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Kanishka(kənĭsh`kə), fl. c.A.D. 120, king of GandharaGandhara
, historic region of India, now in NW Pakistan. Situated astride the middle Indus River, the region had Taxila and Peshawar as its chief cities. It was originally a province of the Persian Empire and was reached (327 B.C.) by Alexander the Great.
..... Click the link for more information. . He was the most powerful and renowned ruler of the Kushan dynasty, one of the five tribes of the Yüeh-chih who had divided (1st cent. B.C.) Bactria among them. Earlier Kushan kings had extended their dominion into N India, and Kanishka ruled over an empire that stretched from the Pamirs to Bengal. His capital was at Peshawar. A patron of Buddhism, he built many Buddhist monuments, helped found the Gandharan school of sculpture, and encouraged the spread of Buddhism to central Asia.
King of the Kushan Empire from a. d. 78 to a. d. 123 (dates vary) who conquered nearly all of northern India.
Kanishka transferred the political center of the state to Puru-shapura (present-day Peshawar, Pakistan). A process of Indiani-zation of the Kushan conquerors began during Kanishka’s reign; he himself is known to have been a Buddhist. Kanishka’s rule coincided with the flowering of economic and cultural life in northern India and Central Asia; in addition, trade with China and the Roman Empire (the Great Silk Route and sea trade) grew to great proportions.