The Gupta Dynasty

 

Facts related to Uttar Pradesh

  • There is controversy among scholars about the original homeland of the Guptas. Jayaswal has pointed out that the Guptas were originally inhabitants of Prayaga (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh, in north India, as the  vassal of the Nagas or Bhaarshivas. Thereafter they rose in prominence.
  • Early Gupta coins and inscriptions have been mainly found in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Guptas were possibly the feudatories of the Kushanas in Uttar Pradesh, and seem to have succeeded them without any wide time-lag.
  • Chandragupta I conquests are known from a lengthy eulogy composed by his court-poet Harishena and inscribed on an Asokan pillar at Allahabad.
  •  in the Allahabad Pillar Inscription, Samudragupta is referred to as a god dwelling on earth.
  • A large number of Buddha images have been unearthed at Sarnath, and one of them is justly regarded as the finest in the whole of India. Stone and bronze images of Buddha have also been found at Mathura and other places.
  • The images of Siva, Vishnu and other Brahmanical gods are sculptured in some of the finest panels of the Deogarh temple (Jhansi district). Of the Brahmanical images perhaps the most impressive is the Great Boar (Varaha), at the entrance of a cave in Udayagiri.

 

 

 

Gupta Empire

  • The start of Gupta Empire is considered by many historian from the reign of Maharaja Shrigupta.
  • Chandragupta-I was the first powerful ruler of Gupta Empire and ascended the throne in 320 AD.
  • The Gupta Period from 320 AD to 550 AD is also known as the Golden Age of India.
  • In the Gupta period India attained the peak of glory in every aspects starting from science, art, literature, mathematics, astronomy and philosophy.

Emperors of Gupta Empire

  • Shrigupta and Ghatotkacha. The reign of Maharaja Shrigupta (240 AD to 280 AD) is considered by many historians to be the starting point of Gupta Empire.
  • Ghatotkacha succeeded his father Shrigupta and ruled from 280AD to 319 AD.

Chandragupta I

  • Chandragupta I was the son of Ghatotkacha and succeeded his father. He was the first powerful king of the dynasty. He ruled the Empire from 320 AD to 335 AD.
  • Chandragupta I adopted the title of Maharajadhiraja: meaning King of Kings.
  • He married princess Kumaradevi of neighboring kingdom Lichchhavi and gained the control of the territory of north Bihar.
  • The starting of the reign of Chandragupta-I is considered by many historians as the beginning of Gupta era.

Samudragupta and Chandragupta II

  • Samudragupta,succeeded his father Chandragupta I and ruled the Gupta dynasty for about 45 years from 335 AD to 380 AD. He is also known as ‘Napolean of India’.
  • Many historians believe that Chandragupta II was nominated by his father Samudragupta as the next heir of Gupta Empire.But Ramagupta,the eldest son of Samudragupta succeeded his father and became the emperor.
  • Chandragupta II killed him and ascended the throne. He was an extremely powerful emperor. Chandragupta II is most commonly known as Vikramaditya,ruled the Gupta Empire from 380 AD to 413 AD.

Other Emperors

  • Kumaragupta I,the son of Chandragupta II succeeded his father and ruled the dynasty till 455 AD. After Kumaragupta I, Skandagupta succeeded his father.
  • He is considered to be the last of the great Gupta emperors.
  • He also adopted the title of Vikramaditya.
  • After Skandagupta, the Gupta dynasty didn’t get any powerful ruler and finally the dynasty was overpowered by the Vardhana ruler Harshavardhana.

Note:Some of the weak rulers who ruled after Skandagupta were, Purugupta, Kumaragupta II, Budhagupta, Narasimhagupta, Kumaragupta III, Vishnugupta, Vainyagupta and Bhanugupta.

Fa-hien’s India Visit

  • Fa-hien was the first Chinese pilgrim who visited India during the reign of Gupta emperor Chandragupta II.

Nine Gems or Navaratnas

  • At the time of Vikramadityas reign, the glory of Gupta Empire reached its peak.
  • A circle of famous nine persons known as Nine Gems or Navaratnas were present in the court of Vikramaditya.

The group comprised of

  • Kalidasa
  • Vetala Bhatta
  • Varahamihira
  • Vararuchi
  • Amarasimha
  • Dhanvantari
  • kshapanak
  • Shanku
  • Ghatakarpura

Kalidasa

  • Kalidasa was a famous Sanskrit writer and poet in the court of Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya).
  • Kalidasa was the author of three famous plays.
  • Abhijnanasakuntalam : tells the story of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala
  • Malavikagnimitram tells the story love of King Agnimitra with Malavika
  • Vikramorvasiyam tells the love story of King Pururavas and celestial fairy Urvashi
  • Kalidasa was also the author of two famous Sanskrit epic poems:
  • Raghuvamsa (“Raghu Dynasty “) and
  • Kumarasambhava.

Vetala Bhatta

  • Vetala Bhatta was a Brahmin in the court of Vikramaditya.
  • He is known for his contribution of “Nitipradipa “.

Varahamihira

  • Varahamihira was an Indian astronomer, astrologer and mathematician of Gupta era.
  • He is famously known for his great work Pancha Siddhantika,a book on mathematical astronomy.
  • His other important contribution to the Indian Sanskrit literature is the Brihat-Samhita, an encyclopedia of astrology and other subjects of human interest.

Vararuci

  • Vararuci was one of the nine Gems in the court of Chandragupta II of Gupta era.

Amarasimha

  • Amarasimha was one of the nine Gems in the court of Vikramaditya of Gupta era.
  • He is notably known for his famous Sanskrit thesaurus Amarakosha.
  • It is also known as Namalinganushasana.

Dhanvantari

  • Dhanvantari is regarded as one of the worlds first surgeons and medical practitioner from Gupta era.
  • He is considered as the origin exponent of Ayurveda.
  • He is also worshipped as the God of Medicine.
  • Sushruta, the author of famous Sushruta Samhita was the student of Dhanvantari.
  • He is also credited for the discovery of the antiseptic properties of turmeric and the preservative properties of salt.
  • Dhanvantri is considered to be the pioneer of modern plastic surgery.

 

 

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