 5-02-018328-8.
  5. Powers,, John; Templeman, David (2012). Historical Dictionary of Tibet. Scarecrow Press. p. 245. ISBN 0810879840. 
  6. "Golden Network speaks Mongolian". Retrieved 24 August 2015. 

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