Who was Chandragupta Vikramaditya?
Chandagupta Vikramaditya (also known as Chandragupta II) was the son and successor of Gupta Emperor Samudragupta. The period of Chandragupta Vikramaditya is generally regarded as ” Golden Age of Indian History”.
Chandragupta Vikramaditya was another powerful ruler of Gupta Empire who patronized the famous “Nav Ratan.”
Formerly it was believed that Vikramaditya succeeded to the Gupta throne in 375 A.D. immediately after the death of his father Samudragupta but now it is generally believed that Chandragupta II came to the throne in 380 A.D. and during these five years (375-380 A.D.) his elder brother Ramgupta occupied the throne the presence of Ramgupta is testified by the discovery of some coins and some references to his name in Bana’s book entitled “Devi Chandra Guptam.” Chandragupta Vikramaditya ruled for about thirty four years i.e., 380 to 414 A.D.
Chandragupta II was a great conqueror like that of his father. Soon after his accession to the throne he began to conquer new territories.
1. War against Bengal: from the inscription of Iron Pillar of Chandra at Mehrauli, near Delhi, we come to know that he waged many wars against the Bengal chiefs and maintained peace in that disturbed area.
2. War against Vahlika Tribe: from the same inscription we come to know that Chandragupta II crossed the seven mouths (or branches) of the Indus and defeated the Vahlika tribe.
3. The Saka War and Conquest of Malwa, Gujarat and Saurashtra: But the greatest military achievement of Chandragupta II was to destroy permanently the power of the Saka Satraps of Malwa, Gujarat and Saurashtra and to annex their territories in the Gupta Empire. The Saka king Rudrasinha III was slain in the battle and all the Saka territory including Malwa, Guajrat and Saurashtra was annexed to the Gupta Empire. Chandragupta thus wiped away the last remnant of the foreign rule from India and assumed the title of “Sakari” or the conqueror of the Sakas.
Character and Achievements
Chandragupta is counted among the few great monarchs of India. He occupies the same place in the Gupta history as was assigned to Shah Jahan in the Mughal history or to Elizabeth in the Tudor history. From the account of Fa-Hien we come to know that Chandragupta II was an ideal ruler who left no stone unturned to make the life of his subjects happy and prosperous.
1. A Great Conqueror: Chandragupta II inherited a very vast empire from his father and therefore he had to do a very little of fighting, even then we can definitely that he was a great conqueror. He crushed the rising revolt of the Bengal chiefs, defeated the powerful Vahlika tribe and above all he fought successful wars against the Saka Satraps and annexed their territories including Malwa, Gujrat and Saurashtra to the Gupta empire.
2. A Great Diplomat: Chandragupta II was a clever diplomat who had greatly increased his power by his wise matrimonial alliances. His matrimonial alliances with the Naga and Vakataka dynasties proved a double blessing to him. First, these two hostile dynasties were turned into friends, and secondly they proved very useful to him while fighting against the powerful Saka Satraps.
3. A Good Administrator: Chandragupta was a good administrator in addition to his being a great conqueror and a great diplomat.
4. Tolerant Ruler: Chandragupta II was religiously a very tolerant monarch. Though he himself belonged to the Hindu faith he never persecuted the Buddhists, Jams or followers of any other faith.
5. Patron of Art and Literature: Chandragupta II was a great patron of art and literature. Different kinds of arts and sciences made an unprecedented progress and it was because of this achievement that Gupta period is generally regarded as the “Golden period in Indian History.”