The founder of the Gupta dynasty was Sri Gupta. He was succeeded by Ghatokacha.
These two were called Maharajas.
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Chandragupta I (320-330 A.D.):
Was the first independent ruler & called himself ‘Maharajadhiraja‘ (the great king of kings).
Married the Lichchavi Princess, Kumaradevi, which was politically very strategic for Gupta empire.
He is considered to be the founder of the Gupta era which starts with his accession in A.D. 320.
Samudragupta (330-380 A.D.):
Title – Vikramanka. Also called Dharma Prachar Bandhu ; Licchavi-dauhitra.
An inscription engraved on the Ashokan Pillar at Allahabad dating to 4th century A.D., known as the Allahabad Pillar Inscription or Prayaga Prashasti (composed by his court poet, Harisena) , gives us information about Samudragupta’s accession & conquests.
Performed Asvamedha sacrifice after his military victories.
Because of his military achievements, Samudragupta was hailed as “Indian Napoleon” by V.A.Smith.
Virasena– was his commander in Southern Campaign.
Samudragupta’s issued eight types of Gold coins. They were of Yupa type.
Shown playing the lute or Veena on some of his coins.
Also called Kaviraja because of his ability in composing verses.
Samudragupta wrote Krishna Charitam.
He was an ardent follower of Vaishnavism but was tolerant of other creeds.
He evinced keen interest in Buddhism & was the patron of the great Buddhist scholar Vasubandu (author of Abhidharamakosa).
He granted permission to the Buddhist king of Ceylon, Meghavarman to build a monastry at Bodh Gaya & was hence given the title of “Anukamparan” (Full of Compassion).
Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya, 380-415 A.D.):
Disputed succession followed him between his sons, Ramagupta & Chandragupta II according to a drama, Devichandraguptam by Visakhadatta.
Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription (belongs to Chandragupta II; Brahmi script ; in honour of vishnu) claims his authority over North-western India & a good portion of Bengal.
Fa-Hien (Chinese Pilgrim) travelled during his period.
First Gupta ruler to issue Silver coins.
He defeated the last saka ruler Rudra Simha III & annexed territories of Western Malwa & Gujarat.
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