Early History of Orissa – The Satavahanas and the Murundas

Early in the second century the Kalinga region was occupied by the Satavahana king Goutamiputra Satakarni. Kalinga remained under the Satavahanas probably up to the rule of Yajnasri Satakarni and after his death in 202 A.D. her history sank into obscurity for sometime. According to some scholars a foreign power called Murundas extended their suzerainty over Kalinga during the third century A.D. Mahrarja Rajadhiraja Dharmadamadhara whose gold coin was found from Sisupalgarh excavation is considered by Dr. A.S. Altekar as a Jaina king belonging to Murunda family which ruled over parts of Bihar and Orissa. The Bhadrak stone inscription of Maharaja Ganabhadra datable to the third century A.D. also indicates the rule of the Murundas in Orissa. The Puranas reveal that a king named Guha ruled over Kalinga, Mahishaka and Mahendra region about the end of the third century A.D. But the account of the Murunda rule is not clearly known to us.

The Murundas of Kalinga and Kushanas of northern India were ousted from power by the rising Naga dynasties of Kausambi, Ahichhatra, Padmavati and Vindhyatavi. The Asanpat stone inscription reveals that king Satrubhanja, the son of Manabhanja of the Naga dynasty who was ruling over Vindhyatavi defeated the Devaputras who were probably the Kushana-Murunda rulers. Samudragupta crushed the Naga power in his Aryavarta wars as a result of which the Guptas acquired suzerainty over northern India in place of the Nagas.

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