The government of the Satavahana kingdom was organized on the traditional lines. It was divided into Janapadas which were further divided into aharas. Each ahara was under an Amataya. The basic unit of the ahara was the grama with the village headman called gramika. Central control was maintained over the provinces. Princes were generally made viceroys. The kings were expected to maintain dharma. Taxation was not burden as the state derived its income from crown lands, court fees, fines and ordinary taxes of the Mauryan period were not imposed. Central control was not high because feudal traits emerged in the Satavahana period. The feudal chiefs like maharathas, mahasenapatis and mahabhojas issued their own coins. The area under the Satavahana in general witnessed considerable prosperity. Broach was the most important port and it had a vast and rich hinterland. Pratishthana produced cotton, tagara and Ujjain produced muslin. The chief imports were wines, copper, tin, lead and gold and silver coins.
Another important port was Kalyan mentioned in the Perilus. The other ports were
Sopara and Goa. Within the kingdom there were important cities like Tagara,
Prathishthana, Nasik, Junnar and Dhanyakataka. Koddura and Chinnaganjam were the
important ports on the east. Evidence shows that a many people emigrated from
the Deccan to colonize the regions in South-East Asia. Encouraged by wealth the
kings patronized literature and architecture. Hala was an authority on the
Puranas. He was the author of Sapta-Sataka. Leelavati deals with the military
campaigns of Hala. The five gateways at Sanchi the rock-cut chaitya halls of
Bhaja, Karle, Nasik and Kanheri and the stupas at Amaravati, Bhattiprolu, Goli
and Ghantasala were built in this period. The capitals of the pillars in Karle
Caves were sculptured. Its construction began during the time of Gautamiputra
Satakarni and was completed during the time of Yajna Sri Satakarni. Two Ajanta
Frescoes came into existence during this period. The Satavahanas were great
excavators of cave temples and the magnificent temples of Ellora and Ajanta were
the continuation of the Satavahana tradition.