Post Mauryans and Kingdoms and the age of Sangam

analysis of Post moryan kings like Kushans and Saka and a brief intro on the Sangam Age.

Post Mauryans and Kingdoms (200 BC-300 AD)

  • Known as age of Interaction and Innovation

  • One of the dark ages in Indian History

  • No clarity in Kings who ruled in this period

  • Complete Political Decentralization from Kashmir to Kanyakumari

  • Society norms Violated (inter caste marriage was common called as Varnasankara)

  • Foreigner first time ruled India (small Tribes from Central Asia)

  • Generally Economy is very Rich post Mauryan because Guilds are very active and entered many countries for trades

  • Architecture was highly flourished because of interaction with foreign people for example arts of Gandhara, Mathura and Amaravathi

Untouchables according to Brahmanical views

  1. Mlecchas( Father- foreigner, mother- Indian)

  2. Aprachya( father- indian, mother- foreigner)

Foreign Kingdoms(Indo-Greeks)

  1. Indo-Greeks- ruled N-W India
  • some rulers are Demetrius and Minender/Milinda

  • they patronized Buddhism

  1. SAKA/Scythians (Central Asia)
  • Total 5 branches, 4 branches settled at saurashtra and 5th branch settled at Ujjain

  • Sakas patronized Brahmanism

  1. Kushans or Yuchies or Tocharians

  2. Parthians

Post Mauryan biggest Kingdom emerged was Satavahanas who almost ruled for 400 Years and they ruled the complete deccan region and chedi kingdom ruled Orissa and complete south was ruled Sangam kings also called as age of Sangam

During this period Brahmanism was Rapidly rising while Other religion like Buddhism and Jainism getting unpopular because Kings of satavahana mainly patronized the Sanatan dharma and also giving equally respect for Buddhism


Indo-Greek’s capital was at Bactria, they minted Pure gold, on the front side we see the king’s image and on the back side we see the name of the Kings who minted.

Now the first person who minted coins is Minander/Milinda, Nagasena converted Minander into Buddhism and changed his name to Milinda, there’s also a book on Nagasena and Milinda called Milindapanho which is written in Pali language.

Milinda is the first person to start a art system called Gandhara-art relating to sculptures and paintings of Buddhism, Kushans also encouraged Gandhara-art


  • They ruled Gujarat and central Madhya Pradesh

  • Most important ruler in Sakas is Nahapana(Ujjain Branch)

  • Another powerful king is Rudradaman(Ujjain Branch)

  • Rudradaman took revenge on satavahana king by defeating Sivasri Satakarni, as a punishment for Sivasri Satakarni , Rudradaman gave his Daughter Rudradamanica to Sivasri satakarni and made Illarikam(in telugu, it means Bridegroom must stay at father in laws house after marriage)

  • All these mentioned in Junagadh Inscriptions, the first sanskrit inscription in India

  • Rudradaman repaired Sudarshan lake

  • Last ruler in saka kingdom Basa , defeated by Chandragupta 2

  • They captured one silk route (Ujjain-Kanyakumari), that’s why they were able to 300 years and became rich


  • They were called as Yuchies and they are central asian tribes

  • They were regarded as biggest looters and captured entire silk routes and collected taxes

  • They were called as Devaputra or Kaisers(chinese titles)

  • Kushans patronized Great art, one is Mathura and other one is Gandhara

  1. Kujalakada Physis-devaputra son of god

  2. Wimakada physis, devotee of shiva(coins , trident and bull)

  3. Kanishka(78 AD-120 AD), is the greatest kings in Kushan Dynasty

  4. Kanishka have 2 capital, one is Purushapura and other one in Mathura

  5. Because Kushans blocking the Silk route, Chinese found other Route to sell the goods to Europeans, Chinese first they entered Burma, then Bengal( Tamralipti), then our guilds pass through Ujjain, then pass through deccan and from deccan, they use Sea Route, this is how Indian guilds became very rich by collected Taxes


  • Also called as Pahlavas (not Pallavas)

  • Came from Central Asia

  • Important ruler was Gondopharnes

  • He is a student of ST Thomas who came to India to spread Cristianity

Indian Kings

  1. Shungas
  • Pushyamitra Shunga , he is a Brahmin and performed Aswamedha Yagam , but miserably failed

  • Pataliputra is his capital

  • Agnimitra is another ruler and he is protagonist in the drama called Malavikagnimitra wrote by Kalidasa

  • Heliodorus a greek ambassador came to indian and became a devotee of Lord Krishna found in Besnagar Pillar

  1. Kanva rulers
  • Susharma, one of ruler, not enough historical evidence found about him

Age of Sangam

  • Generally Sage Agastya is considered as the first north Indian Sage to enter into south and introduce Brahmanical culture in south India by crossing Vindhya mountains

  • Agastya brought Varna system in the southern India

  • Total 3 sangams were held at Madurai City between writers, and high priests and Agastya became the president

  • 1st sangam- called Thalai sangam, was burnt by some kings so no evidence was found

  • 2nd sangam- called Idai Sangam, main themes of second sangam were wars between cheras(kerala), pandyas(south TN) and cholas(north TN), Love,Romance and Polity.

  • the most important book is Tolkappiyam written by Tolkapyar, it’s about Grammar, polity, social life, Human psychology, it has 3 section and and 9 chapters

  • 3rd sangam- called Kadai sangam, President Nakkirar, Pattupattu, Ettukotai, Pannerupadhalan, was written by Nakkirar and they were all collections of anthologists

  • Tiruvalluvar wrote tirrukul

  • 3 Epics

  1. Silappadikaram written by Ilango Adigal, story of Kannigal

  2. Manimekalai written by satalaisatanar, a sequel to Silappadikaram

  3. Sivagasindaman written by Tiruttokadevar

Note : ancient Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas are not important for exam point of you but Medieval period Cholas are very Important.

Trade and commerce during Sangam:

  • Periplus of Erythrian sea discusses about the ports of South India namely Masuli,Arikamedu,Tamralipti,Baruchha (Guj), Tondi and Helsinda,Poduki and Karaikal in Puducherry

Hope you find the article helpful