Ancient India Simplified: Important Kings of Gupta Dynasty

The eclipse of the Kushanas in North India and of the Satavahanas in the Deccan in the 3rd century CE, ushered in a period of political disintegration. It paved the way for the emergence of several minor powers and new ruling families. It was against this background the Guptas laid the foundation of the empire.
The Gupta period witnessed progress in all spheres: art, architecture, literature, science and technology, metallurgy and philosophy and hence is rightly called the golden period of Ancient history of India.

Important Kings of Gupta Dynasty

Chandragupta I
(320 – 325 A.D.)
1. The Gupta era was started with a coronation of Chandragupta -1 in 320 A.D.
2. Greatly expanded the boundaries of his kingdom and adopted the title “Maharajadhiraja” or “King of Kings”.
3. He entered into matrimonial alliance with the famous Lichchhavi tribe and married Kumaradevi.
Samudragupta (335 – 375 A.D.)1. Was the greatest of all kings and his reign witnessed expansion and consolidation of the Gupta empire.
2. Dr. V.A. Smith calls him ‘Indian Napoleon’.
3. Harisena, a court poet composed an inscription and engraved it on Ashoka’s pillar at Allahabad. The Allahabad pillar inscription gives a detailed account of the career and personality of Samudragupta.
4. During his campaign to southern India (Dakshinapatha Campaign)), he adopted a policy of first capturing the kings, then releasing them from captivity, and then reinstalling them as kings in their territory. By showing mercy, he won their allegiance. Virasen was the army commander in the famous southern campaign.
5. In Allahabad inscription, Samudragupta is described as the ‘the hero of hundred battles’.
6. In one of his coins, he called himself ‘Lichchhavi Duhitr’ (daughter’s son of Lichchavis).
7. He performed Ashvamedha Yajana to claim imperial title and struck gold coins of Yupa type to commemorate the occasion.
8. He was a great patron of art, and adopted the title of ‘Kaviraja’.
9. Poets like Harisena and Vasubandhu adorned his court.
10. On some gold coins he was shown playing Veena. 
11. Meghavarma, the king of Sri Lanka, sent an embassy to Samudragupta for his permission to build a monastery and a guest house for Buddhist pilgrims at Bodh Gaya.
Chandragupta II(380 – 415 A.D.)1. Made Ujjain the second capital of the empire.
2. He strengthened his position through matrimonial alliances. His daughter Prabhavati was married to a Vakataka prince Rudrasena II.
3. After the victory over Sakas, he assumed the title of ‘Vikramaditya’.
4. The Mehrauli iron pillar inscription talks about Chandragupta II.
5. Fahein, the Chinese traveller, came during his period.
6. He issued five types of gold coins: Bow type, Umbrella type, Paryanka type, Killing Lion type and Horse type.
7. Issues coins of Silver and Copper.
8. Navaratna (9 gems of poets) adorned the court of Chandragupta II (Elaborated later)
Kumaragupta(415 – 455 A.D.)1. Kumaragupta issued ashvamedha type (yupa type) of gold coins like Samudragupta.
2. Towards the close of his reign, the empire was attacked by the Pushyamitras tribe (a branch of Hunas of Central Asia).
Skandagupta(455 – 467 A.D.)1. He repulsed the ferocious Hunas twice; this heroic feat entitled him to assume the title of Vikramaditya.
2. During his reign, the renowned Sudarsana lake was repaired and its embankments were rebuilt (Repaired previously by a saka ruler called Rudradaman I).
3. Was a follower of Vishnu but followed a tolerant policy. 
4. Junagarh inscription of Saurashtra in Gujarat records that Varnadatta was appointed as governor of that province after he defeated the Hunas.
5. After his death in about 467 A.D. the fortunes of the Gupta dynasty fell with a rapid speed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *