Sri Gupta I - Founder of Gupta Dynasty

Sri Gupta I - Founder of Gupta Dynasty
Sri Gupta was likely to be the founder of the Gupta dynasty according to some inscriptions. His reign was between 240 - 280 A.D(327 - 320 B.C as per new  translations). The Poona copper inscription of Prabhavati Gupta ( Daughter of Chandra Gupta II ) describes Sri Gupta as Adhiraja of Gupta dynasty which means first king of Gupta dynasty. But there were other early Guptas mentioned in many inscriptions such as Shiva Gupta in Nasik inscription and Puru Gupta in Karle inscription. But the majority of the proofs were in favour of Sri Gupta as the founder of Gupta dynasty. The era of Gupta dynasty was considered as golden era in the history of India.

Not much is known about Maharaja Sri Gupta. Knowledge about Sri Gupta is limited to the accounts of the Chinese traveller I-Tsing in his historical documents had mentioned that the extent of Gupta empire was too small when the founder of Gupta empire, Sri Gupta ascended the throne. It comprised the areas of Bengal and small parts of Bihar.

It is believed that Sri Gupta was a Vyshya ruler. Prabhavati Gupta mentions in her Riddhapura copper plate inscriptions that Sri Gupta belonged to Dharana Gotra. The Dharana Gotra was one of the original 18 Gotras of Agrawals and hence Sri Gupta was believed to have belonged to the Agrawal Vyshya community.

It is very clear that Sri Gupta was a follower of Hinduism. Sri Gupta is identified with the king Che-li-ki-to mentioned in the writings of chinese traveller Yijing, who wrote around 690 A.D. and described the king as having ruled 500 years earlier. He also mentions that Sri Gupta ordered the construction of a temple at Mrigashikhavana, close to Varendri or Varendra Bhumi in Bengal and also granted revenue of 24 or 40 villages for the maintenance of temple. He constructed the temple for the use of Buddhist pilgrims coming from China.

Although Sri Gupta was the founder of Gupta dynasty, his grand son, Chandra Gupta I was known as the most powerful king of Gupta clan as he extended Gupta empire and made it a powerful one. Sri Gupta had a son named Ghatotkacha and was succeeded by his son Ghatotkacha around 280 A.D.

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