Samudra Gupta was the second Mauryan dynasty ruler of ancient India, the son of the king Chandragupta Maurya. He had his authority from about 330 until 380 CE. The epitome of an “ideal king” of the “golden age of Hindu history” has dubbed him one of the greatest leaders in India’s history since the Guptas era (320-510 CE) was frequently referred to. As a son of Emperor Chandragupta I of the Gupta and Princess Kumaradevi of Lichchhav, he extended the political authority of his family. He is portrayed as a strong warrior, poet, and musician who showed “hundreds of wounds acquired during combat.” He embodied the Indian idea of the hero in many respects.
There is little information known regarding Samudra Gupta’s life, although certain inscriptions do provide information about him. He is well renowned for his gold coins and inscriptions. He was married to Dattadevi.
According to inscriptions on gold coins and the Ashoka pillar in Allahabad’s fort, Samudra Gupta was particularly dedicated to the Hindu deity Vishnu. He resurrected the old Vedic horse sacrifice, most likely towards the end of his combat career, and used the occasion to give huge amounts for philanthropic reasons. He celebrated this event with a unique gold coin, while another depicted him playing the harp; all were of high gold content and superb craftsmanship.
Samudragupta (r. 319–335 CE) succeeded his father Chandragupta I. According to some historians, he preced Kachagupta or Kacha, Chandragupta I’s oldest son. Kacha’s identity is unknown, since just a few coins carry his name unearth, and no proof of his reign uncoverso far. Chandragupta I’s nomination of Samudragupta to the kingship demonstrates that he wasn’t indeed his oldest son. Thus, historians may be justified in asserting that Kacha was the oldest son who succeeded his father in accordance with the ancient Indian tradition of male primogeniture (regardless of his father’s views on the subject). Thus, Chandragupta was able to designate his youngest son on the basis of his skills but was unable to crown him king.
It is unknown if Samudragupta resisted him or whether Kachagupta’s demise natural and he replace by his brother due to his lack of heirs. There is no evidence known on why Samudragupta oppos Kachagupta, assuming he did so at all. What is known is that he eventually succee in claiming the throne.
Samudra Gupta appoint king above other candidates by his father due to his “devotion, virtuous behavior, and bravery.”
According to the Allahabad Pillar inscription, when Chandragupta designated him as the future king, other individuals of “equal birth” had a “melancholy expression” on their faces. According to one view, these other individuals were likely nearby rulers, and Samudagupta’s accession to the throne was unopposed.
As a result, he reportedly had to suppress revolts during his early years in power. After appeasing the kingdom, which presumably extended from what is now Allahabad to the Bengali border, he launched a series of expansionist battles from his northern stronghold in what is now Delhi. He conquered King Vishnugopa in the southern Pallava kingdom of Kanchipuram and then returned him and other defeated southern monarchs to their thrones in exchange for tribute.
However, many northern rulers depos and their domains annexed by the Gupta empire. At the height of his authority, Samudra Gupta ruled almost the whole Ganges (Ganga) River valley and received respect from the kings of eastern Bengal, Assam, Nepal, the eastern portion of Punjab, and different tribes of Rajasthan. In his expeditions, he assassinated nine kings and subdued twelve others.
Samudragupta is most renowned for his extensive military operations. Vincent Smith (1848 – 1920 CE), a British historian, was the first to refer to him as ‘the Indian Napoleon’. His many victories are referenc in the Allahabad pillar inscription, which w writte a senior official called Harishena, who also an accomplish author and poet. This inscription is the primary source for information on Samudragupta’s wars and conquests and therefore is considercritical for understanding Samudragupta’s reign.
Samudragupta’s methods of annihilation not limited to violence. He made the rulers of central India’s forest kingdoms (atavika rajya) his slaves. For several other monarchs, paying tribute and respect to the Gupta emperor was sufficient. The facts are includin Line 22 of the Allahabad inscription. These rulers ruled over the regions of Samatata (modern-day Bengal), Devaka and Kamarupa (modern-day Assam), Nepala (modern-day Nepal), and Kartripura (parts of present-day Punjab and Uttarakhand states).
Samudragupta seized (and subsequently freed) the following rulers of Dakshinapatha, the southern area, according to the Allahabad Pillar inscription:
- Mahendra of Kosala
- Vyaghra-raja of Mahakantara
- Mantaraja of Kurala
- Mahendragiri of Pishtapura
- Svamidatta of Kottura
- Damana of Erandapalla
- Vishnugopa of Kanchi
- Nilaraja of Avamukta
- Hastivarman of Vengi
- Ugrasena of Palakka
- Kubera of Devarashtra
- Dhananjaya of Kusthalapura
Samudragupta appears to have inherited an empire that included Magadha and the adjacent areas of modern-day Uttar Pradesh and Bengal. In the north, this empire’s borders extended all the way to the Himalayan foothills. His annexation of the territories of several defeated kings resulted in the expansion of the Gupta Empire’s borders. Thus, the Ganga-Yamuna valley annex the Gupta Empire, which included the cities of Mathura in the east and Padmavati in the west.
The majority of northern India, with the exception of Kashmir, western Punjab, the majority of Rajasthan, Sindh, and Gujarat became part of his empire, which expanded to include the central Indian highlands and a large portion of the eastern coast. The Gupta Empire’s borders surround by kingdoms that submitted to Gupta rule and acknowledged its primacy. Sri Lanka’s king, as well as the Kushana and Scythian kings, recognized his suzerainty. While the kings of southern India are not directly or indirectly part of the empire, the humble (or cowed) military conquests and thus perceive them as not posing any threat to the empire’s peace and prosperity.
Many facts make accessible about Samudragupta, both as a monarch and as a person, via his gold coins. His coins portray him as a warrior and as a peace-loving artist, with the appropriate titles. They are classified by the item or weapon that the emperor has, i.e., a war axis, vina or bow, or the animal that appears on the coin, that is to say, a tiger.
The reigning monarch’s different titles have become recognized through the coins. Thus, parakramanka (‘prowess-marked’) is found on the other side of the coins of the standard type, apratiratha (‘unparallel charia warrior’ or ‘great warrior’) at the type of archer, kitantiparashu (‘death axis’) at the battle axis and viagra-parikrama (‘like a strong tiger’) at the type of coins of the tiger. He is also shown as haveperform the sacrifice of the Ashvamedha that ancient Indian rulers customarily carrieout to demonstrate their abilities and conquests and therefore their superiority over other kings.
Samudra Gupta and his descendants are still unsure about their caste status. It is nevertheless fair to believe that the Guptas maintained caste differences and that they were responsible for the development of Brahmanism as a religious system and also for the code of social conduct.
He is said to die around CE 375. In the proof of the coins, his son, Ramagupta, replaced him; he, being weaker and corrupt, la off (and maybe murder) brother, renown for Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (before 381 CE- 413-14 CE). Samudra Gupta became a successful king and conqueror and was the next well-known ruler of the dynasty with numerous accomplishments. He continued to carry out Samudragupta’s legacy; not only he but also the Gupta Empire itself owed much to Samudragupta’s efforts in the creation and support of a vast empire that settled down for itself in history.