Gautamiputra Satakarni History:
Gautamiputra Satakarni was a famous emperor of the Andhra dynasty, Sattavahanas. The Sattavahanas are 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 the next half century, the emperor declined to owe to the Scythian invasion. But during the Gautamiputra Satakarni time, the emperor recovered and was nourished at its peak. So he got the fame as the most celebrated king of the Sattavahana Dynasty and also one of the most fabulous Sattavahana kings. His life story, administration, invasions, and incidents are 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 Yavanas. In his period Saka emperor was powerful under Nahapana. The first sixteen years of Gautamiputra were devoted to the preparations to conquer Saka Dynasty. In the meantime, 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 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 the Maurya Dynasty, the Sunga and the Kanva dynasties rose with their abilities in North India; in the eastern part of India, the Chedi mahameghavahana Dynasty grew, and South India Satavahana Dynasty was established around the Andhra region. The founder of the Satavahana dynasty was King Simuka. After him, the dynasty was named after his name Satavahana dynasty. According to the inscriptions of Puranas, Simuka defeated a few areas under the rule of some Sunga Dynasty rulers in the North. He also captured extensive territory in the Kanva Dynasty rulers’ hands and established a powerful Kingdom in the Deccan.
The Satavahanas initially belonged somewhere in the Deccan plateau and mainly in the Andhra area. In the Puranas, these Satavahanas are described as the Andhras. So Andhras were the most potent and confidential race in Ancient India. In the famous book Indica, Greek Ambassador Megasthenes mentioned the word ‘Andhra.
After the overthrow of the Sakas, the Sattavahana dynasty became a formidable power in the 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, including the Travancore region.
Gautamiputra Satakarni Administration:
Gautamiputra Satakarni was a benevolent ruler with a strong sense of public duty. His administration was based on the twin foundations of Sastric Laws and humanism. Hence he introduced a taxation system on the base of the economic stability of the people. He uplifted the tax on the poor and oppressed people. He strongly condemned the narrow casteism that had crept into society and promoted the Varnasrama dharma. Since he tried to stop sub-castes growth, he belonged to a Brahmanist, but he encouraged the other religious sects and their tradition and culture. Gautamiputra Satakarni was a great ruler and successfully unified significant parts of India under the rule of the Sattavahana Empire. Even he regained parented territories successfully. He brought so many reformations to the administration systems. He showed very benevolence and respected other religious practices. So Gauthamiputra Satakarni was regarded as the greatest emperor among the Sattavahanas.