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Ed.Note

 

The history of the Andhra Kingdoms has been much neglected in the Eurocentric descriptions of our past. Furthermore , there has been an assumption  that Andhra has been synonymous with the Telugu language. While the Telugu language has an extensive literature of its own , our current knowledge of the matter suggests that the Andhra Kingdoms predate the language by at least a millennium. Here is one account of the history of the Andhras. To verify this chronology we need to cross check references to Adi Sankara  during this  period.

 

Source: Chronology of Ancient Hindu History Part 1. author and publisher ¡§ Bharata Charitra Bhaskara¡¨,¡§Vimarsakagresara¡¨

Pandit Kota Vankatachela paakayaaji Kali 5058, AD 1957- Arya vignana Grantha Mala , Publication No 23

 

The Andhra Dynasty of Emperors of Magadha
 

         
S.No  
 
Name of the King  Length of reign Period of Reign in Kali era
(solar tropical year)
Period of reign in Gregorian calendar BCE

 
Simukha Saatakarni 23 2269-2292  833 - 810
2  
 
Sri Krishna Saatakarni 18 2292- 2310 810-792
3
 
Sri Malia Saatakarni  10 2310 - 2320 792 - 782
4
 
Puurnothsanga 18  2320 - 2338 782-764
5 Sri Satakarni 56  2338 - 2394  764 - 708
6 Skandha stambhi 18 2394 - 2412 708 - 690

7
Lambodara Saatavaahana 18 2412 - 2430 690 -- 672
8 Apiitaka Saatavaahana 12 2430 - 2442 672 - 690
9 Meghaswaati Saatavaahana 18 2442 - 2460 660 - 642
10 Saata Swaati Saatavaahana 18 2460 - 2478 642 - 624
11 
 
Skanea Saatakarni 7 2748-2485 624-617
12 
 
Mrigendra Saatakarni 3 2485 - 2488 617 - 614
13
 
 Kuntala Saatakarni 8 2488 - 2496 614 - 606
14 Soumya Satakarni 12 2496-2508 606-594

15
Saata Saatakarni 1 2508 - 2509 594 - 593

16  
Puloma or Puloma I 36 2509 - 2545 593 - 557

17   
Megha Saatakarni 38 2545 - 2583 557 - 519
18 Arishta Satakarni (in the tenth year of his reign in B.C. 509, Sri Sankara was born. ) 25 2583 - 2608 519 - 494

19
Haala Saatavahana 5 2608 - 2613 494 - 489

20
Mandalaka Saatavahana 5 2613 - 2618 489 - 484

21
Purindrasena Saatavahana 21  2618 - 2639 484 - 463

22
Sundara Saatakarni 1 2639 - 2640 463 - 462

23
Chakora Saatakarni 1/2  2640  2640 462-461

 
Mahendra Saatakarni 1/2 2641 - 2641 462-461

24
Siva Saatakarni 28 2641 - 2669 461-.433
25
 
Gautamiputra Saatkarni 25 2669-2694 433-408
26
 
 II Puloma Saatakarni 3 2694-2726 408-376
27
 
Siva sri Saatakarni 7  2726-2733  576-369
28 Sivaskanda Saatakarni 28 2733-2740 369-342
29 
 
Yajna Sri Saatakarni 19 2741-2759 362-343
30  Vijayasri Saatakarni 6 2759- 2765 343-337
31
 
Chandra Sri Saatakarni 3 2765-2768 337-334
32 III Puloma Sri Saatakarni 7 2768-2775 334 - 327
         




506 (Total Years in Reign)



As per the list above the 32 Andhra Satavahana emperors of Magadha ruled for 506 years on the whole from Kali2269­ - 2775 or B. C. 833 to 327 B. C. After them the founder of the Gupta or Andhra Bhritya Dynasty. Chandragupta occupied the throne in B. C. 327 after putting to the sword the last two princes of the Aandhra dynasty, Chandra Sri and Puloma III. The king who then got himself crowned at Pataliputra, having annexed a considerable part of the Magadha state was this Chandragupta 1 of the Gupta dynasty and not Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Maurya dynasty, as' is commonly and erroneously supposed now-a-days, By this erroneous identification by the western (European) historians of India, and as a consequence of it to be in accord with that. By pushing forward and locating in B. C. 1500 the Mahabharata war which took place actually in B. C 3138 and the coronation of Chandra Gupta Maurya of B. C. 1534 to B. C, 324. The antiquity of the entire history of ancient India has been reduced by more than 12 centuries.

Details of this distortion (partly due to mistake and partly to deliberate mischief) are given in our other publication in English with the title 'The plot in Indian Chronology'. In B, C. 327 the Aandhras lost their power in the Magadha state, the Paramount power In Bharat at the time. Their empire came to an end; but not the Saatavahana dynasty of Aandhra princes. The princes of the dynasty indulged in mutual quarrels, cut up the empire into bits, each declared himself independent and all reduced themselves to the position and status of rules of petty principalities. The royal dynasty split up into 12 branches according to the Puranas.


Aandhraram samsthitaha panch tesham vasashcah ye punaha saptaivatu bhavisyanti iti (Brahmanda Purana Chap 77, Verse 171 or Vayu Purana Ghapt. 99-3517- Verse.)

Thereafter the princes of the Agni dynasty (a branch of the Saatavahana dynasty) might have branched off into various further subdivisions. Pallava, Cheta, Sena. Kadamba, Rashtrakuta, Vishnulu Kundina. Brihatphalayana, Baana. Gaanga, Hosala, Rajaputra, Saalamkayana, Vakataka. Vallabhi. Vaidumba, Nolamba dynasties were all connected with the Andhra Saatavahana dynasty' Even from earlier times as the eldest sons at. The Saatavahana kings only succeeded to the throne by the principle of Primogeniture, the younger sons and sons  in law of the kings of the different generations were perhaps provided for by being made the chiefs of small principalities in Rajputana (current day Rajastyhan.

The present Rajput royal dynasties might have thus come into being. Such as Pramara or Paramara Chapahani or Chahuman. Sukla or Chalukya, Parihara or pratihara) the four Agni dynastieg. These royal dynasties are otherwise known as Brahma-Kshatriyas, as the founders of the above named four dynasties were all Brahmanas well versed in the Vedas.

The Bhavishya Purana-Pratisarga parva declares Pramara was a student of Saama. Chapahaani of Yajus. Sukla was versed in the three Vedas (Rig, Yajus and Sarna) and Pari­hara was a student of Adharvana. In Kali 2710. ie. B. C. 392, these four scholar s and sages were made to perform sacri­fices on Mount Arbuda or Abu in Raajaputana, with the object of developing in them the martial spirit (Kshatra Tejas) and they were made the kings of the four parts of the country. Details of this account of the origin of the royal families of the Agni dynasty are available in the last chapter of this book "Kings of Agni Vamsa".

Kalhana in his Raja tharangini says Princes descended from the Andhra Saatavahana dynasty were ruling in the eighth century after Christ, in Kashmir. Lahore, Abhisaara, Draga, Simhapura, Divyakataka, Uttara Jyotisha, - the first two now forming part of Kashmir and the last three in modern Afghanistan, all the five, Yavana kshatriya kingdoms. The Lohaar and Hindu Saahi princes are descendents of the Andhra Saatavahana and the Thomara dynasty derived from it. The famous emperors Vikrarnaditya, Saalivahana and Bhoja belonged to the Pramara or Paramara or more well known as Panwar dynasty deriving from the Andhra Saatavahanas. The Chapa­hanis were also known as Chahumans, those of the Thomara branches followed the Kshatriya, traditions and customs and were reckoned as Kshatriyas proper in the Puranas too. The famous historical personages Prithviraj, Jayachand and Rani Samyukta all belong to the Thomara dynasty.

The Sukla or Chalukya princes are well-known among the rulers of Southern India. Of them one branch known as the Eastern Chalukya ruled over the regions of the eastern coast land and another known as the Western Chalukya ruled in the west. The famous king Raja Rajanarendra, who patronized and sponsored the literary effort of the translation of the Mahabha­rata into Telugu, belonged to the Eastern Chalukya dynasty. During the centuries after Christ, the Chalukya princes deemed it more honorable to style themselves as Kshatriyas and managed to link up the founders of their dynasties with ancient Kshatriya princes and got such lists of their descent recorded in the inscrip­tions of their times. The Pariharas ruled in Bengal the Brahmanas of the Sakti worship cult in Bengal belong to this branch of Agni Kshatriyas or Brahma-Kshatras.

The kings of the Kadamba Dynasty.

Mayuura Sarma, founder of the Kadamba dynasty of princes who ruled in Kerala or Malayala country, also belonged to the Aandhra Saatavahana dynasty and became the ruler of that part of the country in the 6th century B. C. Kaakutsa Varma a prince of this dynasty was ruling there in B. C. 550 (Vide Ancient Dekkan P. 27)

As there were no Brahmanas in Kerala at that time king 'Mayuura sarma' sponsored the migration of a group of Brahmana families from his birth pIace Ahi kshetra [Sarpavaram as it is now called) a village in Godavari District and settled them in his kingdom. In the 'South Indian castes And Sects' a publication of the Madras Government in seven volumes, it is stated with refe­rence to the Brahmanas of Kerala : -- ¡§In some of the ancient texts of Brahmanas in manuscript, it is recorded that, in the reign of king Mayuravarma of the Kadamba dynasty, some Aandhra Brahmanas were encouraged to migrate to south Kanara. Subsequently the legendary curse of Parasurama till this migration of Brahmanas from Ahi kshetra in Aandhra under the patronage of king' Mayura sarma of Kadamba dynasty, there were no Brahmanas in Keralra.

Inscriptions reveal that, the founder of the Kadamba dynasty of princes who ruled with Banavasi in North Kanara as their capitall, was Mayuravarma (the name is variously recorded, as Mayuira varma and Maurya Sarma). He was the Founder of the Brahmana dynasty of princes known as "Kadamba,"

The traditions and written record's of the Nambudri Brahmanas of Kerala extend back to 'Mayuravarma.' The Brahmanas impor­ted by Mayura Varma were at the time of their migration the disciples and followers of the famous Kumarila Bhatta or Bhattacharya. but after the migration they accepted the principles and became the adherents of the philosophy of Sri Sankara (birth 509 'E. C.) which prevailed in KeraIa.

In the fifth volume of the same publication Sri Subramanya Ayyer writes:-"':The Danta 'Kadha list in 'Kerala Mahatmya declares that the Nambudri Brahmanas of Kerala" were the descen­dents of immigrants from" Ahikshetra.

The sentences are a quotation from the ancient Sanskrit books 'Kerala Mahatmya' and 'Keralotpatti'. Andhra praehalana or 'Andhra movements', a small publication of the Andhra Mahasabha, immediately after the first conference of the Andhra Sabha, also claims that 'the famous historical personages of Mayura varma, Bhattacharya and Sri Sankara were all Andhras. Several of the Dantna stories also support the claim.

Even V. A. Smith admits in p. 43 of his history of India that the kings of the Kadamba dynasty who ruled over the region comprising the Kanara and the northern districts of Mysore from the 3rd to the 6th centuries after Christ were Brahmanas. Thus the Kadamba princes who ruled over Kerala from the 6th century before Christ to the 6th century after Christ and the Brahmanas who migrated to the Country along with them and under their patronage were all Aandhras.

Among the Brahmanas who thus migrated from Ahikshetra or Sarpavaram, a village in the Godavari District) to Kerala under the patronage of Mayura-Sarma the Brahmana ruler of Kerala. there was a Brahmana scholar of the name Siva guru who settled down in the village Kalati in Kerala. To him, after he had settled in Kerala was born 'Sri Sankara the first.' So Sri Sankara the Great Advaitic Philosopher and the Nambudri Brahmanas were all of Andhra descent, 'Sri Ramanuja' the Great protagonist of 'Visishtadwaita' bore the surname (family name) "Aasuuri". Surnames or house names constitute a distin­guishing feature of the Aandhras, among the different peoples of south India.

Tamilians have no surnames or house names. So Sri Ramanuja should be deemed to belong to a family of Andhra Brahmanas, who had migrated to the Tamil country and settled down there some generations previous to him. Even so, 'Madhva-Acharya,' the great exponent of the 'Dvaita system' of philosophy bore the surname of Nadiminti. (Madya geh) He should be similarly deemed to belong to an Andhra Brahmana family that had migrated to the Kannada country and settled down there. Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya, and his son Sri Tiruvengalayya who lived in the 15th century, and Kshetrayya of the 7th century who composed the songs known after him and the famous Thyagaraja of the 18th century, author of the immortal songs inculcating and expressing at the same time the principles of devotion (Bhakti) enlightenment (Jnana) and renunciation (Vairagya) all these celebrated musical composers were of Aandhra descent though belonging to families that had migrated to and settled down in several parts of the other regions in South India. The great scholar Kumarila Bhatta of 557 BCE" who stemmed the advancing tide of the Jaina and Bouddha religions and safeguarded the ancient Vaidic religion of the country, was an Andhra. The great savant 'Vidyaranya who wrote authoritative commentaries on the four Vedas and preserved for us knowledge of the contents of the Vedas to this day was an Aandhra.

Hence the sage 'Appayya Dikshitha:' declares "It should be deemed a great good fortune to be born an Andhra, to claim the Aandhra language as ones mother tongue; to' 'live in Aandhra Desha, further to the Vaidic cultural tradition and then to be a student of the Yajurveda'. It is a good fortune possible only for one with rare accumulated merit." It need not be mentioned that he himself was an Andhra (though he is said. by some. to belong to the Dravida branch: even if it is conceeded; it only mean!:! he belongs to a group of Dravida or Tamilian families that migrated to Aandhra in the remote past. settled down there in such remote past that they had long ago forgotten and given up the use of the Tamilian language even in their homes, and made the Andhra language their mother tongue. Even then we have every right to claim him to be an Aandhrai. There are several other great personages among Andhras in every period Ancient and modern.


Source: Chronology of Ancient Hindu History Part 1. author and publisher ¡§ Bharata Charitra Bhaskara¡¨, ¡§Vimarsakagresara¡¨ Pandit Kota Vankatachela paakayaaji Kali 5058, AD 1957- Arya vignana Grantha Mala , Publication No 23

 

 





Andhra Chronology by Sir Vepa Ramesam

ANDHRADESA CHARITRA SANGRAHAM  (in Telugu)
by Mallampalli Somasekhara Sarma— Published by Adhunika Vangmaya
Kuteeram, 22 Diwan Rams Iyengar Road, Madras 7, 1948, pp. 128—Price Rs. 1-8.

 
In this book the well-known historian and scholar Mr. M. Somasekhara Sarma has given the Telugu public an outline sketch of the history of the Andhra country from the earliest times down to 1857 based to a very great extent on his own study of original sources. No book giving a continuous account of all the periods of Andhra history has so far been written by any one else and this gives a special significance to Mr. Sarma’s work. Apart from this Mr. Sarma has taken a comprehensive view of his subject and has dealt with all aspects of Andhra history—political, economic and cultural. Readers of his book will therefore get an adequate idea not only of the various dynasties that ruled over, the country from time to time, the empires they founded, the successful wars they waged and the heroism they displayed but also of the changes in the economic life of the people. and developments in religion, art and literature. The artistic and architectural beauties of Amaravathi and  Nagarjunakonda the rise and decline of Buddhism the revival of Vedic religion, the growth of Saivism and Vaishnavism, the factors that contributed to their changing fortunes and the patronage they received at the hands of rulers and the people are all described with great vividness. vigor and beauty of style. Each age had also its own characteristic literature. Prakrlt, Sanskrit and Telugu were the successive media through which the authors expressed themselves. From the eleventh century onwards there was continuous progress in Telugu literature and there is a portrayal in it of the different aspects of the life of the people. Among the greatest of the achievements of the Andhras was the success they obtained in the field of industry, trade and maritime enterprise. Mr. Sarma gives an excellent account of all this, of the seaports from which the Andhras carried on their expeditions and their contribution to the founding of Greater India In the region of South-East Asia. The book is a model of scientific history. Mr. Sarma will do well to have it translated into other Indian languages and also into English. Most of the chapters in the book were originally given as broadcast talks under the auspices of the All-India Radio, Madras and the station authorities deserve the congratulations of the public for having chosen a trained scholar like Mr. Sarma to broadcast on the subject.
M. VENKATARANGAIYA.

 

 

Mapping Pune's Roman connection


14 Dec 2007, 0216 hrs IST ,Vishwas Kothari, TNN

PUNE: Ever imagined the Romans taking a circuitous sea route around Africa to reach the Persian Gulf and further touch the western Indian shores of Bharuch in Gujarat for trade with Pune over 2,000 years back?

Archaeologists from the Deccan College here have come across a plethora of evidence at the Junnar excavation site, 94 km from city, that establishes Pune's trade links across the oceans, with the ancient Roman Empire.

The evidence suggests that Satavahanas, the earliest rulers of Maharashtra (230 Before Christ Era),(ed. this dating is now as above) who reigned from Junnar, were engaged in a flourishing import-export trade not just with the Romans but also with the Greeks and the Persians.

The port of Kalyan on the Konkan coast offered the link for the Romans touching the Indian shores at Bharuch, to reach Junnar via the western ghat pass of Naneghat.

Junnar, along with Paithan in Marathwada region, and Amaravati in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, was an important seat of power for the Satavahanas, whose reign of over four centuries covered parts of western, southern and central India.

"The early rulers of the state had developed a fondness for wine brought into India by traders from these foreign countries," said Vasant Shinde, professor of archaeology, who is heading the research initiative at Junnar, while speaking to TOI on Thursday. "Similarly, luxury goods and glassware were being imported," he added. Junnar was also a vital place for large-scale exports of spices, ivory and silk, he said.

The trade link was mainly through the sea route as the Romans would take a circuitous route to travel around Africa and reach the Persian Gulf coast between Iran and Arabian Peninsula in south-west Asia. Further, they would reach the coast of Makran that stretches along south Balochistan, Iran and Pakistan, and would head for Bharuch (also spelt as Bhroach), which was then among the biggest ocean-going ports on the Arabian sea coast in India, explained Shinde.

From Bharuch, the Roman traders would spread out to smaller ports like Kalyan in Konkan coast, Nala Sopara in Thane and Chaul in Raigad district. "Kalyan was a major loading and offloading centre from where the traders would proceed by road to Junnar via Naneghat," he added.

The link extended beyond Junnar, to Paithan and the ancient town of Ter in Osmanabad, which was the biggest market place established by the Satavahanas. "Ter was an important distribution point for domestic trade, linked with places in south, east and north India," said Shinde.

Archaeological remains like clayware, utensils, farm and industrial implements, ornaments and shells, among other things, found at the site - provide sufficient evidence of influence of not just the Romans but also other dynasties like the Mauryans from northern India and the Kshatrapas from neighbouring Gujarat, over the Junnar region.

The excavations started towards the end of 2005 with a view to collect data on the human habitation, economy and social structure under the Satavahana rule.

Junnar has one of the largest concentration of Buddhist caves (around 200) commissioned by the Satavahana rulers. Similarly, the caves at Naneghat, 20 km from Junnar, provide sufficient quantum of ancient inscriptions.

The impending 45-day-long excavation (beginning December 20) would focus on the religious and social aspects of human habitation under the Satavahanas at Junnar, he said.


 


 

 

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