By race, Satavahanas were Andhras. After the demise of Ashoka, the great Mouryan King, in the year 236 AD, it was possible for small kingdoms to become independent and establish their own power in areas of their rule. Thus, Andhra Satavahanas also declared themselves independent and established their own small kingdom making Srikakulam, now a small town on the banks of river Kirshna near Vijayawada of Andhra Pradesh, as their capital. Later, Sree Mukha Satavahana, the second king in the Satavahana dynasty, concurred the region now known as Maharashtra and rapidly expanded the kingdom towards the western side. Tactfully, he established a marital relationship with the Maharashtras by taking Naganika into his household, as the wife of his son Satakarni –I. This move strategically helped in consolidating the expansion of the kingdom towards west and checked opposition.
Puranas recorded that in all 30 kings of Satavahana dynasty ruled for about four hundred and fifty years. Prakrit was the language patronized by the kings of the dynasty and used officially.
Katantra Vyakaranam, an easy to learn grammar for Sanskrit language, was composed by Sarva Varma, one of the ministers in the royal patronage of Simukha Satavahana.
Brihatkadha, an unending garland of innumerable stories, was composed by Gunadhya in a variant of Prakrit language known as Paisachi Prakrit. It is popularly believed that by birth this Gunadhya was Andhra.
It is generally believed that these two works preceded Gadha Saptashati by many a year.