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Far East Kingdoms

Central Asia


Khans of Kazan (Tartars)

The khanate was a splinter state of the disintegrating Golden Horde in Asia. It occupied the former territory of the Volga Bulgars, and was neighboured by the Astrakhan khanate to its south-west, along the Volga shoreline on both banks and hugging the north-western coast of the Caspian Sea.

The khanate's rulers were credited with being directly descended from Urus Khan of the White Horde (1374-1376). The founder, Ulugh Muhammad, had for many years contended against various opponents for control of the disintegrating Golden Horde. He seized power in 1419, but was captured and imprisoned in 1422 and held for two years by his rival, Dawlat Berdi. In 1430, still fighting Dawlat for control of the horde, he attacked the Crimea, but was defeated. A further attempt at gaining power saw him successfully reclaim control over the Golden Horde in 1427, but again he was continually challenged by rivals. In 1437 he lost control for the final time and headed east to capture Kazan, where he formed his own independent khanate out of previously Golden Horde territory. His khanate was essentially a revised and reduced version of the pre-Mongol power in the region, that of Volga Bulgaria.

(Additional information from An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples, Peter B Golden (1992), from the Encyclopaedia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature, Enlarged and Improved, Volume 3, from The Encyclopaedia of Islam (New Edition), C E Bosworth, E van Donzel, B Lewis, & Ch Pellat (Eds), and from External Links: Encyclopaedia.com, and World of Royalty.)

1437 - 1445

Ulugh Muhammad / Olug Moxammat

Former khan of the Golden Horde. Founder of the khanate.

1439 - 1445


Moscow is besieged in 1439 by Ulugh Muhammad of the newly-founded Kazan khanate. The already-weakened Grand Prince Vasily II is forced to flee the city and rule in exile. By 1445 he has gathered together his forces so that he is able to fight Ulugh Muhammad in person. However, his army is defeated and he is taken prisoner. Governance of Moscow passes to the opportunist rival, Dmitry Shemyaka.

1445 - 1462


1462 - 1467


1467 - 1479


1479 - 1484

Ilham Ghalî

First rule. Removed.

1484 - 1485

Muhammad Amin

First rule, placed by Moscow. Removed.

1485 - 1487

Ilham Ghalî

Re-secured control. Second rule. Captured & imprisoned.

1487 - 1495

Muhammad Amin

Second rule, placed by Moscow.

1495 - 1496


Siberian khan.

1496 - 1502

Abd al Latif

1502 - 1518

Muhammad Amin

Third rule.

1508 - 1510

The Shaibanids carry out a number of raids into the khanate from their empire in Transoxiana, but their ruler, Mohammed Shaibani, is killed on one of them in 1510, bringing the prominence of his short-lived empire to an end.

Map of the Tartar Khanates AD 1500
The Mongol empire created by Chingiz Khan gradually broke up over the course of three hundred years until, by around AD 1500, it had fragmented into several more-or-less stable khanates which each vied with the others for power and influence, while having to fend off the growing power of the Ottoman empire to the south and Moscow Sate (Muscovy) to the north - in the end it was an unwinnable fight (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1519 - 1521

Shah Alî

First rule. Khan of Qasimov. Driven off.


Shah Alî is driven out by Sahib Giray I of the Crimean khanate due to the former's friendly relations with Moscow. Kazan's territory is incorporated back into that of the Crimea under the rule of Khan Muhammad Giray, father of Sahib Giray.

1521 - 1524

Shah Alî

Second rule.

1524 - 1531

Safa Giray

First rule.

1531 - 1533

Jan Alî


Aq Köbek is responsible for deposing and killing Khan Qasim II of Astrakhan, and ending his long reign (Qasim's son, Yadigar Muhammad briefly rules as the last khan of the Kazan in 1552). However, during his own time as khan Aq Köbek apparently puts in place a treaty or agreement that, for the time being, guarantees the independence of Astrakhan from the Crimean khanate and the Nogais.

1533 - 1546

Safa Giray

Second rule.


Sahib Giray

Son of Muhammad Giray I of Crimea. Khan of Crimea (1532).


Safa Giray

Third rule.

1549 - 1551


1551 - 1552

Shah Alî

Third rule.


Yadigar Muhammad

Son of Khan Qasim II of Astrakhan. Imprisoned.


The khans of Kazan are conquered by the Russians under Ivan 'the Terrible'. He lays siege to their main fortress for two months before the walls are destroyed. Most of the surviving defenders are slaughtered. Yadigar Muhammad is imprisoned but the slaughter spreads to the civilian populace, with a reported 110,000 or so being killed. Neighbouring territories such as Udmurtia surrender without a fight, and many Tartars are forcibly relocated so that Russian nobles can take over their lands.

Kazan khanate and Ivan IV
The short-lived Kazan khanate was conquered by the resurgent Rus under the leadership of Ivan IV just over a century after Ulugh Muhammad had founded it

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