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Kanishka

Kushans belonged to a race called Yeuchi in Central Asia. They invaded North India and established Kushan kingdom by 30 A.D in Afghanisthan. The founder of Kushana kingdom was Kujula Kadphises. He ruled nearly for a period of 40 years. Kujaula Kadphises was succeeded by his son Wema Kadphises.

Kanishka:

Kanishka was the greatest among Kushan rulers. Kanishka was a great warrier, administrator. He patronized Buddhism. He had the mixture of valour and courage of Chandragupta and religious passion of Ashoka. He was called as second Ashoka. He ascended the throne in 78 A.D. and ruled upto 120 A.D. He ruled the entire North India. He conquered upto Pataliputra. Kanishka started a new Era beginning from 78 A.D. This Era is called Salivahana Saka. Kanishka followed Mahayana Buddhism. He treated all the religions equally. Kanishka annexed Kashgar and Khotan to his empire. The empire of Kanishka extended from Bokhara to Sind and Persia to Bihar. The capital of Kanishka was Purushapura(modern Peshawar).

He convened the fourth Buddhist council at Kashmir. He sent Buddhist missionaries to control Asia and China. The court of Kanishka was adorned by Acharya Nagarjuna, Vasumitra, Charaka etc. Acharya Nagarjuna was the authro of "Madyamika Sutra" and "Sunya Veda". The famous poet Ashvaghosa was the author of "Buddhacharita". The court physician of Kanishka was Charaka. He was the author of "Charaka Samhita".

Kanishka waged a war against Kashmir and got victory and built a city known as Kanishkapuram as a mark of success. He invaded against Magadha and occupied Pataliputra and took along with his the famous poet Ashvaghosha. He defeated the Chinese General Pan-Chavo and got Kashgar, Bolan and yarkhand regions and stopped paying tribute to China. He had the titles of "Devaputra" and "Ceaser".

Kanishka followed Kshatrapi administrative system of Sakas. He introduced certain foreign elements in the administration. The important among them was government by Satraps. Kshatraps were the Viceroys of the provinces. Mahakhatraps were the independent rulers. Kanishka believed that the king was equivalent to God and followed Daivadattadhikara principle. He ruled for the welfare of the subjects. The kushan kingdom was divided into Janapadas, Aharas and Vishayas. Kushans were helped in the administration by a group of people called "Tulakalus".

Kanishka patronized art and architecture. He built a number of Stupas. Mathura adorned with a number of fine buildings. During the period of Kanishka Gandhara Sculpture was greatly developed. He built a huge stupa in Purushapura. During his period trade and commerce was developed. There were trade relations between India and the Roman empire. Kanishka ruled for a period of 45 years and was succeeded by Vasishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva. But they were weak rulers. Hence the downfall of Kushans was started and finally Kushans confined to north-west Punjab and Kabul.

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