Gupta Empire: Administration
In Gupta Empire, the king was directed in his administration by a community and group consisting of a chief minister and a Senapati. There were various names of Empire "Rajya", Rashtra", "Desha", "Mandala", "Prithvi" and "Avani". The Empire was divided into provinces called as Bhukti, Bhoga and pradesha. Provinces further divided into "Vishayas" and came under the control of persons called "Vishaya Patis"."Vishaya" further divided into "Nagaras" and "Nagares" were divided into villages. "Vithi” was a part of “Vishaya". A group or collection of villages was called "Pethaka" and "Santaka". Smaller units of a village were "Agrahara" and "Patta".
A Sandivigraha was the minister for foreign affairs. They were mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Bhuktis was the name of Provinces in the Gupta Empire. Uparikas was the name of provincial governors. The king maintained a deep contact with the provincial administration. By a group of officials called Kumaramatyas and Ayuktas.
The Gupta kings gathered titles like Paramabhattaraka, Parameswara, Samrat ,Chakravartin and Maharajadhiraja. Bhuktis were divided into Vishyas or districts. The villages were governed by the group of Gramikas. He was governed by a village council but due to the lack of sources of reference, it is not possible to manage whole community and tough to describe the exact duties and functions of the assembly. Bhuktis could be managed by Vishyapatis. The officers who are looking after the city administration called Nagara Sreshtis.
Land revenue was only one of the primary sources of the income. It helped in increasing production and security to the cultivators. Waste lands came under cultivation. Pasture land was also made safe and increased. There were also some income taxes “bhaga “applied on customs, inheritances and presents.
Fahiyan, the famous Chinese pilgrim came to India at the period of Chandragupta II. He also appreciated the kingdom’s management; he openly visited the whole place without any problem. He came after crossing Punjab, khotan, khasnagar and visited so many places in spreading Buddhism and returned back by the sea route of ceylon and java.
Fahiyan said that no restrictions were applied on kingdom’s people and they were free to go anywhere and do anything they want and they used to collect their huge amount of free and open life’s enjoyment. The concept of punishment was not very common. Lodging a fine was a common punishment for minor offence. The roads were kept safe for travelers. No theft cases were there that time. Fahiyan also notified that people were generally prosperous. There were very less crimes in the dynasty of Gupta mainly in Chandragupta time.