Published on: June 3, 2022



Why in news?

The Patna circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has dug up remnants of brick walls, which officials believe could be at least 2,000-year-old, at the site of a pond rejuvenation work in Kumrahar area in Patna.


  • The ASI is rejuvenating the protected pond as part of the Centre’s ‘Mission Amrit Sarovar’ initiative. The brick walls inside the pond are a significant find.
  • It appears that these bricks belong to the Kushan age that ruled over most of the northern Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia from circa AD 30 to circa 375

 ‘Mission Amrit Sarovar’ initiative

  • With a view to conserve water for the future, the Prime Minister has launched a new initiative named Mission Amrit Sarovar on 24th April 2022.
  • The Mission is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country as a part of celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

About Kushan dynasty

  • Kushanas are considered to be one of the five branches of the Yuezhi tribe who lived in the Chinese frontier or central Asia.
  • They are known as Guishuang in Chinese sources.
  • They eventually acquired dominance over the other Yuezhi tribes.
  • They moved eastward towards India defeating the Parthians and the Sakas in the 1st century AD.
  • Kujula Kadphises was the first Yuezhi chief to lay the foundation of the Kushana Empire in India.

Kanishka of Kushan Dynasty [127 AD – 150 AD]

  • Considered the greatest Kushana king and also a great king of ancient India.
  • Son of Vima Kadphises.
  • His kingdom included Afghanistan, parts of Sindhu, parts of Parthia, Punjab, Kashmir, parts of Magadha (including Pataliputra), Malwa, Benaras, perhaps parts of Bengal, Khotan, Kashgar, Yarkhand (last three in modern China). His empire covered Gandhara, Peshawar, Oudh, Pataliputra, Kashmir and Mathura. His kingdom also included parts of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
  • His main capital was Peshawar, then known as Purushpura.
  • After the capture of Pataliputra, he is said to have taken away the Buddhist monk Ashvaghosha with him to Peshawar.
  • The scholars in his court included Parsva, Ashvaghosha, Vasumitra, Nagarjuna, Charaka and Mathara. He also patronised the Greek engineer Agesilaus.
  • Kanishka convened the fourth Buddhist Council at Kundalvana in Kashmir.
  • He patronised Buddhism although he was very tolerant in his religious views. His coins contain a mix of Indian, Greek and Zoroastrian deities.
  • He was also a patron of art and architecture. The Gandhara School of art flourished under him.
  • He also propagated the Mahayana form of Buddhism and he was largely responsible for propagating it in China.