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Map of Kanauj district

Kannauj (कन्नौज) is a city and district in Uttar Pradesh. Kannauj is an ancient city, in earlier times the capital of a great Hindu kingdom.Its ancient names are Mahodaya (महोदय)/ Kanyakubja (कान्यकुब्ज).

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.

Geography & Demographics

Kannauj is located at 27°04′N 79°55′E / 27.07°N 79.92°E / 27.07; 79.92. It has an average elevation of 139 metres (456 feet). As of 2001[update] India census[3], 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.


Kannauj is one among the most ancient place of India having rich archeological and cultural heritage. The early history of the region now covered by the present district of Kannauj goes back to remote antiquity. During the Bronze Age numerous pre historical weapons and tools were find here. Large numbers of stone statues are found here. Kannauj can claim great antiquity in sculpture. The Aryans settled in this region who were close allies of Kurus. The traditional history of the district from the earliest times till the end of The Mahabharata war is gleaned from the Puranas & Mahabharata.

'Amavasu' founded a kingdom, the capital of which later was Kannauj. Jahnu was a powerful king since the river Ganga is said to have been named after him as Jahnaui. This region rose into great prominence during the Mahabharata period. Kampilya was the capital of South Panchala and it was here that the famous Svayamvara of Draupadi. The name Panchala being used for the entire region, of which Kampilya (Kampil) was the chief city which has till then been the capital of South Panchala.

Panchala figures as the tenth in the list of the sixteen premier states (Mahajanpada) in the time of Mahavira and Buddha and is said to have comprised the region covered by the present districts of Bareily , Badaun and Farrukhabad. About the middle of the fourth century B.C., probably in the reign of Mahapadma, this territory was annexed to the Nanda empire of Magadha. Ashoka also built a monolithic pillar at Sankisa, which was noticed by the Chinese traveller, Fa-hien. A large number of coins were found at places like Mathura and Kannauj and in Panchala region which are supposed to be associated with the Mitra rulers. The basis of the coins are generally believed to have flourished between C.100 B.C. and C.200 A.D.

Kannauj was a famous and important city in the second century is also attested to by its mention under the name of Kangora or Kanogiza by the geographer, Ptolemy (C.140 A.D.). The present district of Farrukhabad shared the fruits of the golden age of the Guptas and contributed much towards its peace and prosperity.

Fa-hien, the Chinese pilgrim visited Kannauj between 399 and 414 A.D., during the reign of Chandragupta II. Fa-hien spent his retreat at the Dragon-Shrine and when it was over he travelled seven yojanas to the south-east, which brought him to Kannauj. Sankisa was one of the greatest Buddhist pilgrims centre at the time of Fa-hien's visit. Fa-hien remarks "This country is very productive and the people are flourishing and happy beyond compare. When man of other nations come, care is taken of all of them and they are provided with what they require". There was a renewed invasion of the Hunas with far greater success. After this, Harivarman appears to have been the founder of the Maukhari house of Kannauj. Harsha also advanced towards Kannauj. The Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, visited Kannauj in 643 A.D.. There were 100 Buddhist Monasteries with more than 10000 priests. A religious assembly was also held here by Harsha. Hiuen Tsang mentions Kah-Pi-Ta (Kapitha, identified with Sankisa) as the other important place of the district.

Kannauj town is known to have been an important city 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 and united his people, the Jats, as one nation under it. 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 and Bargujar Kings of Kannauj, 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.[1] 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.

Sir H. M. Elliot Edited by John Dowson[2] writes quoting the Yamini which says that, in his Twelfth Expedition A.H. 409 (1018-1019 AD) after passing by the borders of Kashmir, that is, close under the sub-Himalayan range, and crossing the Jumna, Mahmud of Ghazni takes Baran, which is the ancient name of the present Bulandshahr for which more modern authors, not knowing what " Baran" was, substitute "Mirat" — then Kulchand's fort, which is the Mahaban of the other — then crossing the Jumna he takes Mathura — and then recrossing the Jumna, he proceeds to Kanauj, and takes that and its seven detached forts, of which the ruins of some may still be traced. He then goes to Munj, " a city of Brahmans."

After this sacking of Kannauj, the area came to be dominated by the Chandela 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.

Jat Gotra history

According to the historical records Rao Mutia Kamas of Dahiya Kshatriya clan came from Kannauj in samvat 905 (848 AD) and constructed a fort in Nagaur city in Rajasthan. Lakhan Rao, Ballu Rao, Joon Rao and Pipa Rao ruled here for about 200 years. Rao Pipaji married with Deyoo Jakhar the daughter of Maihan Raja. Their sons were Sahajarao, Rajdeo, Mandeo, and Gangdeo. The descendants of Sahajarao were known as Ranwa, those of Rajdeo were known as Roja. The descendants of Mandeo were known as Mandiwal and those of Gangdeo were known as Gugal Jats.

हरियाणा सर्वखाप पंचायत

महाराजा हर्षवर्धन ने सन ६४३ में जाट क्षत्रियों को एकजुट करने के लिए कन्नौज शहर में विशाल सम्मलेन कराया था वह सर्वखाप पंचायत ही थी जिसका नाम 'हरियाणा सर्वखाप पंचायत' रखा गया था चूँकि उन दिनों विशाल हरियाणा उत्तर में सतलज नदी तक, पूर्व में देहरादून, बरेली, मैनपुरी तथा तराई एरिया तक, दक्षिण में चम्बल नदी तक और पश्चिम में गंगानगर तक फैला हुआ था. सर्वखाप के चार केंद्र थानेसर, दिल्ली, रोहतक और कन्नौज बनाये गए थे. इस सर्वखाप पंचायत में करीब ३०० छोटी-बड़ी पालें, खाप और संगठन शामिल थे. [3] सन १९२४ में बैसाखी अमावस्या को सोरम गाँव में सर्वखाप की पंचायत हुई थी जिसमें सोरम के चौधरी कबूल सिंह को सर्वखाप पंचायत का सर्वसम्मति से महामंत्री नियुक्त किया था. वे इस संगठन के २८ वें महामंत्री बताये जाते हैं. इनके पास सम्राट हर्षवर्धन से लेकर स्वाधीन भारत तक का सर्वखाप पंचायत का सम्पूर्ण रिकार्ड उपलब्ध है जिसकी सुरक्षा करना पंचायती पहरेदारों की जिम्मेदारी है. इस रिकार्ड को बचाए रखने के लिए पंचायती सेना ने बड़ा खून बहाया है. [4]

External Links

Kannauj at Wikipedia


  1. Srivastra, A. L., History of India, 1000-1707, p. 2
  2. The history of India : as told by its own historians. Volume II/Note D. — Mahmud's Expeditions to India,p.458
  3. डॉ ओमपाल सिंह तुगानिया : जाट समुदाय के प्रमुख आधार बिंदु , आगरा , 2004, पृ . 25-26
  4. डॉ ओमपाल सिंह तुगानिया : जाट समुदाय के प्रमुख आधार बिंदु , आगरा , 2004, पृ . 25-26

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