Gautamiputra Satakarni is regarded as the greatest king of Satavahana Dynasty. He was the twenty third ruler of Satavahana Dynasty and ruled from 78 AD to 102 AD. He defeated the Central Asian invaders Saka (Indo-Scythian), Yavanas (Indo-Greeks) and Pahlavas (Indo-Parthians) and restored the old prestige of Satavahana Dynasty. Before him the Satavahana Dynasty was very weak and loosely attached but he ensured strong administration to avoid future attack on the empire.
Invasion from Central Asia by Saka (Western Kshatrapas or Indo-Scythian)
Around 30 AD the Saka rulers based in Central Asia attacked India. Major part of India was ruled under the Satavahana Dynasty. The Saka defeated Satavahana ruler in numerous battles and acquired various territories of India like eastern Malwa, southern Gujarat, Northern Konkan etc . They established western Kshatrapas Dynasty around 35 AD.
War between Satavahana and Saka
Gautamiputra Satakarni defeated Nahapana the ruler of Western Kshtrapas Dynasty in 78 AD. He also acquired large part of his lost empire. He restored the old prestige of Satavahana Dynasty and therefore he is regarded as the greatest king of Satavahana Empire. His legacy was glorified by his mother Gautami Balasri who mentions that he was the one who established the old prestige of Kshtriyas by destroying Sakas (Western Kshatrapas), Yavanas (Indo-Greeks) and Pahlavas (Indo-Parthians). He is the gem of Satavahana race.
The achievement of Satakarni is historically so important that the date on which he defeated the invaders 78 AD is selected as the beginning of Saka era or Indian National Calendar which is also referred as Samvat.
Gautamiputra Satakarni was succeded by his son Vashishtiputra Pulumyi (102 AD – 130 AD).