The Age of the Guptas

•    Literary sources on Gupta Empire include Allahabad Pillar Inscription, or Allahabad Prashasti, written in Sanskrit by Harisena, his court poet, as well as accounts of Fa-Hien, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim who visited India during Gupta period.
•    Samudragupta, successor of Chandragupta I, considerably enlarged his kingdom in all directions. Many kingdoms paid him tribute and accepted his suzerainty. Due to his conquests, he is known as the ‘Napoleon of India.’ A devout but tolerant Hindu, he was also well-versed in poetry and music.
•    Under Samudragupta’s successor, Chandragupta II, also known as Vikramaditya, expansion of Kingdom continued through conquests and matrimonial alliances. Under him, political expansion and prosperity reached their zenith. Archaeological Sources on him include Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription.
•    Gupta administration was headed by the king, who claimed divinity. The rulers, who assumed many titles, enjoyed several powers. They also led armies, and appointed governors and officers, with whom they shared power.
•    Gupta rulers were assisted by a council of ministers (Mantri-Parishad). Many portfolios were held by different ministers. Provincial administration was headed by governors, known by different names, were assisted by Kumaramatyas.
•    A district was governed by a Vishyapati, who was assisted by village elders (Mahattars). Gramikas headed village administration. City administration was headed by a Nagara-Rakshaka or Purapala.
•    Gupta army comprised cavalry, archers with fire arrows, infantry with iron shafts, breastplates and helmets; and siege weapons. Coasts were guarded by the navy.
•    Famous Universities of Gupta period include Nalanda University, Taxila University, Vikramshila and Vallabi Universities. Technical and Scientific Treatises were written by scholars like Aryabhatta. Evidence of Gupta literature is known through Kalidasa and his works.
•    Architecture of this period is known through Gupta temples at Deogarh and Bhitargaon. Dasavatara temple, situated at Deogarh, is the best example of Nagara architecture.

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  • Q1

    Aryabhata, the astronomer, adorned the court of:

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Chandragupta II

    Explanation:

    Aryabhata was an Indian astronomer and mathematician of the 5th century A.D. He lived and worked in Kusumapura, near present-day Patna, in Bihar. He was born in 476 A.D. in Kerala. He was also a great mathematician. He wrote the treatise - Aryabhatyam.

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  • Q2

    Kalidasa, the famous poet was patronised by:

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Chandragupta II

    Explanation:

    Kalidasa, literally meaning 'servant of goddess Kali', was a renowned poet and a dramatist of ancient India. He lived during the reign of Chandragupta II. He had written many books like Malavikagnimitra, Ritusamhara, etc.

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  • Q3

    The Allahabad Prashasti was composed by

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Harishena.

    Explanation:
    The Allahabad Pillar inscription or Allahabad Prashasti is an important epigraphic evidence of the Guptas. It was composed by Harishena. Allahabad Pillar inscription outlines the reign of the Guptas in ancient India. Achievements of different rulers of the Gupta lineage are also mentioned in the inscription. Harishena, who composed the Allahabad Prashasti, was the court poet and minister of Samudragupta.
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  • Q4

    The early Gupta gold and silver coins were based on the coins of the

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Kushanas.

    Explanation:
    A lot of useful information for the history of the Guptas is to be found in the coins of the Guptas.The early gold coins of the Guptas closely resemble the coins of the later Kushanas.
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  • Q5

    The mother of the greatest Gupta emperor Samudragupta’s mother was

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Kumara Devi

    Explanation:

    Chandragupta I, father of Samudragupta married the Lichchhavi princess Kumaradevi. This event was of considerable importance. By means of his matrimonial alliance, Chandragupta I sought to gain in prestige as the Lichchhavis were masters of Pataliputra. 

     

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