Chandragupta I

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Not to be confused with Chandragupta Maurya.
Chandragupta 1
Gupta Emperor
Queen Kumaradevi and King Chandragupta I on a coin of their son Samudragupta 350 380 CE.jpg
Queen Kumaradevi and King Chandragupta I, depicted on a coin of their son Samudragupta, 350–380 CE
Reign 320–335 CE
Predecessor Ghatotkacha (Gupta Ruler)
Successor Samudragupta
Consort Kumaradevi
Issue Samudragupta
House Gupta dynasty
Father Ghatotkacha
Religion Hinduism

Chandragupta was a major king in the Gupta Empire around 320 CE and is generally considered as the founder of the Gupta dynasty. As the ruler of the Gupta Empire, he is known for forging alliances with many powerful families in the Ganges region.


Chandragupta was son of Ghatotkacha to the throne of the ancestral Gupta kingdom. While his two ancestors were given the title of Maharaja (king), Chandragupta I is described in his inscriptions as Maharajadhiraj (king of kings) signifying a rise in the family fortunes. He gained control over many territories by conquests and favourable marriage alliances. He married a Lichchhavi princess to enhance his prestige.

After 500 years of invasion and turmoil after Ashoka’s death, a strong leader named Chandragupta took over. Chandragupta married a daughter of a royal influential family. After marrying, he earned the title of Great King of Kings. A series of gold coins issued by the king also testifies to his rising influence. The well known Gupta era which commenced on February 26, 320 CE [1] is generally attributed to Chandragupta I. Hence it is surmised that the Gupta era began on the occasion of the coronation of Chandragupta I. According to the Puranas, the Guptas ruled over territories (referred to as Janapadas) such as Prayag (Allahabad), Saket (Oudh) and Magadha (south Bihar). This description of the Gupta dominion precedes the reign of Samudragupta and hence must refer to the territories ruled over by Chandragupta I. His son Samudragupta ruled the Gupta empire after Chandragupta I in 335 CE.


  1. ^ R.C. Majumdar, History and Culture of the Indian People: The Classical Age, Chapter I, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,1954
  • R. C. Majumdar, Ancient India, 6th revised edition. Motilal Banarsidass,
Regnal titles
Preceded by
as Gupta Ruler
Gupta Emperor
Succeeded by