Gupta Empire

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Map of the Gupta Empire circa 400-450 CE

The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire which existed from the early 4th century CE to late 6th century CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent. This period is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age of India."

The Guptas were traditionally a Hindu dynasty. However, they allowed followers of Buddhism and Jainism to practice their religions. During this period, Sanchi remained an important centre of Buddhism, and Kumaragupta I (455 CE) is said to have founded Nalanda.

Some later rulers during this period seem to have especially promoted Buddhism. According to contemporary writer Paramartha, Narasimhagupta Baladitya (c. 495–?) was brought up under the influence of the Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu. He is said to have built a temple at Nalanda and also a 300 ft (91 m) high vihara with a Buddha statue within which, according to Xuanzang, resembled the "great Vihara built under the Bodhi tree".

After the collapse of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century, India was again ruled by numerous regional kingdoms.

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