1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kanauj

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KANAUJ, an ancient city of British India, in Farukhabad district, United Provinces, near the left bank of the Ganges. Pop. (1901), 18,552. Kanauj in early times formed the capital of a great Hindu kingdom. Its prosperity dates from a prehistoric period, and seems to have culminated about the 6th century under Harsha. In 1019 it fell before Mahmud of Ghazni, and again in 1194 before Mahommed Ghori. The existing ruins extend over the lands of five villages, occupying a semicircle fully 4 m. 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.” Kanauj, which is traditionally said to be derived from Kanyakubja ( = the crooked maiden), has given its name to an important division of Brahmans in northern India. Hinduism in Lower Bengal also dates its origin from a Brahman migration southwards from this city, about 800 or 900. Kanauj is now noted for the distilling of scents.