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Gupta Empire (India)

Gupta Empire (India)

C O N T E N T S:

KEY TOPICS
  • Chandragupta's son, Samudragupta, assumed the throne in 335 CE, and conquered several neighboring kingdoms; eventually, the Gupta Empire extended across the entire Indian subcontinent.(More...)
  • Although preceded by two Guptan rulers, Chandragupta I (reign 320-335 CE) is credited with establishing the Gupta Empire in the Ganges River valley in about 320 CE, when he assumed the name of the founder of the Mauryan Empire.(More...)
  • By 550 CE, the original Gupta line had no successor and the empire disintegrated into smaller kingdoms with independent rulers.(More...)
  • The Gupta Age was a dynamic period in ancient Indian history, which lasted for two centuries, and left a powerful impact on India's cultural heritage to earn the tag of 'Golden Age' conferred upon it by pre-independence Indian historians.(More...)
  • After assuming power, Skandagupta quickly crushes the Huna invasion, but this drains the Gupta resources and contributes to the empire's decline.(More...)

POSSIBLY USEFUL
  • Fa Xian was one of the first Chinese travelers to visit India during the reign of Gupta Emperor Chandragupta II. He started his journey from China in 399 CE, and reached India in 405 CE. He recorded all of his observations in a journal that was eventually published.(More...)
  • Samudragupta's son Chandragupta II (r. 375-415 CE) waged a long campaign against the Shaka Satraps in western India, which gave the Guptas access to Gujarat's ports, in northwest India, and international maritime trade.(More...)



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KEY TOPICS
Chandragupta's son, Samudragupta, assumed the throne in 335 CE, and conquered several neighboring kingdoms; eventually, the Gupta Empire extended across the entire Indian subcontinent. [1] The Gupta Empire, founded by Maharaja Sri Gupta, was an ancient Indian realm that covered much of the Indian Subcontinent from approximately 320-550 CE. Gupta rule, while solidified by territorial expansion through war, began a period of peace and prosperity marked by advancements in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectics, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy. [1] The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire that was founded in 320 CE and survived until about 550 CE. The Gupta Empire covered most of north and central India, as well as Bangladesh. [2] A minor line of the Gupta Clan continued to rule Magadha, one of the 16 Indian Mahajanapadas, or "Great Countries," but the Gupta Empire fell by 550 CE. [1] During the time of the Gupta Empire, Indians enjoyed a Golden Age in the arts, sciences and religion. [3] Chandragupta II controlled the whole of the Indian subcontinent; the Gupta empire was the most powerful empire in the world during his reign, at a time when the Roman Empire in the West was in decline. [4] The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire, which existed at its zenith from approximately 240 to 605 CE and covered much of the Indian subcontinent. [4] Gupta Empire, 320-600 CE: The Gupta Empire expanded through conquest and political alliances until 395 CE, when it extended across the entire Indian subcontinent. [1] The prosperity created under the leadership of the Gupta Empire, which covered much of the Indian subcontinent from approximately 320-550 CE, enabled the wide pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. [1]

The Gupta Empire stretched across northern, central and parts of southern India between c. 320 and 550 CE. The period is noted for its achievements in the arts, architecture, sciences, religion, and philosophy. [5] Prosperity in the Gupta Empire initiated a period known as the Golden Age of India, marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy. [1] The Age of the Guptas and After Chandragupta Maurya united India 100 years before Chandragupta Gupta, but his empire failed while the Gupta Empire ushered in a golden age of art and culture. [6]

After gaining power, Chandragupta II expanded the Gupta Empire through conquest and political marriages until the end of his reign in 413 CE. By 395 CE, his control over India extended coast-to-coast. [1] Sri Gupta founded the Gupta Empire c. 240-280 CE, and was succeeded by his son, Ghatotkacha, c. 280-319 CE, followed by Ghatotkacha's son, Chandragupta, c. 319-335 CE. [1] Chandragupta I (r. 320-335) was succeeded by his son, Samudragupta (r. 335-380) who conquered the Kushans and other smaller kingdoms and greatly expanded the emerging Gupta Empire. [3] However Gupta Empire records and Chinese records provided by the later I-Tsing, furnished the names of the first three rulers of the Gupta Dynasty: Maharaja Sri Gupta, Maharaja Sri Ghatotkacha and Ghatotokacha's son, and Maharajadhiraja Sri Chandragupta, who is considered the first Gupta emperor. [4] Chandragupta I (320 - 335 CE) started a rapid expansion of the Gupta Empire and soon established himself as the first sovereign ruler of the empire. [5]

The Gupta Empire flourished, in military and territorial conquests as well as cultural and scholastic advancements, during the reign of Emperor Chandragupta II. Yet the succeeding rulers, beginning with Kumaragupta I and then Skandagupta, oversaw the eventual end of the Gupta Empire through military defeats, devalued money and withering leadership. [1] The Kidarites as well probably confronted the Gupta Empire towards the end of the rule of Kumaragupta I, as his son Skandagupta mentions in the Bhitari pillar inscription his efforts at reshaping a country in disarray, through reorganization and military victories over the Pushyamitras and the Hunas. [4] Chandragupta II (r. 380-414), the son of Samudragupta, expanded the Empire even further so that the Gupta Empire was almost as large as that of the ancient and powerful Mauryan Empire. [3] Samudragupta was succeeded by his son, Chandragupta II, who continued to expand the Gupta Empire through conquest and political alliances. [1]

By his death in 380 CE, Samudragupta had incorporated over 20 kingdoms into his realm, and extended the Gupta Empire from the Himalayas to the Narmada River in central India, and from the Brahmaputra River that cuts through four modern Asian nations to the Yamuna-- the longest tributary of the Ganges River in northern India. [1] After the collapse of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century, India was again ruled by numerous regional kingdoms. [4] Although the Gupta Empire was not as large as the Maurya Empire, it kept north India politi­cally united for more than a century, from A. D. 335 to 455. [7]

After many years of dominance, the Gupta Empire collapsed in 550 CE, due to invasions and weak leadership of successive rulers. [1] The Gupta Empire during the rule of Srigupta (circa 240 - 280 CE) comprised only Magadha and probably a part of Bengal too. [5] From 320-550 CE, the Gupta Empire assimilated neighboring kingdoms, through conquest or political alliances. [1] The Bhitari Pillar inscription of Skandagupta, the successor of Chandragupta, recalls the near-annihilation of the Gupta Empire following the attacks of the Kidarites. [4] The White Huns, those who invaded the Gupta Empire during the reign of Kumaragupta, were also known as the Hephthalites, and caused great damage to the failing Gupta Empire. [1] The reign of Chandragupta II saw the high watermark of the Gupta Empire. [7] During the reign of Chandragupta II, Gupta Empire maintained a large army consisting of 500,000 infantry, 50,000 cavalry, 20,000 charioteers and 10,000 elephants along with a powerful navy with more than 1200 ships. [4]

The Alchon Huns under Toramana and his son Mihirakula (here depicted) gravely weakened the Gupta Empire. [4] Wars of succession and invasions from the Hunas (Ephthalite or White Huns) resulted in the gradual decline of the Gupta Empire. [3] Huna : A Central Asian Xionite tribe that consisted of four hordes that repeatedly invaded Gupta territory, and helped cause the downfall of the Gupta Empire. [1] The collapse of the Gupta Empire in the face of the Huna onslaught was due not directly to the inherent defects of the Gupta army, which after all had initially defeated these people under Skandagupta. [4] The Gupta Empire was believed to be a dynasty of the Vaishya caste, the third of the four Hindu castes representing merchants and farmers. [1] It is generally believed that during his time the Gupta Empire spanned from the Himalayas in north to the mouth of Krishna and Godavari rivers in the South, from Balkh, Afghanistan in the west to the Brahmaputra River in the east. [5] Despite the expansion of the Gupta Empire through war, there were numerous examples of cultural sophistication during the Gupta era, with architecture, sculptures and paintings surviving as reminders of the creativity of the time. [1]

Called India's Golden Age by most scholars, the Gupta Empire was likely founded by a member of a lower Hindu caste called Sri Gupta. [8] Despite the creation of the empire through war, the reign is remembered for its very influential style of Hindu art, literature, culture and science, especially during the reign of Chandragupta II. Some excellent works of Hindu art such as the panels at the Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh serve to illustrate the magnificence of Gupta art. [4] The ruling dynasty of the empire was founded by Sri Gupta ; the most notable rulers of the dynasty were Chandragupta I, Samudragupta, and Chandragupta II. [4] The first ruler of the empire was Chandra Gupta I, who was succeeded by his son, the celebrated Samudra Gupta. [9] Historians believe Sri Gupta and his son may have been Kushan vassals, or rulers who swore allegiance to the Kushan Empire. [1] These Guptas were ultimately ousted by the Vardhana ruler Harsha, who established his empire in the first half of the 7th century. [4] The Hephthalites broke through the Gupta military defenses in the northwest in the 480s, during the reign of Budhagupta, and by 500 CE much of the empire in northwest was overrun by the Huna. [1] The Huna attacks caused a major blow to the Gupta authority particularly in northern and western regions of the empire. [7] A minor line of the Gupta clan continued to rule Magadha after the disintegration of the empire. [4] According to other groups, the original homeland of the Guptas was Varendri or the Varendra Bhumi in Bengal, wherefrom they extended their Empire to Magadha. [4] Unlike the Mauryas, the Guptas adopted such pompous titles as Parameshvara Maharajadhiraja, Paramabhattaraka, etc., which imply the existence of lesser kings with considerable authority within the empire. [7] Historians argue that Sanskrit literature was at its highest point during the Gupta, mainly due to the vast wealth and peace of the empire. [2] Huns, invaded Gupta territory and caused significant damage to the empire. [1] In the 480's the Alchon Huns under Toramana and Mihirakula broke through the Gupta defenses in the northwest, and much of the empire in the northwest was overrun by the Huns by 500. [4] There were also trade links of Gupta business with the Roman empire. [4]

The Indian numerals which were the first positional base 10 numeral systems in the world originated from Gupta India. [4] The ancient Gupta text Kama Sutra by the Indian scholar Vatsyayana is widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature. [4] A.S. Altekar, a historian and archaeologist, who has written several books on Gupta coinage, also regarded the caste of the Guptas as Vaishya on the basis of the ancient Indian texts on law, which associate the Gupta name suffix with a member of the Vaishya caste. [4] Another historian of this time in Indian history, D. K. Ganguly, has offered a different view about the original Gupta homeland. [4] A contemporary Indian document, regarded as a military classic of the time, the Siva-Dhanur-veda, offers some insight into the military system of the Guptas. [4] Following the invasions, northern India was left in disarray, with numerous smaller Indian powers emerging after the crumbling of the Guptas. [4] Historians once regarded the Gupta period ( c. 320-540) as the classical age of India, the period during which the norms of Indian literature, art, architecture, and philosophy were established. [9] Sanskrit poetry, drama and art grew in importance, resulting in the Gupta period to be known as the classical age of Indian culture and arts. [3] The Gupta period is generally regarded as a classic peak of North Indian art for all the major religious groups. [4]

Chandragupta II conquered the western Indian region of Malwa after defeating the Western Kshatrapas, a branch of the Sakas, as well as expelling the Kushana Empire from the northern Indian city state Mathura. [1] Upon Kumaragupta’s death in 455 CE, his son, Skandagupta, assumed the throne and ruled until c. 467 CE. He is considered the last of the great Gupta rulers prior to the collapse of the empire. [1] The Empire split up but Gupta rulers continued to rule Magadha in a minor capacity until 720. [3] Read here about the Gupta rulers who united the empire and minted their own coins. [6]

Gupta Dynasty, Golden Age of India Was India's golden age named for its gold coins? Probably not, but the coinage produced under the Gupta dynasty was remarkable. [6] Under Gupta rule, a number of notable scholars thrived, including Kalidasa, considered the greatest poet and dramatist of the Sanskrit language; Aryabhata, the first of the Indian mathematician-astronomers who worked on the approximation for Pi ; Vishnu Sharma, thought to be the author of the Panchatantra fables, one of the most widely-translated, non-religious books in history; and the Hindu philosopher Vatsyayana, author of the Kama Sutra. [1] Sushruta, a famed Indian physician of the Gupta period, wrote the Samhita, a Sanskrit text on all of the major concepts of ayurvedic medicine, with innovative chapters on surgery. [1]


Although preceded by two Guptan rulers, Chandragupta I (reign 320-335 CE) is credited with establishing the Gupta Empire in the Ganges River valley in about 320 CE, when he assumed the name of the founder of the Mauryan Empire. [10] The Gupta Empire: The Gupta Empire ruled from 320 - 500 CE. It existed at about the same time as the Roman Empire (Though, by the time the Gupta Empire arose, Rome was already in decline.), and it dominated northern India. [11] After him, lesser emperors including Narasimhagupta, Kumaragupta II, Buddhagupta, and Vishnugupta ruled over the decline of the Gupta Empire. [8] The last recognized emperor of the Gupta Empire was Vishnupta, who ruled from about 540 until the empire collapsed around 550. [8]

Samudragupta's son Chandragupta II assumed the throne in 380 C.E. and ushered in a golden age of prosperity in the Gupta Empire. [12] Chandragupta's son Samudragupta, who assumed the throne in 335 C.E., created the Gupta Empire, which extended all across northern India and into modern Nepal and Myanmar. [12] Samudragupta, however, never faced a Waterloo, and was able to pass on a greatly expanded Gupta Empire to his sons. [8]

Gupta Empire was existed about 230 years from 320 CE to 550 CE. [13] The Gupta Empire may have lasted only about 230 years, but it was characterized by a sophisticated culture with innovative advances in literature, arts, and sciences. [8] Flourishing arts, fabulous literature, and great scholars all called the Gupta Empire home. [11]

By 520 C.E., the Gupta Empire was no more than a little kingdom that had to pay tribute to another ruler. [12] Unlike the Mauryan Empire's centralized bureaucracy, the Gupta Empire allowed defeated rulers to retain their kingdoms in return for a service, such as tribute or military assistance. [10]

During his reign, the Gupta Empire first faced incursions by the Huns, who would eventually bring down the empire. [8] The reason behind the fall of Gupta empire was the invasion of Hunas and weak leadership of later emperors. [13] Attributed to the sage Vatsyayana, the Kama Sutra is a treatise on erotic love thought to have been written under the Gupta Empire in the fourth or fifth century CE. Kama means love, desire, or pleasure in Sanskrit, and the Sutra is the earliest surviving example of the kama shastra, or science of erotica genre, that would become popular in later centuries. [10]

Gupta Empire Timeline Timeline Description: The Gupta Empire (320 - 550) was an ancient Indian empire that was responsible for the Indian Golden Age, an era of peace in which great advances were made in science and artistic pursuits. [14] Gupta Empire was known as the golden age of Indian culture. [15]


By 550 CE, the original Gupta line had no successor and the empire disintegrated into smaller kingdoms with independent rulers. [10] In a sprawling empire with weak leadership, it was easy for rebellions in Gujarat or Bengal to break out, and difficult for the Gupta emperors to put such uprisings down. [8]

Rajaraja ruled the Cholan Empire in India's southern region from 985 to 1015 CE and, along with his son Rajendra, is credited with securing the kingdom's dominance from the 10th to the 13th centuries CE. The emperor successfully defeated his main rivals, the Pandyas and the Cheras tribes, in South India, acquiring Kerala in the process. [10] Shivaji also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji was an Indian emperor and founder of Maratha Empire. [13]

The records do not specify why the princes submitted: whether he had a reputation as a great military strategist, was a blood-thirsty tyrant, a better ruler than the Gupta alternatives, or something else, Eventually, this branch of the Huns adopted Hinduism and was assimilated into Indian society. [8] During the Gupta reign, Indian doctors made some significant advances in medicine, including a smallpox vaccine, herbal remedies for all kinds of illnesses, and even a type of reconstructive plastic surgery. [12] The period of Gupta rule between 300 and 600 CE has been called the Golden Age of India for its advances in science and emphasis on classical Indian art and literature. [10]

Though considered India's Golden Age, village life during Gupta times remained simple. [11]

Gupta rulers acquired much of the land previously held by the Mauryan Empire, and peace and trade flourished under their rule. [10] With the decline of the Roman Empire, the art produced during Gupta rule was some of the very finest being created anywhere in the world. [11]

In any case, Chandragupta rose from relative obscurity to reunite much of the Indian subcontinent, which had fragmented five centuries earlier after the fall of the Mauryan Empire in 185 BCE. [8]

The period which intervened between the fall of the Kushanas and the rise of the Gupta Empire is called 'Dark Age' in Indian history. [16] The Gupta Empire in 4 th century AD is considered as the golden age of Indian history. [17]


The Gupta Age was a dynamic period in ancient Indian history, which lasted for two centuries, and left a powerful impact on India's cultural heritage to earn the tag of 'Golden Age' conferred upon it by pre-independence Indian historians. [18] The Classical Age refers to the period when most of North India was reunited under the Gupta Empire (ca. A.D. 320-550). [19] It was under this ruler whose coins proclaim him as Vikramaditya 'the Shining Sun' that the Gupta Empire expanded into western India by the conquest of Malwa and Gujarat from the last of the Shakas. [18] Samudragupta (335 AD to 380 AD) succeeded his father Chandragupta I, was the greatest king of Gupta empire. [15] The Gupta empire lasted to about 550 CE. One of the most famous emerors was Samudragupta. [20] Samudragupta inflamed the Gupta Empire by winning a series of battles till he was a master of northern India. [15] Skandagupta, son of Kumaragupta, succeeds his father as ruler of the Gupta empire, and is considered the last of the great Gupta rulers. [14] Sanskrit literature was very popular and was sponsored by many Gupta empire rulers. [21] Srigupta I was (270 AD to 290 AD) the ruler of Magadha and he established Gupta empire in Patliputra (now in Patna) as its capital. [15] The golden age was confined to the north, and the classical patterns began to spread south only after the Gupta Empire had vanished from the historical scene. [19]

The famous Chinese pilgrim, Fahien visited India during the reign of Chandragupta II. Out of his nine years stay in India, he spent six years in the Gupta empire. [22] The Chinese traveler Fahien, who visited India during the reign of Chandragupta II, has left a valuable account of the social, economic and religious conditions of the Gupta empire. [22]

After the fall of Gupta Empire, north India broke into smaller kingdoms and never was really united until the arrival of Moslems. [17] King Chandragupta I was undoubtedly the first great monarch of the Gupta dynasty and laid the foundation of large kingdom that later on developed into the mighty Gupta Empire. [16] Under the rule of Chandragupta and his descendants, the people of the Gupta Empire flourished. [23] The power and glory of Gupta empire reached its peak under the rule Chandragupta II Vikramaditya. [22] The great wealth of the Gupta Empire was manifest in the variety of gold coins issued by Chandragupta II. [22] The Gupta Empire subsisted till the end of the 5th century, when it was destroyed by the White Huns or Ephthalites. [22] About the year 500 they overwhelmed the kingdom of Gandhara (Peshawar) and overthrew the Gupta Empire. [22]


After assuming power, Skandagupta quickly crushes the Huna invasion, but this drains the Gupta resources and contributes to the empire's decline. [14] He thus set into motion a mechanism which aided his son and successor, Samudra Gupta's expansion of the Pataliputra-based kingdom into an empire. [18] The Empire carried out trade activities with countries like China, Ceylon, several European countries and the East Indian islands. [21] The Gupta period in Indian history is termed as the Golden Age of India. [24] The Gupta period marked a watershed of Indian culture: the Guptas performed Vedic sacrifices to legitimize their rule, but they also patronized Buddhism, which continued to provide an alternative to Brahmanical orthodoxy. [19] Gupta Dynasty was the last dominant power of Indian ancient history. [15]

The period of the Imperial Gupta has often been described as the golden age of the ancient Indian history. [16] Towards the close of the 4th century (A.D. 395) the kingdom of the Sakas or Western Satraps was overthrown by the Guptas, whose empire then extended from the Ganges delta to the Indus valley and the Arabian'Sea. [22] It was through these parts that the Gupta monarchs developed trade links with the outside world, especially the Eastern and the Western Roman empires. [16] The greatest of all Gupta kings was Samudragupta whose campaign expanded the empire in all directions. [17]

For 490 years following the fall of the Mauryan Empire, the Indian people would remain under the rule of small city-states. [23] Indian territorial empires tended to emerge first in the Ganges and to expand outward. [25]

In the history of Indian art and architecture, the Gupta period occupies an important place. [22]

POSSIBLY USEFUL
Fa Xian was one of the first Chinese travelers to visit India during the reign of Gupta Emperor Chandragupta II. He started his journey from China in 399 CE, and reached India in 405 CE. He recorded all of his observations in a journal that was eventually published. [1] Faxian (or Fa Hsien etc.), a Chinese Buddhist, was one of the pilgrims who visited India during the reign of the Gupta emperor Chandragupta II. [4]

The 5th-century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa credits the Guptas with having conquered about twenty-one kingdoms, both in and outside India, including the kingdoms of Parasikas, the Hunas, the Kambojas, tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys, the Kinnaras, Kiratas, and others. [4] He based his theory on the statement of the Chinese Buddhist monk, Yijing (I-Tsing), who visited India during 675 and 695 CE. J. F. Fleet and other historians, however, criticize Ganguly's theory because Sri Gupta ruled during the end of the 3rd century, but Yijing placed him at the end of the 2nd century. [4] The last known inscription by a Gupta emperor is from the reign of Vishnugupta (the Damodarpur copper-plate inscription), in which he makes a land grant in the area of Kotivarsha ( Bangarh in West Bengal ) in 542/543 CE. This follows the occupation of most of northern and central India by the Aulikara ruler Yashodharman circa 532 CE. [4] Coin of Kumaragupta I: A silver coin from the reign of Gupta Emperor Kumaragupta I, c. 415-455 CE. [1]

The Huns were defeated and driven out of India in 528 by king Yashodharman from Malwa, and possibly Gupta emperor Narasimhagupta. [4] Jayaswal has pointed out that the Guptas were originally inhabitants of Prayaga (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh, in north India, as the vassal of the Nagas or Bhaarshivas. [4]

According to the Gupta records, Samudragupta nominated his son, Prince Chandragupta II, born of Queen Dattadevi, as his successor. [1] In the opinion of art historian Dr. R. A. Agarawala, D. Litt., Rama Gupta may be the eldest son of Samudragupta. [4] The official records of the Guptas, however do not refer to Ramagupta and trace the succes­sion directly from Samudragupta to Chandragupta II. [7]

At the beginning of the 4th century, the Guptas established and ruled a few small Hindu kingdoms in Magadha and around modern-day Bihar. [4] Northern India was divided into three main kingdoms, those of the later Guptas of Magadha, the Maukharis, and the Pushyabhutis. [7] Whatever the theory is, the rule of the Guptas initiated the Golden Age in history of ancient India and with passage of time they became the sole authority of entire Northern India. [4] The Puranas had existed much before the time of the Guptas in the form of bardic literature; in the Gupta age they were finally compiled and given their present form. [7] Sanskrit literature was transformed during the reign of the Gupta. [2] The most likely time for the reign of Sri Gupta is c. 240-280. [4] The number system was developed by a mathematician and astronomer named Aryabhatta in 498 CE. This system became known as the Arabic numerals, but it is really a Gupta accomplishment. [2] The Pushyamitras, a tribe of central India, rose up in rebellion against Kumaragupta, while Gupta territories were invaded by the Western Huna people, also known as White Huns. [1] Skandagupta, who succeeded Kumaragupta I, was perhaps the last powerful Gupta monarch. [7]

The succession of the 6th-century Guptas is not entirely clear, but the tail end recognized ruler of the dynasty's main line was king Vishnugupta, reigning from 540 to 550. [4] An inscription tells us that Sri Gupta was the first king and Ghatotkacha was the next to follow him with the title Maharaja. [7] A high ranking official, heard for the first time in the Gupta records was the Sandhivigrahika (the foreign minister). [7] The nucleus of a Temple (garbha griha) with a single entrance and a porch (mandapa) appears for the first time as an integrated composition in this type of Gupta temples. [7]

Gupta Buddhist art influenced East and Southeast Asia as trade between regions increased. [1] …in large quantity by the Guptas; both kingdoms were active in foreign trade. [9] Gupta military success likely stemmed from the concerted use of elephants, armored cavalry, steel bow and foot archers in tandem against both Hindu kingdoms and foreign armies invading from the Northwest. [4] Hindu temples and shrines were built throughout the lands ruled by the Guptas. [3]

On account of these favourable factors, the Guptas set up their rule over Anuganga (the middle Gangetic basin), Prayag (modern Allahabad), Saket (modern Ayodhya) and Magadha. [7] According to John Allan and a few other scholars, the Guptas were initially concentrated in the region of Magadha and from there they extended their sway to Bengal. [4]

The Huna power was soon overthrown by Yashodharman of Malwa, who successfully challenged the authority of the Guptas and set up, in 532 A.D., pillars of victory commemorating his conquest of J almost the whole of northern India. [7] The Guptas issued the largest number of gold coins (dinaras) in ancient India; but these hardly flowed into day-to-day private economic relations. [7]

The period of Gupta rule, especially the reign of Chandragupta II, is still remembered as the Golden Age of India. [1] The successors of Chandragupta II had to face an invasion by the Hunas from Central Asia in the second half of the fifth century A.D. Although in the beginning, the Gupta king Skandagupta tried effectively to stem the march of the Hunas into India; his successors proved to be weak and could not cope with the Huna invaders. [7]

Queen Kumaradevi and King Chandragupta I: A coin from the period of Indian Emperor Samudragupta, 335-380 CE, depicting his parents, King Chandragupta and Queen Kumaradevi. [1] In the northern territories, a new empire arose when a ruler named Chandragupta I ascended the throne in 320 C.E. He revived many principles of Mauryan government and paved the way for his son, Samudragupta, to develop an extensive empire. [6] Chandragupta set up a stable civilization with a well functioning government, but his son, Samudragupta, was the individual responsible for extending the empire. [2] Ghatotkacha reigned from about 280 CE to 319 CE, and had a son named Chandragupta (reigned c. 320-335 CE) His son is not to be confused with Chandragupta Maurya (322-298 BCE), founder of the Mauryan Empire. [4] When Chandragupta ascended the throne and began the notable empire in 320 CE, the time of darkness was reversed. [2]

An advantageous marriage and political alliance with the Licchavis rulers brought Chandragupta I total control of the kingdom of Magadha, one of the most fertile and richest kingdoms in the heartland of the former Mauryan Empire. [3] Emperor Harshavardhana, better known as Harsha, lived from 590 to 647 CE and was the third ruler of the Vardhana Empire. [5] After the demise of his father Chandragupta II, Kumaragupta I (circa 415 - 455 CE) ruled over the vast empire with skill and ability. [5]

After conquering the remainder of North India, Samudragupta turned his eyes to South India and added a portion of it to his empire by the end of his Southern Campaign. [5] Samudragupta acquired a far greater part of southern India than he cared to incorporate into his empire. [5]

They maintained an empire over northern and parts of central and western India from the early 4th to the late 6th century ce. [9] They took advantage of their proximity to the areas in north India which carried on silk trade with the Byzantine Empire. [7] The Kushans, an organized clan of Yue Qi nomads, made the northwest frontier of India part of their empire around 50 AD. The empire was wealthy, gaining substantial revenue by controlling most of the major Asian land trade routes. [3]

To rule the vast empire more efficiently, Chandragupta II founded his second capital in Ujjain. [5] Towards the close of his reign the empire was menaced by hordes of the Pushyamitras probably a tribe allied to the Hunas which were defeated by the Crown prince Skandagupta. [7] The empire eventually died out because of many factors such as substantial loss of territory and imperial authority caused by their own erstwhile feudatories, as well as the invasion by the Huna peoples ( Kidarites and Alchon Huns ) from Central Asia. [4]

The empire thereafter disintegrated into numerous regional kingdoms, ruled by chieftains. [1] Literature developed extensively; Sanskrit writing became a great beneficiary to the empire. [2]

Skandagupta, who was celebrated as a great warrior for his victorious clashes with the Huns during his father’s reign, defeated several rebellions and external threats from the Huna people, notably an invasion in 455 CE. Although victorious, the expenses of the wars against the Hunas drained the empire's resources. [1] Skandagupta : Son of Kumaragupta I; the emperor of the Gupta Dynasty from c. 455-467 CE. [1] Kumaragupta I : Son of Chandragupta II; the emperor of the Gupta Dynasty from c. 415-455 CE. [1] Chandragupta II : The emperor of the Gupta Dynasty of ancient India from c. 380-415 CE. [1] Coin of Skandagupta: A coin emblazoned with the image of Gupta Dynasty Emperor Skandagupta, who ruled c. 455-467 CE. [1] He was helped by his able son Skandagupta (455 - 467 CE) who was the last of the sovereign rulers of the Gupta Dynasty. [5]

Sri Gupta's son and successor, Ghatotkacha, ruled from c. 280-319 CE, while his son, Chandragupta, ascended the throne around 319 and ruled until 335 CE. [1] The first Gupta ruler of consequence was Chandragupta I, son of Ghatotkacha. [7] From the Kushans, the Gupta kings learned the benefit of maintaining a cavalry and Chandragupta I, son of Ghatotkacha, made effective use of his strong army. [5]

Gupta dynasty, rulers of the Magadha (now Bihar ) state in northeastern India. [9] These historians have derived their theory from several Gupta Dynasty coins found in those regions, and this study of numismatic evidence led to the theory that the Guptas were the original inhabitants of that region of northeastern India. [4] He appears to have been the last Gupta ruler to mint silver coins in western India. [7]

The Gupta Period of India was not characterized by enormous material wealth or by elaborate trade activity. [6] The most eloquent evidence of the high stage of development which metallurgy had attained in the Gupta period is the Mehrauli iron pillar of King Chandra, usually identified as Chandragupta II. [7] The Gupta dynasty flourished immensely under Chandragupta II, but rapidly weakened during the reign of his two successors. [6] The rulers of the Gupta dynasty were all Hindu which is one reason the Buddhists were driven out. [2] The Gupta era produced the decimal system of notation and great Sanskrit epics and Hindu art and contributed to the sciences of astronomy, mathematics, and metallurgy. [9] The Gupta period witnessed Golden Age only in the fields of art, literature etc. [7] Gupta period, considered a golden age of ancient India in art and architecture. [5]

Buddhist and Jaina literature in Sanskrit were also written during the Gupta period Buddhist scholars Arya Deva, Arya Asanga and Vasubandhu of the Gupta period were the most notable writers. [7] Several Gupta rulers patronized Sanskrit literature, which made it increasingly popular. [2]

Skandagupta, son and successor of Kumaragupta I is generally considered to be the last of the great Gupta rulers. [4] Silver coin of the Gupta King Kumaragupta I (Coin of his Western territories, design derived from the Western Satraps ). [4] Gold coin of Gupta era, depicting Gupta king Kumaragupta holding a bow. [4]

A wave of invasions launched by the Huns, a nomadic group from central Asia, started in 480 C.E. Two decades later, Gupta kings had little territory left under their control. [6]

Around the mid-4th century, the Gupta dynasty, of indigenous origin, rapidly expanded its power, uprooting the last remnants of foreign rule and succeeding in bringing almost all of northern India under its sway. [9] The end of the reign of Visnugupta Chandraditya, last of the Gupta rulers in northern India. [5]

Vikramaditya is the name of an emperor of ancient Indian legend, characterized as the ideal king known for generosity, courage, and as a patron of scholars. [1] Other scholars of the Golden Age helped create the first Indian numeral systems with a base of ten. [1] The Indian scholar and Hindu philosopher Vatsyayana, authored the Kama Sutra, which became a standard work on human sexual behavior, while Vishnu Sharma was thought to be the author of the Panchatantra fables, one of the most widely-translated, non-religious books in history. [1]

During their rule of 60 years, the Alchons are said to have altered the hierarchy of ruling families and the Indian cast system. [4] He sought to unite all of India under his rule and quickly set out to achieve this goal by waging wars across much of the Indian subcontinent. [6]

Even more importantly, it began a period of overall prosperity and growth that continued for the next two and half centuries which came to be known as a "Golden Age" in India's history. [5] The Huna invasions are said to have seriously damaged India's trade with Europe and Central Asia. [4]


Samudragupta's son Chandragupta II (r. 375-415 CE) waged a long campaign against the Shaka Satraps in western India, which gave the Guptas access to Gujarat's ports, in northwest India, and international maritime trade. [10] The Huns' initial raids into India were led by a man who is called Toramana or Toraraya in Gupta records; these documents show that his troops began to pick off feudatory states from the Gupta domains around the year 500. [8]

It is probably no coincidence that the sort of monetary compensation distributed to the arts during the reign of the Guptas resulted in advances in literature and science during the period as well. [11] The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hien visited during the reign of Chandragupta II. His writings are one of the source of Gupta history. [13]

Among the most troublesome of the invaders were the White Huns (or Hunas), who had conquered much of the northwestern section of Gupta territory by 500 CE. [8] Kumaragupta (r. 415-454 CE) and Skandagupta (r. c. 454-467 CE), Chandragupta II's son and grandson respectively, defended against attacks from the Central Asian Huna tribe (a branch of the Huns) that greatly weakened the empire. [10] Chandragupta II died about 415 AD. His son Kumaragupta kept the empire going until in 455 AD the Huns invaded India from the north and destroyed the Guptan Empire. [26] By 480 C.E., invaders from the north, called the Hephthalites or White Huns, were poised to invade the empire, and soon they came crashing down into India leaving a path of destruction in their wake. [12]

India slowly split into a bunch of smaller kingdoms including the Chola Empire and the Rajput kings. [26] During this Golden Age, India was part of an international trade network which also included other great classical empires of the day, the Han Dynasty in China to the east and the Roman Empire to the west. [8] Islam in India continued to flourish under the Mughal Empire, which succeeded the Delhi Sultanate and reached its height in the 16th century under the Emperor Akbar the Great, who promoted religious tolerance. [10]

In the northern territories, when a ruler named Chandragupta I ascended the throne in 320 CE, a new empire arose. [11] Chandragupta's son Samudragupta (r. 350 to 375 CE) further expanded the empire, and a detailed account of his exploits was inscribed on an Ashokan pillar in Allahabad toward the end of his reign. [10] Rajaraja's son Rajendra succeeded him in 1014/15 CE and continued to expand the empire north and east, even sending a naval expedition to occupy coastal regions in Java and the straits of Malacca. [10] Rajaraja's strength derived from a strong administration, large army, and a unique naval force, which he used to extend his empire to northern Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands, in 1014 CE. These victorious invasions secured a steady flow of tribute into his kingdom and contributed to the most enduring monuments of the Cholan dynasty, the great royal temples like those at Tanjore. [10] The empire's earliest king Karikala (r. about 100 CE) is celebrated in Tamil literature, but the empire reached its height under Rajaraja (r. 985-1014 CE), who conquered Kerala, northern Sri Lanka, and in 1014 CE acquired the Maldive Islands. [10]

Chandragupta II (r. 380-415 CE) expanded the empire still further, to its greatest extent. [8] Chandragupta II had inherited a strong and consolidated empire from his father Samudragupta. [27] Over the 45 years of his reign, Samudragupta created an empire that extended all across northern India and into modern Nepal and Myanmar. [12] He revived many principles of Mauryan government and paved the way for his son, Samudragupta, to develop an extensive empire. [11]

Many Jains moved from eastern India to western India, across the Guptan Empire, at this time. [26] Under Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030 CE) the Ghaznavid Empire, an Islamic dynasty centered in the Afghan city of Ghazni, reached its height. [10] Almost unbelievably, the Huns or their direct ancestors the Xiongnu had the same effect on two of the other great classical civilizations in earlier centuries: Han China, which collapsed in 221 CE, and the Roman Empire, which fell in 476 CE. [8]

At first, Skandagupta, the grandson of Chandragupta II, drove them off, but they soon returned, and the emperor's efforts to resist them weakened the empire and diminished the treasury. [12] Hunas were the greatest enemies of Gupta’s empire during this period. [27] The epigraphic records show that he organised the administration of vast empire and maintained its peace, prosperity, and security for a long period of forty years. [27]

In 480 C.E., invaders from the north, called the Hephthalites or White Huns, invaded the empire and left a path of destruction. [12]

Art: During Gupta times art was well supported and, as a consequence, painting, sculpture, and metal work all thrived. [11] The Gupta were ardent Vaisnavas, devotees of Vishnu and they ruled as traditional Hindu monarchs. [8]

As the years passed, Chandragupta grew more and more powerful, and about 320 C.E., he crowned himself Maharajadhiraja, which means 'Emperor' or 'King of Kings.' The Gupta dynasty was well on its way to controlling India. [12]

Chandragupta II’s daughter Prabhavati married a neighboring Indian king, Rudra Sena II, and when Rudra Sena died, Prabhabati ruled as regent for their sons. [26] He set the stage for the emergence of classical Indian art, which occurred under the rule of his son and successor Chandragupta II. [11]

Foreign rulers came to India due to the turbulent condition in central Asia.They adjusted themselves with Indian culture, and introduced some new elements in India. [27] Millions of devotees travel to Shravana Belagola in the Indian state of Karnataka, in South India, for the ritual anointing of a 57 foot statue of Bahubali, also known as Gomateshwara. [10] Sports and Games : Ancient Indians invented many of the games we play today, popular board games like chess and snakes and ladders were created in India. [11] In 499 CE, Aryabhata, an Indian astronomer and mathematician who was also head of the university at Nalanda in Magadha (an ancient region located in what is now Bihar), composed the Aryabhatiya, a significant treatise about mathematics and astronomy written in Sanskrit. [10]

Under the Mughals, Islamic culture and religion mixed with Indian and Hindu traditions, leaving an enduring legacy in art and architecture, including the Taj Mahal. [10]

With the plunder acquired from his raids into India, Mahmud made Ghazni a great cultural center, home to an extensive library and scholars such as Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, a mathematician and philosopher whose Kitab al-Hind was among the earliest literature about India's religious and philosophical traditions. [10] Today, the Gupta Period of India is not thought of as a time defined by enormous wealth or elaborate trade activity. [11] His son, Skandagupta (r. 455-467 CE), is considered the last of the great Gupta rulers. [8] Although the late Gupta ruler Narasimhagupta managed to drive the Huns out of northern India in 528 CE, the effort and expense doomed the dynasty. [8] The third Gupta king, Chandra Gupta I, is given credit for founding of the dynasty in 320 AD, though it is not clear whether this year marks the accession of Chandra Gupta or the year his kingdom achieved full independent status. [28] Detailed gold coins featuring portraits of the Gupta kings stand out as unique art pieces from this period and celebrate their accomplishments. [10] Apart from political might and strength, the Gupta kings were also known for their great achievements in the field of science, art, culture, and literature. [27]

He was the first Gupta king to adopt the title "Maharajadhiraja’ and issued gold coins. [27]

People were happy during the Gupta period, so happy that it is often referred to as the "Golden Age" of ancient India. [11] Sanskrit became the official court language, and the dramatist and poet Kalidasa wrote celebrated Sanskrit plays and poems under the presumed patronage of Chandragupta II. The Kama Sutra, a treatise on romantic love, is also dated to the Gupta era. [10]

The Gupta emperor, Narasimhagupta, and the king from Malwa, Yashodharman, ally together and manage to drive the Hun out of India. [14] Under Harsha Vardhana (or Harsha, r. 606-47), North India was reunited briefly, but neither the Guptas nor Harsha controlled a centralized state, and their administrative styles rested on the collaboration of regional and local officials for administering their rule rather than on centrally appointed personnel. [19] When Gupta disintegration was complete, the classical patterns of civilization continued to thrive not only in the middle Ganga Valley and the kingdoms that emerged on the heels of Gupta demise but also in the Deccan and in South India, which acquired a more prominent place in history. [19] Samudra Gupta was initially succeeded by his eldest son, Rama Gupta who was soon deposed by his younger brother, Chandra Gupta II due to inefficiency. [18] The Brihatkathamanjari of the Kashmiri writerKshmendra states, king Vikramaditya (Chandra Gupta II) had "unburdened the sacred earth of the Barbarians like the Sakas, Mlecchas, Kambojas,Yavanas, Tusharas, Parasikas, Hunas, etc. by annihilating these sinful Mlecchas completely". [21] Chandra Gupta II also made peace with his Deccan contemporaries, the Vakatakas by marrying his daughter, Prabhavati to Rudrasena II, the Vakataka king. [18]

After Skanda gupta, a number of rulers had risen in power467 AD to 550 AD, namely Purugupta, Kumaragupta II, Budhagupta, Narasimhagupta Baladitya, Kumaragupta III, Vishnugupta, Vainyagupta and Bhanugupta. [15]

Chandragupta I ascends to the throne of the northern Gupta territories. [14] The pillar at Delhi made of iron in the time of Samudragupta is also another piece of excellence The Guptas also excellent in the filed of fine arts. [24] There were a number of talented characters in different area of arts form in the period of Gupta emperor. [15] The Gupta Age has thus been a matter of unending debate in academic circles between the 'nationalist' and 'Marxist' historians with diametrically-opposite views of this classical period which saw 'perfection' as the keyword in all its activities. [18]

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6. (14) Gupta Empire - Ancient History Encyclopedia

7. (12) India Gupta Empire - HISTORY'S HISTORIESYou are history. We are the future.

8. (12) Gupta Dynasty-Ancient History of India

9. (9) The Gupta Dynasty in India: Leaders & Arabic Numerals - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com

10. (9) Gupta Dynasty Indian History AP World History

11. (9) The Gupta Empire of India | Chandragupta I | Samudragupta History

12. (8) Gupta Empire Timeline

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15. (8) Gupta Empire - 320-550

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17. (7) History of India, Gupta Empire

18. (7) Gupta dynasty | Indian dynasty | Britannica.com

19. (6) What were achievements of the Gupta Empire? - Quora

20. (6) Ancient Indian History Gupta Period

21. (4) Interesting facts and information about Gupta empire:the golden age of indian history ~ FACTS n INFO

22. (4) Gupta Empire (Gupta Dynasty Kings) - Important India

23. (4) Gupta period in India - Ancient India - Quatr.us Study Guides

24. (3) history of india - 2: alexander the great, mauryan empire,gupta empire

25. (2) Effects - India's Gupta Empire

26. (2) The Gupta Empire - Kids Past

27. (1) Ancient India: Indus Valley Civilization to the Gupta Dynasty

28. (1) guptas.html

29. (1) Rise and Growth of the Gupta Empire - Oxford Scholarship


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