The Satavahana dynasty (sAtavAhana rAjvamsha) (ಸಾತವಾಹನ ರಾಜವಂಶ) which succeeded the Mauryas and ruled over vast regions of South India, held sway over some parts of Karnataka also. Legendray references relating to this dynasty are found in mythology. However it is reliably confirmed that the Satvahana dynasty was founded by Seemuka, who established the kingdom after defeating the Kanva kings. Satavahanas also known as ‘shAtakarNi’s and ‘Andhrabhritya’s were in power during the period 121 B.C. and 174 A.D. This brief account is confined only to the material that is of relevance to Karnataka.
The southern boundary of the
Satavahana kingdom passed through Kolhapura, Banvasi and Chitradurga regions.
The part of Karnataka to the north of this demarcating line was then known as
‘kuntala rAjya’. One of these kings was actually called kuntala shatakarni.
This ‘kuntala rajya’ included Banavasi, Balligame, Harihara, Hampi, Hangal,
Lakshmeshvara, Lakkundi, Gadag,
Little evidence is available about
the social and religious life during this regime. The information about the
parts that belonged to Karnataka is even more hazy. Pottery and some crude lead
coins of the Satavahana vintage were found during the excavations at Chandravalli.
Inscriptions found at Malavalli, Banavasi and Talagunda provide ample evidence
about the rule of Satavahanas. Banavasi (Vaijayanti) became a business centre
during their regime. Archaeologists have unearthed beads, tiles, pots and
bangles belonging to that period at vaDagaon near beLagaum and hirEhaL near
1. ‘Satavahana Culture In Karnataka-Recent Evidences’ by Dr. A. V. Narasimha Murthy
2. ‘Satavahana Vestiges in Karnataka : Recent discoveries’ by Dr. B.K. Gururaja Rao,
‘History and Inscriptions of the Shatavahanas and the western
Kshatrapas’ by V.V. Mirashi, 1981,