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Title: Bai-Ulgan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mongol mythology, Erlik, Turkic mythology, Ulgan, Ku'urkil
Collection: Altaic Deities, Creator Gods, Mongol Mythology, Turkic Mythology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Planets, Stars and Atmosphere
Abode 16th floor in the Sky
Symbol Pleiades
Parents Kayra and Yer Tanrı
Siblings Umay
Ay Tanrı

Bai-Ülgen or Ülgen (Old Turkic: Bey Ülgen; also spelled Bai-Ulgen, Bai-Ülgen, Bay-Ulgan, Bay-Ulgen, or Bay-Ülgen; Khakas: Ülgen, Cyrillic: Ӱлген, Russian: Ульгень or Ульге́нь, Ottoman: اولگن) is a Turkic and Mongolian creator-deity, usually distinct from Tengri but sometimes identified with him in the same manner as Helios and Apollo. His name is from Old Turkic bay, "rich", and ülgen, "magnificent". Ulgan is thought to be without a beginning and an end.


  • Features 1
  • Children of Ulgan 2
    • Akoghlanlar 2.1
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • External links 5


In Turkic and Mongolian mythology, the birch tree, regarded as a cosmic axis between earth and sky, was regarded as sacred to him, as was the horse (horse-sacrifice was a part of his worship).[1] Ulgan symbolizes goodness, welfare, abundance, plenty of food, water, etc. Furthermore, he created earth, heaven and all living beings. In addition, he controls the atmosphere events and movements of stars.[2] He creates land for people to live, humans' and animals' heads, and the rainbow. He was regarded as the patron god of shamans and the source of their knowledge.

It is believed that Ulgan has been created from Tengri (Tengere Kayra Khan). He is the highest deity after Tengri. Sometimes, Ulgan is compared with Tengri and they are thought to be the same. In some sayings, Ulgan takes place of Tengri, but not completely.

Ulgan is the enemy of Erlik who is the god of evil and darkness. Ulgen protects humankind against him.

Bai-Ulgan lives on the sixteenth floor of the sky above the stars, sun and moon in a golden house. People can never reach him, except shamans or kams. Animals are used for sacrifice to him, especially horses. Once in every third, sixth, ninth, or twelfth year, shamans sacrifice a white horse at the first step of reaching Ulgan. Then he accompanies its soul, penetrates through all the layers of heaven until he reaches Ulgan. Firstly, kam meets Yayık who is the servant of Ulgan. This deity informs the kam whether or not the offering has been accepted, and the shaman learns of impending dangers, such as bad harvests.

Children of Ulgan

Ulgan has seven sons, named Akoğlanlar (White Boys) or Kıyatlar. They are “Karakush Khan, Karshyt Khan, Pura Khan, Burcha Kan, Yashyl Khan, Er-Kanym Khan, Bakty Khan”. And he has nine daughters,[3][4][5] that named Akkızlar and Kıyanlar. But no one knows their names. His daughters are source of inspiration for shamans.[6]


They are the sons of Ulgan.

  1. Karshyt Han or Karşıt: The god of purity.
  2. Pura Han or Bura: The god of horses.
  3. Burcha Han or Burça Kan: The god of prosperity.
  4. Yashyl Han or Yaşıl Kan: The god of nature.
  5. Karakush Han or Karakuş: The god of birds.
  6. Kanym Han or Er Kanım: The god of confidence.
  7. Bakhty Han or Baktı Kan: The god of blessing.


  1. ^ Horse Sacrifice and The Shaman's Ascent to The Sky, Adapted from: Mircea Eliade
  2. ^ Altay ve Şor Mitolojisinde Ülgen Tanrısı
  3. ^ Türk mitosları ve Anadolu efsanelerinin izsürümü, Zühre İndirkaş, Can Göknil, 2007
  4. ^ Türk mitolojisi, Murat Uraz, Page 86
  5. ^ Mitolojiden efsaneye: Türk mitolojisinin Türkiye'deki efsanelerde izleri, Muharrem Kaya
  6. ^ Türk Söylence Sözlüğü (Turkish Mythological Dictionary), Deniz Karakurt, e-Book (OTRS: CC BY-SA 3.0)


  • Çoban, Ramazan Volkan. Türk Mitolojisinde İyilik Tanrısı Ülgen’in İnanıştaki Yeri,Tasviri ve Kökeni (Turkish)
  • Anokhin, "Materials on Shamanism of Altai", Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leningrad 1924
  • Tokarev, "Religion in the history of the world", Moscow 1986

External links

  • Merkez Simgeciliği, Salahaddin Bekki (Turkish)
  • Gods in Turkish Mythology (Turkish)
  • Chosen by the Spirits, Julie Ann Stewart
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