N. Akmal Ayyubi

Institute of Islamic Studies Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh (U. P.) INDIA

Keywords: Indo-Turkish, India, Turkey, Kanishka, Sanskrit


Interchange between India and Turkish world is older than Islam and there is little doubt that Indians and Turks during the Hittite period have several common religious concepts and even political contacts. It is generally believed that the first contact of the Turks took place with the compaigns of Mahmud Ghaznavi in India in the first decades of the II th. century A. D. but in fact India came into direct contact with the Turks through Turkish states first established on Indian soil in the first century B. C. long before the advent of Muslims in India. This was the first phase of Indo-Turkish relations which ended with the fail of the Turk Shahi dynasty. Later on in the second century of Christian era a famous Turk ruler emerged in India and made his way to the glory and renown. He is known as Kanishka (120-162 A. D.). Warahmehra, in his well-known Sanskrit work of Rajtrangi, describes the emperor Kanishka and his successors as belonging to Turushka family. The details of description of this emperor available to us, positively point to the fact that Kanishka belonged to Turkish race and not to Mongols. His coins bears the title of "Shaunanushah" which is a Turkish word.