Decline of the Gupta Empire
The last recognised king of the Gupta line was Vishnugupta who reigned from 540 to 550 CE. Internal fighting and dissensions among the royal family led to its collapse. During the reign of a Gupta king, Budhagupta, the Vakataka ruler Narendrasena of western Deccan, attacked Malwa, Mekala and Kosala. Later on, another Vakataka king Harishena conquered Malwa and Gujarat from the Guptas. During Skanda Gupta’s reign, the grandson of Chandragupta II, the Huns invaded northwest India. He was successful in repulsing the Huns, but consequently his empire was drained of financial resources. In the sixth century CE, the Huns occupied Malwa, Gujarat, Punjab and Gandhara. As the Hun invasion weakened the Gupta hold in the country, independent rulers emerged all over the north like Yasodharman of Malwa, the Maukharis of Uttar Pradesh, the Maitrakas in Saurashtra and others in Bengal. In time, the Gupta Empire came to be restricted to only Magadha. They did not focus on empire building and military conquests. So, weak rulers along with incessant invasions from foreign as well as native rulers caused the decline of the Gupta Empire. By the beginning of the sixth century, the empire had disintegrated and was ruled by many regional chieftains.