Kannauj is a historic town that is situated on the banks of Ganges. The town has remained in prominence for most of the ancient and medieval period. The city rose to prominence during the reign of Harshavardhana who is counted among the most illustrious rulers in India. It was in the mid 7th century that Kannauj was named the capital city of Harshavardhana. The then kingdom of Harshavardhana included the entire region between the rivers Sutlej and Narmada and eastern Bengal.
It again raised to prominence during 9th century when the city became
an apple of discord for three kingdoms of the Peninsular India namely
Pratihara, Palas and Rashtrakutas. A century long "Tripartite
Struggle" followed that resulted in the complete dominion of Palas
over the region east of Kannauj. In the 12th century, Kannauj again came
in prominence after it was declared the capital of Jaichand. Jaichand
was the king who helped Mohammed Ghori in finally vanquishing Pirthviraj
Chauhan and Rajput rule from Delhi. The decisive battle was fought in
the year 1192 in the wheat-fields of Tarain, in modern Haryana.
While all traces of this past have vanished, Kannauj is famous for its
manufacture of essence (attar) used in perfumes. Though not much of the
glorious past remains, the temple of Ajai Pal still exists.