When it comes to the history of Mongols, most people are aware of Genghis Khan and his expeditions/conquests. However, the same amount of recognition is not enjoyed by many other Mongol leaders — some far greater than Genghis himself. In this article, I will be writing about one such man who was one of the greatest leaders the Mongol world ever produced — Berke Khan.
Berke Khan (also spelled as Birkai Khan) was the grandson of Genghis Khan. Much like other Mongols, Berke too began his military career at a young age. He took part in several military expeditions, but the highlight of his career was his rule over the Golden Horde (1257-66), one of the most powerful states within the Mongol Empire.
Berke embraced Islam in 1252 in Bukhara. It is said that he met a caravan that was passing through the city and questioned them about their faith. Impressed by Islamic concepts of iconoclasm and faith, Berke became a devout Muslim and remained so all his life.