Chandragupta, I (319- 335) was a great king of the Gupta dynasty who ruled northern India. Due to this, the name of the Gupta dynasty started becoming famous all over India. Chandragupta, I, and Chandragupta Maurya were both separate kings. There is a gap of many centuries in their births.
The Gupta Empire strengthened the Gupta dynasty by making family relations with other states. In this article today we will mention the complete life story of Chandragupta I, so let’s start.
Introduction of Chandragupta I
Name – Chandragupta I
Born Pataliputra (present-day Bihar)
Wife Kumar Devi
Son Samudragupta (Kacha)
Grandson Chandragupta II, Ram Gupta
Empire Gupta Dynasty
Erstwhile king Ghatotkach
Died 335 AD, Pataliputra
Chandragupta, I was the third and majestic king of the Gupta dynasty who started the ‘Gupta Sawant’ (319-320 AD). His father’s name was Ghatotkach.
After becoming emperor, he formed family relations with the Licchavi kingdom and gave himself the title of ‘Maharajadhiraja’ which was often used for a high ruler.
His coronation took place in 319-320 AD. After becoming the king, Chandragupta married Kumar Devi, a princess of the Lichavi clan. After this marriage, the name of the Gupta dynasty became famous. His son Samudragupta issued gold coins in the memory of mother Kumar Devi and father Chandragupta I, on which the image of both of them remains.
Reign of Chandragupta I
Chandragupta, I started Gupta SAMVAT (319-320 AD) only after his coronation in 319-320 AD. But this fact is only fiction which does not confirm the actual truth. Chandragupta I probably ruled northern India for a long time. He did not take great steps to increase the extent of the Gupta Empire but made a significant contribution in maintaining the fame of the Gupta dynasty.
It is told in the Allahabad inscription that Chandragupta I had succeeded his son Samudragupta on the throne at an old age. This clearly means that he ruled for a long time.
Marriage of Chandragupta I
Chandragupta, I married Kumar Devi, a princess of the Lichchavi clan. The Lichchavi dynasty used to rule in Vaishali (present-day Bihar) who ruled there for about 36 generations. The people of the Gupta dynasty considered this marriage to be an important link as there was a recent rise of the Gupta dynasty which forged a strong lineage.
After marriage, they had a son, who was named Kacha. Kacha changed his name to ‘Samudragupta’ after spreading the borders of his kingdom along the coast. This shows that Kacha was Samudragupta but no concrete evidence has been found for this fact.
According to some historians, Chandragupta attacked and defeated the Lichchavi dynasty. To make peace back, he made a treaty according to which the king of the Lichchavi dynasty married princess Kumar Devi with Chandragupta. But such a fact is also not quoted on the pages of history which proves its truth.
This marriage gave Chandragupta political and military power, after which he gave himself the title of Maharajadhiraja. It is said that the name Lichchavi was written on his coins indicating that he had received help from the Lichchavi dynasty. After marriage, he (Chandragupta I) annexed the Lichchavi kingdom to his kingdom.
Extension of Reign
Very little is known about the extent of Chandragupta’s rule. The Allahabad inscription made by his son Samudragupta gives little information about Chandragupta I. It is told that Samudragupta had defeated many kings.
The kingdoms conquered by Samudragupta meant that those states were not part of the earlier Gupta dynasty. That is, they did not have the right of Chandragupta I. So scholars have made a rough estimate that the rule of Chandragupta I, Prayagraj in the west, central India in the south, Nepal in the north, Bengal in the east was between these regions. Therefore, it can be said that the rule of Chandragupta I was limited to Bengal and its surrounding areas.
Gold coins have been found from areas like Mathura, Lucknow, Ayodhya, Sitapur, Ghazipur, Varanasi, Bayana, Hajipur, etc. On which the image of Chandragupta and his wife Kumar Devi remains. The name Chandra is written in the Gupta script of the coins.
Apart from this, coins have also been received from some places on which the image of a queen sitting on a lion is made and the name Lichchavi is written in the Gupta script.
|From left to right: 1. Image of Chandragupta I and Kumara Devi on a gold coin, 2. A queen seated on a lion on a gold coin named Lichchavi image -credit-hindivibes|
According to some historians, these coins were issued by Chandragupta’s son Samudragupta. At the same time, some historians are of the opinion that these coins were issued by Chandragupta I himself.
Chandragupta and Kumar Devi stand separately in these coins, so some historians have proposed that both Chandragupta and Kumar Devi used to run the state together but handled different areas of governance. Whereas in the second coin, where there is an image of a queen, it is Maa Durga.
Death of Chandragupta I
According to history books, Chandragupta I died in Pataliputra in 335 AD. But, there is no concrete evidence about his death.
At the time of his death, he was an old man and held the rule for a longer period than the previous kings of the Gupta Empire and also ran it successfully.
Successor – Samudragupta (Successor of Gupta dynasty)
It is mentioned on the Allahabad inscription that Chandragupta I made his son Samudragupta emperor in his old age. Samudragupta overturned the rule of the Gupta dynasty. He raised the flag of the Gupta dynasty over the whole of India.
Gold coins obtained from some places have revealed that after the death of Chandragupta I, a man named Kacha became the emperor of the Gupta Empire. Probably Kacha was the elder brother of Samudragupta.
But according to some sources, Kacha was another name for Samudragupta. In this way, after Chandragupta I, Samudragupta took the throne of the Gupta dynasty and conquered almost all the states of India and tied the country in the thread of unity. VA Smith has also called Samudragupta as the Napoleon of India.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Question: Were Chandragupta I and Chandragupta Maurya the same human being?
Answer- Chandragupta I and Chandragupta Maurya were both different emperors. Chandragupta Maurya was the founder and first king of the Gupta dynasty who was born in 340 BC. At the same time, Chandragupta I was the third king of the Gupta dynasty who was born in the fourth century AD. Therefore, there is a gap of about 650 years in the history of both.
Question: Who was Chandragupta I?
Answer- The third king of the Gupta dynasty was Chandragupta I, who brought the name of the Gupta dynasty to the discussion in India. He was a majestic ruler who started the Gupta era.
Question: Who and when started the Gupta era?
Answer- Chandragupta I became the emperor of the Gupta dynasty in 319-320 AD and in the same year he started the Gupta era.
Question: What was the name of Samudragupta’s father?
Answer: Chandragupta I.
Question: What was the name of the wife of Chandragupta I?
Answer: Kumar Devi
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