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Gupta Administration

The inscriptions mention the following titles as: paramadvaita, paramabhattaraka, maharajadhiraja, prithvipala, paramesvara, samrat, ekadhiraja and chakravartin. The king was assisted in his administration by a chief minister called mantra or sachiva. Pratiharas and mahapratiharas were important officers in the royal court though they did not participate in the administration. Among the important military officers are mentioned senapati, mahasenapati, baladhyaksha, mahabaladhyaksha, baladhikrita and mahabaladhikrita who perhaps represented different grades.

There were two other high military officers-the bhatasvapati, commander of the infantry and cavalry and the katuka, commander of the elephant corps. Another important official mentioned in the Basarh seals was ranabhandagaradhikarana, chief of the treasury of the war office. One more high officer mentioned for the first time in the Gupta records was sandhibigrahika or mahasandhivigrahika a foreign minister. One of the inscriptions mentions sarvadhyakshas, superintendents of all but it is not clear whether they were central or provincial officers. Numerous inscriptions mention dutaka or duta who communicated royal commands to officers and people concerned. Dandapasadhikarana represented the chief of the police. Ordinary police officials were known as dandapasika, chatas, bhatas, dandika and chauroddharanika. The king maintained a close liaison with the provincial administration through a class of officials called kumaramatyas and ayuktas.

The provinces called bhuktis were usually governed by officers called uparikas. The governor of a bhukti has various designations in the official records-bhogika, gopta, uparika-maharaja and rajasthaniya. Bhuktis were subdivided into vishayas. These were governed by vishayapatis. The headquarters of the district was known as adhishthana and the executive officers of the district as samvyavahari and ayuktakas. The district magistrate was helped in his administration in his administration by a large staff. They were maharattaras(village elders), ashtakuladhi-karanikas(officers in charge of groups of eight kulas or families in the local area), gramika(village headman), saulkika (collector of customs and tolls), gaulmika(incharge of forest and forts), agraharika(in charge of the agraharas, settlements dedicated to Brahmins). The district records office called akshapatala was placed in charge of mahakshapatalika. There were also in the district office, sarbodhyakshas or general superintendents under whom were employed men of noble lineage called kulaputras to guard against corruption. The popular element played an important part in the district administration. The advisory district council consisted principally of four members namely the guild president, the chief merchant, the chief artisan and the chief scribe. The villages were under gramikas along with whom were associated mahattaras or the senior persons of different classes. The town administration was carried on by the mayor of the city called purapala who corresponded to nagaravyavaharakas of the Mauryan age.