Why is Samudragupta famous? (Ruler of the Gupta Dynasty)

Why is Samudragupta famous

a great emperor of Gupta dynasty, brought a large part of India under one rule with his power and prowess. The Prayaga Prasasti, also referred to as Allahabad pillar inscription is the basic and authentic source of history of his rule. The Prayaga Prasasti was penned by his court poet and minister Harisena partly in verse and partly in prose form. Some coins of the emperor and the Eran Inscription in Madhya Pradesh also provide reliable historical account of his age and rule.

Samudragupta was declared the successor of the royal crown by his father King Chandragupta. Samudragupta became the King in 340 AD. Being a great military genius, a warrior and an able ruler, he strengthened the Gupta kingdom by eliminating threats to his rule and moreover he gave a massive territorial expansion to the Gupta empire through many successful military campaigns in all directions. First of all, he subdued the rulers of the Ganga-Yamuna doab, a region largely identical with the Aryavarta of ancient India. Then he trounced the rulers of Bengal. He also vanquished the nine kings of North India and annexed their territories in the Gupta empire.

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Samudragupta continued his victory march to South India as he brought 12 kings of South India under the political authority and suzerainty of the Guptas after military expedition as per the historic account of the Prayaga prasasti. The notable vanquished rulers were Mahendra of Kosala, Vyaghraja of Mahakantara, Mahendragiri of Pishtapura, Hastivarman of Vengi, Ugrasena of Palakka, Pallav king Vishnugopa and Damana of Erandapulla. Samudragupta also established the Gupta authority over territories between the districts of Ghazipur in modern day Uttar Pradesh and Jabalpur of Central India.

Samudragupta led successful campaigns against two kingdoms of Assam—Kamrupa and Devalsa. The kingdoms of Kartipura, Kumaon region and Nepal also accepted his suzerainty. Samudragupta brought nine states in the north-West region under his control. Samudragupta also defeated the Malavas, the Yaudheyas, the Madrakas, the Arjunayanas, the Sanakanikas, the Abhiras, the Prarjunas, the Kakas. However he did not annex these kingdoms and brought them under his indirect control. In brief he brought a large part of India under his control through his relentless military efforts. He assumed the titles of Maharajadhiraja and Vikramanka denoting his unchallenging and supreme ruler position at pan-India level. After 40 years of powerful rule he died in about 380 AD.

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● Great historian Dr. V.A. Smith described Samudragupta as Indian Napolean for his great military successes as an emperor. However in reality Samudragupta was much superior to Napolean in terms of military successes as Samudragupta never witnessed a debacle on the war front while Napolean did.
● Samudragupta has been called the Kaviraja (king of poets) in the Prayaga Prasasti.
● He was good at music as he has been shown playing Veena (lute) in his coins. Being a patron of art and literature, he appointed many learned men like Harisena to his royal court.
● He also performed Ashvamedhayajna (horse sacrifice ritual) to claim his unchallenged political authority.

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