Buddhism, well established by the third century BC, ourished throughout the Satavahana period, ahayana Buddhism commanded considerable fol- owing, especially among the artisan class, agaijunakonda and Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh came important Buddhist centres under the tavahanas and more so under their successors, the hvakus.

Similarly, Buddhism flourished in the asik and Junnar areas in the western Deccan, supported by the traders. At Amaravati, the stupa was enlarged and new stupas were built.

Old ones were enlarged at Alluru, Ghantasala, Gummadiduru, Gudivada and Goli. New caves were excavated and additional benefactions towards Buddhism were made at Karle, Nasik and Kanheri.

The inscriptions mention the names of a number of sects as well as of the monks of various groups, all followers of the Buddha.


Objects of worship included stupas, the sacred tree, the trishula emblem, the footprints of the Master, the dharmachakra, relics and statues of the Buddha and other great teachers, and of the Nagarajas. The sculptures show men and women in moods of ecstatic devotion.

Brahmanism also flourished under the Satavahanas. The third king of the dynasty per­formed a number of Vedic sacrifices and named one of his sons, Vedisri. Gautamiputra Satakarni was a supporter of Brahmans.

Hala’s Saptasati begins with a passage in praise of Shiva. During this period, the Hindu gods were Indra, Vasudeva, the Sun and the Moon, Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Ganesha and Pashupati. The Saptasati mentions the vrata of fire and water and temples of the goddess Gauri.