(Last Updated on : 14/04/2011)
Chandragupta II is also referred as Vikramaditya or Chandragupta Vikramaditya. During his reign the Gupta Empire reached its peak. He was the son of Samudragupta. His mother was Datta Devi who was the chief queen of Samudragupta. According to the Allahabad pillar inscription Chandragupta II was married to a Naga princess Kuberanaga. Chandragupta pursued an aggressive expansionist policy. He ruled from 375 to 415 A.D
His greatest victory came when he defeated Rudrasimha III of Shaka -Kshatrapa dynasty and annexed their kingdom in Gujarat
After the death of his son-in-law Rudrasena II the Vakataka realm came under the Gupta Empire and therefore this period in history is called the Vakataka -Gupta age. This gave Chandragupta the opportunity to defeat the Western Kshatrapas completely. After this his empire began from the mouth of the Ganges to the mouth of the Indus River, which is now the region from North Pakistan down to the mouth of the Narmada. Pataliputra
continued to be the capital of the empire but Ujjain became a kind of second capital.
During the reign of Chandragupta, Fa-Hien, a Chinese pilgrim visited India. From his description it is known that capital punishment was absent during the reign of Vikramaditya. Poll-tax, land tax and caste system did not prevail during his reign. Culturally, the reign of Chandragupta II marked a Golden Age because of the presence of circle of poets in his court who were called Navratna or the nine gems. The greatest among them was Kalidasa who authored numerous immortal pieces of literature including `Shakuntala`, and he is often referred to as the Shakespeare of India. Kalidasa in his work mentions that Vikramaditya conquered twenty-one kingdoms, both inside and outside India. Varahamihira was a famous astronomer and mathematician. During the reign of Chandragupta II silver coins were produced in the Shaka tradition. The next day after the Hindu festival Diwali
is called Padwa or Varshapratipada, which marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya.
There is an iron pillar near Delhi`s Qutub Minar
, which dates back to 4th century. This pillar bears an inscription, which states that it was erected as a mark of respect for the Hindu god Lord Vishnu and in the memory of Chandragupta II.