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Gupta Dynasty

Gupta Dynasty: Here we are providing important notes related to the Gupta dynasty. The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire and the Gupta dynasty was started by Sri Gupta, who ruled from 240 -280 AD. His son Ghatoksha (280- 319 AD) was the next successor of this empire. Ghatoksha had a son named Chandragupta I (319–335 BCE), Samudragupta and Chandragupta II, also known as Vikramaditya, are the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty. The Guptas conquered about twenty-one kingdoms from inside and outside India, including the kingdoms of the Kambojas, Parasikas, Huns, tribes of the west and east Oxus valleys, the Kiratas and others. Historians consider this period as the golden age of India. Let us take a detailed look at the Gupta dynasty.

Ruler Reign
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)
Buddhagupta (476 – 495)
Narasimhagupta (495 – ?)
(Bhanugupta) (about 510)
Vainyagupta (about 507)
Kumaragupta III (about 530)
Vishnugupta (540 – 550

Gupta Dynasty: Overview

Name Gupta Dynasty
period 320-550 AD.
Language Sanskrit (literary and academic); Prakrit (vernacular)
religion Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism
capital Pataliputra

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Gupta Empire Map

The disappearance of the Mauryas from the political map of India led to the rise of several native and foreign rulers who divided North and South India and ruled over them for about five centuries.

A period of political disintegration began in the 3rd century AD as a result of the eclipse of the Kushans in North India and the Satavahanas in the Deccan. This paved the way for the emergence of many smaller powers and new ruling families. It was against this background that the Guptas laid the foundation of the empire. After the Mauryas, the Guptas carried out the political unification of North India and covered much of the Indian subcontinent. The Gupta Empire extended across parts of northern, central and southern India between 320 and 550 CE. This is what the map of the Gupta Empire looked like at the end of the fourth century.

Ruler of the Gupta Empire

The Gupta Empire was founded by Shri Gupta and was succeeded by his son Ghatotkacha. This dynasty became famous with rulers like Chandragupta-I, Samudragupta etc. Some important Gupta Empire kings are detailed below:

Mr. Gupta:

  • The founder of the Gupta dynasty was Shri Gupta.
  • Ghatotkacha took his place.
  • Both of them were called Maharaja.

Chandragupta I (320 – 330 AD):

  • Chandragupta I was the first to be called Maharajadhiraja (Great King of Kings).
  • He established a beti-roti relationship with the Lichchhavis.
  • He married Kumaradevi, the princess of that family.
  • The Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription mentions his extensive conquests.
  • Chandragupta I is considered the founder of the Gupta era which was in 320 AD. It starts with his assumption of office.

Samudragupta (330-380) E.,

  • 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 emperors.
  • He performed Ashwamedha Yagya.
  • Samudragupta issued gold and silver coins with the inscription ‘The great hero who brought back Ashvamedha’.
  • Due to his military achievements, Samudragupta was hailed as the ‘Indian Napoleon’.

Chandragupta II (380-415 AD)

  • Samudragupta was succeeded by his son Chandragupta II Vikramaditya.
  • Through daughter-in-law relationships, Chandragupta II strengthened his political power.
  • Chandragupta II married Kubernaga, a Naga princess from central India.
  • Chandragupta II’s greatest military achievements were his battles against the Shaka Satraps of western India.
  • After his victory, he acquired the name Sakari, which meant ‘destroyer of doubt’. He also called himself ‘Vikramaditya’.
  • Ujjain was an important trading city and an alternative capital of the Guptas.
  • The great wealth of the Gupta Empire is manifested in the variety of gold coins.
  • The famous Chinese pilgrim, Fa-hien, visited India during the reign of Chandragupta II. Fa-hien provided valuable information on the religious, social and economic conditions of the Gupta Empire.


  • Kumaragupta was the son and successor of Chandragupta II.
  • Many coins were issued and their inscriptions are found throughout the Gupta Empire.
  • Kumaragupta also performed an Ashwamedha Yagya.
  • Kumaragupta laid the foundation of Nalanda University which emerged as an institution of international reputation.
  • The powerful prosperous tribe called ‘Pushyamitra’ defeated the Gupta army towards the end of his reign.


  • A branch of the Huns from Central Asia attempted to cross the Hindukush mountains and invade India.
  • Skandagupta who actually faced the Hun invasion.
  • He fought successfully against the Huns and saved the empire.

religion of the gupta empire

The Gupta kings knew that the well-being of the empire lay in maintaining good relations with different communities. The Gupta rulers preserved the Hindu religious tradition. However, this period also saw the peaceful coexistence of Brahmins and Buddhists and the visits of Chinese travelers such as Faxian (Fahien), a Buddhist monk. Brahmanism (Hinduism) was the religion of the Gupta Empire.

  • He himself was a Vaishnava (Hindus worshiping the Supreme Creator in the form of Vishnu), yet this did not prevent him from being tolerant of believers of Buddhism and Jainism.
  • Buddhist monasteries received generous donations.

Nalanda flourished under his patronage as a major site of learning and cultural exchange. Jainism flourished in North Bengal, Gorakhpur, Udayagiri and Gujarat. Many Jain establishments existed throughout the empire and Jain councils were a regular occurrence.

capital of the gupta empire

The capital of the Gupta Empire was the city of Pataliputra. Today, the city is known as Patna, the capital of the Indian state of Bihar in northern India. The location of the capital of the Gupta Empire was on the banks of the River Ganges and made it an important and strategic location throughout its existence. Known since at least 490 BC, it is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities still in existence today.

Achievements of Gupta Empire

The Gupta Empire existed from the middle of the 3rd century AD until 590 AD. At its peak, from about 319 to 550 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent and is called the Golden Age of India because of its many achievements in art, literature, science, and technology. These are some of the major achievements of the Gupta Empire:


  • During the Gupta period, there was no symbol to represent ‘zero’. Mathematician Aryabhata used powers of ten with zero coefficients to indicate zero.
  • The Guptas used alphabetical letters to represent numbers.
  • Another important concept developed during this time was trigonometry.


  • One of the important developments was Aryabhata’s theory that the Earth is round in shape and not flat.
  • The theory of gravity was promulgated by astronomers of the Gupta period. Aryabhata also proved that the Earth rotates on its axis every day.


  • Sanskrit became the primary language during the Gupta period.
  • Ramayana and Mahabharata were compiled during this period.
  • The primary subjects of literature were poetry and romantic comedy.
  • There were nine poets in the court of Chandragupta II. Kalidasa was the supreme poet among these nine.
  • Poet and playwright Kalidasa composed epics like Abhijnanashakuntalam, Malavikagnimitram, Raghuvansh and Kumarasambha. Harishena composed Allahabad Prashasti, Shudraka composed Mrichchakatika, Vishakhadutta composed Mudrarakshasa and Vishnusharma composed Panchatantra.
  • Varahamihira wrote Brihatsamhita and also contributed in the fields of astronomy and astrology. Aryabhata, a brilliant mathematician and astronomer, wrote Surya Siddhanta which covered many aspects of geometry, trigonometry and cosmology. Shanku devoted himself to creating treatises on geography.

art and architecture

  • The Gupta era is called the Golden Age of India in the fields of art, science and literature;
  • Nagara & Dravidian art style developed during this period
  • Delhi’s iron pillar, seven and a half feet Buddha statue & Deogarh temple are excellent examples of Gupta art.
  • The murals of Ajanta, which mainly depict the life stories of the Buddha in the Jataka stories, belong to the same period (the paintings of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka are influenced by the Ajanta paintings).


Nalanda University was founded by Kumaragupta I in the 5th century. The university was an important learning center and was one of the first universities to provide hostels for students.

gupta empire timeline

The image below shows the timeline of the Gupta Empire. The first ruler was Shri Gupta, he was succeeded by his son Ghatotkacha and the last ruler was Vishnugupta.

Important facts related to Gupta dynasty:

  • There was tremendous progress in the fields of art, science and literature during the Gupta period and due to this it is known as “Golden Age” where did it go.
  • near jhansi Devgarh Near temple and allahabad in Garhwa The sculptures in the temple are important examples of Gupta art.
  • Skandagupta’s inner monolith is also noteworthy.
  • near gwalior garden caves Paintings of the Gupta period are seen in.
  • in sri lanka paintings of sigiriya Was highly influenced by Ajanta style.
  • Gupta coin was also notable. Samudragupta issued eight types of gold coins.
  • Chandragupta II and his successors also issued gold, silver and copper coins of various varieties.
  • Sanskrit language became prominent during the Gupta period. The best Sanskrit literature was written in the Gupta era.
  • Samudragupta, a great poet, patronized many scholars including Harisena.
  • Chandragupta II’s court is prestigious Navratnas Was adorned by. in that Kalidas were the most prominent.
  • Panchatantra stories It was composed during the Gupta period.
  • in its current form Puranas was composed during this period.
  • in present form Mahabharata and Ramayana was written and finalized and written in its current form.
  • The Gupta period witnessed tremendous activity in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, astrology and medicine.
  • Varahamihir composed the five astronomical systems Pancha Siddhantika.

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