Various estimates extrapolated from historical sources would suggest that the origins of the Gupta Empire date back to around 240 CE. Sri Gupta began the line of rulers of the Gupta Empire as a regional king in northeastern India. The social background of the Gupta Dynasty appears to have been the Vaishya caste, typically members of the merchant class who generally did not hold positions of high power. The small Gupta Kingdom began to expand its influence as it conquered nearby rivals and married into other seats of power under the reign of Sri Gupta’s grandson, Chanrdagupta I, between 320–35 CE. Chandragupta’s son and heir, Samudragupta, set the sights of the empire further afield and began conquests into southern India and north into the territories of Afghanistan. The Gupta Empire became a wealthy regional power, an important place of art and literature and the centre of the Hindu religion.
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