Our next Inspirational Woman is the first Female Monarch in India. A Gupta Princess, Prabhavati Gupta.
Prabhavatigupta was a Gupta princess and Vakataka queen who was the consort of Maharaja Rudrasena II. Following the death of her husband, she effectively ruled the Vakataka kingdom as regent from about 390 to 410.
Prabhavati was a brave, fearless girl who helped her father, Chandragupta, with resources and support in his final defeat of the Sakas of Gujarat. Rudrasena II had a short reign of only about five years before he died. After the death of Prabhavati’s husband in 390 A.D., Prabhavati ruled for 20 years with the help of her father.
Prabhavati had three sons with Rudrasena – Divakarasena, Damodarasena, and Pravarasena – but none of them were adults at the time of their father’s untimely death.
Divakarasena, the eldest son of Rudrasena and Prabhavatigupta, was the Yuvaraja or Crown Prince of the Vakataka kingdom. Since he was still a child, Prabhavatigupta assumed the reigns of government and ruled in his name. We know that Prabhavatigupta ruled for at least 13 years as a regent because her Pune grant is dated to the thirteenth year of her own rule, where she calls herself “Mother of the Yuvaraja Divakarasena”.
During Prabhavati’s time in power, Gupta influence over the Vakatakas reached its peak. Prabhavati’s inscriptions provide her own Gupta genealogy and emphasize her own natal connections. Her gotra is given as Dharana, which was the gotra of her father, rather than the Vishnuvriddha gotra of the Vakataka dynasty. Indeed, for the 20 or so years of Prabhavati ‘s regency, the Vakataka realm was “practically a part of the Gupta empire.”
Showcasing herself on the Udaigiri built by Chandragupta she built the Ramagiri and Mandhal sanctuaries which are unique in their iconography and have a very unique idea of the co-existence of Hinduism.
When she moved to Nandivardhana, she had her sculptors experiment with new forms of iconography and had set up a workshop for the production of high-quality red sandstone sculptures.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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