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Chandragupta II (Sanskrit: चन्द्रगुप्त विक्रमादित्य; chandragupta vikramāditya) was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta empire in northern India. His rule spanned c. 380–413/415 CE, during which the Gupta Empire achieved its zenith. Art, architecture, and sculpture flourished, and the cultural development of ancient India reached its climax. The period of prominence of the Gupta dynasty is very often referred to as the Golden Age of India. Chandragupta II was the son of the previous ruler, Samudragupta. He attained success by pursuing both a favorable marital alliance and an aggressive expansionist policy in this which his father and grandfather (Chandragupta I) set the precedent. Samudragupta set the stage for the emergence of classical art, which occurred under the rule of Chandragupta II. Chandragupta II gave great support to the arts. Artists were so highly valued under his rule that they were paid for their work — a rare phenomenon in ancient civilizations.

From 388 to 409 he subjugated Gujarat, the region north of Mumbai, Saurashtra, in western India, and Malwa, with its capital at Ujjain. Culturally, the reign of Chandragupta II marked a Golden Age. This is evidenced by later reports of the presence of a circle of poets known as the Nine Gems in his court. The greatest among them was Kalidasa, who authored numerous immortal pieces of literature including Abhijñānaśākuntalam. The others included Sanskrit grammarian Amara Sinha and the astronomer-mathematician Varahamihira.


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