Gupta Empire

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Definition

The Gupta Empire stretched across northern, central and parts of southern India between c. 320 and 550 CE. The period is noted for its achievements in the arts, architecture, sciences, religion, and philosophy. Chandragupta I (320 – 335 CE) started a rapid expansion of the Gupta Empire and soon established himself as the first sovereign ruler of the empire. It marked the end of 500 hundred years of domination of the provincial powers and resulting disquiet that began with the fall of the Mauryas. Even more importantly, it began a period of overall prosperity and growth that continued for the next two and half centuries which came to be known as a “Golden Age” in India's history. But the seed of the empire was sown at least two generations earlier than this when Srigupta, then only a regional monarch, set off the glory days of this mighty dynasty in circa 240 CE.

More about: Gupta Empire

Timeline

  • c. 200 BCE - c. 600 CE
    Construction of the 30 Buddhist cave-shrines at Ajanta, many of which display features of Gupta architecture.
  • c. 320 CE - c. 550 CE
    Gupta period, considered a golden age of ancient India in art and architecture.
  • 320 CE
    Gupta I founds the Gupta Empire in northern India
  • c. 335 CE - c. 380 CE
    Regarded as the "Indian Napoleon", the Gupta emperor Samudragupta, ruling from Magadha, subdues kings in nearly all corners of India and annexes kingdoms adjacent to Magadha.
  • 380 CE - 415 CE
    Reign of Chandra Gupta II in northern India.
  • 395 CE - 400 CE
    The Gupta emperor Chandragupta II Vikramaditya defeats Shakas and thereby gains access to the commercially important seaports on the western coast.
  • 401 CE
    The earliest inscribed date in the Gupta-era cave-shrines at Udayagiri.
  • 455 CE - 457 CE
    The Gupta emperor Skandagupta Kramaditya defeats the Huns.
  • c. 480 CE - c. 500 CE
    The Gupta-era Hindu temple at Bhitargaon is built.
  • 484 CE - 510 CE
    The Huns conquer western and central India and fight a battle with the Guptas. The Gupta general Goparaja dies in the encounter.
  • c. 550 CE
    The end of the reign of Visnugupta Chandraditya, last of the Gupta rulers in northern India.
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