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Saketa/ Ayodhya is located in India
Saketa/ Ayodhya
Saketa/ Ayodhya
Location of Saketa/ Ayodhya in India, where Dhanadeva ruled.
The Dhanadeva-Ayodhya inscription, 1st century BCE.[1]

Dhanadeva was a king of the city of Ayodhya, Kosala, in India around 50 BCE, member of what is sometimes called the Deva dynasty. He is known from an inscription, the Dhanadeva-Ayodhya inscription, found in Ayodhya, where he refers to himself as the sixth descendant of Pushyamitra Shunga, founder of the Shunga dynasty.[2][3]

The inscription reads:

This house was established for his father Phalgudeva by the Dharma-raja (monarch of religion) Dhana (deva), the son of Kausiki, and the sixth in the descent of Senapati Pushyamitra, who performed the Ashvamedha sacrifice twice.[1]

This inscription is important in that it supports Shunga rule in northern central India as far as Ayodhya.[4] On the other hand Shunga rule is not attested further west in Mathura or Surasena since no Sunga coins or inscriptions have been found there.[5] Furthermore, the Yavanarajya inscription, also called the "Maghera inscription", discovered in Mathura, suggests that the Indo-Greek were in control of Mathura during the 1st century BCE.[6][7]

Dhanadeva is thought to have descended from Pushyamitra according to the following lineage:[1]

  1. Pushyamitra
  2. Muladeva (Pushyamitra vassal at Saketa)
  3. Mitradeva
  4. Vayu-deva
  5. Phalgudeva
  6. Dhanaveda
  7. Visakhadeva

Dhaneda is otherwise known from his coinage. Dhanadeva issued coins minted in Ayodhya, both cast and die-struck, and both the types have a bull on obverse.[8][9]

The Deva dynasty was replaced by the Datta dynasty at the end of the 1st century BCE, which itself was replaced by the Mitra dynasty in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, which also ruled in Mathura.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Ayodhya Revisited by Kunal Kishore p.24 [1]
  2. ^ Bakker, The rise of Ayodhya as a place of pilgrimage 1982.
  3. ^ Papers on the Date of Kaniṣka, Arthur Llewellyn Basham, Brill Archive, 1969, p.118
  4. ^ Ancient Indian History and Civilization, Sailendra Nath Sen, New Age International, 1999, p.169
  5. ^ History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.8-10 [2]
  6. ^ History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.254 [3]
  7. ^ "Some Newly Discovered Inscriptions from Mathura : The Meghera Well Stone Inscription of Yavanarajya Year 160 Recently a stone inscription was acquired in the Government Museum, Mathura." India's ancient past, Shankar Goyal Book Enclave, 2004, p.189
  8. ^ Bhandare 2006, pp. 77–8, 87–8
  9. ^ Falk 2006, p. 149
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