Gupta Dynasty: General Awareness is one of the most important sections which can help a candidate in scoring maximum marks in a competitive exam in the least amount of time. You don’t need to perform the complex calculations to settle for the correct option so, it’s the best to be prepared with the facts and figures in advance so as to score to the maximum in this section. Here we are providing important notes related to the Gupta Dynasty. Gupta dynasty was started by Sri Gupta, he ruled from 240 -280 CE. His son Ghatoksha (280- 319 CE. ) was the next successor of this Empire. Ghatoksha had a son named Chandragupta (I) (319-335 CE). Historians consider this period as the golden age of India. Let’s look at the Gupta Dynasty in detail.
|Gupta||(c. late 3rd century)|
|Ghatotkacha||(c. late 3rd century – 319)|
|Chandragupta I||(c. 319 – 335/350)|
|Kacha||(early 4th century?)|
|Samudragupta||(c. 335/350 – 375)|
|(Ramagupta)||(late 4th century?)|
|Chandragupta II||(380 – 413/415)|
|Kumaragupta I||(415 – 455)|
|Skandagupta||(455 – 467)|
|Purugupta||(467 – 473)|
|Kumaragupta II||(473 – 476)|
|Budhagupta||(476 – 495)|
|Narasimhagupta||(495 – ?)|
|Kumaragupta III||(circa 530)|
|Vishnugupta||(540 – 550|
|Period||320- 550 AD.|
|Language||Sanskrit (literary and academic); Prakrit (vernacular)|
|Religion||Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism|
- The founder of the Gupta dynasty was Sri Gupta.
- He was succeeded by Ghatotkacha.
- These two were called Maharajas.
Chandragupta I (320 – 330 A.D.):
- Chandragupta I and he was the first to be called Maharajadhiraja (the great king of kings).
- He strengthened his position by a matrimonial alliance with the Licchavis.
- He married Kumaradevi, a princess of that family.
- The Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription mentions his extensive conquests.
- Chandragupta I is considered to be the founder of the Gupta era which starts with his accession in A.D. 320.
Samudragupta (330-380 A.D.)
- Samudragupta was probably the greatest of the rulers of the Gupta dynasty.
- The Allahabad Pillar inscriptions provide a detailed account of Samudragupta’s reign.
- Samudragupta marched against the South Indian monarchs.
- He performed the asvamedha sacrifice.
- Samudragupta issued gold and silver coins with the legend ‘restorer of the asvamedha’.
- Because of his military achievements Samudragupta was hailed as ‘Indian Napoleon’.
Chandragupta II (380-415 A.D.)
- Samudragupta was succeeded by his son Chandragupta II Vikramaditya.
- Through matrimonial alliances, Chandragupta II strengthened his political power.
- Chandragupta II married Kuberanaga, she was a Naga princess of central India.
- The greatest military achievements of Chandragupta II was his war against the Saka satraps of western India.
- After his victory, he performed the horse sacrifice and assumed the title Sakari, meaning, ‘destroyer of Sakas’. He also called himself ‘Vikramaditya’.
- Ujjain was an important commercial city and was the alternative capital of the Guptas.
- The great wealth of the Gupta Empire was manifest in the variety of gold coins.
- Famous Chinese pilgrim, Fahien visited India during the reign of Chandragupta II. Fahien provided valuable information on the religious, social and economic condition of the Gupta empire.
- Kumaragupta was the son and successor of Chandragupta II.
- A number of coins were issued and his inscriptions are found all over the Gupta empire.
- Kumaragupta also performed an asvamedha sacrifice.
- Kumaragupta laid the foundation of the Nalanda University which emerged an institution of international reputation.
- Powerful wealthy tribe called the ‘Pushyamitras’ defeated the Gupta army at the end of his reign.
- A branch of the Huns from Central Asia made attempts to cross the Hindukush mountains and invade India.
- Skandagupta who really faced the Hun invasion.
- He fought successfully against the Huns and saved the empire.
Important Points to Remember
- The Gupta period witnessed a tremendous progress in the field of art, science and literature and on account of this it has been called “a golden age”.
- The temple at Deogarh near Jhansi and the sculptures in the temple at Garhwas near Allahabad remain important specimen of the Gupta art.
- The Bhitari monolithic pillar of Skandagupta is also remarkable.
- The paintings of the Gupta period are seen at Bagh caves near Gwalior.
- The paintings at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka were highly influenced by the Ajanta style.
- The Gupta coinage was also remarkable. Samudragupta issued eight types of gold coins.
- Chandragupta II and his successors had also issued gold, silver and copper coins of different varieties.
- The Sanskrit language became prominent during the Gupta period. The best of the Sanskrit literature belonged to the Gupta age.
- Samudragupta, a great poet patronized a number of scholars including Harisena.
- The court of Chandragupta II was adorned by the celebrated Navratnas. Kalidasa remain the foremost among them.
- The Panchatantra stories were composed during the Gupta period.
- The Puranas in their present form were composed during this period.
- The Mahabharatha and the Ramayana were written in the present form and given final touches and written in the present form during this period.
- The Gupta period witnessed a brilliant activity in the sphere of mathematics, astronomy, astrology and medicine.
- Varahamihira composed Pancha Siddhantika, the five astronomical systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. During which Gupta king’s reign did the Chinese traveler Fahien visit India?
Ans. Fahien visited India during the reign of Chandragupta II.
Q. Who was the founder of the Gupta dynasty?
Ans. The founder of the Gupta dynasty was Sri Gupta.
Q. Who was the first king to be called Maharajadhiraja?
Ans. Chandragupta I and he was the first to be called Maharajadhiraja
Q. In Indian history who is known as ‘Napolean of India?
Ans. Samudragupta is known as ‘Napolean of India
Q. Which Gupta ruler is known as Sakari and why?
Ans. Chandragupta Vikramaditya, because he conquered the Saka.