Telagana History Satavahanas
- 1 Telagana History Satavahanas
- 2 The Early satavahanas
- 2.1 Simukha (221-198 B,C.)
- 2.2 Kanha (krithna 198-180 B.C,)
- 2.3 Satakaml’I (180 -170 B.C,)
- 2.4 Naganika
- 2.5 PumaHanga (170-152 B,G.)
- 2.6 Satakarni-II(152-96 B.C.)
- 2.7 Kuntala miahamt (81-30 B.C.)
- 2.8 Pulomavi-1 (80-6 B.C.)
- 2.9 Hala (19-24 A.D.)
- 2.10 Late Satavahanas
- 2.11 Gautamiputra satakami (78-102 A.D.)
- 2.12 Vashistiputra Pulomavi (102-180 A.D)
- 2.13 Vashistiputra Sivasri Sataharni (180-184 A.D.)
- 2.14 Yajnaari sataharni (174-208 A.D.)
- 2.15 Political administration
- 2.16 The king and the council
- 2.17 Mllitaryforce
- 2.18 Nigama sabhas
- 2.19 Social and Economic system
- 2.20 Position of women
- 2.21 Religion
- 2.22 Language and literature
- 2.23 Art and Architecture
- 2.24 Amaravati school of Art
- 2.25 Economic Conditions
- 2.26 Coins
- 2.27 Srenis (Guide)-Professional Associations
- 3 Bit Bank
The Satavahanas are the first historical ruling dynasty of the Deccan whose achievements in politics, religion, literature and are remarkable. They ruled for a long period extending over five centuries. They were the only South Indian dynasty to control the entire Deccan and extend their sway over Magadha for some time. Further, they saved the Dakshinapatha from the onslaught of the foreign invaders who in the opening years of the Christian era, entered Aryavarta from the northwest and wrought havoc in North India. The Satavahana empire, which gave peace and stability to the Deccan for about 500 years, at its zenith included not only the present Telangana but also parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. In extent it ranked second only to the Mauryan empire.
The main sources of Satavahana history are archaeological and literary. The former include inscriptions and coins while the later include references made in the works of Indian and foreign writers. However there are differences of opinion among the historians about the origin of this dynasty.
Archaeological evidence: inscriptions
Satavahana inscriptions are scattered between Sanchi (M.P.) in the North and Bellary (Karnataka) in the South, and Kanheri (Maharashtra) in the West and Amaravati (A.P.) in the East. All of these
were written in Prakrit language and Brahmi script. Some of the inscriptions found in the caves of Naneghat, Kanheri, Nasik and Karle in Maharashtra and Guntupalli and other places in Andhra are of historical value as they contain the names of reigning sovereigns and their ruling period.
The naneghat inscription ofnaganika
This was inscribed by Naganika, the wife of Satakami -I (180-170 B.C.) after the death of her husband. It says that Satakarni conquered western Malwa, Anupa on the Narmada valley and Vidarbha. It also says that Satakami performed Aswamedha and Rajasuya sacrifices and proclaimed himself Samrat and assumed the , titles of ‘Dakshina Padapathi’ and ‘Apratihata chakra’.
The hathigumpha and guntupalli inscriptions
These inscriptions of king Kharavela of Kalinga state that the army of the Kalinga ruler reached Kannabenna (River Krishna) and threatened Mushika nagara. It records the conflict between Satakami-I and Kharavela for the possession of the Godavari and Krishna river basins but does not claim any success for the latter.
This was inscribed by Gautami Balasri and lists out the countries conquered by her son Gautami- putra Satakarni (A.D.78-102). The Satavahana inscriptions in Andhra belong to the time of Pulomavi and successors.
The Satavahanas struck coins in metals like copper, lead and tin. Only one ruler issued coins in silver. Excavations carried out at places like Kondapur in Medak district and Peddabankur, Dhulikatta and Kotilingala in Karimnagar district yielded a large quantity of coins. The outstanding discovery was the coins related to Simukha, the founder of Satavahana dynasty. The coins have the legend ‘Siri Chimukha Sata’ at the top. Dr. P.V. Parabrahma Sastry identified Chimukha of these coins with Simukha the founder of the Puranic list of the Satavahana dynasty. The coins found at Peddabankur include punch marked silver, Roman Dinar and of various Satavahana rulers. Excavations ‘conducted at Dhulikatta or Dhulikatta (Mud fort) brought to light the traces of the walled town of Satavahana period. V.V. Krishna Sastry believes it to be one of the thirty fortified towns of Andhra mentioned by Megasthenes. The discovery of the coins of Simukha at Kotilingala strengthens the claim of Telangana as the original home of Satavahanas.
At Pythan (Aurangabad district in Maharashtra) or Pratishtanapura, the ancient Capital city of Satavahanas, unique coins containing the portrait of king Satakariii were found, dautami Putra Satakami restruck the silver coinage of Nahapana, the Saka king, and also attempted to issue his own silver coinage, but his successors discontinued the practice.
References to Satavahanas are found in some of the ancient literary works like Matsya and Vayu puranas. According to those, the. last Kanva king, Susharma, was killed by the Andhra king Simukha. They also contain the list of Andhra or Satavahana kings and their ruling period, but these lists are inadequate and inconsistent. The ‘Katha Saritsagara’ based on Brihat Katha of Gunadhya gives information about Satavahana society. ‘Gargi Samhita saptasati’ by Hala, a Satavahana ruler, ‘Kamasutra‘ ofVatsyayana also help us to know the society and religion of the Satavahana period. ‘Leelavati’ tells the love story of Hala and Leelavati, princess from Srilanka in Prakrit, The hack ground of the main scene in this story was Sapta Godavari Bhima identified with the Bhimeswara temple of Draksharama in East Godavari district. .
The Buddhist works like the ‘Jatakas’, the Pitakas’, the Mahavatsu and the Kathavatsu also contain references to the Andhras. There are references in the Jain literature to Prathishtanapura as the capital of the early Satavahana kings. Among the foreign works, the ‘Indica’ of Megasthenes mentions the Andhras and their military might. The ‘Periplus of the Erythrean Sea’ by an unknown Greek author gives an account of Andhra region and mentions Mysolia (Machilipatnam). This has been identified with Mysolia, the greatest market of the Andhra kingdom, mentioned by Ptolemy.
The Andhra-Satavahana Controversy
There has been a controversy for the last one hundred years over the identity of the Satavahanas, One group of historians which include Vincent Smith, E.J. Rapson, L.D. Barnett, R.G. Bhandarkar, Maremanda Rama Rao and Gorty Venkata Rao support the view that the Satavahanas were Andhras. This was opposed by • another group of historians like B.T. Srinivasa Aiyyangar, H.C. Raya Chaudari and V.V. Mirashi, who regard the Satavahanas as Maharashtrians. V.S. Sukthankar argued that Satavahanas came from Karnataka. Those who opposed the Andhra origin of the Satavahanas based their arguments on these points.
1.The Andhras of present day occupy the Eastern Deccan while the Satavahana rule commenced in the Western Deccan or Maharashtra. The early capital of Satavahanas was Prathishtanapura or today’s Pythan in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
2.The earliest Satavahana records Naneghat and Nasik inscriptions are in Maharashtra. Only with the reign of Vasishtiputra Pulomavi do Satavahana records begin to appear in Andhra. In none of the inscriptions do the. Satavahanas call themselves as Andhras. .
3.The language used in the Satavahana inscriptions and coins is Prakrit While Telugu is the language of Andhras
4.The Puranas which listed thirty rulers call them Andhras’or Andhra-brithyas’and not Satavahanas.
5.use of metronymics by the Satavahana rulers show their Maharashtra origin.
Though the above arguments seem to be strong they do not stand up to historical scrutiny. Arguments supporting the theory that Satavahanas were of Andhra origin .
1.It is true that Andhras of the present day occupy Eastern Deccan, but the Satavahana empire was not confined to the Western Deccan alone, it included Eastern Deccan and other areas also. After the death of Ashoka, the Andhras who were second only to the Mauryans in power, extended their empire as far as Nasik in the west. At the same time, Greeks and other foreign tribes invaded Aryavarta and threatened the political stability of the Dakshinapatha also. To resist them, the Satavahanas made Prathishtanapura their capital since that city was strategically located to connect the South with the North. Even then, only the early Satavahanas stayed there. The capital was- shifted to Andhra region once the danger of invasion was removed.
2.Only two inscriptions (Naneghat and Nasik) and a few cpins were found in I&aharashtra. But recent excavations in Telangana districts of A.P. resulted in the discovery of a large number of Satavahana coins and seals at Kotilingala, several coins of Simukha, the founder of the Satavahana dynasty and those of other early kings like Kanha (Krishna) and Satakarni-I were found. At Kondapur, Peddabankur and Dhulikatta, several seals, coins, terracotta objects were discovered testifying to the fact that the region was an active centre of Satavahana trade and commerce. Further, the description of Satakarni as Dakshi- napathapati proves that the Satavahana dominion was not confined to Western Deccan alone but included other areas of the Deccan and beyond.
3.The argument that the Satavahanas did not call themselves Andhras is ridiculous. The ruling dynasty refers to itself by the dynastic name or the name of gotra and not by the name of the people. The Ikshvakus, Vishukundinas and Kakatiyas who ruled over Andhra desha after the Satavahanas also did not call themselves Andhras.
4. The argument that the Satavahanas used Prakrit and not Telugu in their records is not valid for the simple reason that Telugu in its present form developed around the 6th century A.D. The Satavahanas used Prakrit in their records since it was the official language of the ruling dynasties until the 3rd century A.D.
5. The argument that the list of the kings in the Puranas are referred to as Andhras, Andhra brithyas and not Satavahanas – actually sup. ports the theory that the Satavahanas were Andhras. The names of Andhra Kings in the Puranas and the names of Satavahana kings are similar with common names like Simukha, Kanha, Satakarni I and II, Apalika, Meghaswati, Gautamiputra, Pulomavi I and II, Sivasri and etc. The fact is that the Puranas refer to these kings by the name of their race as Andhras, where as the inscriptions and coins highlight the dynastic name – Satavahanas.
6.The last argument regarding the use of metronymics by the Satavahanas does not strengthen the case of Maharashtra, since Gautamiputra Satakarni, the 23rd king of the dynasty, and his successors who gradually lost control over the Western Deccan started this practice.
Original Home of the Satavahana
There is another controversy regarding the original home of Satavahanas. According to Vincent Smith, the delta basins of the Godavari and Krishna rivers were the home of the Andhra during the time of Mauryas. After the death of Ashoka, Andhras asserted their independence and extended their empire towards Western Deccan. This theory was accepted by other historians like E.J. RapSon, L.D. Barnett, R.G. Bhandarkar, Gurty Venkata Rao and Maremanda Rama rao. V.S. Sukthankar argued that Bellary district of Karnataka was the original home of Satavahanas. These theories were controverted by historians like P.T. Srinivasa Aiyyangar, who argued that as Prakrit language was used in the Satavahana inscriptions and in Hala’s ‘Gadha Saptasati’, Maharashtra was the original Satavahana home. His theory was rejected since the Telangana History & Culture.
Telugu language did not evolve at the time. H.C. Roy chaudari supported the theory that the Satavahanas were originally from Maharashtra and moved eastward and conquered Andhra region. But there is no evidence to support this view. As a matter of fact, the account of Megasthenes shows that the Andhras were a great power even during the time of Ashoka.
V.V. Mirashi argues that Vidarbha was the original home of the Satavahanas on the basis of the Hathigumpha inscription which records that the armies of Kharavela proceeded west and reached Kannabenna (Krishna river) threatening Mushika- nagara. This theory is defective according to the Guntupalli inscription. However, all the above theories only prove that the Satavahana rule extended over Western Deccan, Bellary and Vidarbha. The recent discovery of Satavahana coins including those of Simukha, the founder of Satavahana dynasty in Telangana districts of A.P., the evidence of Megasthenese, the testimony of Puranas prove that the Satavahanas were Andhras. Satavahana was the name of the dynasty which belonged to the Andhra race.
The duration of the rule of Satavahana dynasty is also questionable. Different historians recorded different dates and periods as th4 ruling time of Satavahanas. Maremaqda Rama Rao, who made a special study of the subject held the view that the Satavahanas ruled between 221 B.C. and 218 A.D. The Andhras who were powerful even during the time of Ashoka, threw off their allegiance to Pataliputra after his death and proclaimed independence at about 221 B.C. under the banner of the Satavahana dynasty.
The history of Satavahanas has been divided into two parts. The rulers from Simukha to Hala are considered as early Satavahanas and The rulers from Gautamiputra satakami to rest are called as later Satavahanas,
The Early satavahanas
Simukha (221-198 B,C.)
Simukha is regarded as the founder of Satavahana dynasty. He is also known by other names like Srimukha, Sisuka and Sindhuka. In the recently discovered Satavahana coins at Simukha is regarded as the founder of Satavahana dynasty. He is also known by other names like Srimukha, Sisuka and Sindhuka. In the recently discovered Satavahana coins at advantage of the death of the emperor and consolidated his position in the Deccan and paved the way for the independence of his son. Simukha on assuming power named the dynasty after his father. He brought other Andhra clans under his banner, invaded Western Deccan and overcame the opposition of the local tribe ‘Rathikas’. He entered into a matrimonial alliance with them to consolidate his position, Simukha’s son Satakami was married to Naganika, the daughter of Maharathi Trainakayiro. Simukha stayed in the West and made Prathishtana his capital. He ruled for 23 years. In the early years of his rule he patronised Jainism. Later he turned to Brahmanism (Vedic religion) as there was a general reaction in its favour in the post-Ashoka period.
Kanha (krithna 198-180 B.C,)
According to ‘Puranas’ Simukha was succeeded by his brother Kanha or Krishna. His accession to the throne inspite of Simukha having a son led the historians to believe that he was an usurper. However, it is quite likely that at the time of Simukha’s death, his son Satakami was a minor and Krishna acted as his guardian to safeguard the kingdom from attacks from the north. During the rule of Krishna, important developments took place in the north and east. In 185 B.C. Pushyamitra Sunga usurped the throne of Magadha. In Kalinga, Kharavela rose to power and threatened other rulers of the country. Krishna extended the empire towards the west as far as Nasik.
Satakaml’I (180 -170 B.C,)
Many details about the reign of Satakami-I are known from the Naneghat inscription issued by his wife Naganika (or Nayanika). He is also mentioned in the Hatigumpha inscription of Kharavela. Satakami was the ablest among- the early Satavahanas. The Naneghat inscription describes him as Vina, Sura, Dakshinapathapati and some of the Puranas call him Mahan. Satakarni was the contemporary of Pushyamitra Sunga, the ruler of Magadha, and Kharavela, the ruler of Kalinga. Satavahana kingdom was threatened by these two rulers. It is evident from the Naneghat inscription that Satakarni I conquered western Malwa, Anupa or the Narmada valley and Vidarbha, when Pushyamitra Sunga usurped the throne of Magadha, Vidarbha proclaimed its independence. There upon Pushyamitra sent his son Agnimitra to conquer it. He could succeed in conquering only a part of Vidarbha near the mouth of the Vairada river. The southern part was annexed to the Satavahana empire by Satakarni I. To celebrate this success Satakarni performed the Aswamedha Yaga.
When Kharavela invaded the Satavahana empire, Satakarni repulsed authority in the east. Satakarni was the champion of the Vedic religion and performed Rajasuya and Aswamedha sacrifices. He died at an early age leaving behind his wife Naganika and four minor sons, Kumara Hakusiri, Kumara Satavahana, Satisirimata and Vedasiri.
Naganika, the daughter of Maharathi Trainakairo and the wife of Satal$,ami-I was a great personality and left her impress on the administration. She also was the champion of Vedic religion. She issued the Naneghat inscri- ption to record the achievements of her husband. It appears that she divided the empire between her four sons.
PumaHanga (170-152 B,G.)
The Puranas mention the name of Purnotsanga who was identified with Vedasiri, the first son of Satakarni and Naganika. Following the death of Satakami-I a confusing situation developed in the kingdom. Kharavela took the advantage and attacked and destroyed the flourishing city of Pfiundanagara identified with Bhattiprolu. The deaths of Pushyamitra and Kharavela occurred during the reign of Purnotsanga, i.e., around 149 B.C.
The long rule of Satakami-II extending for 56 years is memorable. It was during his reign that Pataliputra, the metropolis of ancient India, came under the control of Satavahanas. For the first time, a South Indian dynasty established its sway over the north. Taking advantage of the dissensions in Magadha kingdom following the death of Pushyamitra Sunga, Satakarni-II advanced upon Vidisha and annexed it. He conquered Kalinga also. From Kalinga, he proceeded to Pataliputra and conquered it. Satakami-II is mentioned in an inscription of the gateway of Sanchi, the ‘Yugapurana’, and a few coins.
The successors of Satakarni-II include Lambodara, Apalika and Meghaswati. During their reign the fame of the Satavahana empire started declining. Very little is known about them.
Kuntala miahamt (81-30 B.C.)
He ruled for a short period of eight years only. He is mentioned in a number of literary works’ like ‘Kavya Mimamsa‘ of Rajasekhara, ‘Kamasutra’ of Vatsyayana and ‘Brihat Katha’ of Gunadhya. His rule is memorable as Sanskrit replaced Prakrit as the official language of the empire. Satakarni who did not know Sanskrit felt embarrassed and ashamed before his queen who spoke in Sanskrit. He therefore resolved to master the language in six months. There upon ‘Sarva Varma’, one of his ministers, prepared ‘Katantra Vyakarana’ and helped his king to fulfil his resolve. After that, Satakarni made it the official language of the empire. Gunadhya wrote ‘Brihat Katha’ in the ‘Paisachi’ dialect. Satakarni did not tolerate this work in non-sanskrit language and ordered Gunadhya to destroy his work except some parts. The fragmentary ‘Brihat Katha’ became the source for ‘Kathasaritsagaram’. Sarva Varma was made the lord of the city of Barukachcha. Kuntala Satakami’s dominion included Dakshinapatha and parts of North India.
Pulomavi-1 (80-6 B.C.)
He was the fifteenth king mentioned in the Puranas’. He is said to have killed Susanna, the Kanva king of Pataliputra and annexed his kingdom. It may be for this reason that the Puranas call Andhras ‘Pulomas’.
Hala (19-24 A.D.)
Hala is the 17th king of Satavahana. He is mentioned by Vatsyayana and by Rajasekhara in their books. The Prakrit work ‘leelavati’ by Kutoohala narrates the love story of Hala and Leelavati, a princess from Srilanka. They were united in wedlock at Sapta-Godavari Bhim or Draksharama in East Godavari district. Hala is regarded as the author of ‘Gatha Saptasati’, a Prakrit work. Hala was known as Kavivatsala or patron of the poets. After him the fortunes of the Satavahanas again declined. They lost their central and western Indian provinces and Magadha and were confined to their home territories in Andhra region.
Gautamiputra satakami (78-102 A.D.)
Gautamiputra Satakami was one of the outstanding rulers of ancient India. He was the son of Sivaswati and Gautami Balasri. His achievements and personality are described in the Nasik inscription of his mother Balasri. At the time of his accession, the situation of Satavahana empire was gloomy. The Kushanas in the Indo-Gangetic plain, Kharatas in the Western Deccan were making great progress. The foreign tribes of Sakas, Yavanas and Pahlavas, who had embraced Hinduism and settled in India disturbed the peace and order of the Deccan. Satakami did not lose heart or courage in this situation but fought with and destroyed the Sakas, Yavanas and Pahlavas. He defeated Saka Satrap Nahapana, and conquered the territories of Anupa, Aprantha, Saurashtra, Kukura and Avanti from him. These territories are now in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. He also conquered Vidarbha, Assaka (Nizamabad district of A.P.) and Mulaka (Aurangabad of Maharashtra). The boundaries of his empire extended from eastern Rajasthan to Cuddalore in Tamilnadu, from Rishikulya (Orissa) to Vaijayanti in Karnataka. It included the entire A.P., parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, M.P., Orissa, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. One of his titles “Trisamudra Toya Peetavahana” (one whose horses drank the waters of 3 oceans), suggests the fact that his armies had touched the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian sea and the Indian Ocean. Besides being a conqueror, Gautamiputra Satakami was a great administrator and patronised the Vedic religion. His mother and wife Vasishti were noted for their charity and patronage of bpth Vedic and Buddhist faiths.It appears that he returned the territories conquered by him from Sakas to them. The Zunaghad inscription issued by Rudradamana supports this. Gautamiputra’s son Vashistiputra Satakami had married the daughter of Rudradamana but good relations were maintained between these two dynasties for only some time.
Vashistiputra Pulomavi (102-180 A.D)
Gautamiputra was succeeded by his son Pulomavi. During his rale, pressure from Sakas from the North-West increased and the Satavahana empire began to disintegrate in the west and north. Pulomavi concentrated more on his eastern possessions in Coastal Andhra.
Vashistiputra Sivasri Sataharni (180-184 A.D.)
Pulomavi-II was succeeded by his brother Vashistiputra Sivasri Satakami. He was twice defeated by his father-in-law Rudradaman, the Saka ruler.
Yajnaari sataharni (174-208 A.D.)
He was the last great king of the Satavahanas. He is mentioned in the inscription at Nasik, Kanheri and Chinna Ganjam. He took advantage of the confusion of Ujjain after the death of Rudradaman and invaded his dominion and re-established the authority of Satavahanas over a greater part of Western Deccan and of Central India. This fact is confirmed by the discovery of his coins in Berar, North Konkan, Saurashtra and Western Deccan. Nagaijuna, the exponent of Madhyamika doctrine of Buddhist philosophy adorned the court of Yajnasri. He lived at Sriparvata, now known as Nagarjuna Konda. Nagariuna was also a reputed chemist. He was murdered at the behest of the crown prince according to a story in Kathasaritsagaram. Yajnasri Satakarni enlarged the famous Amaravati Stupa and constructed the stone railing around the Mahachaitya. After his death, the Satavahana empire declined. The last 3 kings of the dynasty were Vijaya Satakami, Chandasri and Pulomavi-III who ruled from 203 A.D. to 224 A.D. Feuds between the Satrap kings arrested their independence. In Andhra, the Ikshvakus consolidated their power in the Nagaijuna Konda region, while the Tirutakas became independent in Maharashtra. The Satavahana rule, which extended for nearly 5 centuries came to an end in the early decades of the 3rd century A.D.
The Satavahanas organised a sound administration to control their vast empire. They followed the Mauiyan model but made new innovations to suit the local needs. The rulers were not cruel despots, they followed the principles of Dharmasastras to , promote the well being of all sections of the society.
The king and the council
At the apex of the administration was the king . who was called by his title of Raja or Maharaja. The Satavahana kings did not assume high sounding , titles like Samrat or claim divine origin. The crown prince was known as Yuvaraja. The succession to the throne was by the law of Primogeniture (to the first bom son), even though the later kings associated their names with their mothers like Gautamiputra and Vashistiputra. A number of ministers of differ’ ent grades and status assisted the king. Among the ministers, ‘Viswasamatya’ (prime minister) held the prominent position and was consulted by the king on all important matters. The ‘Raja Amatyas’ ranked below him constituted the ministerial council.The administration was run by officials noted for their efficiency, hard work and loyalty. The Higher officials were Mahasenapati, Mahamatra (Head of the department), Mahataraka (Chamberlain), Bhandagarika (Plead of the stores), Heranika (Treasurer). Other officials included theGanapaka(Accountant) Pratihara and Duta (messengers), Lekhaka (writer or clerk), Nibandhanakara j (Registrar of Documents) and Patlika Palaka (Director of Archives). The empire, under the direct rule of the kings, was divided into a number of provinces called ‘Aharas’. The incharges of ‘Aharas’ were Amatyas (Governors). Non hereditary officers were appointed , for these posts. Their term was of five years and there were liable to be transferred. The Aharas were named after the headquarters of the governor. Some of the well known provinces were Govardhana(Nasik), Sopara and Mamala (Pune). There were some autonomous territories besides the Aharas. They were governed by hereditary chiefs known as Maharathas and Mahabhojas. During the last years of Satavahana rule, the outlying Aharas were placed in charge of Maha Senapatis because they were frequently attacked by foreign tribes. The lowest unit of administration was ‘Grama’ or Village. It was placed under the charges of an official called ‘Gramani’, who sometimes controlled a cluster of villages numbering five or ten.
‘satavahanas were maintained a huge Military sources. Temporary Military camp was called “skandhavara” and stable (or) permanent military was called “kataka”. Military spies were also appoi nted to know the circumstances in the kingdom.
As the Satavahana empire carried on brisk trade with foreign countries, many cities like Prathishtana, Sopara, Nasik, Govardhana, Tagara Kanheri, – Kalyana, Vaijayanti, Amaravati, Vijayapuri and Srikakulam developed and flourished in different parts of the empire. The affairs of these cities were looked after by corporate bodies called ‘Nigama Sabhas’. The heads of certain households called Gahapathis and the representatives of merchant guilds were members of these sabhas. The main source of state’s income was land revenue. The royal share of the agricultural products was known as ‘Bhaga’ and ‘Devameya of l/6th. Besides this, taxes called ‘karukara’ were collected from artisans. During the reign of satavahana, there were some officers appointed to survey the land were called “Rajjugahaka”. The mauryan king Ashoka revealed in his inscriptions that he appointed officers by the name of “Rajjuka”. The name of that particular officer continued till satavahana period after Mauiyan era also. As per the evidences of Excavations at kondapur, there was a mint located at there in the period of satavahanas.
Social and Economic system
During the reign of the Satavahanas, Vedic faith gained ascendancy and the four fold caste system of
Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra had become more rigid. Though Satavahana kings patronised Vedic faith, their queens championed Buddhism also. Both religions co-existed in perfect harmony and relations were based on tolerance. The foreign invaders like the Sakas and Yavanas settled in India and embraced either Buddhism or Hinduism. They adopted Indian names and customs and were absorbed into the Hindu fold. They were looked upon as Kshatriyas and local ruling dynasties entered into matrimonial alliances with them.
However, Gautamiputra Satakami abhorred the assimilation of foreign tribes into Hindufold and tried to stop ‘Varnasankara’. ‘Nasik Prasasti’ recorded by his mother Balasri claims that he destroyed the Sakas (Scythians) Yavanas (Indo- Greek) and Pahlavas (Parthians). Inspite of all his activities, Gautamiputra found time for the pursuit of’Trivarga’ three aims of human life. The attempts of Gautamiputra to stop ‘Varna Sankara’ produced some mixed results. The caste system lost its flexibility and became very rigid, but the assimilation of foreign tribes into the Hindufold went on unbated. Sivasri, one of the successors of Gautamiputra, married the daughter of the Saka King, Rudradamana.
Along with the fourfold caste system, society was divided into four classes on the basfe of the professions of people, who were named according to their professions as Halika (cultivator), Sethi or Setti (Merchant), Vachaka (Carpenter), Kammara (blacksmith), Suvarnakara (Goldsmith), Tilapisaka (Oil monger). The professionals were grouped into four sections like the four castes. The first section consisted the top officials like Maharathis, Mahabhojas and Mahasenapathis. The second section included amatyas and Sethis. The third section included the Halikas and Suvamakaras. The fourth included the Vachika, Kolika (weavers) and Kamaras. People of the same profession grouped themselves into ‘Srenis’ or guilds.
Position of women
One of the outstanding features of the Satavahana society was the high status accorded to women. Royal ladies like Naganika and Balasri played a dominant role in the affairs of the state. The Satavahana kings
took-pride in associating their names with their mother’s names like- Gautamiputra and Vashistiputra, This does not indicate that the metronymic system existed in the society. Though the rulers followed Hinduism, the royal ladies and women of affluent classes patronised Buddhism and \ gave liberal grants to the Chaityas (Buddhist temples) and Viharas (Residential quarters of Buddhist monks). Some women occupied high positions in the administration as the terms like Mahabholi, Maharathini and Mahasenapathini were written in the inscriptions.
In the paintings at Ajanta, and sculptures of Ellora and Amaravati, we come across different hair styles that were in vogue in those times. This shows that women were conscious of and interested in fashion. They were also fond of ornaments and wore many varieties of jewels like earrings, necklaces, bangles, bracelets and anklets. They used to participate in entertainments like Madanotsva, Ghatani Bandhana, Kaumudi Yagam and etc., where both sexes mingled freely. In short, the Satavahana society was free and open and not repressive.
During the Mauryan period, the religions of the north like Vaidika faith, Buddhism and Jainism made inroads into the Deccan. The first Satavahana ruler, Simukha was reputed to be a Jain during the early years of his rule and changed his faith to Vedic religion later on. Satakami-I was a staunch champion of Hinduism. He performed two Aswamedha Yagas and Rajasuya Yaga and other sacrifices like ‘Aptoryama’ and ‘Agneyadheya’. Naganika also championed Vedic faith. The royal couple named their son Vedasri. Among the later Satavahanas, Gautamiputra Satakarni fully identified himself as the defender of Vedic faith and tried to prevent vama sankara. The Satavahana rulers patronised Buddhism also. Acharya Nagaijuna of Buddhist faith lived at the court of Gautamiputra Yajnasri. The queens of Satavahana rulers especially patronised Buddhism. The Jain religion did not receive much following from the Satavahanas but some of the kingdoms on the borders of the empire like Kalinga, Malwa and Mysore were flourishing centres of Jainism.
Language and literature
Prakrit was the official language of the Deccan when Satavahanas commenced their rule. The Satavahanas patronised that language. Hala, the 17th king of the dynasty wrote ‘Gatha Saptasati’ in Prakrit. Gunadhya, a minister of Kuntala Satakami composed ‘Brihat Katha’ in Paisachi, but as his king patronised Sanskrit only, he had to destroy a major part of his work. Sarva Varma wrote ‘Katantra Vyakaran’ which made the learning of Sanskrit easy. By the time of the later Satavahanas, Sanskrit had attained supremacy all over the Deccan and even the Saka ruler Rudradaman issued inscriptions in Sanskrit. The Buddhists also preferred Sanskrit. Though Sanskrit replaced Prakrit as the official language and became the language of the elite, the common people spoke in Desi which was the fore runner of the present day languages of Deccan like Telugu and Kannada. According to archaeologists, the coins of Satavahana period, found recently, were inscribed with this Desi language and it was nearer to today’s Telugu.
Art and Architecture
The contribution of the Satavahanas to Indian art and architecture is immense They were the innovators of the rock-cut architecture. A number of Chaityas and Viharas were hewn out of rock in many places like Nasik, Kanheri and Karle in Western Deccan. In Andhra, Viharas and Stupas (a monument built on the remains Buddha or other great teachers) were built of brick and marble in Amaravati, Jaggayyapeta, Goli, Ghantasala, Nagarjuna Konda and Bhattiprolu.
According to the ‘Indica’ of Megasthenes, there were specific traditions in the architecture of Andhras even before the Satavahana period. But there were no proofs to support this theory. The Stupas built in Andhra during the Satavahana rule were of different traditions when compared to their counter parts in the other places of India. The sculptures of Amaravati and Jaggayyapeta are unique and they are the best examples of the Satavahana architecture. Though the Satavahana period encouraged Buddhist architecture, they also gave support to the Hindu art. A good example of this theory is the Sivalinga at Gudimallam of Chittoor district. Satavahanas encouraged painting also. Historians believe that the paintings of black princesses at the Ajanta Caves (9 and 10) are of Satavahana period.
Amaravati school of Art
At Amaravati on the left bank of the Krishna river, the largest Buddhist Stupa of South India was constructed. Its construction began in 200 B.C. and was completed in 200 A.D. The diameter of the Stupa at the base was 51 meters. The height of the dome was 31 meters and the outer railing is 15 meters wide. Instead of brick and red stone, marble was used in its construction. The inner Stupa was richly engraved, depicting incidents from Buddha’s life. The Stupa could not withstand the ravages of time and its ruins are preserved in the London Museum. Art critics all over the world praised the greatness of Amaravati art. ‘A new canon of beau. ty and tranquillity’ and ‘The aesthetic ideal of India’ – were the epithets used in describing the grandeur of Amaravati. This kind of art is named after Amaravati, the capital of later Satavahanas.
Deccan, the main seat of the Satavahana power is watered by the two mighty rivers of South India namely, the Godavari and the Krishna. These two rivers made agriculture the mainstay of the Satavahana economy. The rivers, besides sustaining agriculture, became the main channels of trade and communication. Realising the importance of these rivers, the Satavahanas located their early capital at Prathishtana on the left bank of the Godavari river in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The later capital which rivalled the greatness of Indra’s court was aptly named as Amaravati and located on the left bank of the Krishna river (Guntur district of A.P.). The literary works like ‘Gatha Saptasati’ give the impression that the villages were prosperous and grew a variety of crops like paddy, gingelly and sugarcane. Eastern Deccan (Telangana) was covered by alluvial soil and was agriculturally more advanced and densely populated. Besides agriculture, the Satavahanas developed both internal and maritime trade. The figure of a ship found on the coins of Pulomavi and Yajnasri tes-tify to the fact of their maritime activity. A large number of Roman coins found in the Krishna valley strengthens the above fact. “Periplus of Erythrean sea” (A.D. 60-70) mentions a number of ports on the Western and Andhra coasts. The important western ports included Sopar, Kalyana, Bargaza and Barukachcha. The important market towns of Andhra were-Kantakossyla (Ghantasala), Koddura (Kodur) and Allosygne (Corinka near Kakinada). The inland market towns of Telangana were Kotilingala, situated at the confluence of Peddavagu and Godavari river in Peddapally mandal of today’s Karimnagar (Eligandala) district, Peddabankur, near Peddapally, Dhulikatta near Eligandala. It was one of the thirty welland towns noted by Megasthenese. Other market towns of the Eastern Deccan included Kondapur (Medak district), Vijayapuri (Nalgonda district), and Bhattiprolu (Guntur district). The important market towns of Western Deccan were – Prathishtana, Tagara, Nasik, Govardhana, Vaijayanthi and Jannar. Many of these towns were located on the banks of rivers, so, traders and travellers covered the distance by boats. The highway running from the North to the South and West were also used by traders. As thes highways were infested with robbers and wild animals, merchants moved in Caravans. The Srenis or trade guilds which acted as bankers facilitated the development of trade.
The main items of export to Rome, Persia and other countries included textiles, silks, gems, ivory, pepper and high quality steel were produced at Konasamudram and Eligandala. The imports were wine, copper, gold and silver. As a result of brisk trade, a rich class of merchants known as sethis came into existence and dominated the society. They patronised Buddhism and gave donations for the construction of Chaityas and Viharas. It is interesting to note that in the inscriptions on the caves of Western India, the donations given by merchants have been given more importance than those of the kings and royal family members. The Satavahana empire could sustain itself for five centuries inspite of the repeated attacks from its enemies, due to its economic strength resulting mainly from foreign trade. The Satavahana rule, extending over five centuries, from 3rd century B.C. to 3rd century A.D. constitutes one of the glorious epochs of ancient Indian history. The history of India before the advent of the Satavahanas was mainly the history of North India. The Satavahanas controlled the land between the Narmada in the north and Tungabhadra in the South and from Bay of Bengal in the East and the Arabian sea in the West gave the Deccan a political individuality and blessed the area with peace and prosperity at a time when North India was rocked by several political disturbances caused by foreign invasions and dynastic battles. The Satavahana empire at its Zenith included not only today’s Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, but also parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar. In extent it ranked second only to Mauryan Empire.
The coins were struck by . trade unions till the Mauryan era. These coins were called punch marked coins. After mauryans, the Authority of the struck- age of coins went to the hands of king’s dynasty from trade unions. The first (former) coins with the names of the kings of rano gobhadra, Ranosamagopa yielded (divulged) in excavations at karimnagar district.
The satavahanas struck coins in metals like copper, lead, tin and silver. They struck lead coins mostly. The silver coins of this age were called kar- shapana and they called the gold coins as suvamas. One inscription of Rishabhadatta reveals that one snvarna is equals to 35 kar- shapanas. Satavahanas predicate in prakrita language and Brahmi script on their coins. On the coins of satavahanas, the pictures of chaitya, symbol of ujjain, ox, horse, elephant, lion, bow etc. were strucked. ship pictures were depicted on the coins of yajna sri and pulomavi. These coins indicating the foreign trade of satavahanas.
Srenis (Guide)-Professional Associations
Stimulated by the growth of Agriculture and industry, telugu region carried on profitable internal and External trade under the satavahanas. The production of utensils (or) implements by different classes of people. The people of same profession grouped themselves into srenis (or) guilds under the leadership of a sreshti. The sreni regulated the activities of its members and looked after this welfare. One interesting feature of the srenis was the banking facilities they provided. The recieved cash deposits and permanent endowments and under took acts of social service like the distribution of clothes to the merchants with the interest ranging between 9 and 12%. The sreni, wended a great influence with the state and the sreni dharma had the recognition of law.
1.In which Purana, the story of Satavahanas was narrated? Vishnu Purana
2.State the name of the historian, who mentioned that the Andhras used to live in towns?-Megasthenese
3.religion adopted by the Satavahanas? Vedic religion
4.The religion adopted by many queens of the Satavahanas? Buddhist religion
5.Many houses were built for the Buddhist monks by the queens of the Satavahana kings. What is the name of these houses ? – Chaityae
6.Whose name were used by Satavahana kings as sur names before their first names?-The names of their mothers
7.The associations that helped for the development of trade during the Satavahana period were called as? – Guilds or Srenis
8.Who were the Kuru dynasty kings at Kolhapur and Chutu dynasty kings at Mysore? –Feudatories of Satavahana
9.State the names of the titles of the feudatories, during the Satavahana period?- ‘Maharathi,’ ‘Mahabhoja’
10.For administrative convenience, Satavahana empire was divided into what divisions? –Aharas (Raashtras)
11.The Aharas during the time of the Satavahana were administrated by whom?- Officers called Amatyas
12.During the time of the Satavahanas, the Aharas away from the capital were administrated by?- The military officers called Mahasenadhipathis
13.The ‘Mantri Parishath’ during the Satavahana period extended its help: —To the king in the
administration of the kingdom
14.The names of the Royal employees who extended their help in the administration of the empire during the Satavahana period?- Visvasamatyas, Bajaamatyas. Mahaamatyas
15.In taking the important decisions during the Satavahana period, the king used to consult?
16.In the administration of the empire what was the status of Rajaamatyas? –Advisers
17.Mahaamatyas used to extend their help to the king in the administration as..?–Special officers
18.What is the name of the village head during the Satavahana period? – ‘Grwntwi’ or ‘Gramika’
19.How many villages are there in the jurisdiction of ‘Gramani’? —3 Or 10
20.State the name of the Sabha which is responsible for the administration of the towns during the time of the Satavahanas? –Niganta sabha
21. What is the name of the ‘Karshaka Pratinidhi’ during the Satavahana period? – ‘Gahapati’
22.What was the chief source of income during the time of the Satavahanas? — Land revenue
23.The king’s share in the produce raised by a peasants was called: —‘Bhaga’, ‘Devameya’
24.What is the name of the duty(sistu) paid by the professionals? —‘Kaarukara’
25.What is the basis for ‘varnas’ during the time of the Satavahanas ?-The status in the caste or in the society
26.What was the official language of the Satavahanas? –Prakrit
27.What was the language of the common people during the period of Satavahanas?–Deaibhaasha
28.’Desi bhaasha’ belongs to which language family?–Dravidian language family
29.State the word ‘apabhramsa’ of desi? — Paisaohi
30.The copper coins issued during the period of the Satavahanas were called as? –Karshapanas
31.During the period of the Satavahanas, the towns were called as? —‘nagaras’ pp ‘nigamas’
32.During the Satavahana period, what was the minimum administrative unit ?-Village (Grama)
33.For which metals there was a great demand during the time of the Satavahanas?- Copper and Iron
34.With which empire, the Satavahana kings used to conduct business activities for luxurious goods? — Hainan Empire
35.The kings who are prominent in history as ‘Mahapatha nirmaatalu’ — Satavahana kings
36.The earliest rulers who ruled the entire Andhra desa in the history ofTelugu region —Satavahanas
37. The word ‘Andhra’ belongs to: —Race
38.The word Satavahana indicates the: —Dynasty of family
39.The inscriptions of early rulers of Satavahana empire found in which area? — Maharashtra
40.Who was the founder of Satavahana empirte?–‘Simukha
41. Where the coins of Simukha were found? Munulagutta in Karimnagar District
42.The Satavahana rulers from Simukha to. Gautamiputra Satakarni are called as Early Satavahanas
43.The Satavahana rulers after Gautamiputra Satakarni are called as Later Satgvahanas
44.Munulagutta (Karimnagar District), gave some information about a particular religion. What is the name of that religion? Jainism
45.The Satavahana king who came to the power after Simukha Krishna or Kanpa
46.Who were the contemporaries of Satakami-I Pushyamitra sunga ft Kharavela
47.What is the name of the wife of Satakami-I? ‘Naganika
48.What is the name of the inscription that was laid by Naganika? Nanaghat Sr Who is the father of Naganika? .
49.Mabaradhl Itaina Nairn Sr What are the titles of Satakami-I? ‘Dakshinapathapatit ‘Apratihataehakra‘
50.Naganika managed the affairs of the kingdom on behalf of her son. Who was her son? .Vedasri
51. Pataliputram, the capital of Magadha was merged in the Satavahana empire in whose reign? Satakarni II
52. With which Kalinga ruler, Satakami-I fought many battles? Kharavela
53.Why Satakami-I, made his coins with Ujjjain seal? . As the Symbol of Victory ever Ujjain
54. Which inscription tells us that Satakarai-I performed two Aswamedhas and one Rajasuya?