Map of Cambaluk.jpg
Chinese name
Mongolian name
Mongolian CyrillicХаан балгас, Ханбалиг
Mongolian scriptᠻᠠᠨᠪᠠᠯᠢᠺ
Chinese name
Literal meaningGrand Capital (of Yuan)
Mongolian name
Mongolian scriptᠳᠠᠶᠢᠳᠤ
Literal meaning[Seat of the] Northern Pacified [Area]

Khanbaliq or Dadu was the capital of the Yuan dynasty, the main center of the Mongol Empire founded by Kublai Khan in what is now Beijing, also the capital of China today. It was located at the center of modern Beijing. The Secretariat (Zhongshu Sheng) directly administered the Central Region (腹裏) of the Yuan Empire (comprising present-day Beijing, Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, and parts of Henan and Inner Mongolia) and dictated policies for the other provinces. Kublai and his successors also claimed supremacy over the entire Mongol Empire, although in practice that had already fragmented into a number of khanates since the death of Möngke Khan.

Khanbaliq is the direct predecessor to modern Beijing, and sections of Line 10 and Line 13 have stations honoring the gates of Dadu.


The name Khanbaliq comes from the Mongolian and Uyghur[1] words khan and balik[2] ("town", "permanent settlement"): "City of the Khan". It was actually in use among the Eastern Turks and Mongols before the fall of Zhongdu, in reference to the Jin emperors. It is traditionally written as Cambaluc in English, after its spelling in Rustichello's retelling of Marco Polo's travels. (The Travels also uses the spellings Cambuluc and Kanbalu.)

The name Dadu, formerly romanized as Ta-Tu, is the pinyin transcription of the Chinese name 大都, meaning "Grand Capital". The Mongols also called the city Daidu,[3] which was a transliteration directly from the Chinese.[4] In modern Chinese, it is referred to as Yuan Dadu to distinguish it from other cities which have borne similar names.