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Aug 20 2018 21:44 EST

Gupta Empire Coins

April 26, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Princely States

Gupta Empire

The Gupta period marks an important phase in the history of ancient India. The long and efficient rule of the Guptas made a huge impact on the political, social and cultural spheres. Though the Gupta Empire was not as widespread as the Mauryan Empire was in India, yet the Gupta dynasty was successful in creating an empire that is significant in the history of India. The Gupta Period is also popularly known as the Golden Age of India and for the right reasons. The lifestyle and culture of the Gupta dynasty is known through the availability of various ancient coins, scriptures, inscriptions, texts, etc. belonging to that era.

The rulers of the Gupta Empire were efficient administrators who knew how to govern with a firm hand without being despotic. During this age, art and education flourished and many great discoveries were made in these fields. Aryabhatta and Varahamihira, the two great mathematicians contributed much during this period in the field of Vedic Mathematics. Aryabhatta estimated the value of “Pi” to the fourth decimal place. Algebra was developed to a great extent and the concepts of zero and infinity were found. The symbols of numbers 1 to 9 were devised which was a great contribution in mathematics. These symbols came to be known as Hindu Arabic numerals later when the Arabs too adopted them.


Gupta EmpireThe Gupta Age is also known for its advances in astronomy. During the reign of the Gupta rulers, astronomers and philosophers proposed the theory that the earth was not flat but round. The theory of gravity was also propounded during this time. The astronomers made a breakthrough when they found out the different planets and started to make horoscopes based on the planetary positions. The field of medicine also advanced a lot during this time and doctors used to perform operations even during that era. Since so many discoveries and advances were made in arts, medicine, literature and science during Gupta period, it has been called the Golden Age of India.

Main Rulers of Gupta Age

  • Chandragupta (319 – 335 A.D): Chandragupta was a very powerful Gupta ruler who waged many battles to attain his title. He married Kumaradevi after which the Gupta dynasty came into eminence. He assumed the title of Maharajadiraja, which means king of kings.
  • Samudragupta (335 – 375 A.D): Samudragupta was the son and successor of Chandragupta. Samudragupta was popularly known as the “Indian Napoleon” as he conquered many territories without making much of an effort. It is said that after Emperor Ashoka, the empire of Samudragupta was the supreme. The coins found in excavation reveal much information about his empire. He performed the Asvamedha Yagna and gained much fame and power. During his reign, many great discoveries and advancements were made in different fields like astronomy, mathematics, medicine, etc.
  • Chandragupta II (375 – 414 A.D): Also known by the name of Vikramaditya, Chandragupta II was chosen by his father as the successor and the future ruler. Chandragupta II was an able ruler and a great conqueror. His conquest of the peninsula of Saurashtra via the Arabian Sea is considered to be one of his greatest military successes. With the annexation of Saurashtra and Malwa, he opened up sea ports to facilitate trade and commerce. His capital city was Pataliputra.
  • Kumaragupta I (415 – 455 AD): Kumaragupta ruled for forty years and he was considered to be one of the most powerful rulers of the Gupta Period. He was known by different names such as, Shri Mahendra, Ajita Mahendra, Simha Mahendra, Asvamedha Mahendra, Mahendra Karma, etc. During his reign, the whole of India was united as one single entity. Though it was secular and people had their own thoughts and beliefs, yet they remained united and intact in any adversity. This was proved when the subjects drove out the Hunas from the kingdom after the death of Kumaragupta.
  • Skandagupta (455 – 467 A.D): Most historic scripts propound that Skandagupta was the ruler after Kumaragupta, though there are some theories that also mention Purugupta, Kumaragupta – II, etc. Skandagupta was a very powerful conqueror and is considered to be at par with God Indra. His empire included the whole of North India from west to east and the peninsular regions of Gujarat.
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