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Kushan Empire

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Kushan Kingdom

The Kushan kingdom ruled India from 1 C.E to 375 C.E.  It was founded by Kujula Kadphises. Kushan kingdom stretched from Afghanistan to Tajikistan and from the Ganges River basin in Northern India to Arabian Sea.   It had a cultural peak approximately around the 105–250 centuries. The Kushan kingdom increased trade by combining the marine route of the Indian Ocean with the Silk Route. It increased their income level. They established diplomatic relations with Rome, Persia and China.  They were Indo-European people by language. 

Kushan Empire Religion

They were followers of  Zoroastrianism (Parsi) and Buddhism. . Kushan empire rulers established Greek Buddhism religion by combining Greek and Buddhist religious principles and beliefs. Greek Buddhism is also called Mahayana Buddhism. Their god beliefs was  discovered through paintings and currency inscriptions. These god’s inscriptions were also found in Greek and  Iranian inscriptions. Buddhism flourished during the  Kushan Empire. 

King Kanishka I, the fifth Kushan king translated the Buddhist texts into Sanskrit. He also started one of the great Buddhist councils in Kashmir. Buddhist also give equal importance to Kanishka I with Ashoka the great in Buddhism. In China, the Kushans also encouraged Hinayana and Mahayana writings, which played an important part in spreading Buddhism  along the Silk Road.

Vasudeva I, the last great monarch of the Kushan Empire reigned till 225 C.E. When he died, the Empire split into Western and Eastern parts.  Persian Sassanid Empire captured the western part of Kushan Empire. In the middle of the fourth century C.E., the Gupta Empire conquered the Kushan Empire. After that magnificent empire collapsed, which for three centuries connected East and West Asia.  

Kushan Dynasty Kings 

The list of kushan dynasty kings is given below.

  • Kujula Kadphises                                                             (1C.E –  80 C.E)
  • Vimaa Taktoo                                                                   ( 80 C.E –  105 C.E) 
  • Vimaa Kadphisees                                                           (105 C.E – 127 C.E) 
  • Kanishkaa I                                                                      (127 C.E – 147 C.E)
  • Vāsishka                                                                           ( 151 C.E – 155 C.E)
  • Huviska                                                                           ( 155 C.E –  187 C.E )
  • Vasudevaa I
  • Kanishkaa II                                                                   (226 C.E – 240 C.E)
  • Vashiska                                                                         (240 C.E – 250 C.E)
  • Kanishkaa III                                                                (255C.E – 275 C.E)
  • Vasudevaa II                                                                 ( 290 C.E – 310 C.E )
  • Vasudevaa III                                                                 


Kujula Kadphises (1 C.E–80 C.E)

Kujula was the first king of the Kushan empire. He attacked  Anxi (Parthia) and then  Gaofu area (Kabul) and conquered it. He also captured Gandara’s whole kingdoms. After 40 to 60 victories he made a vast empire. When he died, Kujula was almost 80 years old. 

Kanishka I (127–147)

Kanishka I reigned for at least 28 years from 127 C.E to 147 C.E. Kanishka I ruled a large area which consisted of the entire northern India, south Ujjalian and Kundina, and east beyond Pataliputra. He is also a most respected king in Buddhism because he helped a lot in flourishing Buddhism.  

He also ruled Purushapura (now Peshawar in northern Pakistan) and Mathura (north of India)..  He founded a huge historic fort of Bathinda (Qila Mubarak) in the present town of Bathinda, Indian Punjab.  

Expansion of Kushan Empire 

It was a vast kingdom which consisted of Central Asia, China, Afghanistan and Northern India.  The Kushans moved south into the Gadara area, founding the twin capitals of Kapisa and Pushklavati (Peshawar, Pakistan) respectively. The Kushans spread over the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent in the 1st and early 2nd century CE.  Approximately in 152 C.E Emperor Kanishka I, marched his troops north of the Karakoram Mountain, and later built a route that lasted more than a century from Gandara to China.

Decline of Kushan 

The Kushan Empire was divided into western and eastern parts after Emperor Vasudeva I died in 225. The Persian Sassanid Empire defeated the western Kushans in Afghanistan. Then again in 248 C.E attacked the Kushan Empire and captured more area. 

The Punjab was the center of the eastern Kushan empire. It was conquered by the Gupta Empire, led by Samudragupta, in the mid-fourth century.

For Mcqs of Kushan Dynasty Click Here 


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