Ancient History / Guptan Era
Some of the important rulers of Gupta dynasty include Chandragupta I, Samudragupta and Chandragupta II. Sri Gupta was the founder of Gupta
dynasty. He took the title "Maharaja", a title that means a subordinate king. Guptas started as subordinate kings to Kushans.
Chandragupta I is the grandson of Sri Gupta. He took the title of "Maha Rajadhi Raja" (independent king). So, Chandragupta I is the first independent king
of Gupta dynasty. He is married to Licchavi princess, Kumaradevi. At various places, we can find many gold coins depicting Chandragupta I and Kumaradevi. He is
succeeded by his son Samudragupta.
- He was the greatest king of Gupta dynasty. Entire India came under the control of Samudragupta.
- In the Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta, a
very lengthy description is given about him. It was authored by an officer named Harisena and his designation was Sandhi Vigrahaka (External affairs
The inscription talks about the victories of Samudragupta over the following kingdoms
- 8 Aryavarta (North India) kingdoms (between Himalayas and Vindhyas)
- 5 Pratyantas (Border states)
- 9 Gana Rajyas (Republican states, ruled by elected heads)
- 18 Atavika Rajyas (Forest Kingdoms)
- 12 Dakshinapatha Rajyas (South Indian Kingdoms)(Most are located in AP) like Vengeya (Vengi) Hastivarma and Kancheya (Kanchi) Vishnugopa, etc were defeated.
- British historian VA Smith called Samudragupta Indian Napoleon.
- The most important victory of Chandragupta II was the conquest of Ujjain, which was ruled by Sakas of Kardamaka dynasty
for this he got the title "Shakari" (Destroyer of Shakas). He also took another title "Vikramaditya".
- During his reign, Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited his court.
- According to one tradition, the following 9 scholars and poets known as Navaratnas were present in his court.
- Kalidasa - He wrote 3 dramas, Abhijnana Shakuntalam, Malavikagnimitram, Vikramorvasiyam. His Kavyas were Meghaduta, Raghuvamsam, Ritusamhara,
- Harisena - He composed the Allahabad Pillar Inscription
- Amarasimha - He wrote Amarakosha (a Sanskrit dictionary)
- Vararuchi - He wrote Prakrita Prakasa (in Prakrit)
- Dhanvantari (Ayurveda physician) - He wrote Nighantu (medical dictionary)
- Kshapanaka - He was an astrologer
- Varahamihira - He wrote Brihat Samhita and Pancha Siddhantika
- Sanku - He was an architect
- Vetala Bhatta - He was a magician and a writer, who wrote Nitipradipa
- During the reign of Kumaragupta, first Huna invasion in India took place. It is Kumaragupta, who founded Nalanda University (Mahayana
University). Vishnugupta is recognized as the last ruler of Gupta dynasty. Around 550 AD Gupta empire came to an end.