The Guptas : Cultural And Scientific Developments


Gupta period is regarded as the golden age by many scholars. The Gupta dynasty came out as a powerful empire in 320 A.D . Gupta rulers built the powerful empire through large conquest and achievements. Gupta rulers were great lovers of art. Many developments are seen during this period of which some are mentioned below.


  • ARCHITECTURE : In the architecture field great developments were made by Gupta rulers, styles like Nagra and Dravidian also Evolved during this period. Beautiful temples and buildings were created, which was later destroyed by Muslims and Huns. Large number of temples were created during this period such as Vishnu temple, Shiva temple, Parvati temple etc., which still survives.
  • SCULPTURES : art of sculptures reach to the peak of its perfection during Gupta age, it carried great skill and perfection and were completely Indian. Various Buddhist and Hindu sculptures were designed in Indian style in different poses. Most iconic icons were Lord Buddha, Vishnu, Shiva, Lord Surya. 
  • PAINTINGS : Paintings of Gupta period are described as murals, these are large works executed on the walls. These can be found in the caves like that of Ajanta, Ellora. Live paintings of Buddha and other gud goddesses, forest, trees, and animals are present.
  • COINAGE : Various beautiful silver and gold coins were developed on which images of animals, birds, figures of goddesses apart from Gupta rulers can be seen. These coins are best specimens of numistic art of Gupta age.
  • TERRACOTTA : art of terracotta was considered poor man's art but most popular. The figures of Hindu gods found places at private homes and public temples.


  • SECULAR LITERATURE : Gupta period saw great development of secular literature. Some secular literature are of mentioned names : 
    • Kalidasa
    • Vishakhadatta
    • Sudraka 
    • Bharavi
    • Bhasa 
    • Subandhu 
    • Dandin 
    • Bhatti
    • Harisena
  • RELIGIOUS LITERATURE : Religious literature was at its peak of development during Gupta age. Puranas were rewritten . Two great epics, the Ramanyana and The Mahabharata saw its presence from Gupta age . Kautliya wrote his arthashastra in Gupta age only.
  • PHILOSOPHICAL LITERATURE: Several philosophical scholars wrote several philosophical books during the Gupta age, among these were Buddhaghosa, Asanga, Vyasa, Vasubandu, Sabaraswamin, etcThey were both Hindu and Buddhist Philosophers. Jain scholars also wrote great philosophical work in Jainism.
  • GRAMMARS: Many book on grammar was written such as 'Chandra Vayakarna' written by Buddhist scholars named Chandragomin, Panini's Ashtadhyayi written by Jainendra became very popular. Amar Singh compiled Amar Khosh.


  • EDUCATION : During Gupta age education was widespread, well known Universities like Taxila, Nalanda, Sarnath,Ajanta was famous where students foreign countries went for higher education. Education was not only literary but also technical, student learned art and craft.
  • TECHNOLOGY : Extraordinary progress can be seen in the field of technology during Gupta age. Art of casting metal was highly developed. Bronze statue of Buddha is found at Sultanganj is another best example of fine technology. Iron pillar of Mehraulli is the best example of metallurgical art. Many gold and silver coins were also developed during the Gupta age.
  • MATHEMATICS AND ASTRONOMY : Gupta ge proved to be the golden age for Indian Mathematicians, various Mathematicians like Aryabhata, gave broader shape to Mathematics. The Mathematics of this period was included in the 'astral science' . Surya Siddhanta is one of the major works of this period. It contains roots of modern trigonometry, although it's authorship is unknown.
  • MEDICINE: Many hospitals were developed to a great extent for both men and animals and study jf medicine was compulsory in the Nalanda University. 


From the above discussion it can be concluded that the Gupta period was in general a golden age which gave rise to various developments in fields of technology, art and literature. Presence of different Universities like Taxila made the art and literature flourish more. It made remarkable progress in different spheres.


A History of India, Vol. I, Penguin Books, 1966 - Thapar, Romila

The Wonder That Was India - Basham, A.L

History and Culture of the Punjab, Vol. I, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1977 - Joshi, L.M and Fauja Singh