The Satavahanas, also known as the Andhras, were a dynasty which ruled in Southern and Central India starting from around 230 BCE. Although there is some controversy about when the dynasty came to an end, the most liberal estimates suggest that it lasted about 450 years. Long before that their kingdom had disintegrated into successor states.
The first mention of the Andhras is in the Aitareya Brahmana, dating back to the 8th century BCE. Their first capital was Junnar, near Pune which falls in Andar maval region. From that area where they lived they are referred to as Andhras. Present day Andhra Pradesh got its name from this dynasty. In the Puranas and on their coins the dynasty is variously referred to as the Andhras, Andhrabhrityas, Satakarnis and Satavahanas. They have been variously thought of as originating from present day Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh, and were probably of Aryan origin. They were supported by Maharathas (Maratha) of Sahyadri mountains with whom they established matrimonial alliances.
The Satavahanas started out as feudatories to the Mauryan Empire but declared independence soon after the death of Ashoka (232 BCE).
They were the first native Indian rulers to issue their own coins with portraits of their rulers, starting with king Vashishtiputra Shri Pulumavi (r. 130-158 CE), a practice derived from that of the Indo-Greek kings to the northwest. Their coins give unique indications as to their chronology, language, and even facial features (curly hair, long ears, strong lips). They issued mainly lead and copper coins; their portrait-style silver coins were usually struck over coins of the Western Kshatrapa kings. Their coins also display various traditional symbols, such as elephants, lions, horses, and chaityas (stupas), as well as the "Ujjain symbol", a cross with four circles at the end
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