Ikshvaku Dynasty became prominent after the the rule of Satavahana Dynasty in the Andhra region. They carried their rule from Vijayapuri, it was their capital city. They ruled for about 75 years. They are Mahatalavaras to Satavahana rulers. The inscription at Phanikonda states, Sri Santhamula of the Ikshvaku Dynasty was Mahatalavara to Satavahanas.
Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Kurnool, Cuddapah in between Krishna River and the Godavari were under their rule. According to Alluri Inscription, Ikshvakus were subordinated to Satavahanas. It is presumed that the word Ikshvaku was derived from the word Ikshu which means Sugarcane. According to B.S.L. Hanumanthrao, the Ikshvakus used Sugarcane as their emblem, and hence probably they were called by the same name.
Their capital city, Vijayapuri, was in Nagarjunakonda region in Andhra and this place was excavated by R. Subramanyam. Sources to study the Ikshvaku dynasty can be categorized into groups, Puranas, literature, and Inscriptions.
As per Puranas, Ikshvakus were Sri Parvatheeya Andhra people and inhabitants of the Andhra region. As per the same sources, Ikshvakus ruled the Andhra region for about 75 years. Puranas also provides the information that seven kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty ruled the Andhra region but as per inscriptions, the number was only four.
Literary sources of Ikshvaku Dynasty
This was authored by Nayasena. The book is a Jain rhetoric Kannada text. This book gives information about the Ikshvakus who ruled the region of Sriparvatham. It gives information that Ikshvakus were immigrants to the southern region of India. Panchanga with Day, Nakshatra, Thithi, Yoga and Karana were present and followed by Ikshvakus. The book further states that Yasodharma of Ikshvakus built the city of Prathipalapuram otherwise called Bhattiprolu in the Vengi region.
Buddhacharitha was written by Asvaghosha. This book offers information about the birth of Ikshvakus. As per this book, Ikshvakus were part of the Shakya Clan to which Buddha also belongs. Buddhism was patronized during Ikshvakus.
Inscriptions of Ikshvaku Dynasty
They issued inscriptions in Prakrit language. Ehubhala Santhamula issued inscription in Sanskrit.
This inscription states that Ikshvakus were subordinated to Satavahana Rulers. It also provides the information, the lands distributed by the king.
Nagarjuna Konda Inscription
It was issued by Veerapurushadatta. As per this inscription, Vasistaputra Sri Santhamula established the Ikshavaku dynasty in Vijayapuri.
Gummadi Dharru Inscription
It was issued by Ehubala Santhamula. It contains information about the names of the people during their times. It further states that Gummadi Dharru was a Buddhist sacred place.
As per this inscription, the last king of the Ikshavaku dynasty, Rudrapurushadatta, was defeated by Narasimhavarma of Pallavas.
Numismatics of Ikshvaku Dynasty
The coins of Ikshvakus were excavated in the regions of Nagarjuna Konda, Phanigiri, Nelakondapalli, Vaddemanu, Eleswaram and this account is evident to assume that the Ikshvakus have their sovereignty over these regions.
Explorations for Ikshvaku Dynasty
Relics of the Ikshvaku Dynasty at Nagarjuna Konda in Andhra were first excavated by A.Ranganath Saraswathi. N.H. Lonhgrest and B.S. Ramachandran took up exploration as well to find more information about this dynasty.