China is renovating Genghis Khan's mausoleum, located in Ejin Horo Banner on the Ordos Highlands in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, at a cost of 150 million yuan (US$18.13 million).
The largest renovation project since the mausoleum was built nearly half a century ago, the current renovation will cover repair and construction inside the mausoleum buildings, decoration of outer walls and the expansion of the mausoleum's courtyard.
The renovation will also cover building auxiliary facilities such as pavement, a bronze horse square and power and water supply facilities.
Eighty percent of the project will be completed this year, and the remaining 20 percent is expected to be finished next year, according to the Genghis Khan Mausoleum Administration.
Genghis Khan (1162-1227) died at age 66 in what is today's northwestern Gansu Province, fighting the Xixia Kingdom (Western Xia Dynasty 1038-1227) in an attempt to unify the country. His remains were taken to the Ejin Horo Banner on the Ordos Highlands and buried there.
Five hundred nomadic families of his clan were chosen to stand guard at the mausoleum. They became a special group dedicated to defending the tomb of the great warrior generation after generation and were called Dalhut, which means "guards of the sacred mausoleum" in Mongolian.
When the Japanese troops entered China in 1937, the Dalhuts moved Genghis Khan's remains to northwestern Qinghai Province and the mausoleum was left behind. The remains were not returned until1954 when the central government of China rebuilt the mausoleum.
Since then, the Dalhuts have had a formal site for their grand ceremonies. The existing mausoleum covers an area of 0.5 sq km. Despite a number of repairs and renovations through the years, it remains in a decrepit state.
In 2001, some noted architecture departments and archeologists worked out a blueprint for the mausoleum's renovation and expansion.
The mausoleum of Genghis Khan is a culture relics preservation unit listed under the top state protection. It has also become a tourist destination, which attracts millions of tourists from home and abroad.
(Xinhua News Agency May 5, 2005)