Samudragupta, ruler of the Gupta Empire (c.335 – c.375 CE), and the successor to the Chandragupta I, is considered to be one of the greatest military geniuses in India history. He is generally considered the epitome of an “ideal King” of the “golden age of Hindu history” as the period of the imperial Guptas (320-510CE) has often been called. He was the third ruler of the Gupta Dynasty.
The son of the king Chandra Gupta I and the Licchavi princess Kumaradevi, he is pictured as the muscular warrior, the poet and the musician who displayed “marks of hundreds of wounds received in battle.”
The Great King of the Gupta Empire, Samudra Gupta participated most in building the “The Golden Age of India”. When the king Samuddragupta ascended the throne the condition of the Northern India was still very turbulent.
Though his father Chandragupta I had to establish an empire yet there were enough of scattered independent kingdoms all over the Northern India who were independent and ready to shed blood for the maintenance of their independence. These independent kingdoms, mostly monarchical and some republican rose to power on the rivers of the Kushana Empire.
Chandragupta I, the Magadha king, and was the third ruler of the Gupta Dynasty married the Lichhavi princess, Kumardevi which enabled him to gain the hold over the Ganges river-basin, the main source of North Indian commerce. He ruled for about the ten years in the north – central India with his son as the apprentice in the capital of Pataliputra, near the modern day Patna in Bihar of India.
After his death his son, Samudragupta started to rule the kingdom and did not rest until he conquered almost the whole of India. His reigning period may be described as the vast military campaign. To begin with he attacked the neighbouring kingdoms of Ahichchhatra (Rohilkhand) and the Padmavati (in the Central India). He conquered the whole of Bengal, some kingdoms in Nepal and he made Assam pay him tribute. He absorbed some tribal states like Malvas, the Arjunayanas, the Abhiras and the maduras. The rulers of what is now Afghanistan and Kashmir were also added to the empire.
Samudragupta ruled for the 51 years and was succeeded by one of his sons who were selected as the most worthy of the crown. This ruler is known as Chandragupta II who had the title of the Vikramaditya.