The Beauteous Coins of Gupta- I

13 Sep 2017  Wed

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Before starting with our article let's see if you can answer this. , Who is the founder of Gupta Dynasty?

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Sri Gupta (240 to 280 CE) is referred as the founder of the Gupta Dynasty. He was succeeded by his son Ghatotkacha (280-319 CE). Both, Sri Gupta and Ghatotkacha had assumed the title of 'Maharaja'.

The son and successor of Ghatotkacha was Chandragupta I, who started extending the territory and was known for marrying the powerful princess of Licchavi, Kumara Devi.

Samudragupta succeeded his father and was the most renowned ruler of Gupta Dynasty. He subjugated the kingdoms of Ahhihchhatra, Padmavati, Malwas, Yaudheyas, Abhiras, Maduras, etc. This has been recorded on the Ashoka Pillar (now in Akbar’s Fort at Allahabad). As discussed before Samudragupta issued many coins. Amongst them, the given gold coin in the image is supposed to be one of the first Gupta coins. This sounds really interesting, isn’t it? It gives us an idea of how grateful the Gupta Empire must have been!

The obverse of the coin depicts King standing left, sacrificing at altar left and holding the royal sceptre (rajadanda) Garuda standard at left, Brahmi legend under arm 'Samudra' and circular Brahmi legend around. The reverse has a Goddess Lakshmi shown seated on a bench and Brahmi legend ‘Parakrama’, all within the dotted border. It weighs around 7.62 grams and this type of gold Samudragupta coin is known as a sceptre or standard type.

Fun Fact: Samudragupta took over 20 kingdoms under his rule and to celebrate the victory he performed Ashvamedha sacrifice. He is also known to issue coins on this grand occasion that we will study in our next article.