Daily Life in the Gupta Empire

The typical house during the Gupta empire had only one room and was built from bamboo or wood with a thatched roof. Even the nobles and kings lived in wooden houses and palaces.

A Gupta village was a noisy place. The streets were narrow with houses on both sides and businesses set up in stalls in the street. People and animals wandered through the market.

Craftsmen practiced their arts in the villages and worked in iron and copper. Their iron was of such quality that statues from them exist today. Artists produced great works of sculpture and literature.

Most people were farmers. Wheat was the main crop, and they kept cows for milk. People were expected to work (for pay) for the king or ruler every year for a specific time doing public works, like building or fixing roads, or digging canals.

Gupta mathematicians and scientists figured out that the earth revolved around the sun and computed the exact length of a year. They also invented the base-10 math system we use today and the decimal point to measure sums smaller than one.

With the rise of Buddhism, the population became vegetarian. They grew and ate grains as both cereals and breads, with many different types of vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Some children went to school called ashrams where they studied math, science, literature, music, and religion. They also learned life skills.

In the Gupta empire, there were three different types of marriage. Swayamvara was when the bride selected her spouse from a group of young men gathered outside her house. Gandharva Vivaha was the love marriage. Asura Vivaha was marriage by abduction (elopement).

Chess and playing cards were invented by the Indians. They also loved outdoor activities, martial arts, and wrestling, and the nobility liked polo and hunting. They kept birds as pets, particularly parrots.

The people of ancient India wore clothing similar to that worn in India today. In the north, the dhoti was a very long cloth draped around the lower body and legs and tied at the waist. In the south, the women wore a sari, a long cloth wrapped around both the upper and lower body. They used parasols to screen themselves from the sun.

Source: Daily Life in the Gupta Empire
All Rights Reserved Written by Lin Donn

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