King Ghatotkacha Gupta – Second Ruler of Gupta Dynasty – Successor of Sri Gupta – Father of Chandragupta – 280 AD – 319 AD

King Ghatotkacha Gupta – Introduction

King Ghatotkacha Gupta was the second ruler of the Gupta dynasty. He ruled from 280 AD – 319 AD. King Ghatotkacha, was a pre-imperial king of Northern India. He was the son of Maharaja Sri Gupta, the founder of Gupta Dynasty. Ghatotkacha managed to expand the empire from Bengal to Western part of present Uttar Pradesh.

King Ghatotkacha Gupta Sculpture 280 AD - 319 AD

King Ghatotkacha Gupta Sculpture 280 AD – 319 AD

King Ghatotkacha Gupta – Historical Evidence

Gupta Empire was one of the most successful empires in India. It covered most of the Indian subcontinent. The early Gupta Kings, such as Ghatotkacha Gupta, and his father Sri Gupta, ruled over many Hindu kingdoms during the 4th century. They not only ruled over these Hindu kingdoms, but, they also established them. These kingdoms which were established by Ghatotkacha, and his father Srigupta, are in what is modern day Bihar.

King Ghatotkacha Gupta - Map of Gupta Empire around 300 AD

King Ghatotkacha Gupta – Map of Gupta Empire around 300 AD

These two men, Ghatotkacha Gupta, and Srigupta, are mentioned in some of the earliest Indian texts, including from the author Yijing. There are two records about the early beginnings and about the establishment of the Gupta Empire. Both are from a woman named Prabhavati (the daughter of Chandragupta II), who states that one of the earliest kings of the Gupta Empire was Ghatotkacha. The thing about Ghatotkacha as a person, or, as a ruler of one of India’s greatest provinces, is that his tenure as a king was a peaceful one. There were no wars. Education and Development were primary goals of Ghatotkacha. Educating the uneducated about Religion, Art and Culture was a primary concern of Ghatotkacha Gupta.

King Ghatotkacha Gupta - Idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati during Gupta Times

King Ghatotkacha Gupta – Idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati during Gupta Times

King Ghatotkacha Gupta – Religions and Religious Tolerance

It is believed that Ghatotkacha was a Hindu Ruler. We can come to this understanding because of the fact that his established ruler-ship was based on Hindu provenances.  We don’t know what he thought of any other religions, like Buddhism for example.

King Ghatotkacha Gupta – An able Warrior

Given that Ghatotkacha Gupta invaded lands, and was one of the first rulers to establish the Gupta Empire, it is clear that he was in some capacity a warrior king. Ghatotkacha established a very powerful empire in the Gupta Empire, which lasted for hundreds of years. He was part of an empire which would see an impressive sixteen Gupta rulers.

Apart from a few details, Ghatotkacha’s rule is shrouded in mystery. There is not much evidence to know most of what happened during his time as leader. There is also no coinage of his time; there has been no archaeological findings of coins used in his era. This is important, as historians use coins to establish facts about several things about an era. The first and most obvious being the type of money people used; and its worth. But, other important things can be found from coins, it can give us archaeological evidence of the dates which king Ghatotkacha Gupta ruled, and, it can also give us a portrait of what he looked like.

King Ghatotkacha Gupta – The Conclusion

In conclusion, Ghatotkacha Gupta was one of the first dominant rulers of the Gupta Empire. It seems unfair that most of the history of this great ruler still stays a mystery.  And, very little is known about him, or his ruler-ship today, both because of a lack of archaeological evidence, and because of a lack of historical evidence.

By: Jennifer Stone

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