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The Satavahanas followed the administration guidelines of the Shastras. Their government was less top-heavy than that of the Mauryans, and featured several levels of feudatories: Rajan, the hereditary rulers Rajas, petty princes who struck coins in their own names Maharathis, hereditary lords who could grant villages in their own names and maintained matrimonial relations with the ruling family Mahabhojas Mahasenapati (civil administrator under Pulumavi II; governor of a janapada under Pulumavi IV) Mahatalavara (“great watchman”) The royal princes (kumaras) were appointed as viceroys of the provinces. The ahara appears to have been the largest geographical subdivision of the Satavahana polity. Several inscriptions refer to aharas named after the governors appointed to rule them (e.g. Govardhanahara, Mamalahara, Satavanihara and Kapurahara).

Satavahanas attempted to build a formal administrative and revenue collection structure. The inscriptions of Gautamiputra Satakarni suggest the existence of a bureaucratic structure, although it is not certain how stable and effective this structure was. For example, two inscriptions from Nashik Cave 11 record donations of agricultural land to ascetic communities. They state that the ascetics would enjoy tax exemption and non-interference from the royal officials.

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