Two phases in Indian history can be truly defined as the ‘Golden Age of India’, as there was peace, development and prosperity in the country then. The dominant one was an era between the 3rd century and 6th century CE of ancient India during the Gupta Empire and the other one was the period between the 10th and 11th century CE of medieval India during the Chola Dynasty in South India. During the rule of the Gupta Empire, India had made lots of contribution in various sectors like mathematics, science, astronomy, religion etc and during the Chola Dynasty, there was much development in architecture, Tamil literature and bronze work.
It was only during the Gupta period, which was founded by Maharaja Sri-Gupta and which ruled almost the entire country,that the decimal system, concept of zero and chess came into existence. Many scholars made huge contributions in many fields during this golden age . Famous among these were Aryabhatta, Kalidasa, and Varahamihira. At that time Gupta philosophers also discovered that the Earth is not flat but round and it is rotating on its own axis causing lunar eclipse. Discoveries regarding gravity, planets and solar system were also made during this time. Not only scientific, but there were developments in literature as well that includes famous story tales of Panchatantra, the very popular Kama Sutra, epics of Ramanyana and Mahabharata were also written during the Gupta Empire. Because of peace and prosperity under Gupta rulers, India had shown all these scientific as well as artistic developments.
Almost all the rulers of Gupta Empire were very strong leaders, administrators and able traders but not dictators. So strong trade ties with almost all the neighboring countries and regions such as Burma, Malay Archipelago, Sri Lanka and Indochina were made and that led to the expansion of their rule. Major rulers of Gupta Empire who contributed towards the Golden Age of India are Chandragupta (319 – 335 A.D), Samudragupta (335 – 375 A.D), Chandragupta II (375 – 414 A.D), Kumaragupta I (415 – 455 AD), Skandagupta (455 – 467 A.D)
Magnificent architecture was also part of this empire. Most of the sculptures found in the Gupta Empire were related to religion and spiritual realm, such as standing Buddha of Mathura and the sitting Buddha in Sarnath. Famous caves of rock-cut monasteries in Ajanta were also part of Gupta Empire. Then were the eminent paintings of Badami and Bagh. The style of Gandhara School of art that was originally developed in Mathura had gained much prominence during this period.
There was huge transformation in the way temples used to look before that period. Installing statutes of Gods in temple were brought in by Guptas. During the Golden age of Indi, temples were bigger and were fully decorated with carving. Invaders destroyed most of the temples constructed during that period.
TheCholas of South India had also contributed a lot to Indian history and contributed to the Golden age of India. They had built many temples and these temples are still a rich legacy of India and Indian history. The Cholas were very disciplined bureaucrats and gave the concept of a centralized government to India.
All these developments in society were enough for an epithet of ‘The Golden Age of India.’