Satavahana dynasty

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Satavahana Empire

271-30 BCE[1]–220 CE
Territorial extent of the Satavahana Empire (continuous line) and conquests (dotted line).
Capital Pratishthana, Amaravati
Languages Prakrit
Religion Hinduism, Buddhism
Government Monarchy
 •  230–207 BC Simuka
 •  190s AD Madhariputra Svami Sakasena
Historical era Antiquity
 •  Established 271-30 BCE[1]
 •  Disestablished 220 CE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Maurya Empire
Vakataka dynasty
Ikshvaku dynasty
Chutu dynasty
Western Satraps
Today part of  India
Satavahana Kings (271 BCE – 220 CE)
Simuka (1st century BCE)
Kanha (1st century BCE/CE)
Satakarni (1st-2nd century CE)
Sivasvati (1st century CE)
Gautamiputra Satakarni (1st-2nd century CE)
Vasisthiputra Sri Pulamavi (2nd century CE)
Vashishtiputra Satakarni (2nd century CE)
Shivaskanda Satakarni (2nd century CE)
Yajna Sri Satakarni (2nd century CE)
Vijaya (2nd century CE)

The Satavahanas (IAST: Sātavāhana), were an Indian dynasty based in the Deccan region. The beginning of the Satavahana rule is dated variously from 271 BCE to 30 BCE.[1] Satavahanas dominated the Deccan region from 1st century BCE to 3rd century CE.[2] The dynasty reached its zenith under the rule of Gautamiputra Satakarni and his successor Vasisthiputra Pulamavi. The kingdom fragmented into smaller states in the early 3rd century CE. The most liberal estimates suggest that it lasted until around 220 CE.

The Satavahana kingdom mainly comprised the present-day Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. At different times, their rule extended to the northern Karnataka, eastern and southern Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Saurashtra in Gujarat.[1] The Satavahana capitals at various times included Amaravati (Dharanikota), Pratishthana (modern Paithan) and Junnar.[3]

The origin of the dynasty is uncertain, but their ancestors could have been vassals to the Mauryans. After the end of the Mauryan rule, they established peace in the Deccan region, and resisted the onslaught of foreigner invaders. In particular their struggles with the Saka Western Satraps went on for a long time. The Satavahanas were early issuers of Indian state coinage struck with images of their rulers. They formed a cultural bridge and played a vital role in trade and the transfer of ideas and culture to and from the Indo-Gangetic Plain to the southern tip of India.

The Satavahanas patronized Prakrit language instead of Sanskrit. They supported Buddhism as well as Brahmanism.[4]

Names and etymology[edit]

Satavahanas laid foundations to Buddhist rock-cut architecture during this period, Ajanta caves.

According to one theory, "Satavahana" is a Prakrit form of the Sanskrit Sapta-Vahana ("driven by seven"; in Hindu mythology, the chariot of the sun god is drawn by seven horses). This would indicate that originally claimed descent from the legendary solar dynasty, as was common in ancient India. Another theory connects their name to the earlier Satiyaputa dynasty. Yet another theory derives their name from the Munda words Sadam ("horse") and Harpan ("son"), imply "son of the performer of a horse sacrifice".[4]

A number of Satavahana rulers adopted the title Satakarni (IAST: Śātakarṇi). Shalivahana (IAST: Śālivāhana) is also considered a variation of Satavahana.[5][6][7][8] According to Damodar D. Kosambi, Satavahana, Satakarni and Shalivahana seem to be Sanskritised versions of the Dravidian word Sātakaṇi.[3]

The Satavahanas are identified with dynasties mentioned by the names Andhra (Matsya Purana), Andhrara-jatiya (Vayu and Brahmanda) and Andhra-bhrtya in the Puranic literature.[4][9] Although these names do not appear in the coins or inscriptions of the Satavahanas, the names of several Satavahana rulers overlap with the names mentioned in the Puranic chronologies of the Andhra dynasty.[10] The term "Andhra" may refer to ethnicity or territory (see Origin below). The term Andhra-bhrtya may be interpreted as "Andhra servants", implying that the ancestors of the Satavahanas served as subordinates of Mauryas or Sungas. However, that term can also be interpreted as "Servants of Andhras", thus implying that they were feudatories of another dynasty that ruled Andhra. Another possibility is that Andhra-bhrtya refers to a related dynasty that succeeded the Satavahanas.[4][1]


The date and place of origin of the Satavahanas, as well as the meaning of the dynasty's name, are a matter of debate among the historians. Some of these debates have happened in the context of regionalism, with the present-day Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka being variously claimed as the original homeland of the Satavahanas.[10]

The Satavahana kings do not refer to themselves as "Andhra" in any of their coins or inscriptions. But their names match with the names of the Andhra dynasty rulers mentioned in the various Puranas. This has led a section of scholars to believe that the Satavahanas originated in the eastern Deccan (present-day Andhra Pradesh), which was the homeland of the ancient Andhra tribe.[10] However, Andhra has been used as a both tribal and territorial name, so it cannot be said with certainty if the Satavahanas were called "Andhra" because of their ethnicity or because of their territory.[4] The epigraphic, numismatic and literary evidences suggest that the Satavahanas originated in western Deccan (present-day Maharashtra).[4] The earliest of the Satavahana inscriptions are found at Pandu Leni (Nashik) and Nanaghat in this region.[10] Accordingly, historians conclude that the Satavahanas initially established their rule over Pratishthana, and then expanded their rule to the eastern Deccan.[9][1] While some coins of the early Satavahanas have been found in eastern Deccan, this is not conclusive evidence, since coins can spread via trade.[9] According to Vidya Dehejia, the writers of the Puranas (which were written after the Satvahana period) mistook the Satavahana presence in eastern Deccan as evidence of their origin there, and called them "Andhra". C. Margabandhu also believes that the Satavahana kingdom was founded in western Deccan, but suggests that the kings were called "Andhra", because their ancestors were Mauryan subordinates who belonged to the Andhra tribe.[10]

In the Nashik inscription of Gautami Balashri, her son Gautamiputra Satakarni is called "ekabamhana", which is interpreted by some as "unrivaled Brahmana", thus indicating a Brahmin origin. However, R. G. Bhandarkar interprets this word as "the only protector of the Brahmins".[4]



Simuka is mentioned as the first king in a list of royals in a Satavahana inscription at Nanaghat.[11] According to Jain legends, he adopted Jainism; but, in the last years of his life, he became a tyrant, for which he was deposed and killed.[12]

The Puranas state that the first Andhra king ruled for 23 years, and mention his name variously as Sishuka, Sindhuka, Chhismaka, Shipraka etc. These are believed to be corrupted spellings of Simuka, resulting from copying and re-copying of manuscripts.[13]

Simuka cannot be dated with certainty based on available evidence. Therefore, the beginning of the Satavahana rule is dated variously from 271 BCE to 30 BCE.[1] The multiple theories include the following:

  • The Matsysa and Vayu Puranas mention that the first Andhra king overthrew the Kanva ruler Susharman (c. 40–30 BCE). Based on identification of Simuka with this king, some scholars believe that Simuka's reign started in 30 BCE. Scholars supporting this theory include D. C. Sircar, H. C. Raychaudhuri and others.[9]
  • The Matsya Purana mentions that the Andhra dynasty ruled for 450 years. It is known that the Satavahana rule continued till the beginning of the early 3rd century. Therefore, the beginning of the Satavahana rule can be dated to 3rd century BCE. In addition, Indica by Megasthenes (350 – 290 BCE) mentions a powerful tribe named "Andarae", whose king maintained an army of 100,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and 1,000 elephants. If Andarae is identified with the Andhras, this can be considered additional evidence of Satavahana rule starting in 3rd century BCE. According to this theory, Simuka was an immediate successor of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (304–232 BCE). Its proponents argue that the Kanvas were Interregnal rulers who grabbed power from the Satavahanas. The last Kanva ruler Susharman was overthrown by a Satavahana successor of Simuka. Scholars supporting this theory include A. S. Altekar, K. P. Jayaswal, V. A. Smith and others. Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya also supports the Kanva interregnum theory, but argues that it was Simuka who overthrew the Kanva rule.[9]
  • According to Charles Higham, the coin-based evidence suggests that Simuka's reign ended at a later date, sometime before 120 BCE.[2]

Chronologies of the Satavahana kings (as "Andhra" dynasty) are mentioned in the following Puranas: Matsya, Vayu, Vishnu, Brahmanda, and Bhagavata. The various Puranas give different chronologies of the Andhra kings. Even among the different manuscripts of the same Purana, there are substantial differences between the number of kings stated, the number of kings actually named, the names of the kings and the length of their reigns. In some manuscripts, the number of kings is mentioned as 30, and their total reign is mentioned around 450 years. However, many of these actually name only 17-19 kings, and their total reign adds up to around 300.[9][14] Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya explains these inconsistencies as follows: The original Satavahana rule started somewhere in the second half of the 3rd century BCE. From this point, around 30 Satvahana kings ruled for nearly 450 years until 220-225 CE. During this period there was a Kanva interregnum. According to Chattopadhyaya, the Brahmanda Purana states: "the four Kanvas will rule the earth for 45 years; then (it) will again go to the Andhras". This indicates that after overthrowing the Kanvas, the Satavahanas regained their power: from this point, around 17-19 kings ruled for nearly 300 years until 220-225 CE. He further argues that Simuka was the person who overthrew Kanvas; the compiler of the Puranas confused him with the founder of the dynasty.[9]

Early expansion[edit]

Simuka was succeeded by his brother Kanha (also known as Krishna), who extended the kingdom up to Nashik in the west.[2][9] His successor Satakarni I conquered western Malwa, Anupa (Narmada valley) and Vidarbha, taking advantage of the turmoil caused by Greek invasions of northern India. He performed Vedic sacrifices including Ashvamedha and Rajasuya. Instead of the Buddhists, he patronized Brahmins and donated a substantial amount of wealth to them.[4] The Hathigumpha inscription of the Kalinga king Kharavela mentions a king named "Satakani" or "Satakamini", who is identified with Satakarni. The inscription describes dispatching of an army and Kharavela's threat to a city. Since the inscription is only partially legible, different scholars interpret the events described in the inscription differently. According to R. D. Banerji and Sailendra Nath Sen Kharavela sent out an army against Satakarni.[15] According to Bhagwal Lal, Satakarni wanted to avoid an invasion of his kingdom by Kharavela. So, he sent horses, elephants, chariots and men to Kharavela as a tribute.[16] According to Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya, Kharavela's army diverted its course after failing to advanced against Satakarni.[17] According to Alain Daniélou, Kharavela was friendly with Satakarni, and only crossed his kingdom without any clashes.[18]

Satakarni's successor Satakarni II ruled for 56 years, during which he captured eastern Malwa from the Shungas. He was succeeded by Lambodara. The coins of Lambodara's son and successor Apilaka have been found in eastern Madhya Pradesh.[4]

First Saka invasion[edit]

Little is known about Apilaka's successors, except cryptic references to one Kuntala Satakarni. The next well-known ruler of the dynasty was Hāla (20-24 CE), who composed Gaha Sattasai in Maharashtri Prakrit. Around this time, the Sakas invaded the Satavahana kingdom. Like Hala, his four successors also ruled for very short periods (a total of 12 years), indicating troubled times for the Satavahanas.[4] The Western Kshatrapa (Saka) king Nahapana defeated the Satavahanas, and ruled their territory for nearly half a century.[2]

First revival[edit]

Fragment of Amaravati Stupa.

The Satavahana power was revived by Gautamiputra Satakarni, who is considered the greatest of the Satavahana rulers.[2] Charles Higham dates his reign c. 103-127 CE.[2] S. Nagaraju dates it 106-130 CE.[19] Gautamiputra defeated Nahapana and recovered the territories lost to the Sakas. His kingdom extended from the present-day Rajasthan in the north to Krishna river in the south, and from Saurashtra in the west to Kalinga in the east. He assumed the titles Raja-Raja (King of Kings) and Maharaja (Great King), and was described as the Lord of Vindhya. The Nashik inscription of his mother Gautami Balashri, dated to the 20th year after his death, records his achievements.[4]

During the last years of his reign, his administration was apparently handled by his mother, which could have been a result of an illness or military preoccupation.[4] According to the Nasik inscription made by his mother Gautami Balasri, he is the one...

...who crushed down the pride and conceit of the Kshatriyas; who destroyed the Sakas (Western Satraps), Yavanas (Indo-Greeks) and Pahlavas (Indo-Parthians),... who rooted out the Khakharata family (the Kshaharata family of Nahapana); who restored the glory of the Satavahana race.[20]

Gautamiputra was the first Satavahana ruler to issue the portrait-type coinage, in a style derived from the Western Satraps.[21]

Royal earrings, 1st Century BCE.

Gautamiputra was succeeded by his son Vasisthiputra Sri Pulamavi (or Pulumayi). According to Sailendra Nath Sen, Pulumavi ruled from 96-119 CE.[4] According to Charles Higham, he ascended the throne around 110 CE.[2] Pulumavi features in a large number of Satavahana inscriptions and his coins have been found distributed over a wide area. This indicates that he maintained Gautamiputra's territory, and ruled a prosperous kingdom. He is believed to have added the Bellary region to Satakarni's kingdom. His coins featuring ships with double mast have been found on the Coromandel Coast, indicating involvement in maritime trade and naval power. The old stupa at Amaravati was renovated during his reign.[4]

Second Saka invasion[edit]

Pulumavi's successor was his brother Vashishtiputra Satakarni. According to S. N. Sen he ruled during 120-149 CE;[4] according to Charles Higham, his regnal years spanned 138-145 CE.[2] He entered into a marriage alliance with the Western Satraps, marrying the daughter of Rudradaman I.[4]

The Junagadh inscription of Rudradaman I states that he defeated Satakarni, the lord of Dakshinapatha (Deccan), twice. It also states that he spared the life of the defeated ruler because of close relations:[22][2]

"Rudradaman (...) who obtained good report because he, in spite of having twice in fair fight completely defeated Satakarni, the lord of Dakshinapatha, on account of the nearness of their connection did not destroy him."

— Junagadh rock inscription

According to S.N. Sen and Charles Higham, the Satakarni mentioned in this inscription was Vashishtiputra's successor Shivaskanda or Shiva Sri Pulumayi (150-156 CE).[4][2] According to Upinder Singh, this Satakarni was Vashishtiputra's father Gautamiputra.[1]

As a result of his victories, Rudradaman regained all the former territories previously held by Nahapana, except for the extreme south territories of Pune and Nasik.[21] Satavahana dominions were limited to their original base in the Deccan and eastern central India around Amaravati.

Second revival[edit]

Amaravati Marbles, fragments of Buddhist stupa

Sri Yajna Sātakarni, the last person belonging to the main Satavahana dynastic line, briefly revived the Satavahana rule. According to S. N. Sen, he ruled during 170-199 CE.[4] Charles Higham dates the end of his reign to 181 CE. His coins feature images of ships, which suggest naval and marine trade success.[2] Wide distribution of his coins, and inscriptions at Nashik, Kanheri and Guntur indicate that his rule extended over both eastern and western parts of Deccan. He recovered much of the territory lost the Western Kshatrapas, and issued silver coinage, imitating them. During the last years of his reign, the Abhiras captured the northern parts of the kingdom, around Nashik region.[4]


After Yajna Satakarni, the dynasty was soon extinguished following the rise of its feudatories, perhaps on account of a decline in central power.[23] Yajna Sri was succeeded by Madhariputra Swami Isvarasena. The next king Vijaya ruled for 6 years. His son Vasishthiputra Sri Cahdha Satakarni ruled for 10 years.[4] Pulumavi IV, the last king of the main line, ruled until c. 225 CE. During his reign, several Buddhist monuments were constructed at Nagarjunakonda and Amaravati.[2] Madhya Pradesh was also part of his kingdom.[4]

After the death of Pulumavi IV, the Satavahana empire fragmented into smaller regional entities:[4]

After Pulumavi IV, the Satavahana empire fragmented into five smaller kingdoms:[4]

  1. Northern part, ruled by a collateral branch of the Satavahanas (which ended in early 4th century[2])
  2. Western part around Nashik, ruled by the Abhiras
  3. Eastern part (Krishna-Guntur region), ruled by the Andhra Ikshvakus
  4. South-western parts (northern Karanataka), ruled by the Chutus of Banavasi
  5. South-eastern part, ruled by the Pallavas


The Satavahanas followed the administration guidelines from the Shastras. Their government was less top-heavy than that of the Mauryans, and featured several levels of feudatories:[4]

  • Rajan, the hereditary rulers
  • Rajas, petty princes who stuck coins in their own names
  • Maharathis, hereditary lords who could grant villages in their own names and maintained matrimonial relations with the ruling family
  • Mahabhojas
  • Mahasenapati (civil administrator under Pulumavi II; governor of a janapada under Pulumavi IV)
  • Mahatalavara ("great watchman")

The royal princes (kumaras) were appointed as viceroys of the provinces.[4]


Indian ship on lead coin of Vasisthiputra Sri Pulamavi, testimony to the naval, seafaring and trading capabilities of the Satavahanas during the 1st–2nd century CE.

The Satavahanas controlled the eastern coast of India along the Bay of Bengal, and as a result, they dominated the growing Indian trade with the Roman Empire. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions two important Satavahana trade centres: Pratishthana and Tagara. Other important urban centres included Kondapur, Banavasi and Madhavpur. Nanaghat was the site of an important pass that linked the Satavahana capital Pratishthana to the sea. During 60-70 BCE, the consorts of Satakarni set up inscriptions detailing their donations here.[2]


Coin of Gautamiputra Yajna Satakarni (r. 167–196 CE).

The Satavahanas are the first native Indian rulers to issue their own coins with portraits of their rulers, starting with king Gautamiputra Satakarni, a practice derived from that of the Western Satraps he defeated, itself originating with the Indo-Greek kings to the northwest.

Satavahana coins give unique indications as to their chronology, language, and even facial features (curly hair, long ears and strong lips). They issued mainly lead and copper coins; their portrait-style silver coins were usually struck over coins of the Western Kshatrapa kings.

The coin legends of the Satavahanas, in all areas and all periods, used a Prakrit dialect without exception. Some reverse coin legends are in Tamil,[24] and Telugu language,[25] which seems to have been in use in their heartland abutting the Godavari, Kotilingala, Karimnagar in Telangana, Krishna, Amaravati, Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.[26]

Their coins also display various traditional symbols, such as elephants, lions, horses and chaityas (stupas), as well as the "Ujjain symbol", a cross with four circles at the end. The legendary Ujjayini Emperor Vikramditiya on whose name the Vikram Samvat is initiated might be Satakarni II a Satavahana emperor as the Ujjayini symbol also appeared on the Satavahana coins.

Cultural achievements[edit]

An aniconic representation of Mara's assault on the Buddha, 2nd century, Amaravati.

Of the Sātavāhana kings, Hāla (r. 20–24 CE) is famous for compiling the collection of Maharashtri poems known as the Gaha Sattasai (Sanskrit: Gāthā Saptashatī), although from linguistic evidence it seems that the work now extant must have been re-edited in the succeeding century or two. The Lilavati describes his marriage with a Ceylonese Princess.

The Satavahanas influenced South-East Asia to a great extent, spreading Hindu culture, language and religion into that part of the world. Their coins had images of ships.

Art of Amaravati[edit]

The Sātavāhana rulers are also remarkable for their contributions to Buddhist art and architecture. They built great stupas in the Krishna River Valley, including the stupa at Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh. The stupas were decorated in marble slabs and sculpted with scenes from the life of the Buddha, portrayed in a characteristic slim and elegant style. The Satavahana empire colonized Southeast Asia and spread Indian culture to those parts. The Amaravati style of sculpture spread to Southeast Asia at this time.

Art of Sanchi[edit]

The Satavahanas contributed greatly to the embellishment of the Buddhist stupa of Sanchi. The gateways and the balustrade were built after 70 BCE, and appear to have been commissioned by them. An inscription records the gift of one of the top architraves of the Southern Gateway by the artisans of the Satavahana Emperor Satakarni:

Gift of Ananda, the son of Vasithi, the foreman of the artisans of rajan Siri Satakarni[27]

List of rulers[edit]

Because of uncertainty regarding the establishment date of the Satavahana kingdom, it is difficult to give absolute dates for the reigns of the Satavahana kings.[1]

Multiple Puranas contain chronology of Satavahana kings. However, there are inconsistencies among the various Puranas over the number of kings in the dynasty, the names of the kings, and the length of their rule.[9] In addition, some of the kings listed in the Puranas are not attested via archaeological and numismatic evidence. Similarly, there are some kings known from coins and inscriptions, whose names are not found in the Puranic lists.[1][9]

The reconstructions of the Satavahana kings by historians fall into two categories. According to the first one, 30 Satavahana kings ruled for around 450 years, starting from Simuka's rule immediately after the fall of the Mauryan empire. This view relies heavily on the Puranas, and is now largely discredited. According to the second (and more widely accepted) category of reconstructions, the Satavahana rule started in around first century BCE. The chronologies in this category contain a smaller number of kings, and combine Puranic records with archaeological, numismatic and textual evidence.[10]

Himanshu Prabha Ray provides the following chronology, based on archaeological and numismatic evidence:[10]

Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya believes that Simuka was not the founder of the original dynasty, rather its reviver after the Kanva interregnum. According to him, some Purana compilers confused Simuka with the dynasty's founder, and introduced inaccurate names to fill the resulting gaps in the chronology. Accordingly, he dates Simuka's reign to c. 30-7 BCE, and Satakarni I to 1st century CE.[9]

Puranic lists[edit]

The names of the Andhra kings (in IAST), as mentioned in the various Puranas, are given below. The names vary across different manuscripts of the same Puranas, and some names are missing in some of the manuscripts. The list given below for each Purana contains the most exhaustive version. In the Puranas, Krishna (IAST: Kṛṣṇa) is described as brother of the first king, who overthrew the Kanva king Susharman. All other kings are described as sons of their predecessors. The names and years in brackets indicate alternatives given in various manuscripts. The first king is also known as Shudraka or Suraka in the Kumarika Khanda of Skanda Purana (not present in the table below).[28][14]

Historical identification Bhagavata Brahmanda Reign (years) Matsya Reign (Years) Vayu Reign (years) Vishnu
Simuka Balihita (Balin) Chhismaka 23 Śiśuka 23 Sindhuka 23 Śipraka (Śūdraka)
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa 18 Kṛṣṇa 18 Kṛṣṇa 18 Kṛṣṇa
Śri Śatakarṇi Śri-Śatakarṇi 10 Śri-Mallakarni or Simalakarni 18 Śri Śatakarṇi - Śri Śatakarṇi
Paurṇamāsa Pūrṇotsanga 18 Pūrṇotsanga 18 Pūrṇotsanga 18 Pūrṇotsanga
Skandastambhi (Śrivasvani) 18
Satakarni Śatakarṇi 56 Śatakarṇi 56 Śatakarṇi 56 Śatakarṇi
Lambodara Lambodara 18 Lambodara 18 Lambodara 18 Lambodara
Ivīlaka Āpīlaka 12 Apilaka (Apitaka) 12 Āpīlaka 12 Ivīlaka
Saudāsa 18
Meghasvāti Meghasvāti (Sangha) 18 Meghasvāti
Svāti (Śatakarṇi) 18
Aṭamāna Ābhi 12 Puṭumābi (Padurāvi) 24 Paṭumat
Nemi Kṛṣṇa 25 Arishṭakarman
Skandasvāti 28 Skandasvāti 7
Mrigendra (Mrigendra-Svātikarṇa) 3
Kuntala-Svāti (Kuntala-Svātikarṇa) 8
Svātikarṇa 1
Pulomavi (Pulomavit) 36
Gorakśāśvaśri (Gaurakṛṣṇa) 25
Hāla Hāleya Hāla 5 Hala - Hala
Talaka Bhavaka 5 Mandalaka (Mantalaka) 5 Pulaka 5 Pattalaka
Purīṣbhoru Pravillasena 12 Purindrasena 5 Purikasena 21 Pravillasena
Sunandana Sundara Śatakarṇi 1 Sundara Svātikarṇika 1 Śatakarṇi 1 Sundara Śatakarṇin
Chakora Chakora Śatakarṇin 6 Chakora-Svātikarṇa (Rajāda-Svāti) 6 Chakora Śatakarṇi 0.5 Chakora Śatakarṇin
Mahendra Śatakarṇi 3
Vataka Kuntala Śatakarṇi 8
Śivasvāti Svātisena 1 Śivasvāti 28 Śivasvami 28 Śivasvāti
Gautamiputra Satakarni Gotamiputra Yantramati 34 Gautamīputra 21 Gautamīputra 21 Gotamīputra
Vasisthiputra Sri Pulamavi Purīmān Pulomat 28 Pulimat
Vashishtiputra Satakarni Śatakarṇi 29 Śatakarṇin
Madaśirā Ābhi 4 Śivaśri 7 Śivaśri
Shivaskanda Satakarni Śivaskanda Śivaskanda Śatakarṇi 2 Śivaskanda-Śatakarṇi (Skandha-Svāti) 7 (9) Śivaskanda
Yajna Sri Satakarni Yajñaśri Yajñaśri Śatakarṇi 19 Yajñaśri (Yajñaśri-Śatakarṇika) 9 (20) Yajñaśri 29 Yajñaśri
Śatakarṇi 60
Vijaya Vijaya 6 Vijaya
Chandravijaya Daṇḍaśri Śatakarṇi 3 Vada-Śri (Chandra-Śri-Śatakarṇi) 10 Daṇḍaśri 3 Chandraśri
Lomadhi Puloma 7 Pulomat 7 Puloma 7 Pulomarchis

Purana-based lists[edit]

S. Nagaraju relies on the Puranic lists of 30 kings, and gives the following regnal dates:[19]

  1. Simuka (r. 228–205 BCE)
  2. Krishna (r. 205–187 BCE)
  3. Satakarni I (r. 187–177 BCE)
  4. Purnotsanga (r. 177–159 BCE)
  5. Skandhastambhi (r. 159–141 BCE)
  6. Satakarni II (r. 141–85 BCE)
  7. Lambodara (r. 85–67 BCE)
  8. Apilaka (r. 67-55 BCE)
  9. Meghasvati (r. 55-37 BCE)
  10. Svati (r. 37-19 BCE)
  11. Skandasvati (r. 19-12 BCE)
  12. Mrigendra Satakarni (r. 12-9 BCE)
  13. Kunatala Satakarni (r. 9-1 BCE)
  14. Satakarni III (r. 1 BCE-1 CE)
  15. Pulumavi I (r. 1-36 CE)
  16. Gaura Krishna (r. 36-61 CE)
  17. Hāla (r. 61–66 CE)
  18. Mandalaka aka Puttalaka or Pulumavi II (r. 69-71 CE)
  19. Purindrasena (r. 71-76 CE)
  20. Sundara Satakarni (r. 76-77 CE)
  21. Chakora Satakarni (r. 77-78 CE)
  22. Shivasvati (r. 78-106 CE)
  23. Gautamiputra Satkarni (r. 106-130 CE)
  24. Vasisthiputra aka Pulumavi III (r. 130-158 CE)
  25. Shiva Sri Satakarni (r. 158-165 CE)
  26. Shivaskanda Satakarni (r. 165–172)
  27. Sri Yajna Satakarni (r. 172–201 CE)
  28. Vijaya Satakarni (r. 201-207 CE)
  29. Chandra Sri Satakarni (r. 207-214 CE)
  30. Pulumavi IV (r. 217-224 CE)

Dr. M. Rama Rao gives the following chronology, with gaps indicating uncertainty:[29]

  1. Simukha (221-198 BCE)
  2. Krishna (198-180 BCE )
  3. Satakarni (180-170 BCE)
  4. Satakarni II (152-96 BCE)
  5. Hala (19-24 CE)
  6. Gautamiputra Satakarni (78-102 CE)
  7. Gautamiputra Yajnasri (174-203 CE)


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  5. ^ INDIAN HISTORY by Dr. Sanjeevkumar Tandle p.152
  6. ^ G. Durga Prasad, History of the Andhras up to 1565 A. D., P.G. Publishers, Guntur, p. 116, ( Archived March 13, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Chapter 2". History of the Andhras (PDF). Durga Prasad (P. G. PUBLISHERS). Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  8. ^ "Chapter 9". A Journey Through India's Past. Chandra Mauli Mani (Northern Book Centre). ISBN 81-7211-194-0. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
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  11. ^ James Burgess; Georg Bühler (1883). Report on the Elura Cave Temples and the Brahmanical and Jaina Caves in Western India. Trübner & Company. p. 69. 
  12. ^ Kambhampati Satyanarayana (1975). From stone age to feudalism. People's Publishing House. p. 111. 
  13. ^ Ajay Mitra Shastri (1998). The Sātavāhanas and the Western Kshatrapas: a historical framework. Dattsons. p. 42. ISBN 978-81-7192-031-0. 
  14. ^ a b Fitzedward Hall, ed. (1868). The Vishnu Purana IV. Translated by H. H. Wilson. Trübner & Co. pp. 194–202. 
  15. ^ Sailendra Nath Sen (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. pp. 176–177. ISBN 978-81-224-1198-0. 
  16. ^ Bhagwanlal Indraji (1885). "The Hâtigumphâ and three other inscriptions in the Udayagiri caves near Cuttack". Proceedings of the Leyden International Oriental Congress for 1883. pp. 144–180. 
  17. ^ Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya (1974). Some Early Dynasties of South India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 44–50. ISBN 978-81-208-2941-1. 
  18. ^ Alain Daniélou (11 February 2003). A Brief History of India. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. pp. 139–141. ISBN 978-1-59477-794-3. 
  19. ^ a b Rajesh Kumar Singh (2013). Ajanta Paintings: 86 Panels of Jatakas and Other Themes. Hari Sena. pp. 15–16. ISBN 9788192510750. 
  20. ^ Rapson, XXXVII, Original Prakrit, line 5 and 6 of the inscription: "Khatiya-dapa-mana-madanasa Saka-Yavana-Palhava-nisudanasa — Khakharatavamsa-niravasesa-karasa Satavahana-kula-yasa patithapana-karasa"
  21. ^ a b Rapson
  22. ^ E.J. Rapson (1989). Catalogue of the Coins of the Andhra Dynasty, the Western Satraps, the Traikutaka Dynasty and the "Bodhi" Dynasty. Asian Educational Services. p. 250. ISBN 978-81-206-0522-0. 
  23. ^ ""The different branches of the Satavahana family, which ruled in different parts of the kingdom after the decline in central authority, weres soon ousted by new powers some of which were probably feudatories at the outset." Majumdar
  24. ^ Religion and Public Culture: Encounters and Identities in Modern South India by Keith E. Yandell Keith E. Yandell,John J. Paul p.253
  25. ^ Pollock, Sheldon (2003). The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India. University of California Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-5202-4500-8. 
  26. ^ Rapson, CLXXXVII
  27. ^ Original text "L1: Rano Siri Satakarnisa L2: avesanisa vasithiputasa L3: Anamdasa danam", Marshall, John. A guide to Sanchi. p. 52. 
  28. ^ Robert Sewell (1884). Lists of Inscriptions, and Sketch of the Dynasties of Southern India 2. Government Press. p. 145. 
  29. ^ Pran Nath Chopra (1994). Encyclopaedia of India: Andhra Pradesh. Rima Pub. pp. 10–12. 


  • Sastri, Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta (1976). A History of South India. Madras: Oxford University Press. 
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  • Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003). Ancient India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.