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Post Mauryan India: Sungas Dynasty, Satavahanas

Post Mauryan India

After Ashoka’s death, his successors were not able to keep the vast Mauryan kingdom intact. Provinces started declaring independence. N-W India slipped out of Mauryan control & a series of foreign invasion affected this region.

  • Kalinga declared its independence & in further south Satavahanas declared their independent rule
  • As a result, the Mauryan empire was confined to Gangetic valley & soon replaced by Sunga dynasty


Sungas Dynasty

  • Founder of Sunga dynasty was Pushyamitra Sunga, who was commander in chief under the Mauryas.
  • He assasinated the last Mauryan ruler & claimed the throne
  • After the invasion from Bactrian Greeks from N-W, Greeks advanced upto Patliputra & occupied it for some time but Pusyamitra sunga reclaimed it.
  • He also fought against Kharvela of Kalinga who invaded N- India
  • Pushyamitra was a staunch follower of Brahamanism & persecuter of Budhhists, however he patronised buddhist art & during his reign Buddhist monuments of Bharut (MP) & Sanchi were renovated
  • After death of Pushyamitra, his son Agnimitra became the ruler
  • The last Sunga ruler was Devabhuti, Who was murdered by his own minister Vasudeva Kanva, Founder of Kanva dynasty.
  • Kanva dynasty ruler for approx 45 years & then Supplanted by Satavahanas & few time later came Gupta’s at Magadha

Sunga Dynasty

Effect of Sunga’s

Defended Gangetic valley from foreign invaders, revived brahamanism, vaishnavism, horse sacrifice & use of Sanskrit language. Hence, Sunga rule was a brilliant anticipation of golden age of Guptas

Sunga Empire


  • In deccan, Satavahanas established their independent rule after the decline of Mauryas.
  • Their rule lasted for 450 years & were known as Andhras
  • Capital Paithan/ Pratisthan on the river Godavari
  • Founder of Satavahana dynasty was Simuka. He was succeeded by Krishna, who extended his kingdom to west uptill Nashik
  • Greatest ruler of Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Satkarni.
  • Called himself the only Brahamana.
  • Called himself the only Brahamana.
  • Nashik & Nanaghad inscriptions throw light on achievements of Gautamiputra satkarni
  • Patronised Brahamanism yet gave donations to Buddhists
  • He was succeeded by his son Vashishtaputra Pulamayi who issued coins with the inscription of images of ships which shows naval power & maritime trade of Satavahanas
  • Last great ruler of this dynasty was Yajna sri Satkarni, who recovered Malwa & northern coast of konkan from Shaka rulers (which was captured by Rudradaman before)
  • Satavahana period saw an extensive growth in overseas trade.
  • Satavahana administration was almost same as Mauryans as District were called Aharas & officials Amatyas & Mahamantras.
  • Administration of rural areas was placed under Gaulmika who was head of military regiment


Satavahanas → Official Language (Prakrit)

  • Issued Silver coins Karshpanas + Issued Lead coins  For Trade
  • West Port Kalyani + East Port Gandakasela + Ganjam
  • Started Practice of giving Tax free Villages to Brahamanas & Monks
  • Satavahana Kingdom had 3 grades of feudatories
  • Raja Sole right to strike coin
  • Mahabhoja
  • Senapati
  • Revived Brahamanism along with practice of Aswamegha & Rajasuya sacrifices
  • Kataka + Skandhvaras Military Regiments as administrative center for kings at wartime
  • Nagargunaconda + Amravati Important Seats for Buddhists (Mahayana)
  • Satavahanas formed many Chaityas (Temples – Most famous is Karle in West Deccan)  & Viharas (Residents for monk)
  • Gathasattasai / Saptasati Attributed to Satavahana king Hala
  • Satavahanas were succeeded by Ikshvakus
India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017


  1. Hence, Sunga rule was a brilliant anticipation of golden age of Guptas. It should be Mauryan.

  2. Sir, Bharhut is in MP not HP.

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