Gautamiputra Satakarni History:
Gautamiputra Satakarni was a famous emperor of the Andhra dynasty Sattavahanas. The Sattavahanas mentioned in the Puranas as the Andhra king. The founder of the Sattavahana dynasty was Simuka, he defeated the last Kanva king Susharman and founded the Sattavahana dynasty, in next half century the emperor declined to owe to the Scythian invasion. But during the Gautamiputra Satakarni time, the emperor recovered and nourished at its peak. So he got the fame of the most celebrated king of the Sattavahana Dynasty and also one of the greatest Sattavahana kings. His life story, administration, his invasions and incidents in his life discussed in the book Nasik Prasasti. This had written after the demise of Gautamiputra Satakarni by his mother Devi Gautami Balasri. This book is the most important source to know the life of Gautami putra Satakarni to the present historians.
Rise of Gautamiputra Satakarni
King Gautamiputra Satakarni destroyed the Sakas, Pahlavas and the Yavanas. In his period Saka emperor was very strong under Nahapana. The first sixteen years Gautamiputra devoted to the preparations to conquest Saka Dynasty. At the mean time, Nahapana seized the Western Deccan from Sattavahanas. Then Gautamiputra carried out a valiant struggle against the Sakas and killed Saka chief Nahapana and his minister Rishavadatta. In later years Gautamiputra uprooted the Yavanas and Pahlavas from Deccan and also recovered his paternal land Maharashtra, the original homeland of the Sattavahanas. He stretched his kingdom to Gujarat, Berar, saurashtra, Malwa and North Konkan.
Who Founded Satavahana Dynasty ?
After the downfall of Maurya Dynasty, the Sunga and the Kanva dynasties rise with their own abilities in North India. In the eastern part of India, the Chedi mahameghavahana Dynasty rise and in South India Satavahana Dynasty established around the Andhra region. The founder of the Satavahana dynasty was King Simuka. After him the dynasty named on his name Satavahana dynasty. According to the inscriptions of Puranas, Simuka defeated few areas which were under the rule of some Sunga Dynasty rulers in the North. He also captured a large territory which was in the hands of Kanva Dynasty rulers and established a powerful Kingdom in the Deccan.
The Satavahanas were originally belonged to somewhere in Deccan plateau and mostly belonged to the Andhra area. In the Puranas these Satavahanas are described as the Andhras. So that Andhras were the most powerful and the confidential races in Ancient India. In the famous book Indica, Greek Ambassador Megasthenes also mentioned the word ‘Andhra.
After the overthrow of the Sakas, the Sattavahana dynasty turned as a formidable power in South. Gauthamiputra satakarni conquered many territories like Maharashtra, Northern Maharashtra, Kathiawar, Western Rajputana, Vidarbha, Avanti, and Konkan. His empire extended from the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats and also included Travancore region.
Gautamiputra Satakarni Administration:
Gautamiputra Satakarni was a benevolent ruler and had a strong sense of public duty. His administration based on twin foundations of Sastric Laws and humanism. Hence he introduced taxation system on the base of economic stability of the people. He uplifted the tax on the poor and downtrodden people. He strongly condemned the narrow casteism which had crept up in the society and promoted the Varnasrama dharma. Since he tried to stop the growth of sub-castes. He belonged to a Brahmanist but he encouraged the other religious sects and their tradition and culture. Gautamiputra Satakarni was a great ruler and successful in unifying the major parts of India under the rule of Sattavahana Empire. Even he regained parented territories successfully. He brought so many reformations among the administration systems. He showed very benevolent and respects the other religious practices. So Gauthamiputra Satakarni regarded as the greatest emperor among the Sattavahanas.