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The Brave and heroic King Samudragupta

Updated on September 19, 2016

Gupta period tempple

King Samudragupta (335 – 375 AD)

His expeditions

Brave and heroic Samudragupta defeated many kings of north India as a first step. Many kings who knew his strength surrendered in advance. The Kushan Kings of distant Afghanistan and Satraps (Shakas) of Gujarat acknowledge his supremacy.

Considerable military achievement of Samudragupta was to be his expedition to the South. He conquered many kingdoms and vanquished the king of Kanchi. In memory of his conquest of the kingdoms he, on return to Pataliputra (Patna) celebrated the horse sacrifice.

Samudragupta was a patron of education. Himself an epic poet and musician. Samudragupta was accorded the title Kaviraja (king of poets). There are coins showing his picture as playing on the Veena embossed on them. His master Vasubandhu was a senior Buddhist monk and minister. Coins belonging to Gupta period show the prosperity, power and spender.


Samudragupta is shown playing the Veena on one of his coins. This shows how he used to spend his free time in pursuing a hobby. Hobbies help in the development of our personality.

Chandragupta Vikramaditya II, son of Samudragupta was an expert in warfare.

Samudragupta and Veena instrument

Gold coin

Kind King Samudraguipta

... whose mind busied itself with the support and the invitation of the miserable, the poor, the helpless, and the afflicted; who was the glorified personification of kindness to mankind; whose officers were always employed in restoring the wealth of the various kings who had been conquered by the strength of his arms; whose many wonderful and Nobel deeds are worthy to be praised for a very long time...

Prashasti is an inscription of a special kind. Prashasti is Sanskrit word that means, in praise of’. Samudragupta’s prashasti praises the king in glowing terms, as a warrior, as asking who won victories in battle, who was learned and the best of poets...’ he is also described as equal to God.

Pillar inscription

After Chandragupta – I, the great Gupta ruler who ruled India was his son Samudragupta. The Allahabad Inscription, which is engraved on a pillar at Allahabad, is the main source of information about the region of Samudragupta. This pillar inscription is also called Prayag prashasti. It gives detailed information about the regions conquered by Samudragupta and his policies towards them.

King Samudragupta

Prayag Prashasti

Harisena was the composer of the Prayag Prashasti

There were nine rulers in Aryavarta, who were uprooted and their kingdoms were conquered and made a part of Samudragupta’s empire. There were twelve rulers in the far south or Dakshinapath. After being defeated, they surrendered to Samudragupta and then he allowed them to rule again.

The kings of many kingdoms in the east, including Nepal, Assam, Coastal Bengal and a number of Gangasanghas in the north – west followed the orders of Samudragupta and attended his court. The foreign kings paid homage and offered allegiance to Samudragupta. They also offered the hands of their daughters in marriage. The descendants of the Shakas, Kushans and the ruler of Sri Lanka also submitted to him.

The Prayag Prashasti also provides a detailed list of the kings and tribal republics. It also mentions the ancestors of king Samudragupta and describes the nature of the king.


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