In 4th century CE, Chandragupta I (320 – 335 CE) started rapid expansion of the Gupta Empire and soon established himself as the first sovereign ruler of the empire. It marked the end of five hundred years of domination of the provincial powers and resulting disquiet that began with the fall of the Mauryas. Even more importantly, it ensued a period of overall prosperity and growth that continued for the next two and half centuries and 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.
Gupta Period – Early Days to the Zenith
Not much is known about the early days of this Gupta Dynasty. The travel diaries and writings of Buddhist monks who frequented this part of the world are the only trustable sources of information we have about those days. The travelogues of Fa Hien (Faxian, circa 337 – 422 CE), Hiuen Tsang (Xuanzang, 602 – 664 CE) and Yijing (I Tsing, 635 – 713…show more content… His eldest son Ramagupta became next Gupta king. This was noted by 7th century Sanskrit author Banbhatta in his biographical work, Harshacharita. What followed next forms a part of Sanskrit poet and playwright Visakh Dutta’s drama Devi Chandra Guptam. As the story goes, Ramagupta was soon overcome by a Scythian king of Mathura. But the Scythian king, more than the kingdom itself was interested in Queen Dhruvadevi who was also a renowned scholar. To maintain peace Ramagupta gave up Dhruvadevi to his opponent. It is then Ramagupta’s younger brother Chandragupta II with a few of his close aides went to meet the enemy in disguise. He rescued Dhruvadevi and assassinated the Scythian king. Dhruvadevi publicly condemned her husband for his behaviour. Eventually, Ramagupta was killed by Chandragupta II who also married Dhruvadevi sometime