Indian History - Gupta Dynasty

   India History - Gupta Dynasty

India Before the Guptas

After the downfall of the Kushans in the north and the Satvanahas in the south, no great power rose in India. For nearly a hundred years, India was divided into many independent states and there was continuous struggle among themselves. There were kingdoms and republics, where the republics were ruled by the elected chiefs. In the south, Malwa and Khatiawar were ruled by Rudradaman. In Magadha the Lichhavis rose to prominence. The Nagas established their kingdoms in the northern India whereas the Pallavas established their kingdoms in the Southern India on the ruins of the Satvanaha empire.

Gupta Empire Map

Gupta Dynasty

After the Kushans, the Guptas were the most important dynasty. The information about Guptas is known from the archaeological remains, inscriptions and coins. Early in the beginning of the fourth century, a chief called Sri Gupta ruled a small kingdom in Magadha. He was then succeeded by his son Ghatokacha. They were mostly minor rulers in east Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Reign of Chandragupta I (AD 320-335)

The first famous king of the Gupta dynasty was Ghatokacha's son Chandragupta I. He married Kumaradevi, the daughter of the chief of the Lichhavis. This marriage was a turning point to Chandragupta I. He got Patliputra in dowry from the Lichhavis. From Patliputra, he laid the foundation of his empire and started conquering many neighbouring states with the help of the Lichhavis. He ruled over Magadha (Bihar), Prayaga and Saketa (east Uttar Pradesh). His kingdom extended from the river Ganges to Allahabad. Chandragupta I also got the title of Maharajadhiraja (King of Kings) and ruled for about fifteen years.

An important act of Chandragupta I was the holding of an assembly of councillors and members of the royal family at which Prince Samudragupta was formally nominated as the successor of the Gupta empire.