Give a clear picture of istory of Ekshvakas
On the ruins of Satavahana Empire various kingdoms emerged.
Chutu Satakarni Kingdom- © Banavasi/ Vaijayanthi in Karnataka.
Abhiras – Konkan, Aparantha. – in Maharashtra.
Ekshwakas – © Vijayapuri / Nagarjuna Sagar. In Telangana and Coastal Andhra.
Ekshwakas ruled from 220 A.D. to 330 A.D. This is upto the emergence of Vengi/ Eastern Chalukya.
Ekshwakas coin are found in:
Andhra – Krishna, Guntur, Kurnool, Prakasham districts.
Telangana – Nalgonda, Khammam, Mahaboob Nagar.
As Satavahana king Vijaya Satakarni’s coins are found in this place, this place came to be called as Vijayapuri.
Ekshwakas royal emblem – Lion.
During the Ekshwakas reign Nagarjuna konda / Vijayapuri flourished as Buddhist centre as well as centre for education.
Archaeological Sources:- Coins, Monuments, Sculpture.
Ekshwakas coins are found at – Nagarjuna konda, Phanigiri, Nelakondapalli, Vaddemanu (Mahaboobnagar dist.), Eleshwara in Nalgonda district. This indicated the extent of their kingdom.
Inscriptions are found at Nagarjuna Konda, Jaggaiah peta (Krishna dist.), Ramireddy palli, Phanigiri etc.
Inscriptions are in Prakrit language and Brahmi script.
From the period of Ehuvala Shanthamoola these inscriptions came to be written in Sanskrit.
- Mahasthoopa inscriptions 2. Chaithya Gruha inscriptions
- Differentiated Pillar inscriptions ` 4. Inscriptions of sculpture.
Ekshwakas coins are lesser in number when compared to Satavahana coins.
Ekhswakas did not issue gold and silver coins.
In Nagarjuna konda, 148 Satavahana coins are found. This proves that during Satavahana period itself Nagarjuna Konda was an important place.
Roman emperors’ and queens’ coins are found at Nagarjuna konda.
In Nagarjuna Konda – Tiberius Hedriyan, Fastena queen coins were found.
In Eleshwaram – Sestimus Severs etc Roman emperors’ coin were found.
Buddhists Chaithyas, Sthupas, Greatways (thoranas) were found at nagarjuna Konda, Ramireddy Palli, Nelakondapalli, Phanigiri, Anupu are helping us to know about the religion and social conditions of the Ekshwakas. They also help us to know about the contemporary rulers.
In the excavations undertook at Nagarjuna konda, Ekshwaku period (3rd century A.D.) forts, Buddhist sthupas, Viharas, Chaithyas, Aramas, temples, bathing ghats were found.
1926 – A. Ranganatha Sastri, a Telugu assistant in Archaeological department for the first time identified the archaeological remains at Nagarjuna konda.
1938 – H.N. Longston, and B.N. Ramachandran started excavations at Nagarjuna Sagar.
1954- Under the leadership of Rayaprolu Subbarao, excavations were carried on large scale.
The sculpture, coins, inscriptions and other things which are unearthed in the excavations are moved to Nagarjuna Konda and Anupu.
Birth Place of Ekshwakas:
Ekshwakas were Andhra Bruthyas- Andhra Bruthyas= Andhras’ servants.
Ekshwakas worked under Satavahanas as Mahatalavaras, Maha Senadhipathis.
Ekshwakus imitated Satavahanas in adding mothers’ names to their names.
Ekshwakas names start with ‘Skanda’ and end with ‘Anaka’.
According to Vayupurana – Ekshwaku was head of Solar lineage. Ekshwaku was eldest among 9 sons of Manu. He ruled Ayodhya as his capital. He had 100 sons. Vikakshi was eldest on among them. Vikakshi succeeded his father to the throne. 50 sons of Ekshwaku established small kingdoms in North India and remaing 49 sons established small kingdoms in South India.
Law giver Bauddhayana mentioned that South Indians has the tradition of marrying their niece. We don’t find this tradition in North India.
Veerapurusha Dutta married daughters of his 2 maternal aunts. Based on this fact historians came to a conclusion that Ekshwakus belong to South India.
Ekshwakas belong to Dravidian lineage
Ekshwakas are Kannadigas_ Sten Kono, Vogel.
Ekshwakas are Tamilians_ K. Rajagopalachary.
Ekshwakas migrated from Kosala. _ Rapson, Bular.
Dharmamrutha, a Kannada text mentions that Yashodhara, King of Anga kingdom, came to south India and established a kingdom near river Krishna, Battiprolu (Prathipalapuram) as its capital.
Ekswakas are native Andhras. _ Bishap Coldwell.
Ekshwakas are the ancient Andhra, with ‘Ikshu’ as their emblem.
Origin of Ekshwakas
Puranas mentioned Ekshwakas as Sri Parvatheeyas, Andhra Bruthyas, Sri Parvatheeyandhras.
K.P. Jaiswal also concluded that Ekshwakas, Sriparvathiyas, Andhrabrithyas are same.
According to Puranas and Buddhist sources, Nagarjuna konda to Srisailam hilly areas are Sriparvatha region.
According to Jaggaiah peta inscription and the inscriptions found at Nagarjuna Sagar, Sri Shanthamula is Eshwaka king and his capital in Vijayapuri, which is located on the western side of Nagarjuna Sagar.
In 3rd and 4th centuries Sriparvatha was called as Vijayapuri.
Like Satavahanas, Ekshwakas also added their mother name to their name. This tradition was ended with Eshwakas.
Based on the usage of the words ‘Siri’ and ‘Sami’, we can come to a conclusion that Ekshawakas are Satavahanas’ feudatories. (Kodabalisiri, Shanthisiri, Hammasiri).
Ekshwakas worked as ‘Mahatalavaras’ under Satavahanas.
Date of Ekshwakas
According to Matsya Purana – Sriparvatheeya 7 kings ruled for 52 yeas. (Dvipanchashatham).
According to Phanigiri inscription Rudra Purusha Datta ruled for 18 years.
According to D.C. Sarkar Ekshwakas ruled for 75 years. Based on Nagarjuna Konda inscription he came to the conclusion.
Shantha Moola 220 A.D. – 233 A.D.
Veera Purusha Datta – 233 A.D. – 253 A.D.
Ehuvala Shanthamula – 253 A.D. – 277 A.D.
Inter regnum of Abhira Vasusena – 277 A.D.(278) – 283 A.D.
Rudra Purusha Datta – 283 A.D. – 301 A.D.
Last Ekshwaka ruler.
Based on the information found in the coins of Gurajala (Guntur dist.), Nagarjuna Konda, Phanigiri, and inscriptions, Rudra Purusha Datta was the last Ekshwaka king.
S/o Ehuvala Shanthamoola.
In his 4th regnal year, a person named Noduka Sri donated some land to Halampura Swamy temple. This place is identified as Nagulapuram in Guntur.
Abhira Vasusena inscription is found in Nagarjuna Sagar. This inscription was issued in the 30th regnal year of Abhira Vasusena. According to this inscription – Shaka Rudradaman of Avanthi, Abhira Vasusena, Banavasi Chutu Vishnu Rudra Shivalananda Satakarni etc constructed Ashtabhuja Swami temple. But the contemporary Ekshwaka king name was not mentioned in this inscription.
Acc. D.C. Sarkar, they might have defeated contemporary Ekshwaka king and installed the statue.
Abhiras ruled Nagarjuna konda for few years.