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Remembering The Impact Of The Gupta Dynasty

During the Golden era of India between the 3rd century and 6th century CE the Gupta Dynasty controlled the enormous area that covers Northern India. After the destruction of the Kushan Empire due to years of political corruption and imbalance led to Maharaja Sri Gupta, a pre-imperial king from 240 to 280, forming what was known as the Gupta Dynasty. They are very similar to other civilizations such as the Roman Empire, Greeks, and the Han Dynasty. The Gupta Dynasty excelled in many areas including astronomy, religion, philosophy, science and an economic and political system that was way ahead of its time. The advancements in the Gupta Empire have led to the enrichment of India culture that’s presence is still felt today.

The Gupta age is often referred to as the Hindu renaissance and the men and women who contributed to art, music, architecture, and painting was at its peak during their rule of Northern India almost 2000 years ago. Although much controversy revolves around the origin of the Gupta’s, the one thing that is certain is their contribution to the Indian empire as a whole. Chandragupta I, the third ruler of the Gupta Dynasty, is credited for joining the Gupta’s with the Lichhavi clan and becoming king of Pataliputra, the modern city known as Patna. This is the essence of how well the Gupta Dynasty was ruled during this critical period in Indian history.

Political chaos that engulfed Northern India was put to rest with the rise of the Gupta Empire. Allegiances that were formed with the Kshatriyas gave the Guptas complete sovereignty over the entire Northern India area. They checked the infiltration of foreign tribes like Sakas and Hunas and established political stability. Economic stability followed and led to cultural expansion that defined this great dynasty as one of the most illustrious in Indian history.

The advanced method of their politics is still looked at in wonder today and the Guptas were able to provide great political unity in their time of power. Known as great administrators, the empire was divided into provinces that were under control of governors that were a part of the royal family. These provinces were broken down into Vishayas to assumer better command of the lands they occupied.

Vishnu was their primary religion but the Guptas were not put off by other traditions, beliefs, or cultures and it is noted that the Gupta Empire adopted political systems and structure from the Chinese. This of course is speculation since there is still much controversy that surrounds this pivotal time in Indian culture. The advancements in society and law that were put into practice are something that will have people studying this great empire for years to come. With the study of Sanskrit, coins, monuments, and inscriptions people are learning more about them now than ever before.

The affects of the Guptas goes well beyond the borders of the Eastern world. The path they paved is one of great scientific discoveries and cultural activities. They would lead the way for following dynasties to build on what the Guptas had already discovered and accomplished. Although they did not know it then, the Gupta rulers liberal point of view and acceptance of all things foreign helped them to take great strides and paint a picture of what the future could bring.

Of course, all great things must come to an end and with the rulers of Gupta becoming weaker as time progressed and the military pressure that was unleashed upon the empire could only be maintained for so long. In the middle of the 6th century the Guptas were attacked by the Hunas (not to be confused with the Huns) and proceeded to conquer much of the Eastern world including present day Iran and Pakistan. The Hunas, or Alxon raids on the Gupta Empire were repelled for some time however, the internal collapse of the Gupta rulers due to political corruption and constant invasions from the Hunas was too much for this great dynasty to keep its power in tact. Through Gupta inscriptions it looks as though the Gupta rulers, even though their power dwindled to nothing, were able to repel these invasions for some time before the their ultimate demise in the late 6th century.

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