IAS Prelims: General Studies (Ancient Indian History) - Post-Mauryan Period (2nd Century BC to 3rd Century AD)

Ancient Indian History

Post-Mauryan Period (2nd Century B.C to 3rd Century A.D.)http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/ancient-history.png


(1) Junagarh rock inscription of saka ruler of Ujjain Rudradaman-I dated 150 AD describes the achievements of Rudradaman-I. This is the earliest inscription in chaste Sanskrit.

(2) A number of inscriptions have been found at Nasik associated with Satavahana rulers of Deccan.

(3) Besnagar pillar inscription from Vidisa talks about the pillar constructed by Heliodorus, an ambassador of Indo-Greek king of Taxila called Antialcides to the court of Sunga ruler of Vidisa, Kasiputra Bhagabhadra also called as bhagavata. The inscription is recorded in honour of god of gods vasudeva.

(4) hathigumpa inscription in Prakrit in Udayagiri hills of Orissa records the achievements of Kharavela.

(5) Sarnath inscription highlights the achievements of kanishka, the Kushana ruler.

(6) Tamil Brahmi inscription have been found fom South India. They are about 72 in number and are found from pottery pieces and from caves. Such inscriptions from caves are known as Damili inscription.


(1) With the coming of Indo-Greeks, gold coins were issued for the first time in india history. Casted and moulded coins were also issued for the first time. The casted and moulded coins had inscription and images of gods and kings.

(2) Sakas issued no gold coins. They mostly issued copper coins and raely silver coins.

(3) Parthians (Pahlavas) issued no gold coins. They mostly issued copper coins and rarely silver coins.

(4) Kushanas issued gold coins on the Largest scale upto that period. They issued standard gold coins. They also issued the largest number of cooper coins which indicates that currency was of the life of common man. The Kushanas rarely issued silver coins.

(i) Wema Kadphises was the first to introduce gold coins on a significant scale among the kushanas. He was a devotee of Shiva and so issued coins bearing the image of Shiva, the Nandi and trident.

(ii) Kanishka issues coins bearing the terms Wudo (Buddha), Also (Fire God) and Meyo (sun god).

(iii) Huvishka issued coins of a greater variety than kanishka. He issued coins with image of Harihar and also issued Chaturbhuja coins which contain 4 armed god Vishnu.

(5) Satavahanas also issued coins in larger number in gold, silver, copper, lead and potene. Vashistaputra Pulamayi-I issued coins showing a ship with double mast found on the coromandal coast.

(6) Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas in the Sangam age issued coins of gold copper, not of silver.Pon, Kasu and Kanam were gold coins issued by them.

(7) 68 hordes of Roman Coins have been found all over the country of which 57 hordes are found in south India. The Roman gold coins are known as Aureus.


  • Sangam
  • Ettutotogai
  • Padinenkikanakku
  • Silappadigaram
  • Animegalai
  • Sivaga Sindamani

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