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What country was he King of? RickK

Kanishka ruled the Kushan Empire whose boundaries are not certain but included modern Pakistan, modern Afghanistan, parts of Tibet and Central Asia, and parts of Northern India.

Readers might be interested to know that the majority of Kushan scholars believe the date of Kanishka to be solved. There are full references on my discussion:

Note I hold a minority position.


Kanishka was a Jat King of Kaswan clan[edit]

Kaswan or Kuswan or Kasuan is a gotra of Jats in Rajasthan and Haryana in India. The word Kaswan is 'XWN' of Tocharian language meaning 'King'. The Taxila Ladle Copper inscription bears this as 'Kaswin' word. In Mahabharata also there is mention of a country named 'Kuswan' which was situated in the north of Mansarovar lake.

Presently Kaswan Jats are living in about 300 villages of Bikaner, Churu and Ratangarh areas. They were rulers in Sindh. Raja Kharwel has mentioned in an article about their rule in 2nd century of Vikram samvat - ‘Hathi Gumpha and three other inscriptions’ (page 24) in Sanskrit as under:

Kusawanam Kshetriyanam cha Sahayyatavatan prapt masik nagaram”.

This means that the city of 'Masik' was obtained with the help of 'Kuswa' Kshatriyas

According to historian Bhim Singh Dahiya the correct name for Kushans in India is Kasuan, the present Kaswan clan of Jats of Rajasthan and Haryana. This title remains in use by Jat clan indicates their possibility of ancestral lineage from Kushans.

James Legge : A RECORD OF BUDDHISTIC INGDOMS, (Being an Account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414), in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline Translated and annotated with a Corean recension of the Chinese text)

mentions in chapter XII about the rule of Kanishka in foot note-4 that “Kanishka appeared, and began to reign, early in our first century, about A.D. 10. He was the last of three brothers, whose original seat was in Yueh-she, immediately mentioned, or Tukhara.”

He further mentions in footnote-6 that “This king was perhaps Kanishka himself, Fa-hien mixing up, in an inartistic way, different legends about him. Eitel suggests that a relic of the old name of the country may still exist in that of the Jats or Juts of the present day. A more common name for it is Tukhara, and he observes that the people were the Indo-Scythians of the Greeks, and the Tartars of Chinese writers, who, driven on by the Huns (180B.C.), conquered Transoxiana, destroyed the Bactrian kingdom (126 B.C.), and finally conquered the Punjab, Cashmere, and great part of India, their greatest king being Kanishak (E. H., p. 152).”

As per above discussion it is clear that the Kushan ruler Kanishka was a Jat. It is proposed accordingly to included this fact in the History Kanishka in this article. burdak 04:59, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Concern about the so-called "Clan of Kanishka"[edit]

I am very concerned about the recent addition of the section called the "Clan of Kanishka." I don't know of any convincing historical evidence that Kanishka was a Jat and this addition certainly does not prove it. As far as I am concerned it remains a hypothesis or theory at best and, until more evidence is produced, I don't think this section should remain. I have, therefore, added the following label to this section

John Hill 07:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps you could provide some verifiable evidence , that Kaniska was not a Jat

Ravi Chaudhary 20:21, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Ravi Chaudhary: perhaps you should provide some verifiable evidence that Kanishka was not a chamar as chamars of Kaniswan clan claim him to be the first dalit king who was Buddhist

Anonymous 18:53, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

sources cited for "Clan of Kanishka"[edit]

Hi John Hill, After your note to verify sources about the clan of Kanishka I further searched books with me and put more references at appropriate places in the article on clan of Kanishka's section. All references lead to the same fact that Kanishka was Kaswan Jat and it can not be anything else. Apart from literature and inscriptions the biggest evidence is that Kaswan clan is in Jats as on today in Rajasthan. Majoritry of them are in Churu district in Rajasthan. So as I am from that area and have first hand information about them. If there is any evidence otherwise, as Ravi Chaudhary has said, it may be placed for discussion.

About the origin of Kushans I take from Wikipedia article on Kushan which is as under -

"Chinese sources describe the Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜), i.e. the "Kushans", as one of the five aristocratic tribes of the Yuezhi (Ch: 月氏), a loose confederation of Indo-European peoples. The Yuezhi are also generally considered as the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages, who had been living in the arid grasslands of eastern Central Asia, in modern-day Xinjiang and Gansu, possibly speaking versions of the Tocharian language, until they were driven west by the Xiongnu in 176–160 BCE. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì (Ch: 休密), Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜), Shuangmi (Ch: 雙靡), Xidun (Ch: 肸頓), and Dūmì (Ch: 都密).
The Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria, in the Bactrian territory (northernmost Afghanistan and Uzbekistan) around 135 BCE, and displaced the Greek dynasties there, who resettled in Indus basin (in present day Pakistan) in the western part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom.
In the following century, the Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜) gained prominence over the other Yuezhi tribes, and welded them into a tight confederation under yabgu (Commander) Kujula Kadphises. The name Guishuang was adopted in the West and modified into Kushan to designate the confederation, although the Chinese continued to call them Yuezhi."

According to Thakur Deshraj the Shivi gotra Jats of Shivaliks and lower reaches of Lake Manasarowar left this area after the war of Mahabharata and migrated to Uttar Kuru. Some of them settled in Punjab in the area known as 'Yadu ki Dung', some settled in Kashmir and the rest moved far north up to Siberia. [1]

The Krishna vanshi people in Sanskrit were called 'Karshney' and 'Karshniya'. Karshniya or Kasaniya is a gotra of Jats found in Rajasthan. These Krishna vanshi people in China were known as Kushan or Yuezhi.[2]

Bhim Singh Dahiya has established that Kushan or Yuezhi were Jats. There were two branches of Yuezhi people. One of the branches was called 'Ta-Yuezhi' which means 'The great Jats'. The other branch was 'Siao-Yuezhi' which means 'The little Jats'. The Greek historian Herodotus has written Massagetae for Ta-Yuezhi and Thyssagetae for Siao-Yuezhi. The Yuezhi people inhabited the Outer Mongolia and Gansu province of China.[3][4] burdak 03:35, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

  1. ^ Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934
  2. ^ Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934
  3. ^ Bhim Singh Dahiya: Aryan Tribes and the Rig Veda, Dahinam Publishers, Haryana, India,1991
  4. ^ Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers, Dahinam Publishers

Reply to Mr. Burdak's comments above[edit]

Dear Mr. Burdak: I have just now discovered the comments you wrote last November (above). You have given us a number of references and you say Bhim Singh Dahiya "has established that Kushan or Yuezhi were Jats." This will, I suspect, be a total surprise to most scholars involved in the field of Kushan history. I would have no argument with you if you had stated that Bhim Singh Dahiya has proposed a hypothesis that Kushans were Jats. But "established" that this is so? I would like to see the evidence (if there is any real evidence).

Most scholars admit that the evidence is still not strong enough to be definite about the family connections or even the original language of the Kushans, although there is developing a fairly general consensus that they were either "Tocharian" or related to them. Many, many theories have been proposed - but none have been generally accepted as yet.

You also claim to have some personal knowledge that you think strengthens the case that Kushans were from the Kaswan clan of Jats. I wish you would detail this so everyone can consider it properly - or do you expect us, once again, to have to take what you say as the Truth?

Finally, it is not up to me to prove Kanishka or the Kushans were NOT Jats, but up to you and your colleague Mr. Chaudhari to prove that they were. If you could do this convincingly, it would have far-reaching implications for South and Central Asian history. By the way, in your scheme of things, do the Yuezhi come first and then become Jats, or do the Jats come first and the Yuezhi derive from them?

I would suggest that the most likely connection between the Yuezhi and the Jats is that some of the Yuezhi, after they conquered Gandhara, may have mixed with the Punjabis of the time, and some modern Jats may well be partially descended from the Yuezhi conquerors (just as some of them are likely to be part Greek, part Persian, part Hun, part Mughal, and/or part English, and so on). But to say that Kushans WERE Jats is, I think, going too far and I would certainly need to see a well-argued case with solid evidence before I could even take it as a serious theory.

There is no point me trying to summarize the huge amount of literature available which indicates that the Yuezhi were related to one or the other group of people. I suggest you both go and read as much of it as you can and, then, after you have studied it carefully, try to present your case about the identification of the Kushans as Jats. John Hill 09:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

material moved from main page[edit]

-- 07:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)-- 07:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)-- 07:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Layan Kanishka Asiri Wijekoon

Kanishka was a Kushan of Yuezhi ethnicity. He probably spoke an Indo-European language related to Tocharian, and he used the Greek script in his inscriptions.

Kanishka was the successor of Vima Kadphises, as demonstrated by an impressive geneaology of the Kushan kings, known as the Rabatak inscription.[1] [2]

A number of legends about Kanishka were preserved in Buddhist religious traditions. Along with the Indian king Ashoka, the Indo-Greek king Menander I (Milinda), and Harshavardhana, he is considered by Buddhists to have been one of the greatest Buddhist kings.

Kanishka's era is now generally accepted to have begun in 127 CE on the basis of Harry Falk's ground-breaking research.[3] [4] Kanishka's era was used as a calendar reference by the Kushans for about a century, until the decline of the Kushan realm.

But i am Sirlankan.buddist.


Links to Kamsa?[edit]

Is there any established link with king Kamsa? Wiki-uk (talk) 04:48, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Statue in the Mathura Museum - photo request[edit]

Could someone make a picture of the large statue of Kanishka in the Mathura Museum and upload it on Wiki Commons? Wiki-uk (talk) 09:17, 17 April 2012 (UTC)


In the map showing the conquests of Kanishka the Pandya kingdom is marked at the wrong place.The title should be Chera Kingdom. The Pandya kingdom with its capital at Madurai is to the east of Chera Kingdom and to the south of CHOLA Kingdom.----Bksatyanarayana 07:14, 27 May 2012


Please can someone explain me, why it is written here that Kanishka was a turk????? Turks had no presence in the kushan empire and only 500 years later they migrated from mongolia to central asia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:2028:149:1781:249E:D99A:FD60:D2D1 (talk) 15:35, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Don't see anything about that in the article now, except something in footnote 1... AnonMoos (talk) 09:25, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    • ^ Nicholas Sims-Williams and Joe Cribb (1995/6): "A New Bactrian Inscription of Kanishka the Great." Silk Road Art and Archaeology 4 (1996), pp. 75-142.
    • ^ Nicholas Sims-Williams (1998): "Further notes on the Bactrian inscription of Rabatak, with an Appendix on the names of Kujula Kadphises and Vima Taktu in Chinese." Proceedings of the Third European Conference of Iranian Studies Part 1: Old and Middle Iranian Studies. Edited by Nicholas Sims-Williams. Wiesbaden. 1998, pp. 79-93.
    • ^ Falk, Harry (2001): “The yuga of Sphujiddhvaja and the era of the Kuṣâṇas.” Silk Road Art and Archaeology VII, pp. 121-136.
    • ^ Falk, Harry (2004): “The Kaniṣka era in Gupta records.” Silk Road Art and Archaeology X (2004), pp. 167-176.