The Gupta Era - Part II

Exact Match
  Indus Valley
  Mauryan Era
  Post Mauryan
  Kushana Era
  Golden Age
  Post Gupta

  Arab Invasion
  South India
  Prithviraj Era
  Delhi Sultunate
  Mughal Period
  Maratha Era
  British Period

  Subhash & INA

Guptas | Administration | Hinduism | Sanskrit | Higher Education | Art & Architecture | Science | Vakatakas


His campaign broke the power of the tribal republics in that region, which was to have disastrous consequences for the later Guptas when the Huns invaded north-western India and the Punjab and Rajasthan could no longer act as buffers for the Ganges valley. The relationship between the Guptas and the tribal republics was a curious one. The Guptas were proud of their connection with the Lichchhavis, but they attacked the western republics. It is interesting to note that the republican tradition survived for so many centuries in the west, despite the repeated invasions of this area. Samudra Gupta's campaign was the final blow to the declining tribal system.

Samudra Gupta's relationship with the Kushanas was uncertain, though they were considerably weakened by now. Who the 'inhabitants of the islands' were remains dubious; the phrase may refer to the islands close to India, the Maldives and Andamans, or it may be a reference to south-east Asia, which by now boasted of large Indian colonies and increased contacts. But it definitely proves one fact that Samudra Gupta certainly had a well developed navy. Samudra Gupta's reign, lasting for about forty years, must have given him ample time to plan and organize these campaigns. He performed the Ashwamedha Yajna (horse-sacrifice) to proclaim his conquests, and he certainly had more cause to do so than many another king. The character of Samudra Gupta was not however one entirely thirsting for conquest and battle. He appears to have had a gentler and more civilized side, being described in the eulogy as a lover of poetry and music. That this was not merely a poetic flight is borne out the fact that many of his coins show him playing the vina (lute).

Of all the Gupta kings, Chandra Gupta II, named after his grandfather, Samudra Gupta's father, is reputed to have shown the most chivalrous and heroic qualities. He reigned for about forty years from A.D . 375 to 415. His reign had rather mysterious beginning, as in the case of his father. A play written some two centuries later (Devi-Chandra-Guptam), supposedly dealing with events on the death Samudra Gupta, suggests that Rama Gupta succeeded Samudra Gupta. The story goes that the reigning king was Rama Gupta and he was defeated in battle by the Shakas, to whom he agreed to surrender his wife, Dhruvadevi. His Younger brother Chandra was disgusted at this, and disguising himself as the queen he gained access to the Shaka king's apartments and killed the king. This action gained him the affection of he people but created enmity between him and his brother Rama. Chandra Gupta finally killed Rama Gupta and married Dhruva Devi. The discovery of the coins of Rama Gupta and of inscriptions proving that Chandra Gupta's wife was called Dhruva Devi lend some truth to this story. Furthermore, Chandra Gupta's major campaign was fought against the Shakas.


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