The lute-playing conqueror
Can a music loving, scholarly prince be a successful king? Will a skilled and committed warrior encourage the arts and science? Samudra Gupta proved he was a multi-faceted ruler. By bringing peace to a huge area of the warring subcontinent, this benevolent king gave his people the leisure to be creative. His court official Harishena engraved his master's achievement on the Ashoka pillar in Allahabad.
When one recalls the 'Glory that was India' one first thinks of the Golden Age of the Guptas. Emperors and empires, India had seen earlier, but the power and the splendour of the Guptas was unique and none in the dynasty strove harder than Samudra Gupta to achieve them. If he was a benevolent despot, he was also a scholar and a great soldier.
What little we know about Samudragupta Gupta is gathered from the coins he issued and from a few inscriptions. In this Chitra Katha we have relied on literary sources and our own imagination to reconstruct the life and times of one of the greatest rulers of our history.