Strong trade ties made the region an important cultural center.
Set the region up as a base that would influence nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.

There were changes in art also.
The Gupta period is generally regarded as a classic peak of north Indian art for all the major religious groups. Although painting was evidently widespread, the surviving works are almost all religious sculpture.



The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire that covered much of the Indian subcontinent and was run by the Gupta Dynasty from approximately 320 to 550 CE. After the fall of the Mauryan Empire in the 2nd century BCE, India had remained divided in a number of disparate kingdoms. During the late 3rd century CE the Gupta family gained control of the kingship of Magadha (modern-day eastern India and Bengal). The period of Gupta rule is known as the Golden Age of India, as it was a time marked by unprecedented prosperity and the flourishing of the arts and sciences in India.

The most notable rulers of the Gupta period were Chandragupta I, Samudragupta the Great, and Chandragupta II the Great. Chandragupta included in his court the Navaratna, or Nine Jewels, a group of nine exceptional scholars and poets. The Gupta period produced such masters of literature as Kalidasa, Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Vishnu Sharma, and Vatsyayana. The earliest available Indian Epics, or Puranas, are also thought to have been written around this period.
In addition to the arts, the various sciences also made great advancements during the Gupta period. Aryabhata, a scholar of the time, postulated the notion that the earth was three dimensional and moved around the sun. He is also believed to be the first mathematician to come up with the concept of zero. Additionally, the game of chess developed during the Gupta period and was known as caturanga, which translates into "four divisions" (of the military). The Kama-Sutra, an ancient Gupta text written in Sanskrit by the Indian scholar Vatsyayana, remains to this day the standard work on human sexual behavior.

The Gupta Empire quickly declined under the successors of Chandragupta II. By the middle of the 5th century a new enemy to the empire had appeared, nomadic-pastoralist warriors from the Eurasian steppe. These invaders were called Huna or Huns by the Indians, and today are commonly called Hephalites or White Huns (to distinguish them from the other Huns, who were attacking the Roman Empire around the same time). In the year 480 CE, the Huns launched an invasion of India. By the year 500 CE, the Huns had overrun the Gupta Empire. Though the Huns were eventually driven out of India, the Gupta Empire would never recover. Buddhism started to fade out of the picture, however, and was replaced by growing Hinduism, which is reflected in this time period. The subcontinent once again became a patchwork of independent states. However, the Gupta Empire and the Golden Age of India would not be forgotten.