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Ikshvakus of Vijayapuri

c.220 AD - c.320 AD : Ikshvakus or Ikshavakus came to power in Telangana after Satavahanas.
Founder : Vashishthiputra Sri Santamula (Santamula I) 
Capitals : Vijayapuri (Nagarjunakonda).
Language : Telugu
Religion : Hinduism, Budhism
Ikshvakus were originally feudatories of the Satavahanas and bore the title Mahatalavara.
Ruled Nalgonda and Khammam regions in Telangana. 
Ikshvaku coins were found in the interior Telangana, Keesaraguta assumes great importance due to the fact that the early unadulterated Brahmanical faith flourished here

They had two subordinate and related families, the Pugiyas and Hiranyakas. While the rulers were followers of Brahmanism and performed Vedic sacrifices, their consorts were devotees of the Buddha and erected buildings for the Buddhists settled at Nagarjunakonda and made pious donations to the stupas. Most of these buildings owed their existence to the piety of certain queens and princesses belonging to the royal house of Ikshvaku, the principal founder being a princess named Chamtisiri.
Another important inscription was found engraved on the stone floor of an apsidal temple situated on a rocky hill about two furlongs to the east of the Great Stupa, and known locally as Naharallabodu. This temple and a monastery standing alongside of if were built by a lady named Bodhisiri and dedicated to the fraternities of Ceylonese monks settled at Nagarjunakonda.

Andhra Ikshvakus were originally feudatories of the Satavahanas and bore the title "Mahatalavara". Although the"Puranas" state that seven kings ruled for 100 years in total, the names of only four of them are known from inscriptions. 
After the decline of the Sātavāhanas, the transition from Prakrit to Sanskrit as an epigraphic language is apparent in the Ikṣvāku inscriptions. 

Mahatalavaras, or subordinate rulers, were employed by Ikṣvhaku rulers to administrate their territory, and members of this ruling class married into the Ikṣhvaku royal family.

c.220 - c.233 AD : Vasithiputa Sri Santamula (Santamula I) 
He is attested by the Rentala and Kesanapalli inscriptions. The Rentala inscription, dated to his 5th regnal year, calls him "Siri Cāṃtamūla". The 4-line Kesanapalli inscription, dated to his 13th regnal year, and inscribed on the pillar of a Buddhist stupa, names him as the founder of the Ikshvaku dynasty, performed the "Asvamedha", "Agnihotra", "Agnistoma" and "Vajapeya" sacrifices. Santamula performed the Asvamedha sacrifices with a view to proclaiming their independent and imperial status. It had become a common practice among the rulers of the subsequent dynasties to perform the Asvamedha sacrifice in token of their declaration of independent status. From this fact, it can be inferred that it was Santamula I who first declared his independence and established the Ikshvaku dynasty. Santamula's mother was Vasisti, as evident from his name.
An inscription dated to the 20th regnal year of Virapurushadatta mentions Chamtamula's death, which can be interpreted in various ways. It is possible that Chamtamula lived up to this time, having given up the throne at an earlier date; alternatively, it is possible that the inscription merely commemorates his death anniversary.
Adavi Chamtisiri, daughter of Chamtamula and the sister of king Virapurisadatta was given in marriage to Mahnsenapati Mahatalavara Mahadandanayaka Khamda-Visakhamnaka of the Dhanaka family.
 
c.233 - c.257 AD : Virapurushadatta ruled for at least 24 years, as he is attested by an inscription dated to his 24th regnal year. He was the son and successor of Santamula through his wife Madhari and married three daughters of his paternal aunts (Chamtasri and Hammasri).
The importance of the Pukiyas is shown by the marriage of Camtisiri and Kamdasiri’s daughter Khamdasagarannaka to the king, he also married Bapasiri and Chathisiri who were his cross-cousins, daughters of Hammasiri or Hammasri, who was the sister of Siri Camtamala.
He also married Rudradhara-bhattarika, the daughter of the ruler of Ujjain (Uj(e)nika mahara(ja) balika), possibly the Indo-Scythian Western Kshatrapa king Rudrasena II (256 A.D -278 A.D)
His daughter Kodabalishri (Kodabaliśrī) married the ruler of the Vanavasa country (possibly the Chutu ruler of modern Banavasi).
The Saka-Ikshvaku marriage was undoubtedly of some political significance. It may have checked the advance of Abhiras into Eastern Deccan.
Madhariputra Srivira- purushadatta followed the Brahmanical faith in the early period of his reign and during the later years he patronized Buddhism. Almost all the royal ladies were Buddhists. An aunt of Virapurisadata Chamtasri built a big Stupa at Nagarjunikonda. Her example was followed by other women of the royal family. The mahisi Mahavallabhika Yakhilinika was another of his queens and her name suggests that she probably came from the family of some ruler in northern Maharashtra. (Another
of his queens was Rudradharabhattarika who is referred to as the daughter of the maharaja of Ujjain. But none of these queens was the mother of the next king, Ehuvula Camtamula. His mother was a Vasisti and is referred to as mahadevi Bhattideva, and her genealogy is not known.
 
c.257 - c.281 : Virapurisadata's son Ehuvula Santamula (Santamula II) also ruled for at least 24 years, and is attested by inscriptions dated to the regnal years 2, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16 and 24. 
Nagarjunakonda Inscription by Ehuvla Canatamula, who is known to have married a princess from the family of Kshatrapas of Ujjayini it is dated regnal year 11 Magha suklapaksha 11.
His reign witnessed the completion of a Devi Vihara, the Sihala Vihara, a convent founded for the accommodation of Sinhalese monks, and the Chaitya-ghara (Chaitya hall) dedicated to the fraternities (Theriyas) of Tambapanni(Ceylon). Ceylonese Buddhism was in close touch with Andhra. The sculptures of Nagarjunakonda, which includelarge figures of Buddha, show decided traces of Greek influence and Mahayana tendencies.
The Ikshvaku kingdom reached its zenith during his reign.Several Hindu and Buddhist shrines were constructed during his reign. His Patagandigudem inscription is the oldest known copper-plate charter from the Indian subcontinent.
The Ikshvaku kingdom seems to have suffered multiple foreign invasions during Ehuvala's reign. The Sarvadeva temple inscription credits his commander Anikke with victories on the battlefield. The memorial pillar of his general Mahasenapati Chamtapula, a Kulahaka chief, also alludes to battle victories.
Hariti-putra Virapurushadatta, the son of Ehuvala and queen Kapanashri (Kapanaśrī), bore the titles of an heir apparent: Maharaja Kumara and Mahasenapati. However, he did not ascend the throne, probably because he died before his father. Ehuvala was succeeded by Rudrapurushadatta, who was his son from Vammabhatta, the daughter of a Mahakshatrapa (the Western Kshatrapa ruler).
The Shakas (the Western Kshatrapas) appear to have greatly influenced the Ikshvaku kingdom during Ehuvala's rule. Some of the inscriptions issued during this period use the Shaka title svamin for the king. An inscription to commemorate Vammabhatta, issued during the 11th regnal year of his son Rudrapurushadatta uses this title svamin for all the preceding kings.
Ehuvula Camtamula (II) had at least three queens. One of them is Kupanasiri of Pusyakandiya lineage.
She is referred to in an inscription of her son Maharajakumara Vlrapurisadatta. Both her father's and mother's families carried the title of mahatalavara. Although she is not related to the Iksvakus, this marriage must have brought the Pusyakandiyas into an alliance with the ruling dynasty. Another queen is mahadevi Khaijduvula whose genealogy is not known. The third queen is Mahadevi Siri Vammabhatta of the Brhatpalayana gotra, in which case she would not have been the mother of the next king, Vasitthlputra Rudapurisadatta, although an inscription refers to her as his mother. ( Sircar suggests the possibility that she was a step­ mother, as the word mata can be interpreted as a mother or a step-mother, as in the case of the above-mentioned memorial inscription of Camtamula. (This queen is a daughter of Mahakhatapa and gives us a second instance of a marriage alliance with the Ksatrapas of western India. The Ksatrapas are, however, not known to have used Brahmanical gotra names like Brhatpalayana. Unless this is an exception, we come to a second possibility: that is Vammabhafta retained her mother's gotra.

c.281 - c.299: Rudrapurushadatta was the name of an Ikshvaku ruler found in inscriptions from Gurajala in Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh. He could have been a son of Ehuvula Santamula. Rudrapurushadatta ruled for more than 18 years. He was probably the last important ruler of the Andhra Ikshvaku family. After him there were three more unknown rulers according to the Puranas. 

Ikshvaku inscription was found in Phanigiri on a pillar in Sanskrit and Prakrit languages and Brahmi characters. It belongs to Ikshvaku king Rudrapurusha-datta and was issued in his 18th regnal year. The inscription contains four verses in adoration of Lord Buddha.

“The discovery of this inscription is important for the history of Ikshvaku dynasty, as the regnal year mentioned in this inscription extends the reigning period of the king by seven years, from 11 to 18. This inscription records the erection of a pillar containing the Dharmachakra by the chief physician (aggra-bhishaja) of the king.

Inscriptional evidence from Nagarjunakonda reveals the names of subordinates whose relation to the Iksvakus cannot be established. A memorial pillar to a Mahasenapati Mahatalavara Araka Mahakoduvaka Ayabhuti. Another inscription refers to a Talavaravara Elisri, the son of Gandi and the grandson of senapati Anikki who had a temple constructed. 

The last of the Iksvaku kings was overthrown by Abhiras  and Pallava ruler Simhavarman I (A.D. 315-345) around c.320 AD.


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