The early history of the region now covered by the present district of
Farrukhabad 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 at Sankisa & Kampil. Farrukhabad 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 Kanyakubja (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 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
The close of the 10th century was
marked by the Muslim invasion of India. Rajyapala was the ruler of Kannauj when
Mahmud of Ghazni attacked India. After sacking Mathura, Mahmud proceeded towards
Kannauj in 1018 A.D. He saw "a city which raised its head to the skies and which
in strength and beauty might boast of being unrivalled." Mahmud captured all the
seven forts of Kannauj in 1019 A.D.
An inscription of the Chalukya
dynasty of Lata, dated 1050 A.D. associates the Rashtrakuta dynasty with
Kannauj. During 1089-90 A.D. Chandradeva the first Gahadavala king of Kannauj
ruled and have protected the sacred places of Kushika (Kannauj). Kannauj once
more recovered a large measure of its old importance during 1114 A.D. to 1154 .
During the reign of Chauhans (1170-1194 A.D.) Kannauj became powerful and
annexed to Delhi. Kannauj (Jaichandra's capital) was the scene of Svayamvara of
his daughter Samyogita, who was carried off by Prithviraj III. Mohammad Ghauri
invaded India and killed Jaichandra in 1193 A.D.