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For the Indian dynasty, see Kanva dynasty

Kanva (Sanskrit: कण्‍व káṇva) was an ancient Hindu rishi of the Treta yuga, to whom some of the hymns of the Rig Veda are ascribed. He was called a son of Ghora and one of the Angirasas. He is sometimes included in the list of the seven sages (the Saptarishis). Kanva was the founder of Mahrshi kanva ashrama, which is located on the bank of river Malini near Kotdwara, Uttarakhand, India.

  • Kanva is also the name of a founder of a Vedic shakha,
  • Kanva is also the name of several princes and founders of dynasties and several authors.
  • The Kanvas are the descendants of king Vasudeva Kanva (1st century BCE).
  • The Kanvas are also a class of evil spirits, against whom hymn 2.25 of the Atharva Veda is used as a charm.


  • Dowson, John: A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology & Religion.