What were the Causes behind the Decline of Satavahanas?


The Satavahana empire fell a prey to the Abhiras in the north-west and the Traikutakas in the west, the Ikshvakus, the Brihatphalayans and the Salankayanas in the east, the Pallavas in the south-east and the Chutus in the south Of these the Pallavas alone were destined to become an important political power ruling the Tondaimandalam and an expanding kingdom based on that for nearly six centuries.

As we have seen above before Bindusara attempted a south-ward expansion of his empire i.e., even in the days of Kautilya a great part of the Deccan was the great forest Dandakaranya which could be crossed only along the coast on either side, without fear of being molested by wild animals or robbers. This condition was slowly changing through the reign periods of Bindusara and Asoka.

The Satavahana rule which witnessed the expansion of their kingdom in all directions naturally facilitated more internal movement for purposes of conquest and in the wake of such conquests, trade. The Deccan thus was hurriedly catching up with the already well settled civilizations in Aryavarta beyond the Vindhyas and that of the Tamils beyond Mysore in the south.


Contacts with the North were originally provided by the Mauryan conquests and later by the Satavahana conquests of the Saka kingdom beyond the Narmada. Their contact with the South was occasioned by their trial of strength with the Tamil confederacy. But the ancient conditions never changed completely leaving Deccan as a separate geo-political entity in the history of India developing its own style of politics and social life. It, however, never rose to the position of making original contributions in the field of administration or religion and philosophy as in the case of the Gangetic Valley or the plains of the Kaviri.

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