eastern tribe of Mongols, prominent in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Chahar were part of the empire of Dayan Khan (1470-1543), the last great khan of a united Mongolia. After his death the khanate remained formally among the Chahar, although it was substantially weakened. The last noteworthy Chahar khan, Ligdan (1604-34), attempted strenuously to reassert his authority, but he was defeated by the rising Manchus and by rival Mongol tribes. After Ligdan's death most of the remnants of the Chahar submitted to the Manchus, and their descendants can be found today in the Inner Mongolia autonomous ch'u (region) of the People's Republic of China.
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