The Satavahanas (Ca. 2nd cent. BC-2nd cent. AD) were one of the empire builders in ancient India. Their rule extended almost over the entire region is marked by considerable peace and prosperity which was due to the flourishing trade with the Roman empire. The artistic creations of the Satavahana era are among the grandest in India, comparable in their monumental quality to such imposing buildings as the Khajuraho nd Chola temples. They are unsurpassed in early India and many of them are still standing in their pristine glory. Yet the Satavahana art is not treated as an independent school.
The present study is aimed at delineating the characteristic features more particularly of its regional varieties such as Western India, Central India and the southern Deccan. The Satavahana art includes such imposing edifices as the early Buddhist rock-cut caves of Western India, the Gateways Sanchi and the sculpture of the Mahastupa at Amaravati, the magnificent paintings in the Himayana group at Ajanta, besides beautiful terracottas, bronzes and ivories. They constitute a link between the Maurya-Sunga art of the earlier period and the later that of the Golden Age of the Guptas.
About the Author:Prof. Madhukar Keshav Dhavalikar (b 1930) studied archaeology at Deccan College, University of Pune. After serving Archaeological Survey of India (1953-65), joined Nagpur University (1975-76) and were later Professor of Archaeology and Director, Deccan College Post-Graduate Research Institute (now a Deemed Univeristy) Pune, up to 1990. He carried out several excavations of protohistoric sites such a Kayatha, Inamgaon, Somnath and Kuntasi. He was President, Indian Archaeological Society, 1986, and is President, Indian History Congress, 1999.