Easy Notes on Gupta Period | Important Gupta Rulers

In this post, we will cover the Gupta Period – all the important rulers of the Gupta Period – Chandragupta 1, Samundragupta, Chandragupta 2, Kumar Gupta, gupta dynasty last ruler

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Genealogy (Important Rulers)

Gupta Rulers

Introduction

  • Period 319 AD – 540 AD 
  • In the 4th century AD, the Gupta arose in Magadha and established a large kingdom in the north India. 
  • This period is known as the classical age or Golden age
  • Capital – Pataliputra 
  • Major Information source – Allahabad Pillar inscription, Mehrauli Pillar inscription, Bhitari inscription, Ajanta painting, large number of gold coins 
  • Founder – Shri Gupta (also known as Gupta), taken the title of Maharaja 
  • Ghatotkach – son of Shri Gupta, also taken the same title of Maharaja 
  • Last Ruler – Vishnugupta

Chandragupta I

  • First Gupta ruler taken the title of Maharajadhiraja 
  • Adopted the policy of matrimonial alliance to strengthened his position. 
  • He married Kumaradevi, the Lichchhvi princess. 
  • The Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription mentions his extensive conquests. 
  • He issued Chandragupta I – Kumardevi type coins

Samundragupta

  • Samundragupta was the greatest king of Gupta dynasty. 
  • Record of his reign is preserved in the Prayaga Prasasti / Allahabad Pillar inscription composed by his court poet Harisena. 
  • He was called Indian Napoleon by V. A. Smith
  • Samundragupta issued gold and silver coins with the restoration of asvamedha. 
  • His greatest achievement was the political unification of most of India or Aryavarta into a formidable power. 
  • Title taken – KavirajaParam Bhagavat, Ashvamedha-parakrama, Vikram, Sarva-raj-ochehhetta.
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Chandragupta II

  • Also known as Vikramaditya. Also adopted the title of Sakari, Devagupta/Devaraja/ Devashri, Parama Bhagavata, Narendra ChandraSinh Vikram etc.
    • According to “Devi Chandragupta” (Visakhadatta), Samundragupta was succeeded by Ramagupta. It seems Ramagupta ruled for a very short period. He was the only Gupta ruler to issue copper coins. 
    • Ramagupta, a coward and impotent king, 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 the queen with a view to kill the hated enemy. Chandragupta II succeeded in killing the Saka ruler. 
    • Chandragupta II also killed the Ramagupta and married to Dhruvadevi.
  • Through matrimonial alliances, Chandragupta II strengthened his political power. 
  • He overthrow of Saka rulers from the western India and extended the Gupta empire upto Arabian sea. 
  • He issued silver coins in the memory of victory over Sakas. 
  • He was the first Gupta ruler to issue Silver coins. 
  • The second capital of Chandragupta II was Ujjain.
    • Navaratna or nine gems of Chandragupta II
      1. Kalidas – (Ritusamhar, Meghadutam, Kumarsambhavam, Raghuvamshama, Malvikagnimitram, Vikramorvashiyam, Abhijnan Shakuntalam) 
      2. Amarsinha (Amarsinhkosha) 
      3. Dhanavantri (Navaitakam – a medicine text) 
      4. Varahmihira (Panch Sidhantaka, Vrihatsamhita, Vrihatsamhita, Vrihat Jataka, Laghu Jataka) 
      5. Araruchi (Vartika – a comment on Ashtadhyayi) 
      6. Ghatakarna 
      7. Kshapranak 
      8. Velabhatt 
      9. Shanku
  • Fahien, a chinese pilgrim, visited India during Chandragupta’s reign and described what he saw in his travelogue “fo-gu-oji”

Kumargupta I

  • Chandragupta II was succeeded by his son Kumargupta I 
  • He founded the Nalanda University. 
  • Title assumed – Mahendraditya, Mahendra Singh and Ashvamedha Mahendrah.

Skandagupta

  • The last great ruler. 
  • He was succeeded in defeating the Huns.

Other important points

  • The Gupta Kings were assisted by a council of ministers called “Mantriparishad/ Mantrimandalam”. 
  • Kumaramatyas were the officers for recruiting high officials under the Gupta. 
  • In the Gupta period for the first time civil and criminal law were clearly defined and demarcated. 
  • Gupta Kings depended primarily on land revenue varying from 1/4 to 1/6 of the produce. 
  • The army was to be fed by the people through the countryside. This tax was called Senabhakta. 
  • Katyayana, a smriti writer of the Gupta periods was the first to use the expression asprasya to denote the untouchable. 
  • The first example of Sati appears in Gupta time in Madhya Pradesh. 
  • The land were classified into 1. Kshetra Bhoomi (cultivable land), 2. Khila (waste land), 3. Vastu Bhoomi (habitable land), 4. Charagah Bhoomi (Pasture land) and 5. Aprahata Bhoomi (Forest land). 
  • An Officer named Pustapala maintained records of all land transactions in the district.

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FAQs On Gupta Rulers

List of Important Gupta Rulers?

Gupta Rulers

Important Gupta Rulers are –
1. Shri Gupta
2. Ghatotkacha
3. Chandragupta 1
4. Samundragupta
5. Chandragupta 2
6. Kumargupta 1
7. Skandagupta
8. Vishnugupta

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