Kannauj remained a focal point for the three powerful dynasties, namely the Gurjara Pratiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas, between the 8th and 10th centuries. The conflict between the three dynasties has been referred to as the Tripartite struggle by many historians.
There were initial struggles but ultimately the Gurjara Pratiharas succeeded in retaining the city. The Gurjara-Pratiharas ruled Avanti (based at Ujjain), which was bounded to the South by the Rashtrakuta Empire, and the Pala dynasty to the East. The Tripartite Struggle began with the defeat of Indrayudh at the hands of Gurjara-Pratihara ruler Vatsaraja. The Pala ruler Dharampala was also keen to establish his authority at Kannauj, giving rise to a struggle between Vatsaraja and Dharampala. Dharampala was however defeated. Taking advantage of the chaos, the Rastrakuta ruler Dhruva surged northwards, defeated Vatsaraja, and took Kannauj for himself, completing the furthest northern expansion by a South Indian ruler.
When the Rashtrakuta ruler advanced back to south, Dharampala was left in control of Kannauj for some time. The struggle between the two northern dynasties continued: the Pala Chakrayudh was defeated by the Pratihara Nagabhata II, and Kannauj was again occupied by the Gurjara Pratiharas. Dharampala tried to take control of Kannauj but was defeated badly at Moongher by the Gurjara Pratiharas. However, Nagabhata II was in turn soon defeated by the Rashtrakuta Govinda III, who had initiated a second northern surge. An inscription states that Chakrayudh and Dharampala invited Govinda III to war against the Gurjara Pratiharas, but Dharampala and Chakrayudh both submitted to the Govinda III, in order to win his sympathy. After this defeat Pratihara power degenerated for some time. After the death of Dharampala, Nagabhata II regained hold over Kannuaj and made it the capital of the Gurjara Pratihara Empire. During this period the Rashtrakutas were facing some internal conflicts, and so they, as well as the Palas, did not contest this. Thus Gurjara Pratiharas became the greatest power in Northern India after occupying Kannauj.
Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznavi captured Kanauj in 1018. Chandradeva founded the Gahadvala dynasty with its capital at Kanauj around 1090. His grandson Govindachandra "raised Kanauj to unprecedented glory." Muhammad Ghori advanced against the city, and in the Battle of Chandwar of 1193, killed Jayachandra. The "glory of Imperial Kanauj" ended with Iltutmish's conquest.
Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun at the battle of Kannauj on 17 May 1540.
During early English rule in India, the city was spelled Cannodge by them.
Kannauj is located at 27.07°N 79.92°E / 27.07; 79.92. It has an average elevation of 139 metres (456 feet).
As of 2001 India census, Kannauj had a population of 71,530. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Kannauj has an average literacy rate of 58%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 64%, and female literacy is 52%. In Kannauj, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Government Medical College, Kannauj is a government medical college located in Tirwa of Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is affiliated to King George's Medical University, Lucknow. In 2012, the institute become recognized for 100 M.B.B.S. seats by Medical Council of India (MCI).
Government Engineering College, Kannauj is a government engineering college in Kannauj. It is a constituent college of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (formerly Uttar Pradesh Technical University) in Lucknow, and has its temporary campus at Harcourt Butler Technical University in Kanpur.
The city is served by two major railway station Kannauj railway station and Kannauj City railway station.
22443/Kanpur - Mumbai Bandra (T.) (Weekly) SF Express passes through Kannauj railway station on the way from Kanpur Central railway station to Farrukhabad Junction railway station at evening 7:30 PM every Wednesday . Return train reaches at 5:52 AM .