Kanauj or Kannauj (both: kənoujˈ) [key], town (1991 pop. 58,932), Uttar Pradesh state, N central India, on the Ganges River. It is a market center for tobacco, perfume, and rose water. A very ancient town and a center of Brahmanic culture, its name was Kanyakubja. Called Kanogiza by Ptolemy, it was important during Gupta empire (320 B.C.–A.D. c.480). Later, Kanauj was a brilliant cultural center and the capital of Harsha's empire in the 7th cent. In the 9th cent. it became the capital of the Pratihara empire. During that period, it was famous for its poets. Kanauj declined after being conquered by Turkish tribes under Mahmud of Ghazna in 1018.
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