History of Kanyakubj (Kannauj) City
During any religious rituals, one has to speak out his location. Jamboo Dweepey (in continent of Asia), Bharat Khandey (in India), Aaryavart Deshey (in land of Aryans), Vindhyachaley Uttarey (north to Vindhyachal ranges). In same way we will try to locate Kanyakubja city.
In continent of Asia, in India, and north to Vindhyachal ranges, in Paanchal Pradesh (among five rivers-Ganga, Yamuna, Kosi, Kali and Chambal) which is part of modern Uttar Pradesh, Paanchal Desh finds very prominent reference in Epic of Mahabharat. Ancient Paanchal was divided into northern and southern part by river Ganges. Southern part was adjacent to Hastinapur-capital of famous Kshatriya kingdom. Whole of Paanchal originally belonged to king Drupad. Brave Pandavas, specially Arjun, conquered Paanchal and gave it as gift to their Guru Dronachrya. Dronacharya returned half (southern Paanchal) of Paanchal to Drupad and kept northern for himself. In older revenue records, part of this area is mentioned as “Drupad patti” and “Dron patti”.
Capital of northern part was Ahichhatra and was under indirect influence of Hastinapur. Paanchal was ruled by Drupad and had Kampilya as its capital. Swayamber of Draupdi (daughter of Drupad also called Paanchali) took place in Kampilya. Kampilya was named after Kapil rishi and still exists as small helmet close to modern Farrukhabad area of Ahichhatra is now tehsil of Awanla.
In period preceding, Lord Ram of Ayodhya, this area was ruled by king Kushnabh who was grandfather of king Vishvarath, later became very famous as Mahrishi Vishvamitra. Kushnabh formed his own empire and named it as Madhya Desh. In that period, Paanchal was part of Madhya Desh with Kampilya as its capital and ruled by Brahmin king Brahm Dutt. King Kushnabh married his 100 daughters who became Kubja due to curse of Lord Pawan (Vayu) to Brahm Dutt. That is why this area later was called as Kanyajubja Pradesh as well descendents of Brahm Dutt and daughters of Kushnabh were later known as Kanyakubja Brahmins ( Reference: Valmiki Ramayan, Bal Kand, Sarga 31, 32 & 33).
Kanyakubja attained zenith of its glory during reign of king Harshvardhan. Empire of Harshvardhan was known as Kanyakubja Desh and city of Kanyakubja as its capital. Famous Chinese traveler Huein Tsang came to Kanyakubja during regime of Harshvardhan and stayed for couple of years. He gave very glorified description of this city in his travelogue. Huein Tsang was a Baudh himself and described presence of Budhisht Stupas and Jain temples. Remains of Budhism And Jainism can still be found in city of Kanyakubja now known as Kannauj.
In days of Prithviraj Chauhan, Kannauj was under rule of Jayachand. Description of wars between Prithviraj Chauhan and Jayachand are very popular folklore of this area and are sung as ALHA. It tells about bravery of Alha, Udal and Prithviraj Chauhan. When Mohammad Ghori defeated Prthviraj Chauhan, Kannauj came under Muslim rule.
These facts shows different locations as Brahmavarta, Madhyadesh and Aryavarta. It also confirms the superiority of Kanyakubjas over others on basis of conduct and behaviour dwelling in Brahmavarta.
At present remains of Hindu, Baudh and Jain temples can still be seen in the faded glory of Kannauj.