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Kanauj

From Academic Kids

Kanauj, or Kannauj, is an ancient city of Uttar Pradesh state of India (1991 pop. 58,932). Kanauj is the administrative center of Kannauj District. Kanauj in early times formed the capital of a great Hindu kingdom. Kanauj, which is traditionally said to be derived from Kanyakubja (the crooked maiden), has given its name to the language or dialect Kanauji. Kanauj is known for the distilling of scents, and is a market center for tobacco, perfume, and rose water.

History

Formerly known as Kanyakubja (called Kanogiza by Ptolemy), its prosperity dates from a prehistoric period. It was an important center during the Gupta empire.

Kanauj culminated in the seventh century under Harsha as the capital and cultural center of his empire. Harsha's empire fell apart soon after his death. In the late eighth century Kanauj became the focus of a three-way contest by the three dominant dynasties of the time, the Pratiharas, the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan, and the Palas of Bengal. the Pala king Dharmapala installed a proxy king at the end of the eighth century; in ninth century the Pratihara king Nagabhata II conquered Kanauj and made it the Pratihara capital for nearly 200 years, and became known as a center for poetry. The Pratiharas ruled much of northern India in the latter half of the eighth century, but weakened in the early ninth century, and the Rashtrakuta king Indra III briefly captured Kanauj in 916. By the end of the ninth century the Pratihara domains had been reduced to a small kingdom around Kanauj. In 1019 the Kanauj was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni, who ushered in a chaotic period for the city, which ended with the establishment of the Gahadvala dynasty at the end of the eleventh century. Kannauj recovered some of its former prosperity under the Gahadvalas until the city was sacked again in 1194 by Mohammed of Ghori.

The existing ruins extend over the lands of five villages, occupying a semicircle fully 4 miles in diameter. No Hindu buildings remain intact; but the great mosque, constructed by Ibrahim Shah of Jaunpur in 1406 out of Hindu temples, is still called by Hindus Sita's Kitchen. Hinduism in lower Bengal also dates its origin from a migration southwards from this city, about 800 or 900.

Kanauj District

Kanauj District is bounded by the districts of Farrukhabad to the north, Hardoi to the northeast, Kanpur Nagar to the east, Kanpur Dehat to the southeast, Auraiya to the south, Etawah to the southwest, and Mainpuri to the west. The district is divided into three tehsils and seven development blocks. The district was split from Farrukhabad on September 18 1997, and is part of Kanpur division.


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