Gupta Dynasty : Ancient Indian History


Gupta Dynasty : Ancient Indian History

Gupta age which existed between 320 to 550 AD, is also known as the golden age of India. The Gupta empire covered the most of Indian subcontinent. Gupta dynasty was started by Sri Gupta, who ruled from 240 -280 AD. Sri gupta is also known as founder of Gupta Dynasty. His son Ghatoksha (280- 319 AD) was the next successor of this Empire and further is son named Chandragupta (I) ruled between (319-335 AD). The main rulers of Gupta period were

  1. Chandragupta (i)
  2. Samudragupta
  3. Chandragupta (ii).

Gupta Dynasty Rulers

Chandragupta (I):

  1. Introduction:- He started ruling from 320 AD
  2.  Marriages and alliances:- Chandragupta (I) strengthened his powers by way of marriages and alliances. Initially with Licchavi , then Kumardevi. In return he got the kingdoms and security for his empire.
  3. Kingdom expansion:- He expanded his dynasty from Magdha to Prayaga to Saketa by 321 AD. He extended his area from the Ganga River to Prayaga.

Samudragupta (330-380 AD)

  1. Successor:- He was the successor of Chandragupta (I). He is also considered as a powerful and great ruler of Gupta dynasty.
  2. Indian Nepoleon: -Samudragupta is also known as ‘Indian Nepoleon’ due to his military achievements. Initially he defeated the Achyuta and Nagasena and captured upper Gangetic valley, then captured the territories of 12 kings in the south.
  3. Expansion:- He further extended his dynasty from north India to other empires such as Rudradeva, Nagadutta, Chandravarman like nine kings, most of them from Naga empire.
  4. Ashwamedha yagya:-He also performed an Ashwamedha yagya to extend Gupta dynasty and power.
  5. Circulation of coins:- He also issued silver and gold coin.

Chandragupta (ii) (380-415 AD)

  1. Successor :- He was the son of Samudragupta, he was also known as Vikramaditya.
  2. Achievements:- The greatest achievements of Chandragupta (II) was his war against the Saka satraps of western India (Deccan). Rudrasimha last empire of Sakas was also defeated by him and captured all area of Malwa and Kathalawar Peninsula.
  3. Aliases:- After that victory he got his name as Vikaramaditya and his Ashwamedha horse name Sakari means king of Sakas.
  4. Nalanda University: The Nalanda University was laid by Kumargupta, son of Chandragupta (ii).
  5. Huns Attack:- The Huns attacked the Gupta Empire at the time of Skandagupta, successor of Kumargupta and the last illustrious king of Gupta empire, however, he was defeated. After his death, none of his successor, Purugupta (467-473 AD), Kumargupta II (473-479 AD), Budhagupta (476-495 AD), Narshimhagupt, kumargupta III and Vishnugupta (540-550 AD) could not save the Gupta Empire from Huns attack and the empire slowly declined.

Gupta Period key features:-

  1. Golden Age of India: The Gupta Empire led to extensive inventions and discoveries in subjects such as science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy.
  2. Chandragupta II: His reign, from 375-415 CE, promoted the synthesis of science, art, philosophy, and religion during the Golden Age of India.
  3. Fa Xian: He was a Chinese traveler who recorded detailed observations about his experience in the Gupta Empire in his journal which was later published.
  4. Navartna: Navratan were also known as the Nine Jewels; a group of nine scholars in the court of Chandragupta II who contributed many advancements in their academic fields.
  5. Huna: A Central Asian Xionite tribe that consisted of four hordes that repeatedly invaded Gupta territory, and helped cause the downfall of the Gupta Empire.
  6. Ayurvedic: A form of alternative medicine established in India.

Organised Military:-

  1. Chariots were used in the Gupta Period.
  2. Armours were also being used by the military.
  3. The bow was a very important weapons, army was very much dependent on infantry archers.
  4. They also had knowledge about siegecrafts and other war machines.

Decline of Gupta Empire

  1. Weak rulers:- The Gupta Empire flourished under Chandragupta II, but began to falter under his son, Kumaragupta, and grandson, Skandagupta.
  2. Invasion from Huns:- The Huna People, also known as Huns, invaded Gupta territory and caused significant damage to the empire.
  3. Disintegration:- The Gupta Empire ended in 550 CE, when it disintegrated into regional kingdoms after a series of weak rulers and invasions from the east, west, and north.
  4. Repeated invasion form Hun: A Central Asian Xionite tribe that consisted of four hordes that repeatedly invaded Gupta territory, and helped cause the downfall of the Gupta Empire.

Here you can also go through details of other periods of Ancient Indian History which would be very helpful for various Government Exams:-

  1. Stone Age in India
  2. Indus Valley Civilization
  3. Vedic Period: Ancient History
  4. Vedic Literature : Ancient History
  5. Janapadas and Mahajanapadas
  6. Mauryan Empire : Ancient History
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