Gupta Empire: Important Rulers
320- 550 AD
Gupta Empire’s age called the golden age of India. It existed from 320- 550 AD. This empire covered the most of Indian subcontinent to expand their dynasty. Gupta dynasty was of Vaish caste, and due to this variation the discrimination in caste systems done in that period. Gupta dynasty started by Sri Gupta, he was ruled over from 240 -280 CE. His son Ghatoksha was the next successor of this empire. His period of ruling was from 280- 319 CE. Ghatotkcha had a son named Chandragupta (I) (319-335 CE). Mahadhiraja was the name given to the emperor Chandragupta(I) at that time. Ghatotkcha and his son Chandragupta both were called ” Maharajas”.
The Mahadhiraja title showed his impact on empire of Gupta, and his ruling over that time. The Gupta dynasty included Chandragupta(i), Samudragupta,Chandragupta(ii), Kumargupta(i), Skandgupta, Purugupta, Kumargupta(ii), Budhagupta, Narshimhagupta, Kumargupta(iii) and Vishnugupta.
The main heroes of Gupta period were Chandragupta (i), Samudragupta, Chandragupta (ii).
The first most notable ruler was Chandragupta (i.):-
Chandragupta (1) started with A.D 320, he strengthened his post and power by marriages alliances. First with Licchavi , then Kumardevi a princess of kingdom , in exchange he got the kingdoms and security for his empire as his dowry. It had also increased the prestige of him. The Maharauli inscription showed the conquest of him. He was the son of Ghatotkhsha. By 321 CE he expanded his dynasty from Magdha to Prayaga to Saketa. He extended his area from the Ganga river to Prayaga. The modern name of Prayaga is called Allahabaad . Thus Chandragupta (1) gave his empire a solid foundation.
Samudragupta(330-380 AD) was the successor of Chandragupta(1). He was the powerful and great lord of Gupta dynasty. His conquest was shown by the Allahabaad pillar inscription. Samudragupta got the name of Indian Nepolian due to his military achievements. First he defeated the Achyuta and Nagasena and captured upper Gangetic valley, then moved to south india and captured the territories of 12 kings egs Swamidutta,Mahendra, Damana great kings of south India empire. He just won the empire and returned it back to them to leave an impact of his power on them. He again extended his dynasty to north India to other empires such as Rudradeva, Nagadutta, Chandravarman like nine kings , most of them from Naga empire. Lastly he performed an Ashwamedha yagya to stretch his dynasty and power and he also issued silver and gold coin to show his legend.
Chandragupta (ii)(380-415 AD) was the son of Samudragupta, he was called Vikramaditya . The greatest of the achievements of Chandragupta IIs was his war against the Saka satraps of western India. Vakatakas occupied an important place in the Deccan .This marriage gave the useful alliances when Chandragupta overtook the empire of Sakas.
Rudrasimha last empire od sakas was defeated by him and captured all area of Malwa and Kathalawar Peninsula. After that victory he got his name as Vikaramaditya and his ashwamedha horse name sakari means king of sakas. Then Kumargupta came, the son of Chandragupta (ii) Nalanda University that was laid by him only.
The Huns attacked the Gupta empire at the time of Skandagupta- the successor of Kumargupta and the last illustrious king of Gupta empire- but were defeated. After his death no one of his successor, Purugupta (467-473), Kumargupta II(473-479), Budhagupta(476-495), Narshimhagupt, kumargupta III and Vishnugupta(540-550) could not save the Gupta empire from Huns attack and the empire slowly disintegrated.