Who were Satavahana rulers? What was the origin of the rulers of the Satavahana Empire? This question has got many answers with different views and opinions. Several intellects described the origins of the Satavahana rulers differently and they are all compiled hereunder.
Origins of Satavahana Rulers
According to BSL Hanumanthrao, satavahana rulers were Aryans. According to RS Sharma, the rulers of the Satavahana Dynasty were Dravidians.
The earliest mention of the Satavahana Empire can be traced back to Katha Saritsagaram of Some Deva Suri. In his work, Soma Deva Suri mentioned that the rulers of the Satavahana Empire were the descendants of the one born to Yaksha named Satha and a Brahman woman.
According to a Jain text Dwatramsika Puttalika, the rulers of satavahana Empire were the descendants of the one born to Satavahana, a Brahman, and a woman of Naga. In Nasik inscription which was issued by Gautami Balasri, it was stated that the rulers of satavahana Empire were Brahmans. Also, in the same inscription, it was mentioned that Gautami Putra Satakarni, a ruler of the Satavahana Empire and the son of Gautami Balasri, was given a title Eka Brahmana.
Pratishthanapuram Kalpa was a book written by Jina Prabhasuri. In his book, Jina Prabhasuri mentioned that the rulers of the Satavahana Empire belong to the Naga clan. He further stated that a Brahman woman was married to Nagaraja of Naga clan. Satavahana was the name given to the one born to them. The rulers of the Satavahana Empire were the descendants of Satavahana.
Birthplace of Satavahana Rulers
VS Sukthankar propounded a theory about the birthplace of Satavahana rulers. According to him, the Satavahana rulers belong to the state of Karnataka. More specifically, they originated from the Ballary region in Karnataka. The last ruler of the Satavahana Empire, Pulomavi III issued Mekhadoni Inscription in this region.
PT Srinivas Ayyangar opined that the rulers of satavahana dynasty belong to Maharashtra. According to him, they belong to the Nasik region in Maharashtra.
According to a theory, the rulers of the Satavahana Empire were from the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra. This conclusion was drawn from the evidence that Gautami Putra Satakarni of the Satavahana Empire assumed the title Banga Kataka. Bango and Kanhan were two tributaries of the Wainganga River flow in the Vidarbha region.
DK Gopalachary proposed the Andhra theory of Satavahana Rulers. According to him, the rulers of the Satavahana Empire belong to the Andhra region. There are several pieces of evidence to support this theory. The coins of Srimukha were excavated near Kondapur Kotilingala. The wedding venue of King Hala, a ruler of satavahana empire, was at Draksharamam in Andhra Pradesh. In Nasik inscription of Gautami Balasri, there was a mention of many hills namely; Mahendragiri, Siritani, Sathagiri. All these hills were in the Andhra region.