ancient indian history

The Sakas

The Sakas

Sakas belonged to scythian ethnicity. The movement of Sakas into north-western India came to heels of their displacement from the plains of Syr Darya (Jaxartes) by the Great Yueh Chi tribe (Chinese Tribe) in the 2nd century BCE. There were five branches of Sakas.
Afghanistan was the location of the first branch. The capital of the second branch, Taxila, was established in Punjab. The third branch made Mathura it’s home..The fourth in Maharashtra and Saurashtra and the fifth in central India, with Ujjain as its capital.
The first Saka king of India was Maues (1st century BCE) who established Saka power in Gandhara, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the Indus Valley. Maues was called Moga on the Taxila copper plate inscription and Mevaki Miyika in the Mathura lion capital inscription, was the first Indo-Scythian king, ruling from 98/85 to 60/57 BCE.[5] He invaded India and established Saka hegemony by conquering Indo-Greek territories.
The first mention of Sakas, occured in the Mahabharata, wherein some of the saka tribes were mentioned as Magas, Masakas, Manasas and Mandagas.
The Bhavisya Purana almost repeated, the names confirming the divisions as Magas, Magagas, Ganagas and the Mandagas. Of these the first two divisions and the last correspond to those enumerated in the Mahabharata and can be accepted as identical with them. The Purana not only gives their settlements (junapadas) a castely order but even. equates their divisions with natives as Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras.

The Indo-Scythians extended their supremacy over north-western India, conquering the Indo-Greeks and other local kingdoms.
One of the greatest rulers of the Western Kshatrapas, the descendant of the Indo-Scythians or the Sakas was Nahapana.
The Saka Empire started declining after their defeat at the hands of the Satavahana Emperor Gautamiputra Satakarni. He was the 23rd ruler of the Satavahana dynasty. His achievements have been mentioned in the Nasik Inscription, by his mother Gautami. He defeated the Saka King Nahapana and revived the Satavahana power.
Gautamiputra Shatakarni (reigned 106 ce–130 ce), the greatest ruler of the family. His conquests ranged over a vast territorial expanse stretching from Rajasthan in the northwest to Andhra in the southeast and from Gujarat in the west to Kalinga in the east.
After this, the Saka kingdom revived, but was ultimately destroyed by Chandragupta II of the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE.
Vikramaditya later arrived from Pratishthana, defeated the Shakas, and began the Vikrama Samvat era to commemorate his victory.

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