How did Ramagupta ascended the throne after Samduragupta in 375 A.D?

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Generally, it was the belief that Samudragupta was succeeded by his son Chandragupta-II. However, certain new material has been found on whose basis it is contended that Samudragupta was not succeeded by Chandragupta-II but by Ramagupta.

The “Natyadarpan” by Ramchandra Gunachandra tells us that Ramagupta was the son and successor of Samudragupta. This contains the fragment of a famous historical drama written by Vishakhdatta the author of “Mudrarakshasa”.

It is indicated therein that Samudragupta was succeeded by Ramagupta who married Dhruvadevi or Dhruvaswamini and later on married to Chandragupta-II. She became the mother of Kumaragupta-I and prince Govindagupta.

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There are certain extracts from a historical drama known as “Devichandraguptam” written by Vishakhadatta. It is indicated there that Ramagupta sustained a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Sakas. In order to secure the safety of his people, he agreed to surrender his queen to the Saka king.

Ramaguptas, younger brother, Chandragupta protested against this act of dishonour and offered himself to go to camp of the enemy in disguise of queen Dhruvadevi in order to kill the Saka King. Chandragupta actually disguised himself as a woman and killed the Saka king in his camp.

By doing so, he not only saved the empire but also honour of the queen and dynasty. This was highly praised by the people and Dhruvadevi. Finally, Chandragupta-II killed the Ramagupta and ascended the throne. He also married his widow queen.

In this way Ramagupta ascended the throne after Samduragupta in 375 A.D.. He did not prove himself a capable ruler and his reign was short lived i.e. 375 A.D. to 380 A.D.

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