The Indian Analyst

North Indian Inscriptions







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Political History


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Gupta Era

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The Gupta Inscriptions


Other South-Indian Inscriptions 

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Vol. 4 - 8

Volume 9

Volume 10

Volume 11

Volume 12

Volume 13

Volume 14

Volume 15

Volume 16

Volume 17

Volume 18

Volume 19

Volume 20

Volume 22
Part 1

Volume 22
Part 2

Volume 23

Volume 24

Volume 26

Volume 27





Annual Reports 1935-1944

Annual Reports 1945- 1947

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 7, Part 3

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 1

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 2

Epigraphica Indica

Epigraphia Indica Volume 3

Indica Volume 4

Epigraphia Indica Volume 6

Epigraphia Indica Volume 7

Epigraphia Indica Volume 8

Epigraphia Indica Volume 27

Epigraphia Indica Volume 29

Epigraphia Indica Volume 30

Epigraphia Indica Volume 31

Epigraphia Indica Volume 32

Paramaras Volume 7, Part 2

Śilāhāras Volume 6, Part 2

Vākāṭakas Volume 5

Early Gupta Inscriptions

Archaeological Links

Archaeological-Survey of India



Two of these, again, belong to Vāsudēva, and one is a Later Great Kushāṇa. This last is a coin of the third century A.D. and seems to have been issued from some part of Eastern Bengal.1 It thus appears that when the tide of Kushāṇa conquest broke in upon North India, it did not stop till it swept off Bihar, Bengal and Orissa also.

        The Imperial Great Kushāṇas must have ruled over Āryāvarta and East India for a century or so, that is, up till c. 230 A.D. They were succeeded by the Later Great Kushāṇas, whose power, however, was considerably weakened, with the result that many of the provinces in Central and East India became more or less independent of the Kushāṇa family. The western part of Āryāvarta was held by rulers of the Nāga race. As we shall see subsequently, three Nāga houses had risen to prominence about this time, with capitals situated at Mathurā, Padmāvatī and Dhārā. The central part was ruled over by the Bhāraśivas, who are known only from the copper-plate grants of the Vākāṭaka dynasty. According to them, the Bhāraśivas performed ten Aśvamēdhas. And they are said to have obtained possession of the Bhāgīrathī through their valour and were anointed to sovereignty with her holy waters. As there is such a site as Daśāśvamēdha at Varanasi and as the river Gaṅgā is considered to be particularly holy at this place, it is difficult not to agree with the late K. P. Jayaswal in saying that it was the Varanasi province which was occupied by the Bhāraśivas.2 Years ago George Bühler3 identified the Bhāraśivas with Bhār Rājpūts, who are found chiefly in Eastern Oudh and the Basti District in the U.P.4 Only one prince is known to us of this race, namely Bhavanāga, from the Vākāṭaka records. It is true that this name ends in nāga ; but it is not quite safe merely on this ground to assert that the Bhāraśivas were Nāgas,5 especially as the Bhārs are not known to be a branch of the Nāgas. The eastern part, consisting principally of Bihar, seems at this time to have owned the sway of the Lichchhavis, who, as we shall presently see, ruled at Pāṭaliputra. Such was the political condition of North India when the Guptas came to power. The Purāṇas are by no means our safe guide for this period. They make no mention of the Kushāṇa dynasty, or, for the matter of that, any one of its celebrated monarchs such as Kanishka, Huvishka and Vāsudēva. There is no mention, again, of the Bhāraśivas or of the Lichchhavis, whose existence, nay, importance, at this epoch is attested by epigraphic records. The Puranic accounts present but a jumbled mass of dynastic names and regnal years, the confusion of which no scholar has yet been able satisfactorily to reduce to order.

Chandragupta I

        The first king of the Gupta dynasty who raised himself to eminence is Chandragupta I. This may be seen from the fact that he is the first of the Gupta family who has been styled Mahārājādhirāja, his father and grandfather, Ghaṭōtkacha and Gupta, being called simply Mahārāja. The former of these titles at this time denoted an overlord, and the latter, a feudatory chieftain In the Allahabad pillar inscription (No. 1 below), the actual name given of Chandragupta’s grandfather is Śrīgupta. But Fleet has adduced cogent reasons to show that here śrī is an honorific prefix and does not form an integral part of the name.6 His real name is thus, according to this record, not Śrīgupta, but Gupta. To supplement Fleet’s arguments, John

1 N. G. Majumdar, JPASB., Vol. XXVIII, pp. 127 ff. Also A. R. ASI., 1911-12, Pt. II, p. 256.
2 JBORS., Vol. XIX, pp. 5-6.
3 ASWI., Vol. IV, p. 119.
4 CASIR., Vol. XI, p. 67 and Vol. XII, p. 89.
5 K.P. Jayaswal in JBORS., Vol. XIX, p. 8. In the Chaulukya line of Aṇahilapāṭaka, we have not one, but two, kings, Kumārapāla and Ajayapāla, whose names end in –pāla. But we cannot on that evidence assert that they were Pālas. As a matter of fact, we know that they were Sōlaṅkīs.
6 CII., Vol. III, 1888, p. 8, note 3.