This miniature painting was done in India during the Mughal empire as part of a world history book. It is about the death of Ong Khan - the famous Mongol leader Genghis Khan was a vassal of Ong Khan before he ruled all the Mongols.
The book Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World is a fun way to learn more about the Mongols. It emphasizes their importance in creating trade routes across Asia and into Europe. It's a great follow-up to Jared Diamond's Guns and Steel.
A different side of the Mongol story is told in the well-done 2007 movie Mongol. It follows Genghis Khan's rise from a 9 year slave to great leader.
Our puzzle is gorgeous and extremely difficult - make sure you have good light! Here are some "puzzling notes" for this puzzle from one of our beta-testers:
The Ong Khan Miniature depicts the immediate aftermath of a battle, and it is full of characters and color. The detail is fine enough, and the colors many and bright enough, that most of the 192 pieces are distinct.
We assembled the first cut of this puzzle without looking at the image, which we always recommend for maximum difficulty and fun, and with that practice we rate the puzzle as very hard.
The puzzle is a tessellation of half-hexagons. The only shape variation is the connectors, which include the usual mix of inward and outward connectors, but also many false edges. That still leaves many pairs of pieces where the shapes fit together and the patterns don't. We often had to stare at a placed piece to make sure it was correct, and we wouldn't have been surprised if we had placed a piece incorrectly and had had to hunt it down later.
While the top and bottom edges are straight, the left and right edges follow the hexagonal tesselation. Knowing this, and seeing the many false edges Tara included, we didn't even attempt to assemble the edge first. We found the hexagonal shapes harder to hold in memory than square pieces, and often had to hold two pieces next to each other to tell if they fit.
The final challenge: as full as the image is of recognizable figures and distinct colors, many of the colors are repeated at different places in the puzzle.
We hope you find this puzzle as challenging and satisfying as we did.