THE SATAVAHANAS


Satavahanas became prominent in the Indian political scene sometime in the middle of the first century BC.

Gautamiputra Satakarni (first century AD) is considered to be the greatest of the Satavahana rulers.

He is credited with the extension of Satavahana dominions by defeating Nahapana, the Shaka ruler of Western India.

His kingdom is said to have extended from river Krishna in south to river Godavari in north.

The Satavahanas had their capital at Pratishthana (modern Paithan) near Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

The Satavahana kingdom was wiped out in the first quarter of the third century AD and the Satavahanas kings were succeeded by the Kings of lkshvaku dynasty.

 

Satvahanas Polity and Administration–

Satavahana kingdom was divided into subdivisions called aharas or rashtras, meaning districts.

The lowest level of administration was a grama which was under the charge of a Gramika.

There were also officers called amatyas who were perhaps ministers or advisors of the king.

Revenue was collected both in cash and kind.

Satavahanas kings were the first in Indian history to make tax free land grants to Buddhists and Brahmanas to gain religious merit.

This practice became more prominent in succeeding periods.

The Satavahana kings claimed to be Brahmanas and considered it their primary duty to uphold varna system i.e. the four fold division of social structure.