The Age of the Kushans

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The Age of the Kushans :

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The Age of the Kushans Theirs was a vast empire that extended from Khotan to Banaras and from Kashmir to Saurashtra.

They Ruled over most of the northern Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia The first issuers of gold coins in India,This warrior tribe had quite a good dominance. Let’s know more about them in a moment.

The Age of the Kushans

In the early part of the 2nd century BCE, the Hunas defeated the Yueh-chi tribe of central Asia and forced them out of their lands.

This yueh-chi tribe further got divided into groups, one of which defeated the Sakas (Scythians) and established themselves in Bactria They were the Kushanas.

Many of their coins, inscriptions, architecture,records in Chinese chronicles and Buddhist texts, as well as Kalhana’s “Rajatarangini” Tell us about the Kushanas.

Kujula Kadphises was the first ruler of the Kushanas.

His empire extended from the borders of Persia to the Indus Vima Taktu, sonof Kujula Kadphises expanded his kingdom from Afghanistan to Kashmir and issued the first known gold

Vima Kadphiseswas the son of Vima Taktu who stabilized their dominions.

One of the mostpopular Kushana ruler, ruled an extensive empire from Bactria to Pataliputra The Chinese traveller Xuanzang says, he controlled the trade route from Afghanistan to the Indus plains.

Buddhism in his time had undergone a lot of change.

The Buddhist council or Sangitiheld in his reign saw  Buddhism getting divided into Hinayanism and Mahayanism.

He patronized many artists, scholars, philosophers, like Ashvaghosh, Nagarjuna etc.

Vasishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva I were Kanishka’s successors who tried to consolidate the empire.

with the demise of Vasudeva I, the rule of the Kushanas came to an end.

Their coinage was found in gold, copper, and silver. the use of greek and local languages along with their scripts were seen on these coins.

on his coins is the mention of “KOSSAN” On his earlier coins was the mention of a term: ‘Yavuga’ in Tocharian which meant ‘the leader of a tribe.’ Thus, the coins tell us the story of how he became a king from a mere tribal leader.

Wima Taktu called himself ’SoterMegas’ on his coins meaning “the great savior.” Wima Kadphises issuedgold and copper coins.

On his coins, is the first anthropomorphic depiction of Shiva Various forms of Shiva, Nandipada,king in various postures, the mint mark, title assumed as well as the name of it seems he tried to adapt to Indian traditions. Kanishka issued coins in Greek and Kharoshti script.

on his coins were depictions and the names of Indian, Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian and Persian deities.

Huvishka also made coins with many deities Vasudeva- is the first Kushan ruler with an Indian name.

The Rabatak inscription written on a rock inthe Bactrian language and the Greek script Tha gives the genealogy of the Kushan dynasty A new school of art rose during

the time of the Kushans: called the “Gandhara school of Art” flourishing in Gandhara and theadjacent regions We find many Sculptures of kings like these : With the idols of Local deities, Toys and Terracotta figurines.

In the last stages of the empire, the extent of their rule became very small.

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