Short notes on the Later Guptas

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A royal family that gained prominence about the same time as the Maukharis is called the Later Guptas by modern historians. This designation is not favoured by Dr. R.C. Majumdar as there is no evidence that this family was a blood relation of the Imperial Guptas.

Dr. Majumdar says that the suc­cessors of Skanda Gupta or Buddha Gupta (com­monly known as Later Imperial Guptas) deserve this term, because the “epithet ‘Imperial’ is hardly ap­plicable to many of them.”

Furthermore, the name of one ruler of this family ends in ‘Sena’ and not ‘Gupta’ and their inscriptions do not claim that they were the descendants of the Imperial Guptas.

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Like the Maukharis, they were at first feudatories of the Imperial Guptas; then they became independent and established a powerful kingdom which lasted till about the middle of the eighth century AD.

No record of the first seven kings of this family has come to light so far. The eighth king, Adityasena (second half of the seventh century), issued an inscription giving the names of his predecessors, which was found at Aphsad near Gaya. These names are:

1. Krishna Gupta

2. Harsha Gupta

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3. Jivita Gupta

4. Kumara Gupta

5. Dainodara Gupta

6. Mahasena Gupta

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7. Madhava Gupta

8. Adityasena

The Aphsad inscription gives in very general terms the military successes of the first three kings.

It is not clear whether these missions were under­taken on behalf of the Imperial Guptas or they were their adventures when they were independent.

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However, the laudatory references in the inscription to the turn of fortune the next king experienced on defeating Isanavarman led scholars to believe that at that time Kumara Gupta not only had a great victory over a powerful enemy but also established himself as a powerful chief (regardless of his position vis-a-vis the Imperial Guptas).

Scholars believe that they were first located in Malwa and only after the reign of Harshavardhana, did the later Guptas rule from Magadha.

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