Satavahanas – Administration


  • King was the upholder of dharma, as said in Dharmashastras- he was divine origin- and had the qualities of mythical heroes like Rama ,Bhima, Keshava and Arjuna – he was compared to supernatural forces.
  • Satavahanas followed some administrations structure of Ashoka’s time.  The district was called as ahara, as it was known in the times of Ashoka. The officials known as Amatyas and Mahamatras as known during the Mauryas.
  • Administrative division called Rashtra and its officials as Maharashtrikas.
  • Military was strong under the control of Senapathi, and he was appointed by provincial Governor
  • Rural administration was in the hands of -Gaulmika,- He was head of military ,regime, having 9chariots,9 elephants, 25horses,45 foot soldiers, to maintain laws and order in the country side.
  • Kataka, Skandhavaras appear in the inscription –they were military camps and administrative centres as long as when the king was there.
  •  Tax free villages were given to Bhramanas and Buddhist monks-these land were free from intrusions of Royal policeman, soldiers and royal officers
  • It was like Small Island in the Satavahanas kingdom.  Buddhist monks preached, peace, good, conduct, respect authorities and social orders.
  • Brahmanas helped to enforce the rules of varna system and promoted social stability.


  • Chityas (sacred shrines) and monasteries in North-Western Deccan or Maharashtra cut out of solid Rocks., with great skills and patron
  • Buddhist temple known as chaitya and the place where the monks stayed was vihara.
  • Chitya was a large hall with a number of columns and the Vihara consisted of central hall with doorways and veranda.  The front of the most famous chaitya in western Deccan was  -4om long 15m wide,15m height. It was the most impressive rock architecture.
  • Viharas or monasteries were excavated near chatyas for the residence of monks during rainy seasons. There were 43 viharas found, and inscriptions on Nahapana and Gautamiputra that belong to 1st and 2nd C.A.D

Rock cut Architecture.

  • Rock cut Architecture was found in Andhra in Krishna and Godawari region and independent Buddhist structure and stupas are famous ,most famous are Amaravathi and Nagarjunakonda.
  • The stupa was a large round structure erected over some relic of the Buddha .
  • Amaravathi stupa belong to 200 B.C and completed second half in the 2nd C.A.D.  Its dome in 53 m height and 33inches – full of sculptures of various scenes from the life of the Buddha. Nagarjuna was given patronage by Ikshvakus successor of Sathavahana. It has Buddhist monuments and earlier Brahmincal brick temples.
  • 2 dozen monasteries are found – with stupa and maha-chaityas, it is the richest area in terms of structure.


  • Official language was Prakrit in Brahmi Script as in Asokan times.
  • Satavahanas king composed Prakrit Books – One is Gathasattasai or Gathasaptasati is attributed to Satavahana King Hala- had 700 verses all in Prakrit.