THE LATER GUPTAS
The designation later Guptas is a peculiar one as there is no evidence to show that this family was in any way connected by blood with the imperial Guptas. It is also interesting to know that the family never called it self by the name Gupta and one name of its ruler is Aditya-Sena and not Gupta.
In all probability, just as the Maukharis, they too were feudatories of the imperial Guptas. To begin with, and later established an idependent kingdom which lasted till about the middle of 8th century A.D. the founder of this dynasty was Krishna-Gupta. He and his two successors, Harsha-Gupta and Jivita-Gupta I must have ruled Magadha around 550 A.D.
Most of the evidence relating to this dynastry if from a single inscription issued by the 8th king, Aditya-Sena who ruled in the second half of the 7th century. It is clearly suggested that no one assumed a royal title and each of them was simply called Sri. It was Aditya-sena who assumed fullimperial title.
From the limited evidence that is available is is held that Kumara-Gupta the 4th of this dynasty is said to have defeated Isana-varman of the Maukharis. In all probablty the two families were feidndly to begin with but later because of military ambitions they fought with each other. More details are known about the 4th King, Kumarda-Gupta. He defeated the Maukhari king Isana-varman. This great victory over the Maukhari chief made him to be ranked virtually an independent chief. Thus, we can say that he was Kurara-Gupta who had laid the foundation of the greatness of the family some where about 550 A.D.
Gradually, the later Guptas came to possess Malwa, Magadha and north Bengal. It is presumed that Kumara-Gupta advanced as far as Allahabad.
This struggle was continued in the reign of Damodar-Gupta, son of Kumara-Gupta.
Damodar-Gupta was succeeded by his son, Mahasena-Gupta probably in the last quarter of the 6th century. In all probability he defeated Susthita-varman, the father of king Bhaskara-varman of Kamrupa. He probably advanced as faras Brahmaputra river.
However, Mahasena-Gupta met with misfortune in the later part of his reign. Both Bhaskara-Varman and the Maukharis attacked Mahasena-Gupta. The situation was made critical by internal discord. Sasanka the Gauda ruler, not only founded an independent kindom, but also ruled over Magadha, the eastern territories of Mahasena-Gupta. Furthermore, in allikelihood Mahasena-Gupta was defeated by the Tibetan king enabling Maukhari Avanti-varman to occupy some territories of Mahasena-Gupta.
After Mahasena-Gupta, the power of later Guptas shifted to Malwa. Kumara-Gupta and his brother are described as the sons of the king of Malwa. It is also assumed by historians that it was prabhakaravardhana of Kanauj that stood by the side of the young princes of Malwa. It looks that Mahasena-Gupta appealed for help to Prabhakaravardhana. Although he could not save Malwa, he rescured both the sons of Mahasena-Gupta and made them stay with him. Probably both of them remained as attendants of rajyavardhana and Harshavardhan till the kingdoms of Magadha and Malwa were restored to them.