Indian History - Empire of Chandragupta II

   India History - Empire of Chandragupta II

Empire of Chandragupta II

[AD 380-413]

Chandragupta succeeded his father Samudragupta. He got the title of Vikramaditya (son of power), so he is also known as Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Chandragupta II proved to be of the same military mettle of his father and brought large amounts of territory in Western India under the Gupta empire.

From the inscription of the Mehrauli Iron Pillar of Chandragupta II situated in Delhi, it is learnt that he waged successful wars against several chiefs of Vanga (Bengal). However Chandragupta II's greatest achievement was the victory over the Saka Satraps of Malwa, Gujarat and Saurashtra.

Chandragupta's Biggest Achievement

Chandragupta marched against the Saka Satraps about AD 389. After six years of courageous fighting, he killed the Sakas chieftains. He killed Rudrasena III, a Saka king of West India. He annexed all the three kingdoms of Satraps under Gupta empire and made Ujjain a second capital, and called himself Vikramaditya -- a combination of words valour and sun. Chandragupta's empire had both the Arabian Sea coast and that of the Bay of Bengal under its control. He also captured Bactria and concluded marital alliances with the Nagas, Vakatakas and Kadamba dynasties.

Like his grandfather, Chandragupta married the Lichhavi princess Kumaradevi. He gave his daughter Prabhavati in marriage to Rudrasena II, the Venkata king of Central India. Rudrasena had helped him in his campaign against the Saka Satraps.

Administrations and Coins

The account of administration of Chandragupta's reign is known from the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hein who came to India during that period. The administration was very well organised with very light taxes. The empire was divided into many provinces which were ruled by independent governors. The provinces were further divided into districts. Land revenue was the main source of income of the state and was normally one-sixth of the produce of the land.

The emperor also issued a host of gold, silver and copper coins to celebrate his reign. His coins featured Vishnu and his garuda, as well as images of himself killing a lion, among others. Experts say that Chandragupta II's coin are of a finer quality than had been seen thus far.

Chandragupta II was succeeded by his son Kumargupta who was also a great ruler.