30 January 2016

Satavahanas - Socio cultural conditions in Ancient Telngana

Satavahanas in Telangana

Satavahanas succeeded Nandas, Mauryas, Sungas and Kanvas. Satavahanas came to rule after Mauryan Empire. They ruled for about 400 years. According to Matsya Purana there were 29 Satavahana rulers. Satavahanas were also called Salivahanas or Satakarnis. Inscriptions represent them as the earliest rulers making grants in cash and land to the Buddhist monks and brahmins. In Ashoka inscriptions the Andhras are mentioned as border people.

Rulers with much or little importance among all the Satavahana rulers were Simukha, Pulumavi I, Hala, Gautamiputra Satakarni are some.


Simukha

  • Simukha was the founder of the Satavahana dynasty.
  • He unified various Andhra territories ruled from BC 271 to BC 248.
  • Dharanikota near Amaravati, Guntur district was the first capital of Simukha. Later he shifted his capital to Pratistana in Aurangabad district.
Satakarni II is the sixth ruler of the satavahana dynasty extended to west by conquering Malwa (parts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan). He ruled for 56 years. After him eight rulers came and went with no much notable achievement.

Pulumavi I came to throne and brought down Susarman and occupied Magadha. By this Satavahanas became all India's imperial rulers.

After him the rulers were weak and were driven by Sakas out of Maharashtra (Pratisthana, capital of Simukha).

During that weak period, there was one thing that could gain importance. That goes to the account of the seventeenth Satavahana ruler, Hala. Gathasaptasati is the famous work of Hala. The king Hala has a minister by name Gunadya, who wrote Brihatkadha.

Gautamiputra Satakarni

  • After all these rulers comes the most notable 23rd Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni. 
  • He came to the throne in AD 62.
  • He made recovery of lost territories from the western Kshatrapas.
  • He was described as the Restorer of the glory of the Satavahanas.
  • Kingdoms under the territory of Gautamiputra Satakarni were - Asika, Assaka, Mulaka, Anupa, Kukura, Aparanta, Vidarbha, Akara, Saurashtra and Avanti.
  • Mountain regions under his rule were - Vindhya, Pariyatra, Achavata, Kanhagiri, Siritana, Sahya, Malaya, Mahendra, Sata and Chakora.
  • Gautamiputra Satakarni's kingdom also includes southern parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Odhisa.
  • He died in AD 86.
After Gautamiputra came Pulumavi II.

Then came Yajnasri Satakarni, fought with Saka Satrap, Rudradamana and was defeated. He lost all the western possessions. He ruled till AD 157. His ship marked coins shows extensive maritime trade. His death marked an end to the rule of Satavahanas by 2nd century AD.

Social and Spiritual conditions of Satavahanas

Capitals

  1. Dharanikota in Guntur district
  2. Pratistana in Aurangabad district
  3. Dharmapuri in Karimnagar district
  4. Srikakulam in Krishna district
The above mentioned places were used as capitals by Satavahana rulers during various periods of their rule.

During their period, Deccan was an emporium of inland and maritime trade. Regions between rivers Krishna and Godavari had many ports and were active. They had lot of currency to facilitate trade. The time of Telugus during that period was a period of great industrial, maritime and commercial activity.

Spiritual

Satavahana rulers followed Buddhism and also performed vedic ritualism. They constructed several Buddhist stupas, Viharas, chaityas. They loved literacy and architecture. The Stupa at Amaravati is known for its architecture par excellence.

Fall of Satavahanas left Andhra into Political chaos. Local kings and invaders formed several small kingdoms to start their own dynasties. During AD 180 and AD 624, Ikshvakus, Vishnukundins, Vakatakas, Pallavas, Anandagotras, Kalingas and others ruled over their small kingdoms. This continued till the rise of Eastern Chalukyas.

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