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From CE, the Gupta Empire assimilated neighboring kingdoms, through conquest or political alliances. Gupta rule, while solidified by territorial expansion through war, began a period of peace and prosperity marked by advancements in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectics, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy. The Gupta Empire was believed to be a dynasty of the Vaishya caste, the third of the four Hindu castes representing merchants and farmers.
Founded by Sri Gupta c. Historians believe Sri Gupta and his son may have been Kushan vassals, or rulers who swore allegiance to the Kushan Empire.
Chandragupta married princess Kumaradevi from the Kingdom of Magadha, which was one of the Mahajanapadas or great countries of ancient India during the 4th century CE. With a dowry and political alliance from the marriage, Chandragupta conquered or assimilated the kingdoms of Magadha, Prayaga, and Saketa. Hindus believe the god Brahma offered his first sacrifice after creating the world at Prayag.
Samudragupta succeeded his father, Chandragupta I, in CE, and ruled for about 45 years. He conquered the kingdoms of Ahichchhatra and Padmavati early in his reign, then attacked neighboring tribes, including the Malwas, Yaudheyas, Arjunayanas, Maduras, and Abhiras. By his death in CE, Samudragupta had incorporated over 20 kingdoms into his realm, and extended the Gupta Empire from the Himalayas to the Narmada River in central India, and from the Brahmaputra River that cuts through four modern Asian nations to the Yamuna— the longest tributary of the Ganges River in northern India.
To celebrate his conquest, Samudragupta performed the royal Vedic ritual of Ashwamedha , or horse sacrifice. However, his eldest son, Ramagupta, may have been his immediate successor until he was dethroned by Chandragupta II in CE. After gaining power, Chandragupta II expanded the Gupta Empire through conquest and political marriages until the end of his reign in CE. By CE, his control over India extended coast-to-coast. At the high point of his rule, Chandragupta II established a second capital at Ujjain, the largest city in the modern state of Madhya Pradesh in central India.
Ujjain, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River, remained an important political, commercial, and cultural hub through the early 19th century. Vikramaditya is the name of an emperor of ancient Indian legend, characterized as the ideal king known for generosity, courage, and as a patron of scholars.
A number of historians believe that some of these legends are based on Chandragupta II, who is thought to have adopted the title of Vikramaditya. In the legends, Vikramaditya is said to have thwarted an invasion by the Saka, a group of eastern Iranian nomadic tribes, also known as Scythians, and gained the title of Sakari, or Enemy of the Saka.
Chandragupta II conquered the western Indian region of Malwa after defeating the Western Kshatrapas, a branch of the Sakas, as well as expelling the Kushana Empire from the northern Indian city state Mathura. These victories were likely transposed onto the legendary character of Vikramaditya. Chandragupta II issued gold coin types introduced by his father, Samudragupta, but also introduced several new types of coins, differentiated by the designs on the face of each coin line, such as the Archer or the Tiger-Slayer.
He was also the first Gupta king to issue silver coins. One of the most curious structures in Delhi, India an iron pillar dating back to the 4th century CE bears an inscription stating that it was erected as a flagstaff in honor of the Hindu god Vishnu, and in memory of Chandragupta II. Despite the expansion of the Gupta Empire through war, there were numerous examples of cultural sophistication during the Gupta era, with architecture, sculptures and paintings surviving as reminders of the creativity of the time.
Under Gupta rule, a number of notable scholars thrived, including Kalidasa, considered the greatest poet and dramatist of the Sanskrit language; Aryabhata, the first of the Indian mathematician-astronomers who worked on the approximation for Pi ; Vishnu Sharma, thought to be the author of the Panchatantra fables, one of the most widely-translated, non-religious books in history; and the Hindu philosopher Vatsyayana, author of the Kama Sutra. The prosperity of the Gupta Empire produced a golden age of cultural and scientific advancements.
The prosperity created under the leadership of the Gupta Empire, which covered much of the Indian subcontinent from approximately CE, enabled the wide pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. This period became known as the Golden Age of India because it was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy.
These discoveries crystallized elements of what is generally considered Hindu culture. Although Chandragupta I and his son, Samudragupta, were prominent rulers, the reign of Chandragupta II included the greatest promotion of science, art, philosophy, and religion by the government. These scholars included Aryabhata, who is believed to have envisioned the concept of zero, as well as working on the approximation for the long-form number Pi.
Aryabhata is also believed to be the first of the Indian mathematician-astronomers who postulated the theory that the Earth moves round the Sun and is not flat, but instead is round and rotates on its own axis. He also may have discovered that the moon and planets shine due to reflected sunlight. Varahamihira was an astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician, whose main work is a treatise on mathematical astronomy. Sushruta, a famed Indian physician of the Gupta period, wrote the Samhita , a Sanskrit text on all of the major concepts of ayurvedic medicine, with innovative chapters on surgery.
Other scholars of the Golden Age helped create the first Indian numeral systems with a base of ten. The game of chess also likely originated during this period, where its early form, Chaturanga , contained game pieces for infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots, each of which would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, rook, and bishop, respectively. Krishna and Radha playing Chaturanga: Scholars during the reign of Chandragupta II contributed many scientific advancements in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.
Kalidasa, considered the greatest poet and dramatist of the Sanskrit language, also belonged primarily to this period. He wrote plays, such as Shakuntala , which is said to have inspired the famed German writer and statesman, Johann von Goethe, centuries later. Kalidasa also became renowned for his study of the shringara , or romantic, element of literature. The Indian scholar and Hindu philosopher Vatsyayana, authored the Kama Sutra , which became a standard work on human sexual behavior, while Vishnu Sharma was thought to be the author of the Panchatantra fables, one of the most widely-translated, non-religious books in history.
The cultural creativity of the Golden Age of India produced magnificent architecture, including palaces and temples, as well as sculptures and paintings of the highest quality. The walls of Buddhist shrines and monasteries were decorated with colorful frescoes, a type of wall paintings. These showed scenes from the life of the Buddha, the ascetic and philosopher, who lived in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between 6th and 4th centuries, on whose teachings the Buddhist religion is based.
Some shrines were cut out of the cliffs, and although dark, they were also decorated with sculptures and paintings. The Dashavatara Temple: The Golden Age of India produced many temples, decorated with various sculptures and paintings, such as the Dashavatara Temple, also known as the Vishnu Temple, in central India. Gupta Buddhist art influenced East and Southeast Asia as trade between regions increased. The Gupta Empire became an important cultural center and influenced nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.
Classical forms of Indian music and dance, created under the Guptas, are still practiced all over Asia today. He recorded all of his observations in a journal that was eventually published. During his stay in India, until c.
His writings express pleasure in the mildness of the administrations in these places. After many years of dominance, the Gupta Empire collapsed in CE, due to invasions and weak leadership of successive rulers.
The Gupta Empire flourished, in military and territorial conquests as well as cultural and scholastic advancements, during the reign of Emperor Chandragupta II.
Yet the succeeding rulers, beginning with Kumaragupta I and then Skandagupta, oversaw the eventual end of the Gupta Empire through military defeats, devalued money and withering leadership. The late years of his reign, however, faced difficulties. The Pushyamitras, a tribe of central India, rose up in rebellion against Kumaragupta, while Gupta territories were invaded by the Western Huna people, also known as White Huns.
Kumaragupta defeated both groups and celebrated his victory by performing the royal Vedic ritual of Ashwamedha, or horse sacrifice, which had previously been performed by his grandfather, Emperor Samudragupta, to celebrate his own great military victories. As his grandfather and father did before him, Kumaragupta also issued news coins to mark his reign. They were stamped with images of his namesake god, Lord Kumara, regarded by Hindus as Regent of Earth. He is considered the last of the great Gupta rulers prior to the collapse of the empire.
The value of the coinage issued under Skandagupta becoming severely reduced. The White Huns, those who invaded the Gupta Empire during the reign of Kumaragupta, were also known as the Hephthalites, and caused great damage to the failing Gupta Empire. Skandagupta died in CE, and was followed onto the throne by his half-brother, Purugupta, who ruled from CE.
Thereafter came a succession of weak kings, beginning with Kumaragupta II from CE, followed by Budhagupta, the son of Purugupta. The Hephthalites broke through the Gupta military defenses in the northwest in the s, during the reign of Budhagupta, and by CE much of the empire in northwest was overrun by the Huna.
Search for:. The Gupta Empire. Learning Objectives Explain the factors that contributed to the rise of the Gupta Empire. Key Takeaways Key Points Prosperity in the Gupta Empire initiated a period known as the Golden Age of India, marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy.
He recorded all of his observations in a journal that was later published. Key Terms Golden Age of India : A period at the height of the Gupta Empire, marked by extensive inventions and discoveries that contributed to Hindu culture, in subjects such as science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy.
Fa Xian : A Chinese traveler who recorded detailed observations about his experience in the Gupta Empire in his journal. It was later published. Navartna : Also called the Nine Jewels; a group of nine scholars in the court of Chandragupta II who contributed many advancements in their academic fields. Learning Objectives Understand the decline of the Gupta Empire. The Huna People, also known as Huns, invaded Gupta territory and caused significant damage to the empire.
The Gupta Empire ended in CE, when it disintegrated into regional kingdoms after a series of weak rulers and invasions from the east, west, and north. Huna : A Central Asian Xionite tribe that consisted of four hordes that repeatedly invaded Gupta territory, and helped cause the downfall of the Gupta Empire. Licenses and Attributions. CC licensed content, Shared previously.
Books for UPSC Civil Service Main Exam Preparation
UPSC Mains exams preparation requires a few more books than prelims preparation. Below is the best book list for UPSC mains that every aspirant must checkout. Hopefully, this article will help you find the best books for UPSC mains and will surely take you one step ahead with your CSE preparation journey. Do share your thoughts in the comment section below and also let us know if you would like us to share more informative content like this. Best of luck! This list has helped me a lot. My main confusion was to find the best books among the number of books available.
study of the medieval translation of the famous authors of ancient Greece and Rome. They Jain & Mathur, A History of the modern world A.D.. 6.
Indian History Chronology: Ancient India to Modern India – Learn faster!
These books are suggested by toppers of previous year. Detailed scheme for Mains exam will be available after Prelims exam. Harshal Choudhary has suggestated this book list for English and Hindi Medium aspirants. This book list is referred by Miss Sampada Saraf Rank 1, This will help both Hindi as well as English medium students.
From CE, the Gupta Empire assimilated neighboring kingdoms, through conquest or political alliances.