(IGP) IAS Pre: GS - Indian History - Ancient India : Post Mauryan Period (200. BC-300 AD) (Part -1)

Indian History
Post Mauryan Period (200. BC-300 AD) (Part -1)

Foreign Rulers: Indo-Greeks

1. First contact — during the invasion of Alexander, 3 26-27 BC

2. Second contact — during the battle between Seleucas Nikator and Chandragupta Maurya 306 BC.

  • Chandragupta defeated Seleucas and a matrimonial alliance was established
  • First important Greek king was Demetrius.
  • He issued bilingual coins.
  • He was defeat by Pushyamitra Sunga.

3. Greek king: Menander or Milinda.

  • His coins bear the image of Dhammachkra.
  • He accepted Buddhismi
  • The book Milinda-Panho is a collection of his questions and answers given by
  • His capital was Sakal and Sialkot
  • He was also defeated by Pushyamitra Sunga

4. Important king: Antaaliokus.

  • His ambassador Heliodorus came to the court of a shunga king and created a garudadhwaj at Besnagar or Bhilsa and called himself a Parmbhagvat.

5. Greeks issued a large no. of coins.

  1. They were the first to issue gold coins.
  2. They introduced Hellenistic Art into India, the impact of which can be seen in the Gandhara Art.

The Shakas

  1. They established control over Afghanistan, Punjab, Mathura, Western India and Upper Deccan.
  2. Shaka rule was founded by Maos or Moga.
  3. He finds mention in Mora inscription.
  4. His coins bear the image of Buddha and Shiva.
  5. Rudradaman was themost famous Shaka king.
  6. His Junagarh / Girnar Inscription. 150 AD is the first inscription in Chaste Sanskrit.
  7. This inscription is in small prose-poetry form.
  8. This inscription makes a mention of pair of Sudarshan Lak of Saurastra by Rudradaman’s governor in Saurastra Suvisakha, the expense was borne by king’s exchequer.

The Pahalavas/Parthians

  1. The only important king was Gondophernes.
  2. St. Thomas reached India during his time.

The Kushavas

  1. They belonged to Yuechi tribe.
  2. First king was Kujula Kadiphises
  3. Wima Kadiphises
  • He adopted the title Devaputra which was inspired by the title Swargputra of the Chinese emperor.
  • His capital was Purushpur (Peshawar).
  • He introduced Saka era, 78 AD.
  • His rule extended from Afghanistan to Mathura and Banaras.
  • Being inspired by his teacher Parva he convened a Buddhist council at Kundalvana in Kashmir whose President was Vasumitra and Vice-President was Aswaghoasa. In the Council Mahavibhashsustra was compiled.
  • He patronised Mathura Art and built a stupa at Purushpur. A headless statue of Kanishka has been discovered from village Mat in Mathura.
  • His coins bear the images of Heracles, Sun, Moon, Shiva, Agni and Serapis.
  • Nagarjuna, Charak and Mathur (a great diplomat) were associated with his court.


Sources of Sangam Age

  1. In Ashokas inscription No. 2 & 13 there is description of Chera, Chola, Pandayas and Sri Lanka.
  2. Hatigumfa inscription of Kharvela of Kalinga.
  3. Sangam Texts.

Three Sangams


  1. Venue                             Tenmadurai
  2. Presided over by             August
  3. V Sangam continued for 4400 years.
  4. No work of the first Sangam is available


  1. Venue                                             Kavatuparani/Alvai (Submerged in sea)
    Presided over by                             August & Tolkappiyar
  2. In this sangam the book Tolkaplyarn was written by Tolkappiyar. This book is written on Tamil Grammar


  1. Venue                     Madurai
  2. Presided over by     Nakkirar
  3. Somany works has been found of this Sangam.
    Sangam literature has two subject matters Aham (love) and Puram (war).

1. Astha Sangrah - 8 Books were written. Out of light two books were very important.

  • Padittruptu — This book provides the History of Chera.
  • Puma Nuru- Both of the books are based on war.

2. Astadasha Short work- Eighteen books has been written.

  • Tirukural Written by Tiruvallur. Tirukural is considered as Bible of Southern India.  Author Tiruvallur considered as the incarnation of "Brahma" Kural is also called Pancham Veda.

3. Pattu-Pattu- Another name of this book is Ten Idyls. This book provides the description of nature.


  • Sangam                 A college/assembly of literacy figures
  • Devalayam            Temple
  • Ko                        King
  • Yupas                   Sacrificial ports
  • Avai                      Imperial Court
  • Variyar                 Tax collector
  • Maharum              Supreme Court
  • Puhar                    Harbour area
  • Korai                    Land tax


1. King was known as Ko, Mohnam, Iraivan, Korravan, Vendan etc.

2. Monarchy was a regular pattern of the government.

3. Royal emblems
Pandayas                 Crap (A type of fish)
Cholas                     Tiger
Cheras                     Bow

4. Land tax was known as Karoi. It was the main source of revenue and 115 of the total produce.

Tax Collector was known as                     Variyar
Tax was known as                                    Vari
Offerings to the King                                 Irabu

5. Departments

Panchvaram                     Ministrial Council
Amaichar                         Minister
Orar                                Spies
Duttar                              Messenger
Enadi                               Senapati
Padai                               Army


  1. Caste— division was prevalent.
  2. Brahmins were a part of society. They were ambassadors, priests, ascetics, merchants, judicial advisors. (North Indian Brahmins were known a. Vadanar)
  3. Kshatriya & Vaishya were — not regular.
  4. Child Marriage was not known in this period.
  5. Sati was common, especially among the higher classes.
  6. Eight type of marriage were prevailing in the society but generally, two type of marriage were prevailing.
  • Kalbhu- Without permission of Parent and without any customary.
  • Karpu- With permission of parents.
  • Pinch Tinnal was love marriage.

7. “Kannagi or Pauni Cult” was an established institution. Images of Pattini Devi were placed in temples. Paitni Cult was started by Seguttavan.

8. According to Tholpakiyam (a book), Tamil Society was divided in four part-

  1. Arasar - Rulling class
  2. Andner - Brahinins
  3. Vahigar - Poet,Warrior, Middle class etc.
  4. Bellalar - Agriculturist (Rich & Poor).
  5. Pullain - Rope Makers
  6. Malvar - Thieves
  7. Aniars - Hunters
  8. Kanigaichar - Prostitutes
  9. Panar - Dancers
  10. Valaidiyar - Dancers
  • See-off System for the guest started in this period. In which the people drop the person from few distance from the home mainly boarder of the village.
  • Food Habit:- Both vegetarian and Nonvegetarian type of food habit were prevailing in the society.

Trade & Commerce

  • Trade and commerce increased very much in this period.
  • Romans started their trade first with Tamil.

Export Items:-

  • Pepper
  • Ivory
  • Cotton textile
  • Precious gems.

Import Items:-

  • Wine
  • Gold and Silver which were in form of coins.


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  1. Influence of Brahmanism manifested in performance of Vedic sacrifices and adoption o. vedic gods by higher classes, Sraddha & Pinda to dead

Various deities

  1. Murugan                 The god per excellence. Also known as Subramanya. He is god of hillock worshipped by hunters
  2. Tirunal                    The god considered to be competitor of Murgan
  3. Kannagi                  Goddess of chastity
  4. Tirumal                   God of cowherd

Ports of Sangam Age

  1. Puhar (Kaveri Pattanarn)                     Chola
  2. Coichi                                                 Pandya
  3. Arikamedu                                          Roman Colony
  4. Tamralipti (Periplus of Ganga)             Busiest port on the eastern coast

Political System

King post was hereditary and Monarchy was prevailing in the society. But king not autocrate. Five person Controls the king. Those were

  1. Aniaichchar                     Minister
  2. Purohittar                        Purohit
  3. Senapati                         Army chief
  4. Orrar                             Spy


The Pandayas

  1. Area                             Southern Tamilnadu
  2. Capital                         Madurai (earlier Tenmadurai and Kavatapuram) on the Bank of river Vaigai
  3. Seaport                        Korkai at the mouth of the river Tambraparni. Second part was Saliyur
  4.                                     Important Kings

I. Nedunjeliyan

  • The greatest of the Pandaya kings
  • Mentioned in Silappadikaran
  • Executed Kovalan, the hero of the bold ‘Silappadikaran’ leading to Kannagi's proving her husbands innuecence and death of the king of shock.
  • Defeated the cholas & the cheras in the battle of Taiaiyalanganam.

II. Nediyun

  • Started sea worship.
  1. Dominion known as Tondalmandalam / Cholamandalam
  2. Area - Northern Tamilnadu and Southern Andhra Pradesh
  3. Capital - Uraiyur
  4. Sea Port — Puhar / Poompuhar / Kaveri Pattanarn (Khaberis of Ptolemy) at the mouth of the river Kaveri
  5. Titles Sennis, Sembiyas, Valavan, Killi
  6. Oldest known Chola rular - Elara
  7. Important Kings

I. Karikala

  • The greatest of the Cholas.
  • Literal meaning “Man with Charred Leg".
  • Founded Puhar / Kaveripatnam
  • Constructed a huge embankment (160 km. Ions) on the river Kaveri.
  • Conquered Sri Lanka.
  • Fought the battle of Venni and defeated eleven kings.
  • Defeated the chera king Perunjeral
  • Deposed and imprisoned in his early life
  • In Sanskrit the literal meaning of his name: 'Death of Kali or Death To Enemy Elephants'.
  • Established supremacy over the Pandayas & other Cheras.
  • Prevented the migration of people from his land to other regions, a His victories are described in the book Pattinapallai.

II. Nedunjellan

  • Killed in a battle against the Pandayas and the Cheras.
  • The last Chola king.

III. Senganan

  • Famous in legend for his devotion to 'Siva'.
  • Constructed seven temples.

The Cheras

  1. Area-Kerala.
  2. Capital - Vanji / Karur / Karuvur at the month or on the river PERIYAR.
  3. Seaport - Musiri/Muziris, second important port was tondi.
  4. Titles : Vanavar, Villavar, Kudavar, Kuttuvar, Poraiyar, Malaiyar.
  5. Important Kings.

(a) Udivanjeral

  1. Titles applied to him - Vanavara Mban and Perunjoran Udiyan
  2. Maintained a huge kitchen for free distribution of food to the people.
  3. Adopted the little Imayavaramaban in commemoration of bringing Himalayan stones,
  4. Provided food to warriors in Kurukshetra.
  5. Contemporary of poet Paranar.

(b) Nendun Jeral Adam

(c) Kuttunbah - His title was lord of Elephants.

(d) Pirakottiva Senaguttuvan

  1. The greatest of the chera kings
  2. Known as Red Chera
  3. Built a temple of Kannagi
  4. Campaigned-to North India to get a Himalayan stone to make an idol of Kannagi
  5. Founder of the Kannagi/Pattini Cult (Reference from Silappadikaran)
  6. Sugarcane cultivation started by him in South India.


  1. According to tradition, the father of Tamil literature is Agastya.
  2. Sangam Age corresponds to the Post-Maurya and Pre-Gupta period of ancient India.
  3. Tirukkural is considered to be the 5th veda.
  4. Romans trading with Sangam Kingdom built a temple of Augustus at Muziris.
  5. The first literary evidence about the South Indian Kings is found in Megasthenes Indika.
  6. Korravi was Matridevi which was equal to the Durga of Northern India.
  7. 'Uraiyur' was famous for Pearls and muslin.
  8. Enadi was the highest title given to military officers.
  9. 'Yavanapriya' a Sanskrit term which came to be used for Indian pepper.
  10. Kardhsiyar was the title for low caste women.
  11. The coins of Augustus and Tiberius predominate the Roman coins found in India.
  12. Ur was another name for honey.
  13. Muslin, Gems & Pearls and Spices were the most important items of export to Roman Empire.
  14. The earliest script that the Tamils used was Brahmi from late ancient period they began to use a new angular script known as Grantha.
  15. References about the Sangam Age are found from the Greek and Roman writers of 100-200 AD. They are Ptolemy, Pliny, Strabo and anonymous writer of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea.
  • Perur - Big village
  • Sirur - Small village
  • Murdur - Old village
  • Salai - Highway
  • Muhir - Cocktail (Wine)
  • Roman factory was found in Arikamedu.
  • In Mujris Roman made the Temple of Augustus.

16. IInd and XIIIth Rock Edicts of Ashoka give reference to this period.

Sangam Literature

Sangam literature mainly revolves around the two points

  1. Aabam — Love or internal.
  2. Puram—War or external.


1. Maniniekhailai

  • Written by poet Settalai Sattanar ofMadurai
  • Book was influenced by Budhism.

2. Silappadiagram

  • Oldest and greatest of Sangam epics.
  • Trader’s name - Kovalan and Kannigi was his wife.
  • Lover's name - Madhavi.
  • Written by Illango Anadigal (grandson of the Chola king Karikala).
  • Books was influenced by Hindu religion.

3. Sivaga Sindamani / Jivak Chintamani

  • Written by Tinittakkadevar (a jain by religion)— Vaisya from Muth.
  • Book was influenced by Jainism.

4. Valayapati

5. Kundalkesi

6. Names of all epics are nomenclature based on ornaments


1. Tolkappiyam

  • Written by Tolakapiyar, one of the 12 deciples of saint Agastya and who played dynamic role in Aryanisation of South India.
  • Work on Tamil grammer.

2. Agattiyam

  • Written by Saint Agattiyar
  • Work on grammar of letters & life Sangam literature divides Tamil region in five parts:

(A) Palai

  • This is called Pridal in Tamil.
  • This was dry land.
  • Mayon was the Cod.

(B) Mullai

  • This is called Irratual is Tamil
  • This was forest Area.
  • Scyon was the God.

(C) Kurunj

  • This is called Punardal in Tamil.
  • This was Mountainous Area.
  • Murugan was the God.

(D) Marudam

  • This is called Udai in Tamil.
  • This was Agricultural Land.
  • Indra was God. In Tamil Indra was called Vendan.

(E) Neydal

  • This was called Irrangal in Tamil.
  • This was Coastal Area.
  • Varun was God.



  1. Founder of the Satavahana dynasty.

Satakarni I

  1. Adopted the title of 'Dakashinapathapati'


  • Wrote Gathasaptashati / Sagtsati / Satsal in Paisachi Prakrit.
  • Gunadhya the writer of Brihat Katha in his court.

Gautamiputra Satakarni

  1. Called himself destroyer of Shalvas (Scythians), Yavanas (Greek) and Pahalavas (Parthians)
  2. Called himself "Ekbrahmin".

Yajna shri Shatakarni

  1. His coins bear impression of 'ship', fish and shell.


  1. Satavahanas tried to establish rule according to the Dharmashastra
  2. Important officials were called Mahamatras and Amatyas
  3. District was called Ahara
  4. Kataka and Skandhavaras are terms used in the inscription for military settlements and camps. These also acted as centre of administration as long as the king stayed here.
  5. Satavahanas exploited iron mines of Warangal and Karimnagar.
  6. Black smith's shops are found in Karimnagar District.
  7. Issued coins mostly of lead also potin, copper and bronze.
  8. Did not issue gold coins.
  9. Andhra region became famous for cotton products (foreign accounts).
  10. Nagarjunkonda and Amravati emerged as centres of Buddhist culture and learning.
  11. Official language Prakrit and script - Brahmi.


Some fact

  1. Capital was Kanchipuram
  2. Dynasty founded by Vishnugopa who was captured and then liberated by Samudragupta
  3. However definite history of the dynasty begins with the accession of Simhavishnu in second half of 6th century.
    Important Kings.


  1. Himself a dramatist and poet, wrote a play Mattavilasa Prahasan (the Delight of the drunkard), A burlesque
  2. Adopted litter Vichitrachitta (Curious Minded)
  3. Finest rock cut temples were built during his reign (e.g. temples at Mahabalipuram)
  4. Known as Caitya-kari (Builder of Caityas & temples).
  5. Adopted the little Matta-Vilas.


  1. In 642 AD defeated ulkeshin II with the help of the king of Ceylon and sacked Vatapi, took back the territories which were under Mahendraverman.
  2. Fought the Battle of Manimangalam with Pulkaesin II in which the latter was killed
  3. Known as Mahamalla.
  4. Founded the city of Mamallapuram/ Mahabalipuram.
  5. Constructed seven rathas at Mahabalipuram.
  6. Heiun Tsang visited Kanchipuram he called Pallava country Tailopicha and Kanchi Kinchipulo.


  1. Adopted title Rajasimha
  2. Built Kailashnath temple at Karanchi, Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, and Airavaneshwar Temple at Kanchi


Chola period were famous for Local Self Government Indian History.

Cholas History was based on following Sources

  1. Kaiayana’s Description.
  2. Peripus of Erythrian Sea.
  3. Geographia by Ptolemy.
  4. Uttarmerur inscription of Prantak I.


  1. Founder of Chola Dynasty.
  2. Earlier a feudatory of Pallavas.
  3. Made Thanjavur/ Tanjapuri / Tanjore the capital & built the temple of Durga which is known as Nisumbhasudin.
  4. He was follower of Shaiv sect.
  • Aditya Chola, Hemurdered last Pallava ruler and merged Pallav dynasty in Chola Dynasty.
  • Prantak I (907-955 A.D):- He defeated Pandya ruler and taken the tile of Maduraikond

Rajaraji I (985-1014 A.D)

  • Conquered northern Srilanka (known as Anuradhpura)
  • His real name was Arunmoliverman.
  • Captured Lachichapa and Maldive islands numbering 12000.
  • His first expedition was against Chera last expedition was against Maidwipa.
  • a. Built Rajarajeshwara / Brihadeshwara temple at Tanjore.
    b. Splendid Gopuram is its special feature.
    a. His exploits are inscribed on its walls.
  • He also expedited on Sri Lanka and Conquered some part and established his capital called Mumadi Cho1a Mandlam.
  • He also established new capital in Sri Lanka called Ponnalruha.
  • He Surveyed land and land revenue was
  • He was first Chola ruler and established story Naval army.
  • Gave permission to Shailendra ruler Sri Madvijayotunga Varman to build Chudarani Vihar at Negapattanam.

Rajendra Chola I (1012 -1044 A.D.)

Title - Uttam Chola, Panditya Gangaikond Chola.

  1. Chola expansionist policies continued
  2. In 1017 annexed whole of Ceylon and imprisoned its king Mahendra
  3. In 1025 campaigned against Shri Vijaya Kingdom is south east Asia for their frequent interference in trade with China
  4. Captured a number of strategic places along the straits of Molucca.
  5. By 1022 turned his attention towards the north and defeatedMahipala, the Pala ruler of Bengal.
  6. Founded a new capital Gangaikondacholapuram or Gangapuri.
  7. He send his ambassador to China.
  8. For his successful military campaigns known as ‘Napoleon of the South.

Battle of Koppam(1052):- In this battle he defeated Chalukya ruler Someshwar — I nd killed him.

Khir Rajendra II:- He was declared king in battle field. His another name was Rajendra II.

Adhi Rajendra:- He defeated Chalukya ruler Someshwar II in Kuval Sangamwar and killed him.

Kulotunga I :- (1070-1120 A.D.) He given the Patronisation of Adyar Kakkunllar who has written hole our Shilpadikani.

Bikram Chola :- Title- Tyag Samudra, Anlanka. This was only ruler of Chola who was follower of Vaishnavism.

Kulotunga II:- He patronised poets like Ottakuttan, Kamban & Sekhilar

Administration of Chola:- Chola were famous for local self Government.

Mandalam - State
Balnadu - District
Nadu - Sub-District
Kurram - Group of Villages
Gram - Village.

Army of Chola

  1. Infantry.
  2. Cavalary
  3. Elephant

Chola Army was distributed in 4 parts

  1. Kaikkolas —Permanent Army.
  2. Surungander - Throwing Bhalla.
  3. Velaikkaras - Bodyguard of king.
  4. Navy

Kadgam was military Cantt.

The Viajyanagara Empire Est. 1336 A. D.

Four dynasty in Vijayanagn Empire-

  1. Sangamdynasty
  2. Suluvi Dynasty
  3. Tulubh
  4. Arvidu


  1. Five sons of Sangama — important position under the Kakatiya of Warangal.
  2. Capital-Hampi
  3. Ruler of Kakatiya, Prataprudra II defeated by Muhamad Tughlaq in 1323.
  4. Two sons of Sangama Harihara and Bukka was converted to Islam and given charge of the conquered territory by Muhammad Bin Tughlaq in the south
  5. At the opportune time the two brothers were reconverted to Hindu fold by Vaisnavite saint called Madhava Vidyaranya of Shringeri.
  6. The two brothers founded the city and kingdom of Vijayanagara also called Vidyanagar 1336 (Haribar I & Bukka I.)
  • Harihar II - taken the title of Maharajadhiraj
  • Dev Raj-I (1406-1422 AS.):- He built a embankment on Tungabhadra river. He patronised Srinath Dimdim wrote Harivilasam.

Devarya II (1422-1446 A.D.)

  1. Induction of Muslims into the army —provided freedom of religion to Muslims — placed a copy of Quran before the throne
  2. Title - Gajbetkara (Who have the power like elephant.)
  3. Built a mosque in Vijyanagara
  4. Abdur Razzak, ambassador of Shah Rukh of Persia, son of Timur reached in 1443.
  5. He is considered as incarnation of Indra.

Krishna Den Rai (1505-29)

  1. Greatest ruler of Vijayanagar
  2. In 1513 defeated Gajapati ruler of Orissa and took possession of fort of Udaigiri kandividu and kondapalli
  3. Domingo Paes a portuguese traveller visited.
  4. He says about the king — He is a great ruler arid man of much justice but subject to certain fits of rage
  5. Barbossa a foreign traveller says about the tolerant attitude “the king allows such freedom that every than may come .., whether he is christian or moor or Hindu”
  6. His court poet was Pedanna who wrote“Manucharitam”
  7. K.D. Roy wrote three books.
  • Amktaya Malyad in Telgu winch was on Politics.
  • Usha Parinaya in Sanskrit which was a drama.

7. Ruler of Tuluva Dynasty.

8. Title - Andhra Bhoja. Andhra Pitamah, Abhinav Bhoja, (for he gave liberal patronage to Telugu literature)

9. Wrote a book Amuktrnalyada in Telugu on polity.

  • Worshipper of Virupaksha (shiva).
  • Krishna Deva was considered as the incarnation of Krishna.
  • Constructed Hazara Swami and Virupksha temple at Vijayanagara
  • He surveyed Chi land.
  • a. Established friendly relations with Portuguese
  • Krishna Den Roy established the city Nagalpur Town in memory of his mother.
    b. Appointed portuguese soldiers
    c. Got support of Portuguese governor Albuquerque against Bahmanis.
    d. Gave permission to Albuquerque to construct a fort at Bhatkal.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Main Festival - Mahanavmi
  • a National Game - Chess
  • Yakshya Dance originated in Vijaynagar Dynasty.

Babmani Kingdom

  • Established in 1347 A.D.
  • Founder - Allaudin Hussain Bahamansah (Hasan Gangu).
  • Capital — Gulbarga.

Mohamad I- He built a mosque in Gulbarga, This was the first mosque in India in which there was no open court yard.

Firojsah Bahinani:- He defeated Vijaynagar ruler. Devraja I and married with his daughter.

  • According to Farista he knew Urdu, Kannada, Marathi and Persian.
  • He has great interest in Astronomy and he built a Vedshala in Daulatabad.

Ahmad Sah:-

  • He shifted capital from Gulbarga to Bihar.
  • He patronised Add, who wrote Bahinannaina.
  • Kalimulah:- was the last ruler of Bahmani kingdom.

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