Date of Kalidasa - Gupta Myth

Kalidasa most renowned classical Sanskrit scholar is widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the classical history. His period has not been dated to precise. Most likely falls in Gupta period in 5th century AD. This is a wikipedia introduction, you will mostly come across the same in many places as well. There is very little is known about kalidasa apart from his literature. But let us not go into other questions. Stay to main question: Date of Kalidasa.  Let us see what the scholars say.

Kalidasa Works
Four poetic works, Raghuvamsa, Kumarasambhava, Meghaduta, and Ritusamhara, and three dramas, Vikramorvasiya, Malavikagnimitra, and Abhijnanasakuntala are attibuted to him, in addition to these, Indian tradition attributes to him several other works(around 30) in diverse disciplines, ranging from poetics and astrology to mathematics and astronomy. It goes without saying that he had more than a little mastery of all these disciplines.

Kalidasa was clearly closely associated with, or lived in Ujjain, the capital of Vikramarka; his love for this city and the Malwa country is particularly apparent in the Meghaduta, from the way he holds forth lovingly on this city in the poem. The Yaksha's request to the cloud messenger to make a detour to visit Ujjain, the description of the dance of the devadasis in the Mahakaleswara Temple, and the incomparable descriptions of the city and of the river Sipra leave no one in doubt of this.

Kalidasa Life
Almost nothing definite is known about Kalidasa's life, although legends abound. What one can definitely infer from his works is that he was a Brahman, a devotee of Siva but no fanatic of any Hindu sect, was widely travelled and very well versed in the arts, sciences and philosophy of his day. He lived in a city in affluent circumstances, and was well acquainted with royal courts and court politics, almost certainly because he was patronised by a powerful king.

BanaBhatta of Harsha Charita
Banabhatta, court poet of Harsavardhana (AD 606-647) in Harsacaritaoffers prefatory salutations to Kalidasa.

Aihole Inscription of Chalukya pulikesin II(634AD)
Talks about poet Ravikirti who was in the court of Chalukya Satyasraya(pulikesi II )whose poetic skills have attained the fame of Kalidasa(Sanskrit) and Bharavi(Kannada)(520AD). This inscription does not give any date of Kalidasa. But the inscription shows the kalidasa fame has reached the courts of karnataka kings and held in high esteem.

Yasodharman who is believed to have assumed the title Sakari Vikramaditya after routing the Huns (Toramana at Malva in 528 AD). Kashmir Kalhana says that Kalidasa was the court poet of Vikramaditya.

Mandasor Inscription (473AD)
Mandasor inscription 5 dated to 473 AD which names Kumaragupta, has verses borrowed from Kalidasa and imitating his style by the poet Vatsabhatti.

Hero of Kumarasambhavam  Kumaragupta son of Chandragupta-II  (Vikramaditya) is the places him in 5th century AD.

According to Kshemendra in Auchityavicharacharcha says, An envoy sent as to kuntala king capital and he was not properly received and was made to stand. King Boja of Dhara(11century AD) in Sringaraprakasa says  kalidasa was sent as envoy from court of Vikramaditya to Kuntaleshwara. There is a conflicting  reports on who is the kuntaleshwara  the envoy met . Kadamba king Kakusthavarman says Guptas sent the envoy at the time of Kadamba Bhagiratha.  Some scholars say the envoy visited Vatakata court. But Vatakata's never called themselves kuntaleshwara's , eventhough they raided kuntala few times, they never ruled kuntala. There is scribe called kalidasa in one of vatakata inscriptions, but it is not kalidasa. Some point to another royal clan in the infancy, Rastrakutas of manapura also had conflict with Vatakatas. Mananka , founder of Rastrakuta dynasty called himself Lord of Kuntala. There is one more dynasty Chutus satakarnis apart from Satavahans who called themselves kuntaleshwaras. But as far as envoy there is only one claim kadambas, so the Gupta envoy should have visited kadamba kingdom.

Astronomical Data
There are two schools of thought on the astronomical evidence.
Sengupta's discussion on astronomical evidence places Kalida sa at the middle of the 6th  century AD, between AD 525-575 during the rein of Budhagupta.
Dasgupta has quoted Jacobi's demonstration of astronomical evidence vis-à-vis influence of Greek astronomy of the period around 350 AD.

Some Say that the work Meghasandesa is the communication that Kalidasa addressed to Prabhavati, sister of Chandragupta-II when the great poet was banished to Ramagiri by the Emperor. Prabhavati Gupta, widow of Rudrasena-II who died in 390 AD and mother of Pravarasena-II who is believed to be have authored Setubandhanam and Saundaryalahari.  Popular legends say that Malavikagnimitram was written for staging on the occasion of the marrigae of Prabhavati Gupt a at Ujjayini. The Drama was staged at the wedding.

Chandragupta II
This date is propounded by Dr. A.B. Keith. According to him, Kālidāsa flourished during the reign of king Candragupta 2nd (380-413) who made Ujjainī second capital, who crushed Hūnas and as a result, assumed the title ‘Vikramāditya'. The poet expresses in his works his deep sense of gratitude for his Gupta patrons. Smith and MacDonnell support Dr. Keith. On the basis of astronomical calculations Jacobi places Kālidāsa after 3rd century A.D. Dr. Bűhler is of opinion that he should placed before 472 A.D. Sircar admits that the earliest historical Vikramāditya is Candragupta 2nd of imperil Gupta dynasty who defeated Śakas, conquered western India and made Ujjainī, as the capital of his empire. This theory founded by Dr. Keith has received support from Winternitz, Konow, Liebich, Bloch and many other scholars

Gathasapthasati mentions Kalidasa to be court poet of Vikramaditya.  Hala's Sapthasati gives glowing accounts of Vikramaditya.

Aśvaghosa, the Buddhist poet, has prepared the ground for Kālidāsa by his compositions in the field of poetry and drama. Kālidāsa took clue from this great poet and presented his own poetry and drama in polished and refined manner. The date of Aśvaghosa is definite. He enjoyed the patronage of Kusāna king Kaniska who ruled in 1st century AD.

Vikaramaditya(1st century BC)
Most of the scholars including Baladev Upaddhyaya, William Jones, Peterson, M.R. Kale, and R.N. Apte  say that kalidasa lived during King Vikramaditya of Ujjain who ruled in 1st century BC. After whom the Vikram era is known.  After he defeated  sakas. Kalidasa has consistently called Pururavas "Vikrama" in the drama Vikramorvasiya. It is generally conjuctured that Kalidasa did this to honour his patron. He included the name in the title of the drama itself to ensure propagation of his patron's name. In addition, the name Mahendra is mentioned together with Vikrama several times in the Vikramorvasiya; we know from the Kathasaritsagara that Vikramaditya's father was known by this name. Since Vikramaditya father was Mahendraditya. It suits fine.

Kalidasa mentions three historical persons, Pushyamitra(conducts horse sacrifice to pronounce supreme soverignity) his son Agnimitra (governor of vidisa and hero of the story Malavikagnimitra and vidarba princess who disguises as maid) and lastly his grandson vasumitra   the brave guardian of horse, who returns triumphantly defeating the yavanas. These are historical incidents. According to Dr. C. Kunhan Raja, on the basis of Bharatvākya of the ‘Malvikagnimitra' Kālidāsa' was the contemporary of king Agnimitra of Sunga dynasty and flourished in the 2nd century B.C. Kalidasa talks about the vasumitra grandson of pushyamitra who defeated Yavanas. This is the upper limit of the kalidasa date. Kalidasa gives lot of intimate details of pushyamitra  and sungas ,which only the closest can give.

Raghu Dynasty.
800 B.C.- Mr. Hippolyte Fauche places Kālidāsa in the 8th century B.C., on assumption that he was contemporary of Agnivarna, the last king of Raghu dynasty. Hippolyte thought Ramayana to be this date.

Having seen the scholars opinions ,Let us bring in more material to discuss.

Basic of discussion
  1. All the sources say Kalidasa was in the Royal court of King Vikramaditya
  2. Kalidas widely travelled was based out of Ujjain in malwa. He Praises  vidisha capital of 3.sungas. Kalidasa speaks of defeat of Yavanas by Pushyamitra grandson vasumitra.
  3. kalidasa knew Huns.
  4. Historical person mentioned by Kalidasa was Agnimitra of Sunga Dynasty who ruled in 2nd century BC.
  5. Guptas employed  his literary works in Inscriptions and functions.
  6. There is a close resemblances between the works of kalidasa and Avagosha's Buddha charita
  7. kumargupta is called Mahendra and father of Vikramaditya is also called Mahendra.
  8. Vikrama - Many of the Guptas have titles vikrama Chandragupta, samudragupta etc.

Raghu Victory of Hunas
The cheeks of huNa women glowed with embarrassment by the action of raghu in waging war with their husbands and that flush itself appeared as an index to raghu's valour. Now the context has to be known, he is talking about Raghu(Legendary father of Ram) and also mentions Raghu Conqured Parasikas, Kambojas,Yavanas.  Reached Oxus river. Did chandragupta II defeated these kings. Huns are there , but Parasikas, Kambojas or yavanas.

now the principal difficulty in the identification of this river has arisen by the fact that Mallinatha, the most brilliant commentator on the works of Kalidasa has chosen to read Sindhu for Vanksu. But in view of some very important reasons, given below, Mallinatha's reading is evidently erroneous. It is to be borne in mind that six manuscripts of the mallinatha, out of nine, with their commentaries read vankS (four of these) or vanksu (two). There hardly seems an occasion for Mallinatha to adopt the reading Sindhu. This reading has landed him in obvious difficulties which he has sought to explain away. The unsuitability of his reading is so patent in his own explanation that, thinking that his readers would easily confuse Sindhu with the great river Indus.

Huns Locations
The history of the Huna expansion in Central Asia is very interesting.  During the reign of Pou-non-tanjou (A. D. 46) the Huna country and their  empire suffered from severe famine. While they were yet in difficulties the  Eastern Tartars and the Chinese drove them out of their land and pushed them to  west and south. In the middle of 5th century AD, Huns formed a powerful army and starts invading far of lands. The defeated the persian empire in 225AD. The First invasion of India took place during Skandagupta time, they were soundly defeated. The second invasion during Yasovarman. So until 46AD, Huns were in Oxus basin.

Kalidasa was in the royal court of vikramaditya , that  is confirmed by everybody. The  vikramorvisya mentions Vikramaditya to be son of Mahendraditya. There are two sets Mahendraditya - vikramaditya(2-1century BC) and Gupta dynasty Kumaragupta Mahendraditya - Skandagupta Vikramaditya. So who is the vikramaditya we are speaking.

Vikramaditya the Legend.
The tales of the vampire (Vetala) tell twenty-five stories in which the king tries to capture and hold on to a vampire that tells a puzzling tale and ends it with a question for the king. In fact, earlier the king was approached by a Sadhu to bring the vampire to him but without uttering a word, otherwise the vampire would fly back to its place. The king can be quiet only if he does not know the answer, else his head would burst open. Unfortunately, the king discovers that he knows the answer to every question; therefore the cycle of catching the vampire and letting it escape continues for twenty-four times till the last question puzzles Vikramaditya. A version of these tales can be found embedded in the Katha-Saritsagara.

Bhoja and Vikramaditya
The tales of the throne are linked to the throne of Vikramaditya that is lost and recovered by king Bhoja, the Paramara king of Dhar, after many centuries. The latter king is himself famous and this set of tales are about his attempts to sit on the throne. This throne is adorned by 32 female statues who, being able to speak, challenge him to ascend the throne only if he is as magnanimous as Vikramaditya is depicted in the tale she is about to narrate. This leads to 32 attempts (and 32 tales) of Vikramaditya and in each case Bhoja acknowledges his inferiority. Finally, the statues let him ascend the throne when they are pleased with his humility. This is story created in 11th century AD by Bhoja paramara king after he declared indepndence from chalukyas.

Vikramaditya of Ujjain
Kalakacharyakathanaka a jain works says that at the instance of Kalaka ( jain teacher whose sister was abducted by Garadabilla, king of ujjain), the shakas invaded ujjain and took Garadabilla prisoner. They ruled for sometime and was overthrown by vikramaditya , king of malwa. vikramaditya started his own era. Brihatkatha of Gunadaya and kathasaritsagara endorse this event. And Gathasaptasati of Hala Satavahana also describes the event. The works say vikramaditya also called vikramasila son of mahendraditya was the founder of vikrama samvat. According to Bhavishya Purana. Vikram era started in 57 BC by Vikramaditya the Great as a commemoration of his victory upon the Shakas. There is plentiful literature on Vikramaditya, and in the Bhavishya Puran itself there are descriptions of Vikramaditya in more than 40 chapters between Pratisarg Parv I and IV. Bhavishya Purana (Pratisarg Parv I, chapter 7) says that, "After the elapse of a full 3,000 years in kali yuga (3102 - 3000 = 102 BC), a dynamic Divine personality was born who was named Vikramaditya.  Bhavishya Puran further says that  the great King Vikramaditya ruled for one hundred years. Then his son Deobhakt ruled for ten years and his grandson Shalivahan, who established Shalivahan Shaka era (in 78 AD), defeated the Shaks and ruled for sixty years."  Alberuni also mentions about Vikram era (57 BC) and also the Shalivahan Shaka era which starts 135 years after the Vikram era.

One poet quoting another

Brihat katha by Gunadaya(1st century AD)

This work is lost but there are several versions available.The story is brihat katha manjari has lot in common with kathasarit sagara  of  kalidasa.

Some of the situations and Ideas are common to both asvagosha and kalidasa plays. But the big argument is waste because we can never say that the one copied from other. The ideas and situations seems to be borrowed from the situations and ideas common at that time frame. But indologist scholars(Kowell and Keith) will say kalidasa copied and Indian scholars say Asvagosha copied. But in concluding verses of  saundarananda . The Humble Asvaghosa says he is not poet of eminence. The Subject of interest for Asvaghosa is religion and philosophy. He is monk first and then a author. He wants to preach the his ideals through a kavya, So he sets himself after famous Kavyas of his time. Hence the resemblences and similarities to kalidasa kavyas. The Master kavya writer is of course kalidasa. That gives atleast a century or more earlier to asvagosha, which puts kalidasa in 1century BC.

Yajnasri Satakarni (2nd century AD
Yajna sri satakarni releases a coins with king on one side and  with crescent on hill, crescent on ujjain symbols, zig zag lines and cirle of dots. The meaning can be found in kalidasa verses in raghu vamsa. The king's fame ascended the mountains(symbolized by the moon on hill), crossed the oceans(figured by the four circles of the ujjain symbol and crescent), penetrated into the subterrannean abode of vasuki(zig zag line) and went up to the most high(as represented by dots representing sttary heaven).

Also kamasutra of Vatsyayana has similar styles to sakuntala.

Bhita Medallion
The terrocota medallion recovered from Allahabad  depicting the scene from sakuntala, has gateways like sanchi  dated to 1st century BC. But scholars say it Buddha in kapilavastu.

Astronomical observances
The astronomical references by ketki  like dakshinayana (summer solistice) cannot be taken to be conclusive as they can go each side 100 to 200 years.
Sengupta observations based on ashada month references cannot be taken as kalidasa mention lunar months ,not solar months. The works clearly show that that Gupta system  is not followed by kalidasa.
The term Jamitra in kumarasambhava has been mischeviously  interpreted as Greek diametron and claimed that kalidasa lived in the ideas of Greek astronomy and also claiming Greek astronomy has become popular in India. In Hindu Astrology Jamitra simply means seventh zodiacal sign from the natal(lagna).
And kalidasa knew lot  about Astronomy ,but he is basically a  poet not astronomer.

yavanas were defeated in persia, which fits the time frame of 1century BC and pallavas are absent in kalidasa account. kalidasa talks about Independent Anga , which is impossible in Gupta age. Kalidasa speaks about ruler in madura again not possible during gupta period.

Pushyamitra capital was Pataliputra, his son agnimitra was governor of vidisha, when pushyamitra was the senatipati and when the capital was shifted to vidisha, it remained the capital until 57BC, Later he shifted to Ujjain.  In Megaduta and Malvakiagnimitra the scenes of the city are vidisha, not pataliputra , not ujjain. Vikramovisaya completed after the victory of vikramaditya over sakas. why he does not tell about pataliputra or Ayodhya Imperial capital of Guptas, because he has come to a independent kingdom in Ujjain.


The Dharma(Law)  followed in Kalidasa works  like  " widow cannot inherit the property"  is of the times of Apastamba and Baudhayana. Brhaspati, vyasa,sankha and likita  belonging to Gupta period rule that the widow has the right to succeed in Husband's property. In Sakuntala there is capital punishment for theft. In the days of Brhaspati, this was relaxed and a heavy fine was introduced. So clearly kalidasa is not of Gupta times.

Several revisions of the Kalidasa works has taken place and many authors have included their current events in their works. For example there is an argument between Dinnaga(6th century AD) and Kalidasa, which looks unlike kalidasa. While Dinnaga was critic of kalidasa , Nicula is friend in megaduta. Since Dinnaga cannot be dated earlier, Kalidasa is brought down. We do not know who is Nicula. Another is refrerence to kalachuri dynasty ( 6th century AD).  For some commentators Dinnaga becomes Nagarjuna
D.C.Sircar draws attention to Tibetan passage in early 18th century AD , which says kalidasa was contemproary of King Bhagabadra of Sunga Dynasty ruling from vidisha,Wima kusala Khadphises  and king savti satavahana of dakshinatya and Aparanta. He Married daughter of Khadphises by name vasanti.

In Tenth Century AD Sanskrit scholar Rajashekara gives three great kalidasa who are renowned authors and masters of aesthetic language. There are many kalidasa's and more than dozen vikramadityas, Western scholars have done what they do best to confuse and combine everybody to one kalidasa and some vikramadityas to one vikramaditya. In effect they have hit two mangoes in one. Denying kalidasa antiquity and also stricking off the glorious vikramaditya(1century BC)  from history to mythical ruler.  For the time being we can go with Puranic account and say Kalidasa lived in the era of Vikramaditya (son of Mahendraditya) around 57BC. Vikramaditya who established vikram era in 57BC.

My Theory
Now the date is settled , All our problems are solved right?
No, we have only one problem. Panini talks about Pushyamitra. Panini cannot be dated later than 4th century BC. How can Panini talk about pushyamitra who is two centuries later. We  have to see pushyamitra dated to Mauryas. But keeping Mauryas in 3rd century BC, Indologists have brought pushyamitra to that date. But Panini is struck at 4 century BC . If Mauryas are dated in 15-14century BC, how come his Senapati dated in 2nd century BC. Indology Scholar Vogel equated Bruhaspatimitra of Magada with Pushyamitra and scholars like K P Jaiswal followed suit. We have one more mythical king pushyamitra.

I feel Gupta Emperors Chandragupta I and Samundragupta are the rulers in 3rd century BC. The Raghu in Raghuvamsa  campaign eeringly follows samudragupta campaign.There are several mitras ruling in many places in North India  as per inscriptions in 2nd century BC.   Kalidasa reads samudragupta campaign into Raghu campaign. And reads Sunga rulers  Pushyamitra, Agnimitra and vasumitra tales in to local mitra tales. And we have a big confusion.  Kalidasa says Agnimitra to be kasyapa lineage and belonging to Baimbika family, According to Panini Sungas belong to Bramhana family of Bharadvaja. The Vikramaditya son of Mahendraditya are the rulers whose time kalidasa lived that is 1 century BC. But with new additional information the things will change

Giravani  by desiraju hanumanta rao
Definitive Astronomical Evidence for the Date of Kalidasa  by K. Chandra Hari
The Role of Kālidāsa in the Development of Indian Literature by Parmeshwar Gangawat
Kalidasa and Ancient India by Chhattisgarh - Ambikapur
Numismatic parallels of kalidasa by sri c.sivaramamurti
Kalidasa: Date, Life And Works by  V.V. MIRASHI N.R NAVALEKAR
The Gupta polity By V. P. Ramachandra Dikshitar, V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar
Old Buddhist Shrines at Bodh-Gaya Inscriptions By B.M. Barua

Related Posts
Who are White Huns
Date of Kanishka
Who are Kambojas
Origin of Rastrakuta
Myths of Rajput Origin
Origin of Satavahans - Andhra Myth
Date of Buddha
Did Megasthanes Meet Chandragupta
Origin of Yavanas - Greek Myth


  1. thanks for your post. you always gives true information but unfortunately we people so blind that we never investigate deeply for any subject foe example in schools we still taught that history which was written by horrible scholars like max muller amd a b keith-- who belong to 18th century----and there research was just based on base less hypothesis filled with religious prejudices.

  2. 1. Which Mahendraditya-Vikramaditya of first BC you referring, which dynasty they belonged?
    2. Your comment on Ashvaghosha is just a theory, very loose indeed.
    3. Ramayana does not say anything so extensive on Raghu. From where Kalidasa got idea of Raghu's conquest? Samudragupta?
    4. Anga would be independant before the time of Samudragupta. Why you say it was not independant? Chandragupta I was only holding Prayaga, Magadha and little Bengal.
    5. Who were these Pushyamitra, Agnimitra etc? I have not heard about these in Indian history, There is a reference in Bhitari pillar inscription where Skandagupta defeated the Pushyamitras. If these are same then how come these were present in BC?
    6. When did Saka came to India? If you say that Vikramaditya defeated them in 1st BC then you are proposing that he went to their land and defeated them as they were not yet penetrated into India by this time. And an Indian emperor going into someone's land on his own is against our so called principle that we did not penetrated into anyone's territory.
    If you date the Guptas into BC then please come forward with all the dates as your Gupta Era calculations will go for toss.
    As I am currently studying the Gupta history so I thought to go through your article. I am just a true seeker without any bias towards dating of the Guptas in our era.


  3. Not so Fast.
    your comment is just plain denying, that I come across frequently.
    1.Vikramaditya - Mahendraditya, I have given the info.

    2.Opposite theory is also assumption. You don't seem to have no problems with that. My theory is there is nothing to prove Kalidasa copied from Ashvagosha.

    3. which Ramayana are you referring.

    3.Kindly see where is Anga in the map and see the gupta dominions, how can Anga be indpendent.I did not date Kalidasa before Samudragupta, kalidasa is after him.

    4.If you have not heart about Mitras, Read indian History. That is the question. If pushyamitras were defeated by Skandagupta and it is referred by Patanjali, How do you date Gupta's in 4th century AD. Skanda gupta refers to Sakas, but it has been eroneously said he defeated Hunas. That is the foulplay.

    6.who told Indians did not venture out: It is Megasthanes. It is stupid talk. Megasthanes words cannot be believed one side he talks about indian writing and in another place he talks about Indians have nothing written. Did not chandragupta (Whoever it may be)defeated Selucus.

    Also look at my kamasutra article, it may throw more light.

    Dating Gupta's is the biggest Puzzle. I am still lost unravelling it. let us see the points to look.

    1.Andhras and Andhrabrityas - their dating.
    2.Western satraps and Kushanas - their dating
    3.Malwa Guptas and Mukharais - their dating
    4.who are sakas - their dating
    5.Vakatakas their dating.
    6.Dating of kharvela

  4. I appreciate that you approved my comments, we can discuss now on these things without any malice.
    1. If we accept that Vikramaditya of Ujjain was a Gupta king then there are three Gupta kings who assumed Vikramaditya title on their coins - Chandragupta II, Purugupta and Skandagupta. Some scholars have proposed that Purugupta and Skandagupta are same. Chandragupta II defeated Sakas as evident from Harshacharita of Bana, Devichandraguptam of Vishakhadatta. Skandagupta defeated Huns but not Sakas. Purugupta has no inscriptions only coins so no history about him. Vikramaditya of Ujjain is also known as Sakari, or destroyer of Sakas. Guttas of Guttal in their inscriptions trace their lineage from Vikramaditya of Ujjain who is same as Chandragupta of Pataliputra. In this circumstances Vikramaditya of Ujjain might be same as Chandragupta II of the Guptas. A scholar points that Dhirendranath Mukhopadhyaya did a study which suggests that the date calculation done in Vikarama Era and in Gupta Era results in same results. I have not seen this calculation myself so cant comment on this.
    2. Yes you are correct, I meant that no conclusion can be drawn from this about who was earlier.
    3. Ramayana of Valmiki does not have much information on Raghu. If Kalidasa gives a detailed account of Raghu, it means that he would have drawn the inspiration from some historical or contemporary activity. Historical activity might be in form of some literature like Ramayana however no such work has come into light. Samudragupta's India conquest is similar to Raghu's path though not exactly same. Pandyas are mentioned in Raghuvamsha however they are not mentioned in Allahabad inscription. As you know history is not clear like a glass, hence the best match of Raghu's conquest would be Samudragupta's conquests. But what if Kalidasa is earlier than Guptas, in that case the above proposition is wrong. But what proofs we have that Kalidasa was earlier? You date Kalidasa after Samudragupta however your date of Samudragupta is not what is widely accepted (335-380 CE).
    4. I know Pushyamitra of the Sunga dynasty however this dynasty ruled after the Mauryas and before the rise of the Guptas. Do you suggest that Pushyamitra was contemporary of Skandagupta? In this case as Sungas were ruling over Magadha and Guptas were also ruling from Magadha and if both are contemporaries then we have a problem. Vishnu Purana talks about Mitras who were ruling over Malva region however it does not assign any date to them. You are correct that Hunas are not mentioned specifically in the Junagadh inscription as it mentions that fame of Skandagupta was known and sung by Mlechchha country which many scholars took for Huns. You suggesting that this Mlechchha could be Sakas? Sakas were defeated by Chandragupta II and after that they did not rise on Indian political scene. The next tribe was Huns whose Toramana and Mihirakula are famous in India's history.
    5. Chandragupta defeated Selucus however it was Selucus who advanced towards India, and Chandragupta just made his stop before India's border. It is not that Chandragupta marched against him in his territory. Correct?

  5. 1. I think, Indologists has added two separate Gupta lines into one. Imperial Gupta Ruling from Pataliputra and Malwa Gupta ruling from Ujjain. These two though they are both Gupta lines are not directly related. As we say in any dynasty ,there are some very popular names and they are repeated throughout the history. For Example in Chola Karikala, Raja raja(Rajadhiraja) and Rajendra are very popular and they are often named and taken as titles. The same with Gupta some names like Chandragupta, Kumaragupta, Vikramditya are very popular and Indology scholars have taken all these people to be one. Unless we separate the two Gupta lines, we can never solve the chronology issue. The Indology scholars with over centuries of debate has not been able to do so. Calculating Gupta era's has been fascinating and frustrating at the same time. I feel Gupta era started with Aguptiyaka era found in Gokak Plates. Malwa era or Vikrama era should be clearly found out and separated from the dates that don't quote them. many scholars say it is in Malwa era, when no era is quoted.

    3.I am not fully believe that kalidasa reads Samudragupta campaign into Raghu campaign the founder of Raghu vamsa of Ramayana. After I went through Trojan war myths, I am firmly into the conclusion that any poet takes all the popular myths at that time, not just one. Just see the original location of Pandyas article. Pandavas are the folklore heroes, many regional variations of Pandavas have be taken to mean Pandyas by Nilakantashastri(who incidentally read every c or s into Chola and every p into Pandya, however unrelated these may be with situations). My contention is kalidasa comes between two Gupta lines Imperial Gupta in BC and Malwa Gupta line in AD. My Samudragupta date is with Purana date.

    4. Again there is Pushyamitra , Pushyamitras and Mitras. All these three has to be separated, then only we can get rid of the dating muddle here. All three has been combined we have typical Indology dating muddle. Pushyamitra comes after Mauryas that is in 13th century BC. There is Pushyamitras and Mitras. I will write a separate article all Mitras, that will happen later. I have not written article on Gupta dating because of the difficulties in separating two Gupta lines. You can see many Satakarni inscriptions have gupta general names as well. So the Andhra and Andhrabritya needed to be separated. The Abhiras in the west and Salankayana dating is also an issue, both dated after 3rd Century AD,but references to them are from Alexander times and in Ptolemy as well. Toramana and Mihirakula are Huns? that looks like one more article.

    5.Seleucus invasions are with respect Chandragupta Incursions

  6. Ok, we better now focus on single item and will continue only when it is resolved. So first is Imperial Guptas and Guptas of Malwa. First, Where this Malwa located? I think following present cities/villages would have been under Malwa region - Eran, Mandasor, Ujjain, Indore, Mandu etc between Betwa and Narmada rivers. If you disagree then please suggest your location. Now you say that there were two different lines of the Guptas, in this case may you please suggest which all inscriptions we have from Imperial Guptas and which from Malwa Guptas? I give you a list of few inscriptions and you can write which dynasty they belong to.
    1. Allahabad pillar insc of Samudragupta
    2. Eran stone insc of Samudragupta
    3. Udayagiri cave insc of Chandragupta
    4. Bilsad pillar stone of Kumaragupta
    5. Junagadh rock insc of Skandagupta
    4. Eran pillar insc of Budhagupta
    5. Eran stone insc of Bhanugupta
    You see, there are many sources which we have to take into account when reading history, like epigraphical, numismatic, literary etc. To make this discussion better and fruitful, if we make any statement, we should also write the supporting evidence so that it can be verified. This will help both of us in understanding the situation better. All the above inscriptions have been assigned to Imperial Gupta dynasty which started by Gupta in 3rd century CE, source Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Vol III published by ASI. I would be very interested to know about your theory of two gupta lines, but please quote your references otherwise you can also state that it is your own theory. I hope you understand my intentions.

  7. Hi Saurab,
    Nice talking to you.
    My approach is different, I don't put the hand in the middle, but start from the edges. The Current Topic I am interested is first establishing the Malwa line of Gupta and Mukharis. I am not into this at present. I will write the article once my madness with Android is quenched. I will get some perspective once Malwa line is clear. Kindly bear with me for a week or so.

  8. Sure, not an issue, meanwhile my Gupta study will be over as well. I am not a scholar and nor I belong to any college or studying under some known scholar. I refer many books and try to find the common out of all and this common is what I believe in. Though it could be wrong however in that case I would like to know supporting proofs.
    I am well aware of efforts of many scholars who have tried to prove Gupta dates before CE however none of those scholars were taken seriously by so called elite or recognized historians. But that does not mean that what they proposed is wrong or absurd.
    In my study of the Guptas, none of the scholars which I am referring has suggested Gupta dates to be before CE. The scholars I am referring are V A Smith, R C Majumdar, J Allan, A S Altekar, R D Banerji, B Ch Chhabra, A N Dandekar, R K Mookerji, K P Jayaswal, O P Singh, S R Goyal, J F Fleet, Alexander Cunningham, S N Misra, V S Agrawala, Edward Thomas etc. I have given you names of the scholars so that you are aware from where I am talking. None of these have suggested Guptas to be earlier than 3rd century. There are many Indian scholars as well in this group however none suggested anything on your lines.
    There is one work by D S Triveda on Qutb Minar published by Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series, New Delhi. He refers to his earlier work where he has suggested Guptas to be before CE, same as you also believe in. However I do not have his referred work with me so dont have much details on this.

  9. I feel degrees are for people who want to be employed. Main thing one requires is the mindset to explore and live in it.

    Most of the Indology scholars dont agree with me. And you are not the first one to point out that. Almost every comment on this blog is about this issue.

    I don't believe, unless I believe. I dont have to believe something because somebody great said it. But I am not alone in this.

    You have quoted a large number of scholars. But I don't think like that.

    There is a great warrior Vindhyashakti in central India, founder of Vakataka dynasty. Then there is long list of kings of this dynasty. Gupta's should have been ruling on side or just north of them. They dont acknowledge each other. Samudragupta does a whole campaign, but fails to mention vakatakas as friend or foe.

    Now Rudrasena I is vakataka ruler and said to be contemproary of Samudragupta,but they dont acknowledge each other. Someplaces your scholars say Rudrasena I was defeated by Samudragupta.

    Of course Rudrasena II seems to have married daughter of Gupta. Now some of the scholars you mentioned argue whose daughter he married. They come up with the idea that it has to be of Chandragupta II.

    The Main Point is While Prabhavati gupta as daughter of Chandragupta II, identification of has been widely accepted more than 30 years ago, this line of argument has no proper evidence. Prabhavati Gupta's inscription mentions about one "Deva Gupta" who is her father and the historians equated him with Chandra Gupta II. However, there is no other source to prove that Deva Gupta is really Chandra Gupta II. While vakataka rule is well established with support from inscriptions from nearby dynasties like Vishnukundin and others. But not the Gupta's

    Now prove to me that Vakataka-Gupta age is not a myth.

  10. Poona plates of Prabhavatigupta (Epigraphia Indica Vol XV, page 39) - I read this inscription myself and part of it I am writing it here for your reference -
    ".....Maharaja Sri-Ghatotkachas=tasya sat-putro maharaja-sri-Chandraguptas=tasya sat-putro=nek-Asvamedha-yaji Lichchhavi-dohitro nahadevyam Kumara-devyam=utpanno maharaja-adhiraja-sri-Samudraguptas=tat-pat-putras=tat-pada-parigrihitah prithivyam=a-pratirathas=sarva-raj-ochhetta chatur-udadhi-salil-asvadita-yasa neka-go-hiranya-koti-sahsra-pradah=parama-bhagvato maha-raj-adhiraja-Sri-Chandraguptas=tasya duhita...". I do not see any issue now, it is clearly specified that Chandragupta who was the son of Samudragupta, grandson of Chandragupta and great-grandson of Ghatotkacha. It is also mentioned by K N Dikshit, who translated this inscription, that in inscriptions of Pravarsena, son of Prabhavatigupta, he has mentioned his grandfather as Devagupta. In this circumstances it looks that Devagupta might be another name of Chandragupta II.
    I hope there is no doubt in identifying Devagupta with Chandragupta II, or if I am blind and missing something.

  11. Poona plates of Prabhavati gupta gives: Deva Gupta his wife Kuberanaga as the parents of Prabhavati Gupta. Prabhavati Gupta is Vakataka Queen who was administering the kingdom after the death of her husband Rudrasena on behalf of the children. We don't know if Deva Gupta is Gupta Monarch. The name does not automatically mean Gupta Monarch. We have name Gupta from Chanakya times. We have Gupta name in Satakarni Inscriptions.

    The Gupta Lineage is given from others Inscriptions of Guptas.

    Now How do you prove that Deva Gupta is Chandragupta II. Indologists have conveniently identified devaGupta as Chandragupta II. I have read somewhere unattested that there is coin of Chandragupta II with devasri as title. But don't know where it is now. Coming back to the question how do you identify Deva Gupta = ChandraGupta II.

    This question determines vakataka chronology and Western Satraps chronology.

    One more question even though it favours your point of view , I will present.
    Allahabad Pillar inscription has Rudra deva as being killed by SamudraGupta. Now who this Rudra Deva is question. Some scholars say Rudra deva is this Rudra sena I. Some scholars say Rudradeva is Western Satraps ruler. Now if Rudra deva is Vakataka ruler RudraSena I. How come his son marries Samudragupta Grand Daughter? if Rudra deva is Vakataka ruler then western Satraps chronology goes for a toss.

    If Rudra Deva is Western Satraps ruler. Then Vakataka chronology goes for a toss.

    In both the above cases Satakarni chronology goes for a toss.

    We have a classic Indology dating muddle.

  12. I did not understand your point, I have given the part of Poona plate grant in my previous post where specifically Chandragupta is mentioned, and you still saying that Devagupta is mentioned. I have also given my reference that this epigraph has been published in EI Vol XV page 39. I have this volume in my possession and I have read it myself. When it is clearly written that father of Prabhavatigupta is Chandragupta then why you still going on with Devagupta? Before going ahead on our discussion, we should have a conclusion on this point. Does Poona plate of Prabhavatigupta mention Chandragupta as her father? I answer yes and I gave my proof. If you answer in No, then please provide support.

  13. Poona Plate does not give gupta geneology. It only says she is daughter of DevaGupta and kuberanaga

  14. Now how to settle this, you not ready to accept my argument and I have proofs in my hands. I am in Bangalore and you are also in Bangalore, lets meet and settle this. I will bring the book where you can see yourself what the Poona plate saying. Have to seen this grant inscription yourself? If yes, then in which book?

  15. There is Rithpur Plates by prabhavati gupta claiming ancestory from whole Gupta Lineage. But I dont know where to look for this inscription.

    I am Absolutely sure that Poona Plates say only deva Gupta. kindly check at your hand.

  16. Even if the geneology connection between Vakataka and Gupta, there is no way to date the same.

  17. There is a debate for few decades among scholars on who this devagupta mentioned in Poona plates is?

    If all the names of Gupta kings are given in the grant, what is the necessity for this debate?

    I feel the book of yours does not give correct information.

  18. I checked again with EI vol XV, page 39 and it is clearly mentioned that Prabhavatigupta was daugther of Chandragupta and Kuberanaga. I am talking about Poona plates. There are other plates of Prabhavatigupta where she mentions that her father is Devagupta.
    Sanchi inscription of Chandragupta (CII Vol III, no 9) mentions that Devaraja was another name of Chandragupta II.
    It is very clear that Chandragupta II had names like Devaraja and Devagupta.

  19. Your comments are seem to coming from A N Dandekar's books where it is mentioned that there was long debate about Devagupta and he also mentions Ridhpur plates. The difference between your and my approach is that I have gone to the source, the real Prabhavatigupta's Poona plates and have seen myself that it mentions Chandragupta not Devagupta. I suggest you to first see the source and then only conclude on anything. I am not saying that Dandekar is wrong or right, I am just emphasizing that we must check the source always.
    The current discussion was only about Devagupta is Chandragupta or not, their dating we may take once when this is settled.

  20. You can Take your victory here. As I have none. I told you I am not into this topic yet. And you don't seem to look beyond the book.

    The Inscription is in a different script that regular Vakataka inscriptions. Only Prabhavati gupta inscriptions talk of Gupta and none of other Vakataka monarchs talk about them.

    Deva is such a common word, to base an argument is too ambitious, especially when there is a devagupta in Malwa Gupta genealogy.

    There is no acknowledgement in the Gupta records of vakataka. Does it look strange to you.

    Fahien visiting North India at the start of 5th century AD. Talks about Nagas, but not Guptas. Hieuan Tsang talks about ruined state of for many years of the city of pataliputra

  21. Its not about personal victories, just that the circumstances seem to support Devagupta = Chandragupta. A very great scholar once mentioned to me that what is written in inscription has to be believed in all circumstances till you have another similar strong evidence against it. This I always keep in my mind. Whether the grant is spurious of not written in some special characters are secondary things. I never understand the characters things, its not an exact science. Usage of characters depends on the scribe to engraving these and on there style basis we can only propose theories but cannot take that as a primary evidence.
    Malwa and Pataliputra lines will be dealt later on when you get your hands full with that knowledge.
    As of now, I may say that we agree that Chandragupta II is same as Prabhavatigupta's father. This Chandragupta II is the son of Samudragupta and grandson of Chandragupta I. He had another familiar name Devagupta or Devaraja. The last comment is a theory arrived with the studies of inscriptions. Now to which dynasty he belongs, will be discussed when you say that you ready with your studies.
    Should we take up time of Kalidasa now to discuss? How about a topic that whether the conquest of Raghu is inspired by Samudragupta or not? Or you propose some other topic?

  22. Hi !
    I urgently want to read Kalidasa: Date, Life And Works by V.V. MIRASHI N.R NAVALEKAR

    Can you help ?

    Warm Regards,
    Jayant Kulkarni

    1. The Available on online on Google Books, If you have done a google search, you would have found out yourself.


All comments to this blog are subject to moderation, and may appear at sole discretion of blog editor, if found to add relevance to the Posts