The Ikshavakus came into the limelight after the fall of the Satavahana dynasty. Vasisthiputra Sri Santamula was the founder of the dynasty who probably reigned in the second quarter of the third century ad.
The dynasty ruled in Andhra between the two rivers Krishna and Godavari and some area to the south of river Krishna also. Their capital was probably Vijayapuri in the Nagaijunikonda valley.
Santamula, the founder king, captured considerable territory from the Satavahanas and performed the Vedic sacrifices of Ashvamedha and Vajapeya and thus was instrumental in reviving these practices after a lapse of over hundred years.
Santamula I was followed by his son Mathariputra Sri Virapurushadatta who probably came in the third quarter of the third century ad and ruled for two decades.
He was a great patron of Buddhism and this is confirmed in numerous inscriptions found at Jaggayyapeta, Ramireddipalli, Nagarjunaikonda and Amaravati which also praise his son, Ehuvula Santamula II, as a royal patron of Buddhism.
Ehuvula Santamula II ruled for eleven years or so, and was succeeded by Rulupurushadatta. The Pallavas replaced the Ikshavakus towards the end of the third century BC and Buddhism declined. Brahmanism was revived under the Pallavas.