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Kanishkapura - Historical Site Associated With King Kanishka

Kanishkapura is located in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It is known as Kanishpur or Kanishpora  and is a historical site identified with Kanishkapura, mentioned by Kalhana in his Rajatarangini (I, 68).

This city was founded by Kushana king Kanishka, the famous ruler of the Kushana dynasty. M.A. Stein identified the site on the basis of archeological findings. The mounds of Kanishpur have also been explored by different teams of the Archeological Survey of India, revealing Neolithic pottery and early historical material.

In a recent exploratory survey of the area more than two dozen decorated terracotta tiles were found at Kanishpur. Some of these seem to be in situ position besides ceramics of Neolithic, early historical and Kushana periods.

The findings of a terracotta toy cart, wheel and a piece of stone ware, both belonging to  the Kushana period and more of pottery in red ware, both slipped and without slip, suggest that the site was an important center during the early Kushana period.

The decorated terracotta tiles bear leaf motifs, semi-circular lines forming geometrical designs, fish-scale design, border lining of leaves, small circular stamps, simple lining with a motif appearing as a hanging clock with cross lining in the center around which eighteen circles are depicted; full blown flower below the petal, three medallions and three dharma – chakra motifs below it and so on. These tiles also bear numerals in Kharosthi script. Based on the simplicity of their forms and mouldings, these tiles seem to be older in date than the profusely decorated Harwan tiles of 300 CE. The exact period can only be assessed if the site is further explored.