Early coin of Satakarni. Obverse legend:
(𑀲𑀺𑀭𑀺) 𑀲𑀸𑀡𑀺(𑀲), (Siri) Sātakaṇi(sa).
|Reign||1st century BCE|
Satakarni (also called Sātakarnī I, Brahmi script: 𑀲𑀸𑀢𑀓𑀡𑀺, Sātakaṇi) was the third of the Satavahana kings, who ruled the Deccan region of India. His reign is generally dated to 70-60 BCE, although some authors have claimed 187-177 BCE.
According to the Puranas, the Satavahana king Simuka was succeeded by his brother Krishna (also known as Kanha). According to Matsya Purana, Krishna was succeeded by Mallakarni, but according to other Puranas, he was succeeded by Satakarni. The Nanaghat cave inscription of Satakarni lists his family members: it mentions Simuka's name, but not that of Krishna. Based on this, multiple historians conclude that Satakarni was Simuka's son, and succeeded Krishna. G. V. Rao, however, believes that the inscription is that of a different king Satakarni II; Simuka is mentioned in the inscription as the founder of the dynasty.
100 BCE–2nd c. CE
The Naneghat inscription is thought to have been made during the reign of Satakarni I. According to the inscription, he married Nayanika (Naganika), daughter of the Maharathi Tranakayiro Kalalaya, scion of the Amgiya (Ambhiya) family. She wrote the Naneghat inscription, in which she describes Satakarni as "Lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder of the unchecked wheel of Sovereignty". The Naneghat inscription of Naganika suggests that Satakarni performed two horse sacrifices (Aswamedha), to proclaim his sovereignty.
The Hathigumpha inscription of the Kalinga king Kharavela mentions a king named "Satakani" or "Satakamini", who is identified with Satakarni. The inscription describes dispatching of an army and Kharavela's threat to a city variously interpreted as "Masika" (Masikanagara), "Musika" (Musikanagara) or "Asika" (Asikanagara). NK Sahu identifies Asika as the capital of Assaka janapada.:127 According to historian Ajay Mitra Shastri, Asika-nagara was located in the present-day Adam village in the Nagpur district, where a seal mentioning the Assaka has been found.
"And in the second year (he), disregarding Satakamini, dispatches to the western regions an army strong in cavalry, elephants, infantry (nara) and chariots (ratha) and by that army having reached the Kanha-bemna, he throws the city of the Musikas into consternation."
Since the inscription is only partially legible, different scholars interpret the events described in the inscription differently.