In Ancient India, the Gupta Dynasty ruled the mid-to-late 3rd century (approximately) to 543 AD. Founded by Sri Gupta, the dynasty rose to fame with rulers like Chandragupta-I, Samudragupta, etc. The decline of the Mauryan empire resulted in the rise of two major political powers – the Kushanas and the Satavahanas in the north and south respectively. Both these empires brought political unity and economic growth in their respective areas. The Kushan reign in north India came to an end around c.230 CE and then a good part of central India came under the domain of the Murundas (possible kinsmen of the Kushanas). The Murundas ruled for only 25 – 30 years. Around the last decade of the 3rd century CE (about 275 CE), the dynasty of the Guptas came to power. The Gupta empire established its control over a good part of the former dominions of both the Kushanas and the Satavahanas. The Guptas (possibly Vaishyas) kept northern India politically united for more than a century (335 CE- 455 CE). # The Guptas are believed to have been feudatories of the Kushanas. # The original kingdom of the Guptas comprised Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with their centre of power at Prayag (U.P). # The Guptas set up their rule over the fertile plains of the Madhyadesha, also known as Anuganga (the middle Gangetic basin), Saketa (U.P Ayodhya), Prayag (U.P) and Magadha (mostly Bihar). # The Guptas made good use of the iron ore reserves in central India and south Bihar and also took advantage of their proximity to the areas in north India which carried on silk trade with the Byzantine empire (eastern Roman empire). # The Gupta period in ancient India is referred to as the “Golden Age” because of the numerous achievements in the field of arts, literature, science and technology. It also brought about the political unification of the subcontinent.