Gupta Empire

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Gupta Empire

 

 

400 CE–600s CE
 

 

 

The Gupta Empire at its greatest extent.
Capital Pataliputra
Languages Sanskrit
Religion Hinduism
Buddhism
Government Monarchy
Maharajadhiraja
 -  240s–280s Sri-Gupta
 -  319–335 Chandragupta I
 -  540–550 Vishnu Gupta
Historical era Ancient history
 -  Established 400 CE
 -  Disestablished 600s CE
Area 3,500,000 km² (1,351,358 sq mi)
Today part of  India
 Pakistan
 Bangladesh
   Nepal

The Gupta Empire (Sanskrit: गुप्त साम्राज्य, Gupta Sāmrājya) was an ancient Indian empire, founded by Maharaja Sri Gupta, which existed from approximately 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent.[1] The peace and prosperity created under the leadership of the Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors.[2] This period is called the Golden Age of India[3] and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture.[4] Chandra Gupta I, Samudra Gupta the Great, and Chandra Gupta II the Great were the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty.[5] The 4th century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa credits Guptas with having conquered about twenty one kingdoms, both in and outside India, including the kingdoms of Parasikas (Persians), the Hunas, the Kambojas, tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys, the Kinnaras, Kiratas etc.[6]

The high points of this cultural creativity are magnificent architecture, sculptures and paintings.[7] The Gupta period produced scholars such as Kalidasa, Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Vishnu Sharma and Vatsyayana who made great advancements in many academic fields.[8][9] Science and political administration reached new heights during the Gupta era.[10] Strong trade ties also made the region an important cultural center and set the region up as a base that would influence nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.[11] The earliest available Indian epics are also thought to have been written around this period.

The empire gradually declined because of many factors such as substantial loss of territory and imperial authority caused by their own erstwhile feudatories and the invasion by the Huna peoples from Central Asia.[12] After the collapse of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century, India was again ruled by numerous regional kingdoms. A minor line of the Gupta clan continued to rule Magadha after the disintegration of the empire. These Guptas were ultimately ousted by Vardhana ruler Harsha Vardhana, who established an empire in the first half of the 7th century.

Origin of the Guptas[edit]

According to many historians, the Gupta Empire was a Vaishya dynasty.[13][14] Historian Ram Sharan Sharma asserts that the Vaishya Guptas "appeared as a reaction against oppressive rulers".[15] A.S. Altekar, a historian and archaeologist, who has written several books on Gupta coinage,[16] also regarded the caste of the Guptas as Vaishya on the basis of the ancient Indian texts on law, which prescribe the name-ending with Gupta for a member of the Vaishya caste. According to historian Michael C. Brannigan, the rise of the Gupta Empire was one of the most prominent violations of the caste system in ancient India.[14]

There are conflicting theories regarding the original homeland of the Guptas. According to HC Raychoudhuri the Guptas originated from the Varendri region which is now part of Rangpur and Rajshahi Division of Bangladesh. DC Ganguly on the other hand considers the surrounding region of Murshidabad as the original home of the Guptas.[17]

Fa Xian was the first of the Chinese pilgrims who visited India during the reign of Gupta emperor Chandragupta II. He started his journey from China in 399 CE and reached India in 405 CE. During his stay in India up to 411 CE, he went on a pilgrimage to Mathura, Kanauj, Kapilavastu, Kushinagar, Vaishali, Pataliputra, Kashi and Rajgriha and made careful observations about the empire's conditions. Fa Xian was pleased with the mildness of administration. The Penal Code was mild and offences were punished by fines only. From his accounts, the Gupta Empire was a prosperous period, until the Rome-China trade axis was broken with the fall of the Han dynasty, the Guptas' did indeed prosper.

Srigupta and Ghatotkacha[edit]

The most likely time for the reign of Sri Gupta is c. 240–280 CE. A number of modern historians, which include Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay and K. P. Jayaswal, think he and his son were possibly feudatories of the Kushans.[18] His son and successor Ghatotkacha ruled probably from c. 280–319 CE. In contrast to their successor, Chandragupta I, who is mentioned as Maharajadhiraja, he and his son Ghatotkacha are referred to in inscriptions as Maharaja[19] At the beginning of the 5th century the Guptas established and ruled a few small Hindu kingdoms in Magadha and around modern-day Bihar.

Chandragupta I[edit]

Queen Kumaradevi and King Chandragupta I, depicted on a coin of their son Samudragupta, 335–380 CE.

Ghatotkacha (reigned c. 280–319 CE), had a son named Chandragupta (reigned c. 319–335 CE) (not to be confused with Chandragupta Maurya (340–293 BCE), founder of the Mauryan Empire.) In a breakthrough deal, Chandragupta was married to Kumaradevi, a Lichchhavi princess—the main power in Magadha. With a dowry of the kingdom of Magadha (capital Pataliputra) and an alliance with the Lichchhavis, Chandragupta set about expanding his power, conquering much of Magadha, Prayaga and Saketa. He established a realm stretching from the Ganges River to Prayaga (modern-day Allahabad) by 321 CE. He assumed the imperial title of Maharajadhiraja. He expended his empire through marriage alliances.

Samudragupta[edit]

Coin of Samudragupta, with Garuda pillar. British Museum.
A Terracotta relief panel of a meditating Buddha from the Gupta era.

Samudragupta, Parakramanka succeeded his father in 335 CE, and ruled for about 45 years, until his death in 380 CE. He took the kingdoms of Ahichchhatra and Padmavati early in his reign. He then attacked the Malwas, the Yaudheyas, the Arjunayanas, the Maduras and the Abhiras, all of which were tribes in the area. By his death in 380, he had incorporated over twenty kingdoms into his realm and his rule extended from the Himalayas to the river Narmada and from the Brahmaputra to the Yamuna. He gave himself the titles King of Kings and World Monarch. Historian Vincent Smith described him as the "Indian Napoleon".[20] He performed Ashwamedha yajna in which a horse is sacrificed along with the first wife. The stone replica of the horse, then prepared, is in the Lucknow Museum. The Samudragupta Prashasti inscribed on the Ashokan Pillar, now in Akbar’s Fort at Allahabad, is an authentic record of his exploits and his sway over most of the continent.

Samudragupta was not only a talented military leader but also a great patron of art and literature. The important scholars present in his court were Harishena, Vasubandhu and Asanga. He was a poet and musician himself. He was a firm believer in Hinduism and is known to have worshipped Lord Vishnu. He was considerate of other religions and allowed Sri Lanka's Buddhist king Sirimeghvanna to build a monastery at Bodh Gaya. That monastery was called by Xuanzang as the Mahabodhi Sangharama.[21] He provided a gold railing around the Bodhi Tree.

Ramagupta[edit]

Although, the narrative of the Devichandragupta is not supported by any contemporary epigraphical evidence, the historicity of Rama Gupta is proved by his Durjanpur inscriptions on three Jaina images, where he is mentioned as the Maharajadhiraja. A large number of his copper coins also have been found from the Eran-Vidisha region and classified in five distinct types, which include the Garuda,[22] Garudadhvaja, lion and border legend types. The Brahmi legends on these coins are written in the early Gupta style.[23] In opinion of art historian Dr. R. A. Agarawala, D. Litt., Rama Gupta may be the eldest son of Samudra Gupta. He became king because of being the eldest. It may be a possibility that he was dethroned because of not being the worthy enough to rule and his younger brother Chandra Gupta II took over.

The Dashavatara Temple or Vishnu Temple also called Gupta temple at Deogarh (disambiguation)
Entry frame of the Dashavatara Temple
Hindu God Vishnu reclining on the serpent Shesha (Ananta) on a side panel of the Vishnu temple of 5th century.[24] 

Chandragupta II "Vikramaditya"[edit]

A Terracotta relief panel depicting a scene from the Rāmāyaṇa, built during the Gupta era.

According to the Gupta records, amongst his many sons, Samudragupta nominated prince Chandra Gupta II, born of queen Dattadevi, as his successor. Chandra Gupta II, Vikramaditya (the Sun of Power), ruled from 380 until 413. Chandra Gupta II also married to a Kadamba princess of Kuntala region and a princess of Naga lineage (Nāgakulotpannnā), Kuberanaga. His daughter Prabhavatigupta from this Naga queen was married to Rudrasena II, the Vakataka ruler of Deccan.[25] His son Kumaragupta I was married to Kadamba princess of Karnataka region. Emperor Chandra Gupta II expanded his realm westwards, defeating the Saka Western Kshatrapas of Malwa, Gujarat and Saurashtra in a campaign lasting until 409, but with his main opponent Rudrasimha III defeated by 395, and crushing the Bengal (Vanga) chiefdoms. This extended his control from coast-to-coast, established a second capital at Ujjain and was the high point of the empire.

Gold coins of Chandragupta II.

Despite the creation of the empire through war, the reign is remembered for its very influential style of Hindu art, literature, culture and science, especially during the reign of Chandra Gupta II. Some excellent works of Hindu art such as the panels at the Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh serve to illustrate the magnificence of Gupta art. Above all it was the synthesis of elements that gave Gupta art its distinctive flavour. During this period, the Guptas were supportive of thriving Buddhist and Jain cultures as well, and for this reason there is also a long history of non-Hindu Gupta period art. In particular, Gupta period Buddhist art was to be influential in most of East and Southeast Asia. Many advances were recorded by the Chinese scholar and traveller Faxian (Fa-hien) in his diary and published afterwards.

The court of Chandragupta was made even more illustrious by the fact that it was graced by the Navaratna (Nine Jewels), a group of nine who excelled in the literary arts. Amongst these men was the immortal Kalidasa whose works dwarfed the works of many other literary geniuses, not only in his own age but in the ages to come. Kalidasa was particularly known for his fine exploitation of the shringara (romantic) element in his verse.

Silver coin of Chandragupta II, minted in his Western territories, in the style of the Western Satraps.
Obv: Bust of king, with corrupted Greek legend "OOIHU".[26][27]
Rev: Legend in Brahmi, "Chandragupta Vikramaditya, King of Kings, and a devotee of Vishnu", around a peacock.
15mm, 2.1 grams. Mitchiner 4821–4823.

Chandragupta II's campaigns against Foreign Tribes[edit]

4th century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, credits Chandragupta Vikramaditya with having conquered about twenty one kingdoms, both in and outside India. After finishing his campaign in the East and West India, Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II) proceeded northwards, subjugated the Parasikas (Persians), then the Hunas and the Kambojas tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys respectively. Thereafter, the king proceeds across the Himalaya and reduced the Kinnaras, Kiratas etc. and lands into India proper.[6]

The Brihatkathamanjari of the Kashmiri writer Kshmendra states, king Vikramaditya (Chandra Gupta II) had "unburdened the sacred earth of the Barbarians like the Sakas, Mlecchas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Tusharas, Parasikas, Hunas, etc. by annihilating these sinful Mlecchas completely".[28][29][30]

Fa-Hien[edit]

In 399, Fa-Hien, a Chinese Buddhist, came to India to study the sacred writings of Buddhism. In the 10 years he was there, he wrote about life under the Gupta emperors. His writings form one of the most important sources for the history of this period.

Kumaragupta I[edit]

Chandragupta II was succeeded by his second son Kumaragupta I, born of Mahadevi Dhruvasvamini. Kumaragupta I assumed the title, Mahendraditya.[31] He ruled until 455. Towards the end of his reign a tribe in the Narmada valley, the Pushyamitras, rose in power to threaten the empire.

Skandagupta[edit]

Silver coin of the Gupta King Kumara Gupta I AD (414–455) (Coin of his Western territories, design derived from the Western Satraps).
Obv: Bust of king with crescents, with traces of corrupt Greek script.[32][33]
Rev: Garuda standing facing with spread wings. Brahmi legend: Parama-bhagavata rajadhiraja Sri Kumaragupta Mahendraditya.

Skandagupta, son and successor of Kumaragupta I is generally considered to be the last of the great Gupta rulers. He assumed the titles of Vikramaditya and Kramaditya.[34] He defeated the Pushyamitra threat, but then was faced with invading Hephthalites or "White Huns", known in India as the Sweta Huna, from the northwest. He repulsed a Huna attack c. 455 CE, But the expense of the wars drained the empire's resources and contributed to its decline. Skandagupta died in 467 and was succeeded by his agnate brother Purugupta.[35]

Decline of the empire[edit]

Skandagupta was followed by weak rulers Purugupta (467–473), Kumaragupta II (473–476), Budhagupta (476–495?), Narasimhagupta, Kumaragupta III, Vishnugupta, Vainyagupta and Bhanugupta. In the 480's the Hephthalites broke through the Gupta defenses in the northwest, and much of the empire in northwest was overrun by the Hun by 500. The empire disintegrated under the attacks of Toramana and his successor Mihirakula. It appears from inscriptions that the Guptas, although their power was much diminished, continued to resist the Huns. The Hun invader Toramana was defeated by Bhanugupta in 510 CE.[36][37] The Huns were defeated and driven out of India in 528 AD by a coalition consisting of Gupta emperor Narasimhagupta and the king Yashodharman from Malwa.[38] The succession of the sixth-century Guptas is not entirely clear, but the tail end recognized ruler of the dynasty's main line was king Vishnugupta, reigning from 540 to 550. In addition to the Hun invasion, the factors, which contribute to the decline of the empire include competition from the Vakatakas and the rise of Yashodharman in Malwa.[39]

Military organization[edit]

Gold coin of Gupta era, depicting a Gupta king holding a bow.

The Imperial Guptas could have achieved their successes through force of arms with an efficient martial system. Historically, the best accounts of this come not from the Hindus themselves but from Chinese and Western observers. However, a contemporary Indian document, regarded as a military classic of the time, the Siva-Dhanur-veda, offers some insight into the military system of the Guptas.

The Guptas seem to have relied heavily on infantry archers, and the bow was one of the dominant weapons of their army. The Hindu version of the longbow was composed of metal, or more typically bamboo, and fired a long bamboo cane arrow with a metal head. Unlike the composite bows of Western and Central Asian foes, bows of this design would be less prone to warping in the damp and moist conditions often prevalent to the region. The Indian longbow was reputedly a powerful weapon capable of great range and penetration and provided an effective counter to invading horse archers. Iron shafts were used against armored elephants and fire arrows were also part of the bowmen's arsenal. India historically has had a prominent reputation for its steel weapons. One of these was the steel bow. Due to its high tensility, the steel bow was capable of long range and penetration of exceptionally thick armor. These were less common weapons than the bamboo design and found in the hands of noblemen rather than in the ranks. Archers were frequently protected by infantry equipped with shields, javelins, and longswords.

The Guptas also had knowledge of siegecraft, catapults, and other sophisticated war machines.

The Guptas apparently showed little predilection for using horse archers, despite the fact these warriors were a main component in the ranks of their Scythian, Parthian, and Hepthalite (Huna) enemies. However, the Gupta armies were probably better disciplined. Able commanders like Samudragupta and Chandragupta II would have likely understood the need for combined armed tactics and proper logistical organization. Gupta military success likely stemmed from the concerted use of elephants, armored cavalry, and foot archers in tandem against both Hindu kingdoms and foreign armies invading from the Northwest. The Guptas also maintained a navy, allowing them to control regional waters.

The collapse of the Gupta Empire in the face of the Huna onslaught was due not directly to the inherent defects of the Gupta army, which after all had initially defeated these people under Skandagupta. More likely, internal dissolution sapped the ability of the Guptas to resist foreign invasion, as was simultaneously occurring in Western Europe and China.

During the reign of Chandragupta II, Gupta empire maintained a large army consisting of 500,000 infantry, 50,000 cavalry, 20,000 charioteers and 10,000 elephants along with a powerful navy with more than 1200 ships. Chandragupta II controlled the whole of the Indian subcontinent; the Gupta empire was the most powerful empire in the world during his reign, at a time when the Roman Empire in the west was in decline.

Gupta administration[edit]

A study of the epigraphical records of the Gupta empire shows that there was a hierarchy of administrative divisions from top to bottom. The empire was called by various names such as Rajya, Rashtra, Desha, Mandala, Prithvi and Avani. It was divided into 26 provinces, which were styled as Bhukti, Pradesha and Bhoga. Provinces were also divided into Vishayas and put under the control of the Vishayapatis. A Vishayapati administered the Vishaya with the help of the Adhikarana (council of representatives), which comprised four representatives: Nagarasreshesthi, Sarthavaha, Prathamakulika and Prathama Kayastha. A part of the Vishaya was called Vithi.[40] There were also trade links of Gupta business with the Roman empire.

Legacy of the Gupta Empire[edit]

Scholars of this period include Varahamihira and Aryabhata, who is believed to be the first to come up with the concept of zero, postulated the theory that the Earth moves round the Sun, and studied solar and lunar eclipses. Kalidasa, who was a great playwright, who wrote plays such as Shakuntala, which is said to have inspired Goethe, and marked the highest point of Sanskrit literature is also said to have belonged to this period. The famous Sushruta Samhita, which is a Sanskrit redaction text on all of the major concepts of ayurvedic medicine with innovative chapters on surgery, dates to the Gupta period.

Krishna and Radha playing chaturanga on an 8 × 8 Ashtāpada

Chess is said to have originated in this period,[41] where its early form in the 6th century was known as caturaṅga, which translates as "four divisions [of the military]" – infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry – represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, rook, and bishop, respectively. Doctors also invented several medical instruments, and even performed operations. The Indian numerals which were the first positional base 10 numeral systems in the world originated from Gupta India. The ancient Gupta text Kama Sutra is widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by the Indian scholar Vatsyayana. Aryabhata, a noted mathematician-astronomer of the Gupta period proposed that the earth is not flat, but is instead round and rotates about its own axis. He also discovered that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight. Instead of the prevailing cosmogony in which eclipses were caused by pseudo-planetary nodes Rahu and Ketu, he explained eclipses in terms of shadows cast by and falling on Earth.[citation needed] These and the other scientific discoveries made by Indians during this period about gravity[42] and the planets of the solar system spread throughout the world through trade.[citation needed]

Borobudur in Java, Indonesia. The building’s design in Gupta architecture reflects India's influence on the region.[43]

Art and Murals[edit]

Image of Vishnu, Gupta Period, National Museum, New Delhi

The Gupta period for the most part was relatively aniconic and inartistic until after the death of Skandagupta,[44] after which Indian artists created some of their finest works. Magnificent palaces and temples contained the highest quality sculpture and paintings. Classical forms of music and dance, created under the Guptas, are still practiced today all over Asia.

  • Wall paintings

There are more than 30 Buddhist shrines and monasteries in the Ajanta hills. The walls of many of these were decorated with colourful frescoes, or wall paintings. This was fashion that continued for hundreds of years. The paintings show scenes from the life of the Buddha, and other devotional subjects.

  • Cave shrines

Many of the Buddhist cave-shrines in western India were cut out of the cliffs - a task which must have taken years of labour with the simple tools the Guptas used. The cave-shrines are dark but beautifully decorated with sculptures and paintings.

Gupta dynasty rulers[edit]

The main branch of the Gupta dynasty ruled the Gupta Empire in India, from around 320 to 550. This dynasty was founded by Srigupta. The rulers are:

Timeline[edit]

  1. 320 : Chandragupta I founds the Gupta Empire.Chandragupta wins many battles against many northern emperors.
  2. 330-376 : Samudragupta expands the empire from the Indus River to the Bay of Bengal, and up into the northern mountains.
  3. 376-415 : Chandragupta II makes the empire secure, and encourages trade.
  4. 415-450 : Kalidas composes most of his poetry in the reign of Kumargupta(415-455).
  5. 450 : Empire begin to collapse under pressure from invading Huns.
  6. 554 : The Gupta dynasty ends when the last emperor Shashakgupta dies.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gupta Dynasty – MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. 
  2. ^ India – Historical Setting – The Classical Age – Gupta and Harsha. Historymedren.about.com (17 June 2010). Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  3. ^ GUPTA DYNASTY, GOLDEN AGE OF INDIA. nupam.com
  4. ^ Ancient India. The Age of the Guptas. wsu.edu
  5. ^ Gupta Empire in India, art in the Gupta empire, Indian history – India. Indianchild.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  6. ^ a b Raghu Vamsa v 4.60–75
  7. ^ Gupta dynasty (Indian dynasty). Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  8. ^ Mahajan, p. 540
  9. ^ Gupta dynasty: empire in 4th century. Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  10. ^ The Gupta Empire of India | Chandragupta I | Samudragupta. Historybits.com (11 September 2001). Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  11. ^ Trade | The Story of India – Photo Gallery. PBS. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  12. ^ Agarwal, Ashvini (1989). Rise and Fall of the Imperial Guptas, Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0592-5, pp.264–9
  13. ^ Nehra, R.K. Hinduism and Its Military Ethos. Lancer Publishers,2010. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  14. ^ a b Brannigan, Michael C. Striking a Balance: A Primer in Traditional Asian Values. Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  15. ^ Sharma, R.S. Early Medieval Indian Society: A Study in Feudalisation. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  16. ^ List of Altekar's publications in the Open Library.
  17. ^ http://www.banglapedia.org/HT/G_0243.htm
  18. ^ Agarwal, Ashvini (1989). Rise and Fall of the Imperial Guptas, Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0592-5, pp.84–7
  19. ^ Majumdar, p. 474
  20. ^ Smith, Vincent A. (1999). The Early History of India: From 600 B.C. to the Muhammadan Conquest. Atlantic. p. 289. ISBN 81-7156-618-9. 
  21. ^ Mahajan, p. 487
  22. ^ Agarwal, Ashvini (1989). Rise and Fall of the Imperial Guptas. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 153–9. ISBN 81-208-0592-5. 
  23. ^ Bajpai, K.D. (2004). Indian Numismatic Studies. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. pp. 120–1. ISBN 81-7017-035-4. 
  24. ^ "Hindu Art;Vishnu". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  25. ^ Raychaudhuri, p. 489
  26. ^ "The conquest is indicated by the issue of the new Gupta silver coinage modelled on the previous Saka coinage showing on observe the King's head, Greek script, and dates as on Saka coins" in Early history of Jammu region: pre-historic to 6th century A.D. by Raj Kumar p.511
  27. ^ "Evidence of the conquest of Saurastra during the reign of Chandragupta II is to be seen in his rare silver coins which are more directly imitated from those of the Western Satraps... they retain some traces of the old inscriptions in Greek characters, while on the reverse, they substitute the Gupta type (a peacock) for the chaitya with crescent and star." in Rapson "A catalogue of Indian coins in the British Museum. The Andhras etc...", p.cli
  28. ^ ata shrivikramadityo helya nirjitakhilah Mlechchana Kamboja. Yavanan neechan Hunan Sabarbran Tushara. Parsikaanshcha tayakatacharan vishrankhalan hatya bhrubhangamatreyanah bhuvo bharamavarayate (Brahata Katha, 10/1/285-86, Kshmendra).
  29. ^ Kathasritsagara 18.1.76–78
  30. ^ Cf:"In the story contained in Kathasarit-sagara, king Vikarmaditya is said to have destroyed all the barbarous tribes such as the Kambojas, Yavanas, Hunas, Tokharas and the, National Council of Teachers of English Committee on Recreational Reading – Sanskrit language.
  31. ^ Agarwal, Ashvini (1989). Rise and Fall of the Imperial Guptas, Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0592-5, pp.191–200
  32. ^ Prasanna Rao Bandela (1 January 2003). Coin splendour: a journey into the past. Abhinav Publications. pp. 112–. ISBN 978-81-7017-427-1. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  33. ^ "Evidence of the conquest of Saurastra during the reign of Chandragupta II is to be see n in his rare silver coins which are more directly imitated from those of the Western Satraps... they retain some traces of the old inscriptions in Greek characters, while on the reverse, they substitute the Gupta type (a peacock) for the chaitya wit crescent and star." in Rapson "A catalogue of Indian coins in the British Museum. The Andhras etc...", p.cli
  34. ^ Raychaudhuri, p. 510
  35. ^ Raychaudhuri, p. 516
  36. ^ Ancient Indian History and Civilization by Sailendra Nath Sen p.220
  37. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates by S. B. Bhattacherje p.A15
  38. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia
  39. ^ Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. New Delhi: Pearson Education. p. 480. ISBN 978-81-317-1677-9. 
  40. ^ Mahajan, pp. 530–1
  41. ^ Murray, H.J.R. (1913). A History of Chess. Benjamin Press (originally published by Oxford University Press). ISBN 0-936317-01-9. OCLC 13472872. 
  42. ^ Thomas Khoshy, Elementary Number Theory with Applications, Academic Press, 2002, p. 567. ISBN 0-12-421171-2.
  43. ^ "Wonderful Indonesia - Borobudur: A Wonder of Indonesia History". Indonesia.travel. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  44. ^ Verardi, Giovanni (2011). The Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India. New Delhi: Manohar. p. 131. 

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Andrea Berens Karls & Mounir A. Farah. World History The Human Experience.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kanva dynasty
Magadha dynasties
AD 240–550
Succeeded by
possibly Pala dynasty
Middle kingdoms of India
Timeline and

cultural period

Northwestern India

(Punjab-Sapta Sindhu)

Indo-Gangetic Plain Central India Southern India
Western Gangetic Plain

(Kuru-Panchala)

Northern India

(Central Gangetic Plain)

Northeastern India

(Northeast India)

IRON AGE
Culture Late Vedic Period Late Vedic Period

(Brahmin ideology)[a]

Painted Grey Ware culture

Late Vedic Period

(Kshatriya/Shramanic culture)[b]

Northern Black Polished Ware

Pre-history
 6th century BC Gandhara Kuru-Panchala Magadha Adivasi (tribes)
Culture Persian-Greek influences "Second Urbanisation"

Rise of Shramana movements
Jainism - Buddhism - Ājīvika - Yoga

Pre-history
 5th century BC (Persian rule) Shishunaga dynasty Adivasi (tribes)
 4th century BC (Greek conquests)

Nanda empire
Kalinga

HISTORICAL AGE
Culture Spread of Buddhism Pre-history Sangam period
(300 BC – AD 200)
 3rd century BC Maurya Empire Early Cholas

Early Pandyan Kingdom

Satavahana dynasty

Cheras

46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

Culture Preclassical Hinduism[c] - "Hindu Synthesis"[d] (ca. 200 BC - AD300)[e][f]
Epics - Puranas - Ramayana - Mahabharata - Bhagavad Gita - Brahma Sutras - Smarta Tradition
Mahayana Buddhism
Sangam period

(continued)
(300 BC – AD 200)

 2nd century BC Indo-Greek Kingdom Sunga Empire Adivasi (tribes) Early Cholas

Early Pandyan Kingdom

Satavahana dynasty

Cheras

46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

 1st century BC Yona Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty
 1st century AD

Indo-Scythians
Indo-Parthians

Kuninda Kingdom
 2nd century Pahlava Varman dynasty
 3rd century Kushan Empire Western Satraps Kamarupa kingdom Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture "Golden Age of Hinduism"(ca. AD 320-650)[g]
Puranas
Co-existence of Hinduism and Buddhism
 4th century Gupta Empire Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Kadamba Dynasty

Western Ganga Dynasty

 5th century Maitraka Adivasi (tribes) Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Vishnukundina

 6th century Kalabhras dynasty

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture Late-Classical Hinduism (ca. AD 650-1100)[h]
Advaita Vedanta - Tantra
Decline of Buddhism in India
 7th century Indo-Sassanids Vakataka dynasty, Harsha Mlechchha dynasty Adivasi (tribes) Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Pandyan Kingdom(Revival)

Pallava

 8th century Kidarite Kingdom Pandyan Kingdom

Kalachuri

 9th century Indo-Hephthalites (Huna) Gurjara-Pratihara Pandyan Kingdom

Medieval Cholas

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas)

Chalukya

Chera Perumals of Makkotai

10th century Pala dynasty

Kamboja-Pala dynasty

Medieval Cholas

Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas)

Chera Perumals of Makkotai

Rashtrakuta