Maharaja Sri Gupta (240-280)Maharaja Sri Gupta (240-280) - The Mauryan Empire did not survive long after Ashoka the Great's reign. After a series of weak kings and pressure from the Seleucid Empire to the west, by the early 2nd century B.C., it had broken up into a number of smaller kingdoms. One of those kingdoms grew into the Andhra Empire which occupied central India. It lasted for about four centuries before it came to an end. Except for the spread of Buddhism into China during this time, it was a relatively uneventful period in India's history (or perhaps a poorly documented one). By the 3rd century A.D., a new kingdom was poised to dominate subcontinent. It was the Gupta Empire and it would come to be regarded as a golden age in India's history. Founded by a ruler named Sri Gupta (although the Gupta Dynasty is regarded to have started with his grandson, Chandra-Gupta I), its origins are unknown. However, what is known is that it was a Hindu dynasty, probably of the vaisya sect. If so, this is was highly unusual as the vaisya was the second lowest caste in Hinduism. But this might explain why, despite being Hindu, Sri Gupta is perhaps most famous for building a Buddhist temple in Bihar for Chinese Buddhists who began making pilgrimages to India.