Kannauj

Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Kannauj | type = city | latd = 27.07 | longd = 79.92
locator_position = right | state_name = Uttar Pradesh
district = Kannauj
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altitude = 139
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 71,530| population_density =
area_magnitude= sq. km
area_total =
area_telephone =
postal_code =
vehicle_code_range =
sex_ratio =
unlocode =
website =
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Kannauj (Hindi कन्नौज, Urdu: کنوج), also spelt "Kanauj", is a city and a municipal board or Nagar Palika Parishad in Kannauj district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city's name is traditionally derived from the term Kanyakubja (maiden's womb). Kannauj is an ancient city, in earlier times the capital of a great Hindu kingdom. Kanyakubja Brahmin's are originally from Kannauj.Kannauj is known for the distilling of scents and is a market center for tobacco, perfume, and rose water.

Kannauj is the administrative headquarters of Kannauj District. The population was 71,530 in 2001, up from 58,932 in 1991. It has given its name to a distinct dialect of the Hindi language known as Kanauji.

History

Formerly known as Kanyakubja, the town is known to have been an important center during the Gupta empire. It was a centre of hindu culture and political status for centuries. Kannauj is frequently referred to in the epic "Mahabharata" and is alluded to by Patañjali in the second century B.C. In the year 405 A.D. when great Chinese pilgrim Fa-hien visited the city it had only two Buddhist monasteries and it was not very large. When Hiuen Tsang visited the city in 636 A.D., however, Kannauj had grown large. Hiuen Tsang stayed here for seven years.

Kannauj reached the pinnacle of its glory in the 7th century under emperor Harshavardhana (606-647 A.D.) Harshavardhana made Kannauj his capital. At that time it had earned the name of Mahodaya Sree due to its grandeur and prosperty. Kannauj then had a teeming population, with hundreds of Hindu and Buddhist temples and monasteries, extending along the east bank of the Ganges for about four miles. It had beautiful gardens and tanks, and was strongly fortified. Harshavardhana, however, was greatly weakened after being defeated by the Chalukya emperor Pulakesin II; his empire fell apart soon after his death.

By the end of the 8th century, Kannauj became the focus of a three-way contest by the three dominant dynasties of the time, the Pratiharas of Malwa, the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan, and the Palas of Bengal. The Pala king Dharmapala installed a proxy king at the end of the 8th century.

When the Pratihara king Nagabhata II conquered Kannauj in the 9th century Kannauj became the Pratihara capital for nearly 200 years. This happened about 836. [Srivastra, A. L., "History of India, 1000-1707", p. 2] During this period, it became known as a center for poetry. The Pratiharas ruled much of northern India in the latter half of the 8th century, but they had weakened by the early 10th century. The Rashtrakuta king Indra III captured Kannauj in 916, and by the end of that century, the Pratihara domains had been reduced to a small kingdom around the town of Kannauj.

In 1019, the town was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni, beginning a chaotic period for the city. After this sacking of Kannauj, the area came to be dominated by the Chandela Rajput clan of Bundelkhand. The Gahadvala dynasty, descended from former vassals of the Pratiharas, established themselves as rulers of Kannauj at the end of the 11th century.

Monuments

The size and scale of the ancient town can be gauged from the fact that existing ruins extend over the lands of five villages, occupying a semicircle fully 4 miles in diameter. While no historic Hindu structures remain intact, the "great mosque", constructed by Ibrahim Shah of Jaunpur in 1406 out of the remains of demolished Hindu temples, is still known to Hindus as "Sita's Kitchen". Brahmins in Bengal and Assam traces their origin to a migration southwards from this city in the 9th and 10th centuries.

Geography

Kannauj is located at coord|27.07|N|79.92|E| [ [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IN/36/Kannauj.html Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Kannauj] ] . It has an average elevation of 139 metres (456 feet).

Demographics

As of 2001 India census [GR|India] , Kannauj had a population of 71,530. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Kannauj has an average literacy rate of 58%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 64%, and female literacy is 52%. In Kannauj, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.

References

External links

* [http://kannauj.nic.in/ District Kannauj Website.]

*1911


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