Updated February 5, 2022
The Gupta Period of India was not characterized by enormous material wealth or by elaborate trade activity. It was defined by creativity. Flourishing arts, fabulous literature, and stupendous scholars are just a few of the things that marked the period. Gupta period was truly remarkable for temple architecture and sculpture development. Several artistically rich temples were built. Such as – Dashavatara Temple of Deogarh, Vishnu Temple of Tigawa, Parvati Temple of Nachria Kuthara, Dhammekh Temple of Sarnath. Gandhara and Mathura were the two main centers of Sculptures.Maharaja Sri Gupta was the founder of the Gupta empire and Shashakgupta was the last emperor of this empire. This not such small topic there is lot to know about Gupta period. So do follow the below article to know more about Gupta period and keep visiting the site Career101.in to get such important and interesting topics.
In 185 B.C.E., the Mauryan empire collapsed when the last of the Mauryan kings was assassinated. In its place, small kingdoms arose throughout India. For nearly 500 years, the various states warred with each other. 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. Gupta Dynasty lasted about 230 years from 320 CE to 550 CE. During this period, the social economic position of shudras improved very much. But the position of women in society reduced drastically. It should be noted that the first Sati was occurred during this time only. Gold coins and silver coins were used as currency. Gold coins were called Dinars and Silver coins were referred as Rupyakas. Gold coins were made in huge number during this era.
Some Important facts and Information about Gupta period (319 AD- 540 AD) related, Different rulers of Gupta Dynasty, Gupta Inscriptions, Society, Administration, Economy and Culture.
1.In 4th Century AD a new dynasty named Gupta dynasty arose in Magadha and established a large kingdom over the greater part of Northern India, though their empire was not as large as that of the Mauryas. Their rule lasted for more than 200 years.
2. This period is referred as the ‘Classical Age’ of ancient India and was perhaps the most prosperous era in the Indian history.
3. According to epigraphic evidence the founder of the dynasty was a person named Gupta. He used the simple title of Maharaja.
4. Gupta was succeeded by his son Ghatotkach, who is also styled Maharaja.
5. Some of the famous Gupta rulers were, Chandragupta I (319-334 AD), samudragupta (335-380 AD), Chandragupta II ‘Vikramaditya’ (380-414 AD), Kumaragupta I (415-455 AD), Skandagupta (455-467) AD.
Chandragupta I (319-334 AD)
6. He was the first Gupta ruler to assume the title of Maharajadhiraja.
7. He strengthened his kingdom by matrimonial alliance with the powerful family of Lichchhavis who were the rulers of Mithila. His marriage to Lichchhavi princess Kumaradevi brought an enormous power, resources and prestige. He took advantage of the situation and occupied the whole of fertile Gangetic Valley.
8. He started the Gupta Era in 319-20 AD.
9. Chandragupta I was able to eastablish his authority over Magadha, Prayag and Saketa.
samudragupta (335-380 AD)
10 Samudragupta was the greatest king of Gupta dynasty.
11. The most detailed and authentic record of his reign is preserved in the Prayaga Prasasti / Allahabad pillar inscription which was composed by his court poet Harisena.
12. According to Prayaga Prasasti, he was a great conqueror.
13. In the Gangetic Valley & Central India, Samudragupta annexed the territories of the defeated monarchs but in South India he remained content with the victories alone, he did not annexe the territories of the Vanquished rulers.
14. Samudragupta’s military compaigns justify description of him as the ‘Napoleon of India’ by V.A. Smith
15. The reference to his dominion over Java, Sumatra & Malaya island in the sea shows that he had a navy.
Chandragupta II ‘Vikramaditya’ (380-414 AD)
16. According to ‘Devi Chandragupta’ (Vishakhadatta), Samudragupta was succeeded by Ramgupta. It seems Ramgupta ruled for a very short period. He was ‘the only Gupta ruler to issue copper coins’.
17. Ramagupta was a coward and impotent king who agreed to surrender his queen Dhruvadevi to Saka invader. But the prince Chandragupta II, the younger brother of the king, resolved to go to the enemy’s camp in the guise of queen with a view to kill the hated enemy. Chandragupta II succeeded in killing the Saka ruler.
18. Chandragupta II also succeeded in killing Ramgupta and not only seized his kingdom but also married his widow Dhruvadevi.
19. Chandragupta II extended the limits of empire by matrimonial alliance (with the nagas & Vakatakas) and conquests Western India. He married Kubernaga of Naga dynasty and married his own daughter Prabhavatigupta with Vakataka prince Rudrasena II.
20. Navaratna Nine gems) of Chandragupta II were: (I). kalidasa (Poetry- Ritusambhar, Meghadutam, Kumarasambhavam, Raghuvamshama and Dramas- Malvikagnimitra, Vikramorvashiyam, Abhijnan-Shakuntalam), (II). Amarsinh (Amarsinhkosha), (III). Dhanavantri (Navanitakam-Medicine text), (IV). Varahmihira (Panch Sidhantaka, Vrihatsamhita, Vrihat Jataka, Laghu Jataka), (V). Vararuchi (Vartika- a comment on Ashtadhyayi), (VI). Ghatakarna, (VII). Kshapranak, (VIII). Velabhatt, (IX). Shanku
Kumaragupta I (415-455 AD)
21. Chandragupta II was succeeded by his son Kumaragupta I.
22. Towards the end of his reign, the Gupta empire was threatened from the North by the Huns which was temporarily checked by his son Skandagupta.
23. Kumaragupta was the worshiper of god Kartikeya.
24. He founded the Nalanda Mahavihara which developed into a great centre of learning.
Skandagupta (455-467) AD
25. Skandagupta the last great ruler of the Gupta dynasty.
26. During his reign the Gupta empire was invaded the Huns. He succeeded in defeating the Huns. Success in repelling the Huns seems to have been celebrated by the assumption of the title ‘Vikramaditya’ (Bhitari Pillar Inscription).
27. The Continuous attacks of the Huns weakened the empire and adversely affected its economy. The Gold coinage of Skandagupta bears testimony to this.
28. The decline of the empire began soon after his death.
29. Here is the list of Gupta Inscription along with rulers and their Character presented in the table below.
|Samudragupta||Prayag / Allahabad Stone Pillar, Eran Stone Pillar, Nalanda Copper Pillar||Prasati, Prasati and Royal Charter|
|Chandragupta II||Mehrauli Iron Pillar||Prasati|
Bhitari Pillar and Indore Stone Pillar
|Prasati, Prasati and Royal Charter (Evidence of Sub-infuedation)|
30. Centralised control was not as fully realized under Guptas as it had been under the Mauryas.
31. The Gupta king took exalted titles like Mahadhiraja, Samrat, Ekadhiraja, Chakravartin, benifiting their large empire and imperial status.
32. Among the high officers we may take special notice Kumaramatya and Sandhivigrahika, who are not known to inscriptions of earlier period.
33. The Kumaramatyas formed the chief cadre for recuiting high officials under the Guptas. It was from them Mantris, Senapati, Mahadandanayaka (Minister of justice) and Sandhivigrahika (Minister of peace and war) were generally choosen.
34. The social position of the Shudras since to have improve in this period. They were permitted to listen to the epics and Puranas and also worship a new God called Krishna.
35. The first example of Sati appears in Gupta time in 510 AD in Eran in Madhya Pradesh. (Bhanugupta’s Eran inscription- 510 AD)
36. The position of women Deteriorated further. Polygamy was common.
37. Early marriages were advocated and often pre-puberty marriages.
38. It is argued by many scholars that the state was the exclusive owner of land. The most decisive argument in favour of the exclusive state ownership of land is in the Pahadpur copper plate inscription of Budhhagupta.
39. In the Gupta period land survey is evident from the poona plates of parbhavati Gupta and many other inscriptions.
40. An officer name Pustapala maintained records all of land transcations in the district.
41. The Guptas also issued good number of silver coins for local exchange.
42. The centres of the Gandhar sculptures declined and their places were taken by Benaras, Patliputra, Mthura.
43. For the first time we get images of Vishnu, Shiva and other Gods.
44. Among the best spicemen of the images of Buddha is a seated Buddha image of Sarnath, which depicts the Buddha preaching the Dhamma.
45. Of the Brahmanicial images perhaps the most impressive is the great boar (Varah) carved in relief at the entrance of a cave at udaygiri.