The teaser of Nandamuri Balakrishna’s 100th film ‘Gautamiputra Satkarni’ was released on the festive occasion of Dussehra yesterday and it is already creating a lot of buzz. The teaser is rich in visuals with beautiful war scenes that reminds us of Bahubali and Hollywood war flick ‘300’. Balayya, as the glorious ruler Satkarni, is seen as a King who is out on his conquests, unstoppable and without rest.
Let us take a plunge into history and check out who actually this great Andhra ruler was:
The most famous of Andhra’s most glorious line of rulers, the Satavahanas, (78-102 AD) Gautamiputra was an Emperor, general, and defender of Dharma.
The son of Gautami Balashri and Emperor Sivasvati Satakarni , Gautami-putra was a royal prince of great qualities. He was the 23rd in this illustrious line of Kings.
At the time of Gautamiputra’s ascension to the throne, India was under great pressure from foreign invaders such as the Sakas, who had broken through the Khyber pass. The Satavahana empire found its champion in this Satakarni.
His rule took place at the time when audacious foreigners were breaching the borders of India. He proved himself to be the hero of the age, successfully defeating the Sakas (scythians), Pahlavas (parthians), and Yavanas.
He is most famous for his outstanding victory over and chastising of the Saka ruler Nahapana, who was uprooted from Malwa and Gujarat and consigned to the deserts of Rajasthan. The Sakas made peace through matrimonial alliance, marrying off the first of several princesses to Gautamiputra and/or his descendants. Indeed, what began as a clash of traditional Indian and recent arrival, would in succeeding generations become an inter-family rivalry due to the Indianising of the Sakas. Matrimonial relations were what prevented either dynasty from ending the other.
Satakarni conducted two Ashvamedha yajnas and one Rajasuya yajna to commemorate his sovereignty. His sway most likely extended at least as far as Rajasthan and Gujarat to Kanchipuram and Odisha, though his domain is presently considered to reach from Kutch and Ujjain to the Tamil Nadu border. Gautamiputra is credited to have conquered the lands of Anupa, Aparantha, Saurashtra, Kukura, and Avanti. He is considered the greatest of the Satavahana Kings.
His titles were Trisamudra-pitatoya-vahana (one whose horses had drunk waters from 3 oceans) and Saka-yavana-pahlava-nisudana (destroyer of Saka, Yavana and Pahlavas).
He was also a great patron of Sanskrit and Prakrit (which was the administrative language of the empire).
His wife, Queen Vasishti, was known for her charity and patronage of both traditional Hindu Vedic dharma and Buddhism.
He is remembered today by historians as the Greatest of the Andhra Satavahana dynasty, and among the Great Emperors of India, making the Andhras truly “a race of lions”.