Timeline Description: The Gupta Empire (320 - 550) was an ancient Indian empire that was responsible for the Indian Golden Age, an era of peace in which great advances were made in science and artistic pursuits. Hindu culture also started to take form during this period.
|320||Chandragupta I takes power.
Chandragupta I ascends to the throne of the northern Gupta territories. He makes a beneficial marriage to Kumaradevi, the princess of the rich ruling family in Magadha. The resulting wealth and political advantage allows him to start conquering the small Indian kingdoms, and he eventually spreads his rule from the Ganges River to Prayaga (modern-day Allahabad). He assumes the imperial title, Maharajadhiraja (king of kings).
|335||Samudragupta succeeds as Gupta ruler.
Samudragupta, Chandragupta's son, succeeds his father and rules for about forty-five years. He expands the borders of the empire by conquering over twenty kingdoms.
|337||Faxian is born.
Faxian, a famed Chinese scholar, is born. He goes on to record and publish many of the intellectual advances of the Gupta period.
|380||Chandragupta II succeeds as the Gupta ruler.
Chandragupta II, one of Samudragupta's many sons, succeeds as Maharajadhiraja. He successfully begins a campaign to expand the empire westwards, but his reign is remembered primarily for the proliferation of art, literature, and science.
|380||Kalidasa produces his great work.(c. 380)
Kalidasa, revered as the greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist, releases his work as a part of Chandragupta's court.
|395||Rudrasimha III is defeated.
Chandragupta II's main opponent, Rudrasimha III, is defeated, which destroys his main opposition. His control now extends from coast to coast of the Indian subcontinent. This is the high point of the empire.
|415||Kumaragupta I succeeds as the Gupta ruler.
Kumaragupta I, Chandragupta II's second son, assumes power after his father. Towards the end of his reign, a regional tribe called the Pushyamitras rise in power and threaten his rule.
|455||Skandagupta succeeds as Gupta ruler.
Skandagupta, son of Kumaragupta, succeeds his father as ruler of the Gupta empire, and is considered the last of the great Gupta rulers. He defeats the Pushyamitras but is then threatened by the Huna, also known as the White Huns.
|455||Skandagupta defeats the Huna.
After assuming power, Skandagupta quickly crushes the Huna invasion, but this drains the Gupta resources and contributes to the empire's decline. In particular, the coinage minted under Skandagupta quickly loses value after the invasion.
|467||Purugupta succeeds as Gupta ruler.
Skandagupta dies and is succeeded by his brother, Purugupta. This begins a line of weak rulers who are threatened and attacked by outside forces, and much of the empire is overrun by the Hun.
|476||Aryabhata is born.
Aryabhata, one of the greatest mathematician-astronomers of the Indian classical age, is born. He goes on to publish major works, including the Aryabhatiya, a compendium that covers arithmetic, algebra, and trigonometry.
|500||The Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh is built.(c. 500)
Construction begins on the Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh, which famously represents the ornate Gupta style of architecture. It is one of the earliest-built Hindu temples still standing today.
|510||Bhanugupta repels the Hun invasion.
Despite his weakened rule, Bhanugupta manages to repel the Hun invader Toramana.
|528||The Hun are driven out of India.
The Gupta emperor, Narasimhagupta, and the king from Malwa, Yashodharman, ally together and manage to drive the Hun out of India.
|550||The Gupta Empire ends.
The later succession of the Gupta rulers is unclear, but the last ruler, Vishnugupta, loses power in 550. In addition to the Hun invasion, competition from the Vakatakas and Yashodharmans contributes to the Gupta's decline.