During the Gupta period, land taxes increased considerably.

The land tax called Bali varied from 1/4th to 1/6th of the total produce.

Two new agricultural taxes that appear in Gupta inscriptions are uparikara and udranga.

In addition, the peasants had to meet the demands of the feudatories.

They also had to feed the royal army when it passed from the villages.

The villagers were also subjected to forced labour (vishti).


The judicial system was far more developed under the Gupta rulers than in earlier times.

For the first time, civil and criminal laws were clearly demarcated.

Disputes connected with various types of property were considered in civil law.

Elaborate laws were laid down about inheritance.

Theft and adultery fell under criminal law.

The king upheld the law and tried cases with the help of the brahmanas.

The guilds of merchants and artisans were governed by their own laws.


Harsha governed his empire on the same lines, as did the Guptas.

But during his period the administration became more decentralized and the number of feudatories grew further.

In Harsha’s time, the officers and the religious persons were paid mainly in the form of land.

It encouraged the system of feudalism which grew much more in the post- Harsha period.

In the empire of Harsha law and order do not appear to be so well maintained.

Hsuan Tsang was twice robbed of all his belongings during his travels in India.

On the other hand, Fa Hien had to face no such difficulty during the Gupta period.


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