Who were the greatest rulers of the Gupta dynasty?

       The Gupta Empire was one of the largest political and military empires in the ancient world. It was ruled by members of the Gupta dynasty from around AD 320 to 600.

       The Gupta dynasty, which followed the Kushana dynasty, ruled an empire that covered most of northern India, the region presently in Pakistan, and what is now western India and Bangladesh. The dynasty was established by Sri Gupta. However, very little is known about the first two rulers, Sri Gupta and Ghatotkacha. The most famous Gupta rulers were Chandragupta I, Samudragupta, and Chandragupta II or Vikramaditya.

       Chandragupta I conquered much of Magadha, Prayaga and Saketa. His empire stretched from the river Ganges to Allahabad. He was the first of the Guptas to be referred to as ‘Maharajadhiraja’ or ‘King of Kings’, which was indeed a high and mighty title. Samudragupta expanded the empire until it extended from the Himalayas to the river Narmada and from the Brahmaputra to the Yamuna.

        Samudragupta was not only a great warrior, but also a great patron of art and literature. He was a poet and musician himself. He was a firm believer in Hinduism, but was considerate of other religions, and allowed Sri Lanka’s Buddhist king to build a monastery at Bodh Gaya.

       Chandragupta II called himself Vikramaditya. He extended his empire from coast-to-coast, and established a second trading capital at Ujjain. His reign is remembered for its very influential style of Hindu art, literature, culture and science. The last two Gupta rulers were Kumaragupta and Skandagupta.

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