CAPF-AC (Assistant Commandant) Exam Study Material : History - Gupta Empire

CAPF-AC (Assistant Commandant) Exam Study Material : History - Gupta Empire

History : Gupta Empire

Some 500 years after the collapse of the Mauryan Empire, a new dynasty called the Guptas arose in Magadha and established its control over the greater part of India. The empires of the Satavahanas and Kushanas came to an end in the middle of the third century A.D. and a new dynasty emerged in north India, known as the Guptas. This period is also referred as the ‘Classical Age’ or ‘Golden Age’ of ancient India and was perhaps the most prosperous era in the Indian history.


Epigraphic Evidence

42 inscriptions related to the period of the Imperial Guptas are known. Out of them 27 are engraved on stone. Of these 22 are private endowments, one is an official grant and the remaining 4 are Prasasties (2 of Samudra Gupta and 2 of Skanda Gupta).

Of the remaining 15, one is on an iron column (Mehrauli Pillar at Delhi) and is the prasasti of Chandra Gupta II. The others are copper plates. These inscriptions furnish a good deal of valuable information about the political history as well as the religious, social and economic conditions of the Gupta period.

Literary Evidence

Secular Sources:

Kalidasa’s Abhijnana Sakuntalam, Meghdhootam, Raghuvansam, Malavikagnimitram, Ritusamhara, Kumarasambhava, etc.
Sudrak’s Mrichchakatika, Visakhadatta’s Devi Chandra Guptam, Vajjika’s Kaumidi Mahotsava. Kamandaka’s Nitisara, Narada and Brihaspati Smritis. Kathasarithsagara by Somadeva, Swapnavasava Datta by Bhasa etc.

Decline of the Guptas

The Gupta dynasty no doubt continued to be in existence for more than 100 years after the death of Skandagupta in A.D. 467. He was succeeded by his brother Purugupta. Nothing is known about his achievements.
Thereafter, the only Gupta ruler who continued to rule fairly a large part of “ the empire was Budhagupta whose inscriptions have been found from Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Though the Huna rule was one of the shortest instances of foreign rule over India, the Gupta Empire suffered much from it.
The Hunas once more attacked under the leadership of Toramana in A.D. 512. They conquered a large part of north India upto Gwalior and Malwa.

Later Guptas

The history of the imperial Guptas after the death of Skandagupta is obscure succession Purugupia, Narasimhagupta, Baladitya. Kumargupta II, Bhanugupta. Harshagupta, Damodargupta, Mahasenagupta,
Buddhagupta was the last emperor of Guptas, who preserved unity When he passed away, Huns safely entered into Sialkot region and eastern Malwa

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