What were the Epithets of Samudragupta?


The titles used by Samudragupta were apratiratha (unrivalled chariot-warrior), aprativaryavirya (of irresistible valour), kritanta-parashu (axe of death), sarva-raj-ochchhetta (uprooter of all Kings), vyaghra-parakrama (possessed of the strength of a tiger), ashvamedha-parakrama (whose might was demonstrated by the horse-sacrifice), parakramanka (marked with prowess) and vikram (prowess).

Most of these epithets are connected with particular types of coins issued by the emperor. Thus parakram is found on the reverse of coins of standard-type, apratiratha on coins of archer-type, kritanta-parashu on coins of the battle-axe-type, sarvarajochchhetta on coins of Kacha-type (Raychaudhuri thinks that Kacha was another name of Samudragupta), vyaghraparakram on the tiger- type and ashvamedha-parakrama on the ashvamedha-type.

The appearance of a goddess seated on a lion (simha-vahini i.e., Durga or Parvati, Vindhya-vasini or Haimavati) may indicate to the extension of the Gupta dominions to the Vindhya and the Himavat. The tiger and river-goddess-type (makaravahini) may indicate that the sway of Samudragupta spread from the Ganges valley to the realm of the ‘Tiger King’ in Mahakantara.


Samudragupta’s ‘virtuous and faithful wife’, possibly Dattadevi, appears to be mentioned in an Eran inscription. One of the last acts of Samudragupta was apparently the selection of his successor. The choice fell on Chandragupta II, his son by Dattadevi.

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