Gupta Empire – Legacy of the Gupta Dynasty

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With the decline of the Mauryan Empire, the solidarity and trustworthiness of India broke. The focal authority vanished and provincial territories rose all over the place. This pattern was turned around by the rise of Gupta rulers in the Fourth Century AD.

They managed over a broad domain with their capital at Pataliputra. In this way, the Gupta age saw the political unification of India after an extensive stretch of over 500 years after the decay of Mauryans.

Various solid and effective rulers came to control during the Gupta period. For instance, Chandragupta I, Samudragupta, Chandragupta II, and Skandgupta controlled over broad domains.

This article is completely going to deal with the Gupta Empire under the following subtopics:

  • The legacy of the Gupta Dynasty
  • Society
  • Economy
  • Literature
  • Art and Architecture

The gupta period

The Legacy of the Gupta Dynasty

  • The Gupta Empire rose to noticeable lengths in 320 AD and spread largely to northern India, central and very less to southern India.
  • The originator of the Gupta line is Sri Gupta.
  • The first country of the Guptas is not known for certain. Be that as it may, they may have started from Bengal. A few researchers think they are from Prayaga (Allahabad in UP).
  • They are believed to be either Brahmins or Vaishyas.

Sri Gupta

He was the founder of the Gupta Dynasty. He reigned from 240 AD to 280 AD and was addressed as Maharaja. Gupta was the organizer of the Gupta line of northern India.

He is identified as king Che-li-ki-to, who, as indicated by the seventh-century Chinese Buddhist priest Yijing, built a temple close to Mi-li-kai-shi-kai-po-no for Chinese pioneers.


He is the son of Sri Gupta. He too was addressed as ‘Maharaja‘. Like his dad, Ghatotkacha isn’t authenticated by his own engravings. He was mentioned by his grandson Samudragupta in Allahabad Pillar engraving and is rehashed verbatim in a few later records of the dynasty.

Earlier researchers credited a gold coin and an earth seal to him, however, these are currently collectively doled out to Ghatotkacha-Gupta, who was a child or the younger brother of the fifth century Gupta ruler Kumaragupta I.

Chandragupta I

  • He was the son of Ghatotkacha who procured the deliberately significant Magadha realm in union with a Lichchhavi princess Kumaradevi.
  • He broadened his realm through successes. His region stretched out from the Ganges River to Prayaga by 321 AD.
  • He gave coins in the joint names of his sovereign and himself.
  • Also, He was addressed as Maharajadhiraja (incredible ruler of kings).
  • He was fruitful in building a little territory into an extraordinary realm.
  • He is viewed as the main powerful king of the Gupta Empire.


  • He was the son of Chandragupta I and Kumaradevi.
  • He was a military virtuoso and was effective in including numerous domains into the Gupta Empire.
  • The Allahabad engraving portrays his fortitude as formed by his court writer, Harisena. There it is said that he vanquished nine rulers of the Ganges Valley, twelve rulers from the southern area, and eighteen tribal clans.
  • His area stretched out from the Himalayas in the north to the Krishna and Godavari Rivers in the south, and from Balkh (Afghanistan) in the west to Brahmaputra River in the east.
  • He was a supporter of Vaishnavite Hinduism yet was open-minded toward different beliefs. He allowed the king of Sri Lanka, Meghavarna to assemble a religious community in Bodh Gaya.
  • Additionally, he was called “Indian Napoleon” by Historian Vincent Smith.
  • He additionally performed Ashvamedha Yaga. Subsequently, one of his coins alludes to him as “the restorer of Ashvamedha.”
  • Additionally he was called “Kaviraja” since he was a poet.

Chandragupta II

  • He was the son of Samudragupta and Dattadevi.
  • Also called ‘Vikramaditya’.
  • He extended the empire to Saurashtra which gave him the western coastline.
  • He utilized the marriage alliance to extend his realm and set up a matrimonial alliance with the Nagas and the Vakatakas. Also, he gave his daughter Prabha Pavati Gupta in union with Vakataka leader of Maharashtra Rudrasena II.
  • Additionally he added three Satrapa realms and accepted the title Sakari (destroyer of the Sakas). He vanquished the Saka ruler Rudrasimha III in this way, gaining Saurashtra and Kathiawar.
  • Through the western ports, the kingdom’s prosperity developed through trade links with Roman Empires.
  • After East and West India, Chandragupta II crushed northern rulers like the Hunas, Kambojas, Kiratas, and so forth.
  • He was a wonderful conqueror and a capable administrator also.
  • Like his dad, he was a Vaishnavite yet was open-minded toward different religions.
  • Fa-Hien, a Buddhist from China visited India during his reign. He records the prosperity of the Gupta Empire.

Kumaragupta I

  • Existed from 413 AD to 455 AD.
  • Founded Nalanda University.
  • Also called as Shakraditya.


  • Reigned from 455 AD – 467 AD
  • Was addressed as ‘Vikramaditya‘ and was a ‘Vaishnavite‘
  • Was the son of Kumaragupta


  • The development of caste from the people is a characteristic of all times of Indian history and the Gupta time frame is no special case.
  • The Mahishyas, tribal people, are not recognized in the Manusmriti, yet they discover a spot in the social plan in Yajnavalkya.
  • The Yavanas and Shakas are respected by Patanjalias Anirvasita Shudra, yet they incorporated Manu in the rundown of corrupted Kshatriyas.
  • The child of a Brahmana father and Kshatriya mother is called Murdhabhishikta by a few, and Kshatriya by others, the subsequent view being bolstered by a few engravings.
  • The Hunas, at last, got perceived as one of the 36 good Rajput clans.
  • Various other Rajput races, for example, Paramara, Pratihara, Chahamana, Chalukya(Solank), Kalachrui etc.were additionally presumably of remote starting points.
  • By the tenth century, Kayasthas had lost its unique official and expert character and turned into a social class or network in certain parts of the country.
  • Another significant component of the period was the expanding utilization of cognomens which had begun during the early century of the Christian time and was known in the previous time of Indian history.
  • As indicated by later nibandhakara, for example, Yama and Shatarupa, the names Brahmanas should end in words like sharmam or deva, those of Kshatriyas in Varman, Trata and so forth., those of the vaishyas in Gupta, Dhatta, Bhuti and so on and those of the Shudras in Dasa.
  • In an engraving of the hour of Chandragupta II, a few Kshatriyas are depicted as shippers.
  • Yajnavalkya grants the Shudras to become merchants and agriculturists.
  • Hiuan-Tsang alludes to the Shudras as an agribusiness class in the seventh century, while in the eleventh century Alberuni found no extraordinary contrast between the vaishyas and the Shudras.At the most reduced level, the gatherings were called Antyajas who spoke to the tainted fifth social evaluation outside the four-varna, and different rules were followed.
  • Fa-Hien says that the chandalas lived separated from different towns.At the point when they entered a city or a commercial center, they struck bits of wood to check their quality so men may abstain from coming into their contact.
  • They are compelled to live outside the city and sneak along on the left while going about in the villages.
    As indicated by Alberuni, the Hindus of north-western India viewed outsiders as debased.


  • India had built up a propelled arrangement of farming, industry, and exchange well before the ascent of the magnificent Guptas.
  • The economy and success encourage all-round social advancement made during this period. The farming framework was all around created and logical techniques were utilized to increment horticultural creation.
  • The Amarakosha and Brihat Samhita contains extraordinary parts on the investigation of plants and gardens, woods, crops, fertilizer, and so forth.
  • Different parts of the industry had created because of the plenitude of crude materials and the ability and undertaking of the craftsmen and the experts.
  • The scholarly works likewise portray a huge assortment of apparel, for example, cotton, silk, fleece, and material.
  • India had exchange relations with both the eastern and the western nations.
  • India kept up normal sea connection with Sri Lanka, Persia, Arabia, Byzantine Empire, Africa, and significantly further west.
  • Likewise India created business relations with China, Burma, and Southeast Asia.
  • The significant exchange things were silk, flavors of a different kind, materials, metals, ivory, ocean produce, and so forth.
  • Some significant ocean ports of the Gupta time frame were Tamralipti, Arikamedu, Kaveripattnam, Barbaricum, Muziris, Pratishthana, Sopara, and Brighukachchha.
  • Every one of these ports (listed above) were all around associated through inland courses from all pieces of India.
  • As indicated by Fa-Hien, individuals of the ‘Center Kingdom’ were prosperous and upbeat at the start of the fifth century and he additionally referenced the comparative record of success and harmony in India.
  • Individuals were keeping up an elevated expectation of living and extravagance of the town life.
  • The land awards were given to Brahmans, sanctuaries, viharas, mathas to run the instructive foundations and other social government assistance exercises.
  • The convention of land awards for the beneficent purposes proceeded into the medieval period too. These were known as Madad-I-pound, Suyarghal, and so forth.


  • Sanskrit became primary language in the Gupta period
  • Ramayana & Mahabharata were compiled during this period
KalidasaAbhigyan Shakuntalam, MalvikagnimitramVikramorvasiya, Kumarasambhava Raghuvamsa, Ritusamhara, Meghaduta
VishakhadattaMudrarakshasa & Devi – Chandraguptam
Vishnu SharmaPanchatantra stories
SudrakaMrichchakatika (Little clay art or toy cart)
AmarasimhaAmarakosha (Lexicon in Sanskrit)
Dandin        Kavyadarsa & DesaKumarcharita
  • Gupta period was considered as the brilliant period of Indian writing.
  • The magnificent writing was delivered in exposition, verse, dramatization, and syntax. It is the perceptible result of the arrangement of instruction and learning.
  • The Puranas saved customs, legends, moral codes, strict, and philosophical standards. They are eighteen in number.
  • The Smritis are metrical writings containing the principles and guidelines and laws for the direction and administration of the general public.

Art and Architecture

  • Most wonderful was the Bhitari monolithic pillar of Skandagupta.
  • Nagara and Dravidian styles of workmanship came during this period.
  • There was no development of the Gandhara style.
  • Mathura’s one lovely standing Buddha sculpture shows a little Greek style.
  • The sanctuary at Deogarh close to Jhansi and the models in the sanctuary were incredible demonstrations of Gupta craftsmanship.
  • The uncovered sculpture of Buddha at Sarnath is an image of Gupta craftsmanship.
  • Most of the works of art seen at Bagh give in enormity and exactness of Gupta craftsmanship.
  • The artworks of Ajantha generally show the life of the Buddha.
  • During the Gupta time frame, Metallurgy additionally had wonderful development. The skilled workers were masters in their specialty of throwing metal sculptures and columns.
  • The most classical thing in Sultanganj is the enormous copper sculpture of Buddha. This is presently kept at
  • Birmingham exhibition hall, was of seven and a half feet stature and a ton weight. The Delhi Iron pillar of the Gupta time frame is without rust even today.
  • Dandin was the creator of Kavyadarsa and Dasakumaracharita.


The decline of the Gupta Empire was very devastating. After the Guptas came to the Hunas. The Gupta line kept on being in presence for over 100 years after the Skandagupta in A.D. 467.

Skandagupta was prevailed by his sibling Purugupta. Budhagupta was the main Gupta ruler who kept on administering over a huge piece of the domain. Budhagupta engravings have been found from Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

Huna’s pioneer, Toramana devastated the Gupta Empire in A.D. 512. He vanquished a huge piece of north India up to Gwalior and Malwa.

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