Kings of Ikshvaku dynasty

Ikshvakus ruled the Andhra region after the fall of the Satavahana dynasty. As per Matsya Purana, seven kings ruled the dynasty for about 52 years. In Matya Purana, Dwipanchasatham is the word used for their glorious years of ruling and this indicates either 52 years or 100 years as propounded by Porgitor. As mentioned in Nagarjuna Konda inscription and Jaggayapeta Inscription only four kings ruled the dynasty. As per Phanigiri Inscription, Rudrapurushadatta ruled for 18 years.

D.C. Sarkar presumed as per the relics excavated in Nagarjuna Konda region that the Ikshvakus probably ruled for about 75 years. D.C Sarkar further continued his research and propounded the regnal years of the kings as follows;

Veerapurushadatta ruled from 255AD to 275,
Ehuvala Santhamula from 280AD to 335 and
Rudrapurushadatta from 335AD to 345.

The foregoing estimation was ruled out by Maremanda Ramarao and V.V. Miraasilu Sarkar. They further gave the following estimation;

Santhamula ruled from 230AD to 245,
Veerapurushadatta from 245AD to 270,
Ehuvala Santhamula from 270AD to 285, and
Rudrapurushadatta from 285AD to 300.

Origins of the Ikshvaku dynasty


There are several theories propounded about the same. As per Rapson and Buhler, Ikshvakus hailed from Northern India. As per Heggal, they are from the Kannada region. As per K.Gopalachari, they are from the Tamil region. The most approved theory is from Caldwell, as per him, they are the people of the Andhra region. Vishnu Purana accounts that Ikshvakus were immigrants from the Ayodhya region to southern India.

Vasistaputra Santhamula


He is the first king to establish the dynasty. He defeated the last king of Satavahanas, Pulomavi the third, and ruled his dynasty from Vijayapuri which was his capital city. Shreds of evidence from excavations giving us the information, Romans built a stadium in Vijayapuri during his time.

He followed the Vedic religion. He worshiped Virupakshapathi and Mahasena, who were Lord Shiva and Kumara Swamy respectively. He performed the following Yagas; Aswamedha Yaga, Rajasuya Yaga, and Vajapeeya Yaga. The information about his Yagas is evident from the coins he issued. After performing the Yagas, he assumed the following titles; Samrat, Swarat, Virat, and Eka Virat.

As per Nagarjuna Konda inscription, gold coins, cows, plows, and lands were donated for agriculture by him. The same inscription says he established marriage alliances to expand his territory. He performed the wedding of his son and the daughter of the ruler of Ujjaini, Rudrasena.

Veera Purushadatta


He is the son of Sri Santhamula. He is the greatest of the Kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty. Sometimes he is referred to as Ashoka of South India and also Sri Parvathadipathi. Inscriptions at Nagarjuna Konda, Amaravathi, Jaggayapeta, Uppugunduru, and Alluru gives us the accounts of his glorious reign. He married Battimahadevi. He also married his aunt’s daughters; Bhapisri and Shahtisri.

He did not patronize Shiva religion and further tried eliminating the same from his kingdom and these instances were gathered from Nagarjuna Konda inscription. He initially belongs to the Vedic sect and patronized the same and later took Buddhism upon his aunt’s request. He is the only king from the Ikshvaku dynasty to follow Buddhism. His regnal years can be considered the golden age for Mahayana Buddhism. 

Nagarjuna Konda has got the prominence during his reign and the same was considered, Southern Gaya, a Buddhist sacred place. During his reign, Sriparvatha University was stated. Inside Sriparvatha University, Pushpabadra Temple construction was started during his time. Also during his reign, Mahadeva, a Buddhist Monk, propagated Buddhism and reached the Sinhala Kingdom with his one lakh followers and this instance was evident from a Buddhist text, Mahavamsam.

Ehuvala Santhamula


He is the son of Veerapurushadatta and Bhatti Mahadevi. He completed the construction of Purusha Bhadra temple in Sriparvatha University which was started during the reign of his father. He took construction work of several temples in Nagarjuna Konda region; Purushabhadra Narayana Swamy Temple, Kartikeya Temple, Nadikesvara Temple, Navagraha Temple, and Harathi Temple was constructed during his time. He is the first king to start constructing Hindu Temples.

He issued inscriptions in Sanskrit and it was the first time in South India to have inscriptions in Sanskrit. Also, he is the first of Ikshvakus to do the same. He also started issuing inscriptions during his reign with dates on them.

His commander-in-chief, Elasiri, constructed Kumaraswamy Sarvadevadhivasa Temple in the Nagarjuna Konda region. Ehuvala Santhamula donated a vihara near Nagarjuna Konda to the monks of Bahusruthi Buddhism. Bahusruthi Buddhism is a sect in Buddhism and his mother followed the same.

Rudrapurushadatta


He is the son of Ehuvala Santhamula. He is the last ruler of the Ikshvaku dynasty. During his reign, he issued inscriptions at Nagarjuna Konda and Gurajala, and they both accounts for his reign. As per the Manchikallu inscription, he was defeated by Narasimhavarma of the Pallava dynasty.

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