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Gupta Period – Decline of the Gupta Empire

  • The last recognised king of the Gupta line was Vishnugupta who reigned from 540 to 550 CE.
  • Internal fighting and dissensions among the royal family led to its collapse.
  • During the reign of a Gupta king, Budhagupta, the Vakataka ruler Narendrasena of western Deccan, attacked Malwa, Mekala and Kosala.
  • Later on, another Vakataka king Harishena conquered Malwa and Gujarat from the Guptas.
  • During Skanda Gupta‚Äôs reign, the grandson of Chandragupta II, the Huns invaded northwest India.
  • He was successful in repulsing the Huns, but consequently his empire was drained of financial resources.
  • In the sixth century CE, the Huns occupied Malwa, Gujarat, Punjab and Gandhara.
  • As the Hun invasion weakened the Gupta hold in the country, independent rulers emerged all over the north like

– Yasodharman of Malwa,

– the Maukharis of Uttar Pradesh,

– the Maitrakas in Saurashtra and

– others in Bengal.

  • In time, the Gupta Empire came to be restricted to only Magadha.
  • They did not focus on empire building and military conquests.
  • So, weak rulers along with incessant invasions from foreign as well as native rulers caused the decline of the Gupta Empire.
  • By the beginning of the sixth century, the empire had disintegrated and was ruled by many regional chieftains.

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