Friday, October 16, 2009


A private collection of South Indian Coins from 100 BC to 1900 AD.

The intention of this web site is to educate and be educated by others about numismatic aspects of the South Indian.This collection is the continuing work of over twenty years accumulation of high quality, rare and interesting pieces. None of the coins shown are for sale .I would love comments, corrections, suggestions, information regarding any of the coins in the collection.
                                                                                                          --  Rajesh Kotha

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Madras presidency coins

English trade was begun on the east coast of India in 1611.The first factory was at Mazulipatam and was maintained intermittently  until modern times.Madras was founded in 1639 and Fort St. George was made thechief factory on the east coast in 1641. A mint was established at Fort St. George where coins of the style of Vijayanagar were struck. The Madras mint began minting copper coins after the renovation. In 1689 silver fanams were authorized to be struck by the new Board of Directors. In 1692 the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb gave permission for Mughal type rupees to be struck at Madras. These circulated locally and were also sent to Bengal. The chief competition for the Madras coins were the Arcot rupees. Some of the bulk coins from Madras were sent to the Nawabs mint to be made into Arcot rupees.

Monetary System

1 Dudu = 10 Cash        8 Dudu = 1 Fanam       36 Fanam = 1 Pagoda         31/2 Rupees = 1 Pagoda

1 Cash (copper) K-314  1803

5 Cash (copper) K-316

10 Cash (copper) K-319

20 Cash (copper) K-321

10 Cash (copper) K-326

20 Cash (copper) K-328

40 Cash (copper) K-331

1 Fanam (Silver) K-307

2 Fanam (Silver) K-308

2 Fanam (Silver) K-350

1/4 Pagoda (silver) K-352  1807-15

1/2 Pagoda (silver) K-353  1808-15

The firman granted to the East India Company by Venkatdri Naik in 1639 permitted it to "perpetually enjoy the privilege of mintage." This mint was run on contract by various dubashes - Komati Chetties all - but used gold imported by the Company. In the 1650s, the Company decided it would run the mint itself and appointed English supervisors.

The Madras mint struck coins for in and around the company's territories in for the Northern Circars for nearly 200 years. The initial coins were dump coinage similar to those of the neighboring Hindu territories followed by close imitations of the Moghul coins of the Subah of Arcot.

In 1692, the mint was permitted to mint the silver rupees of the Mughals. A new mint was built in the Fort in 1695, then rebuilt in 1727 in the northwest corner of the Fort, by what became known as the Mint Bastion. In 1742, a second mint was established in Chintadripet. The same year, the Fort mint was permitted to strike the Arcot rupee and Arcot coins of lower denominations. In 1792, the Chintadripet mint was moved to the Fort and the two mints became the gold and silver mints, minting star pagodas, which were replacing the Madras Pagodas, Arcot rupees and Madras and Arcot fanams and doodoos.

Early Coins : Dump Coins
The earliest coins of the company in Madras were small silver pieces issued from their factory at Fort St. George in about 1670's. These coins were undated with two interlinked C's on the reverse (assigned to the reign of King Charles II).

During the 18th century silver coins were minted bearing the Company's bale mark(an orb and a cross) inscribed C.C.E (Charter Company of England) and in some cases G.C.E (Governor and company of merchants trading into the east Indies). All these issues were meant for use within the company's factory and surrounding areas and also for exchange with European traders. They were not meant for circulation in the interior of the country.

In 1742 company obtained permission from Nawab Sadatulla Khan of the Subah of Arcot to coin rupees in imitation of those struck at the imperial mint at Arcat. These coins were poorly struck with dies bigger than the blanks used. Hence, only a part of inscriptions are generally visible. They bear the name of Alamgir II with Sixth year of reign and have a 'lotus - mint mark'. This undated series continued for about 50 years. Subsequent issues had Hegira Date '1172' equivalent to 1758 A.D. irrespective of the year of minting. The R.Y-6 also appears on all issues.

Machine Struck Coins
In 1807 new machinery was introduced and mint produced 2 silver coin in European style with oblique milling. One series based on Hindu standard consisted of One and Two pagoda in gold, Half and Quarter pagoda and Fanams in silver. The copper coins consisted on Cash denominations.

The other series based on moghul standard were gold mohurs and fractions of mohurs : ¼, ⅓ and ½ . They issued rupees together with fractions down to ⅛ and 1⁄16 rupee in silver. Madras also issued 2 rupees coins. Although minted in 1807 and later all bear the frozen date "1172"A.H.
Copper coins in this series were Faluce(Dub) with inscriptions in persian on one side and Tamil and Telugu inscriptions on the other side indicating the value in Dub units.
In Madras, there were copper coins for 2, 4 pies, 1, 2 and 4 paisa, with the first two denominated as ½ and 1 dub or 1⁄96 and 1⁄48 rupee. Madras also issued the Madras Fanam until 1815.

Although the two systems of coins were in circulation at the same time but they were unrelated.

3360 Cash = 42 Fanams = 1 Pagoda =31/2 Rupees = 168 Faluce (Dub)

1 Rupee = 48 Faluce (Dub)

1 Faluce (Dub) = 20 Cash; 1 Fanam = 4 Faluce(Dub) = 80 Cash

After 1818, Rupee was made the standard coin and the weight was fixed at 180 grains with smaller pieces in proportion. The pagodas and fanams were demonetized from that year.

Next issues were :-

1. 1812-1835 : Struck at Madras Mint with 'Lotus' mint mark and indented cord milling.

2. 1823-1825 : Struck at Calcutta with 'Rose' mint mark and upright milling.

3. 1830-1835 : Struck at Calcutta with 'Rose' mint mark and upright milling but with a small crescent added on the reverse (rupee and half rupee coins) and on obverse(1/4 rupee coins).

Travencore State Coins

Rama Varma IV (1860-80) Silver chuckram

Bala Rama Varma II (1924-29) Copper 4-cash

Travancore was a princely state in India under the British Raj, with its capital at Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) ruled by the Travancore Royal Family. The name Thiruvithankoor might be derived from Thiruvithankode (in Tamil, 'thiru' means wealth, 'vidanam' means roof, and 'kodu' means hill) where the capital Padmanabhapuram was situated. It comprised most of modern day southern Kerala and the modern Nagercoil and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. Its ruler was accorded a 19-gun salute during the long period under the suzerainty of the British Empire. The Travancore Royal family claims descent from the Cheras of the three South Indian Mandala Kingdoms namely Chera Mandalam, Pandya Mandalam and Chola Mandalam. A branch of the Chera family was sent to the extreme north of Kerala where they settled and came to be known as the Mooshika Royal family or the later Kolathiris while another branch was deputed to go south to grapple with the Pandyan invasions. This became the Kupaka Royal family and were the original ancestors of the Travancore royal family [1]. Later Kerala was ruled by a line of Perumals of whom Cheraman Perumal was the last and he is said to have divided Kerala among his relatives and friends and left for a pilgrimage [2]. However the Kolathiris and Travancore were already existent, although under the suzerainty of the Perumals [3]. From the 11th century onwards began the rise ofindependant Travancore or Venad as it was known then. Ravi Varma Kulasekhara (1299-1314) invaded the territories of the Pandyas and Cholas and performed imperial coronations at Madurai and Kanchipuram and thus threw of the Pandyan hegemony in the region[4]. However his success was short lived and after him his successors could not hold on to these acquisitions of the Pandyas and Cholas. The line of kings after Ravi Varma continued through the Marumakkathayam law of succession and family. Soon after Ravi Varma's death two princesses were adopted from the Kolathiri Royal family and installed as Ranis or Queens at Attingal. The Venad Royal family continued thus in the female line. Whenever there were no females to take forth the line, princesses were adopted from the Kolathiri family, the latest adoption being in 1994 [5]. Travancore went briefly under the subjugation of the Vijayanagar Empire but soon regained its independence. Umayamma Rani who reigned towards the end of the 17th century was a prominent ruler. Marthanda Varma, the "maker of modern Travancore" and Dharma Raja were powerful rulers who reestablished the power of monarchy in the state and destroyed that of the nobles. By the early 19th century the kingdom became a princely state under the British. Swathi Thirunal was one of the most popular rulers of the 19th century. The regency of Sethu Lakshmi Bayi was a time which heralded many new reforms which were continued by Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma.

Kulasekhara Dynasty (1721 onwards)
Rajah Rama Varma 1721-1729
Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma 1729–1758
Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma (Dharma Raja) 1758-1798
Balarama Varma 1798-1810
Gowri Lakshmi Bayi 1810-1815 (Queen from 1810-1813 and Regent Queen from 1813-1815)
Gowri Parvati Bayi (Regent) 1815-1829
Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma 1829-1846
Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma 1846–1860
Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma 1860–1880
Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma 1880–1885
Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma 1885–1924
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (Regent) 1924–1931
Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma 1931–1949
Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma 1991-

Venad chera coins

Venad was one of the eighteen kingdoms of the ancient Cheran empire. Later, it was periodically under the suzerainty of the Madurai Pandiyan kingdom, until Pandiyan power declined after 880 AD.

Pliny, in the 1st century AD, recorded that the representative of Pandiyan kings invited him to places south of Thrissur (Kodungalloor), which were under the suzerainty of the Pandiyan king, offering spices. The Pandyan kings had their capital at Nelkinda (Nelcynda) (Niranam), while Thiruvattuvai Nadu (Thiruvalla), Quilon and Pandalam were minor capitals. The Ay Vel rulers of this area were vassals of the Pandyan kings.

Venad included most of modern day Kollam, the Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala, and the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. Trivandrum was established as its capital by Nedumchadaya Pandyan after consecrating the Sri Padmanabha Swami Idol in 785 AD.

Venad was the forerunner to the modern Kingdom of Travancore, established by King Marthanda Varma, who annexed Ilayidathu Swarupam (Kottarakkara), Desinga Nadu (Kollam), Pandalam, Kayamkulam, Chempakasseri (Ambalappuzha), Thekkumkur (Kottayam), Vadakkumkur (Vaikkam), and some parts of Kochi to Venad.

Sivaganga Coins

Two uncertain deities standing / Crude lingam on altar within a dotted border. 13mm, 3.4 grams. Scarce this nice. KM 3.1

Two uncertain deities standing / Crude lingam on altar within a dotted border. 13mm, 3.4 grams. Scarce this nice. KM 3.1

Two deities enthroned / Lingam surrounded by an outline of dots. 14mm, 3.0 grams. KM 6.2. 

Two deities enthroned / Lingam surrounded by an outline of dots. 12mm, 3.1 grams. KM 6.2. 

Two deities enthroned / Lingam surrounded by an outline of dots. 13mm, 2.9 grams. KM 6.2. 

Two deities enthroned / Lingam surrounded by an outline of dots. 13mm, 2.9 grams. KM 6.2. 

Two deities enthroned / Lingam surrounded by an outline of dots. 13mm, 2.9 grams. KM 6.2. 

Two deities enthroned / Lingam surrounded by an outline of dots. 13mm, 3.0 grams. KM 6.2

Two uncertain deities standing / Crude lingam on altar within a dotted border. 14mm, 3.6 grams. Scarce this nice. KM 3.1

Sivaganga, located in the extreme south of India, was the larger portion of the Kingdom of Ramnad controlled was controlled by Raja Sasivarnan (1730 - 1750) who divided Ramnad into five parts and retained three for himself and his successors. He granted the two parts to Sasivarnan of Nalukottai conferring on him the title of "Rajah Muthu Vijaya Regunatha Peria Oodayan ". The following rulers of Sivaganga were Raja Sasivarnan (1730 - 1750 ), Raja Muthu Vaduganathan (1750 - 1772), Rani Velu Nachiyar(1772 - 1780)Maruthu brothers (1748-1801). In 1801 the territory was annexed by the British.

Maruthu Pandiyar brothers (Periya Maruthu and Chinna Maruthu)

The Kingdom of Ramnad originally comprised of the territories of Ramnad, Sivaganga and Pudukottai of today. Regunatha Sethupathy alias Kilavan Sethupathy, the 7th King of Ramnad reigned between 1674 and 1710. Kilavan Sethupathy, came to know of the bravery and valour of Peria Oodaya Thevar of Nalukottai, 4 Kilometres from Sholapuram near Sivaganga.

The King assigned to Peria Oodaya Thevar of Nalukottai a portion of land sufficient to maintain 1000 armed men. Vijaya Regunatha Sethupathy became the 8th King of Ramnad in 1710 after the death of Kilavan Sethupathy. The King gave in marriage his daughter AKILANDESWARI NACHIAR, to Sasivarna Thevar, the son of Nalukottai Peria Oodaya Thevar. The King gave Sasivarna Thevar lands as dowry, free of taxation, sufficient to maintain 1,000 men. He placed him in charge of the fortresses of Piranmalai, Tiruppathur, Sholapuram and Tiruppuvanam as well as the harbour of Thondi. Meanwhile Bhavani Sankaran, the son of Kilavan Sethupathy conquered Ramnad territory and arrested Sundareswara Regunatha Sethupathy, the 9th King of Ramnad. Bhavani Sankaran proclaimed himself as the Rajah of Ramnad. He became the 10th king of Ramnad and he reigned from 1726 to 1729. He quarrelled with Sasivarna Peria Oodaya Thevar of Nalukottai and drove him out of his Nalukottai palayam. Kattaya Thevan, the brother of the late Sundareswara Regunatha Sethupathy fled from Ramnad and sought refuge with the Rajah of Tanjore Tuljaji. While Sasivarna Thevar was passing through the jungles of Kalayarkoi, he met a Gnani (sage) named Sattappiah, who was performing Thapas (meditation) under a jambool tree near a spring called `SIVAGANGA' . The deposed king prostrated himself before him and narrated all the previous incidents of his life. The Gnani whispered a certain mantra in his ears (Mantra Opadesam) and advised him to go to Tanjore and kill a ferocious tiger which was kept by the Rajah especially to test the bravery of men. Sasivarna Thevar went to Tanjore. There he became acquainted with Kattaya Thevan a refugee like himself. Satisfied with the good behaviour of Sasivarma Thevar and Kattaya Thevan, the Rajah of Tanjore wanted to help them to regain the States again, ordered his DALAVOY to go with a large army to invade Bhavani Sankaran. Sasivarna Thevar and Kattaya Thevan at once proceeded to Ramnad with a large army furnished by the king of Tanjore. They defeated Bhavani Sankaran at the battle of Uraiyur and captured Ramnad in 1730. Thus Kattaya Thevan became the 11th King of Ramnad.

Ist RAJAH SASIVARNA THEVAR (1730 - 1750 ) Kattaya Thevan divided Ramnad into five parts and retained three for himself. He granted the two parts to Sasivarna Thevar of Nalukottai conferring on him the title of "Rajah Muthu Vijaya Regunatha Peria Oodaya Thevar".

Sasivarna Peria Oodaya Thevar died in or about the year 1750. He was succeeded by his only son Muthu Vaduganatha Peria Oodaya Thevar. He was the second Rajah of Sivaganga. His wife Rani Velu Nachiar acted as "friend, Philosopher and guide" to him. Tandavaraya Pillai was the able minister of Sivaganga country. Muthu Vaduganatha Peria Oodaya Thevar granted commercial facilities to the Dutch only after the English rejected a similar offer, made to Colonel Heron. Further the aim of the English was to oblige the ruler of Sivaganga to serve the Nawab or to pay tribute to him or to dissuade them from establishing relations with foreign powers like the Dutch. A two pronged offensive was made by the English. Joseph Smith from the east and Benjour from the west invaded Sivaganga Palayam in June 1772. The country was full of bushes of cockspur thorn, though there were villages and open spaces here and there. Rajah Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar, in anticipation of the invasion, erected barriers on the roads, dug trenches and established posts in the woods of Kalayarkoil. On the 21st of June of 1772 the detatchment of Smith and Benjour effected a junction and occupied the town of Sivaganga. The next day, the English forces marched to Kalayarkoil and captured the posts of Keeranoor and Sholapuram. Now, Benjour continuing the operations came into conflict with the main body of the troops of Sivaganga on the 25th June 1772. Muthu Vaduganatha Rajah with many of his followers fell dead in that heroic battle. The heroic activities shown in the battle field by Velu Nachiar is praised by the Historians. The widow queen Velu Nachiar and daughter Vellachi Nachiar with Tandavaraya Pillai fled to Virupakshi in Dindigul. Later they were joined by the two able Servaigarars Vellai Marudu and Chinna Marudhu.

3rd RANI VELU NACHIAR (1772 - 1780) Rani Velu Nachiar and her daughter Vellachi Nachiar lived under the protection of Hyder Ali at Virupakshi near Dindigul. Frustrated by the joining of forces against him, the Nawab ordered that Velu Nachiar and Marudhu Brothers were permitted to return to Sivaganga and rule the country subject to payment of Kist to the Nawab. Abiding by this Order, Rani Velu Nachiar accompanied by Marudu brothers and Vellachi Nachiar entered Sivaganga. An agreement was reached where by Rani Velu Nachiar was permitted to govern the Sivaganga Country and Chinna Marudu, the younger was appointed her minister and the elder Vellai Marudu as the Commander-in-chief. Thus the widow Queen Velu Nachiar succeeded her husband in 1780.

The Queen Velu Nachiar granted powers to Marudhu Brothers to administer the country in 1780. Velu Nachiar died a few years later, but the exact date of her death is not known (it was about 1790). Marudu brothers are the sons of Udayar Servai alias Mookiah Palaniappan Servai and Anandayer alias Ponnathal. They are native of Kongulu street of Ramnad. They belonged neither to the family of the ancient poligars nor to their division of the caste.

Servaikaran was the caste title and Marudu the family name. The Marudu Brothers served under Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar. Later they were elevated to the position of Commanders. Boomerangs are peculiar to India. Two forms of this weapons are used in India. These weapons are commonly made of wood. It is cresent-shaped on end being heavier than the other and the outer edge is sharpened. Their name in Tamil is VALARI stick. It is said that Marudu Brothers were experts in the art of throwing the valari stick. It is said that Marudus used Valari in the POLIGAR wars against the English. The Marudu brothers with 12,000 armed men surrounded Sivaganga and plundered the Nawab's territories. The Nawab on the 10th of March 1789 appealed to the Madras Council for aid. On 29th April 1789, the British forces attacked Kollangudi. It was defeated by a large body of Marudu's troops. He was in close association with Veera Pandiya Kattabomman of Panchalankurichi. Kattabomman held frequent consultations with Marudhus. After the execution of Kattabomman in 17th October 1799 at Kayattar, Chinna Marudhu gave asylum to Kattabomman's brother Oomadurai (dumb brother). He issued an epoch-making Jumboo Deweepa proclamation to the people in the island of Jamboo the peninsular South India to fight against the English whether they were Hindus, Mussalamans or Christians. At last the Marudhu Pandiyars fell a victim to the cause of liberating the motherland from the English supremacy. Marudu Pandiyan the popular leader of the rebels, together with his gallant brother Vellai Marudu were executed on the ruins of fort at Tiruppathur in SIVAGANGA District on 24th October 1801. They showed their determination and spirit at the outset of the final struggle of 1801 by setting their handsome village Siruvayal on fire to prevent its being made use of by the English forces.

Marudu brothers were not only warriers and noted for bravery, but they were very great Administrators. During the period from 1783 to 1801, they worked for the welfare of the people and the Sivaganga Seemai was reported as fertile. They constructed many notable temples (i.e Kalayarkoil) Ooranis and Tanks.

After, so many successions of legal heirs ruled the estate, lastly, Sri D.S. Karthikeya Venkatachalapathy Rajah succeeded to the estate of late Sri. D. Shanmuga Rajah and he was the Hereditary Trustee of Sivaganga. Devasthanam and Chatrams consisting of 108 temples, 22 Kattalais and 20 Chatrams. Sri. D.S. Karthikeya Venkatachalapathy Rajah passed away in 30.8.1986 leaving a daughter named Tmt.. Maduranthagi Nachiyar as his heir. At present, Tmt. Maduranthagi Nachiyar is administering the Sivaganga Estate , Sivaganga Devasthanam and Chatram of Sivaganga Royal Family now. Based on the "District Gazette" 1990 of Ramanathapuram, and the history of Sivaganga maintained by Samasthanam, Sivaganga District has been formed mostly with an area of entire Sivaganga Zamin and part of Ramnad Zamin.

Bana - Samarakolakalan Tamil Coins

"Samarakolakalan" Copper jital, Garuda type

The Banas were a dynasty of powerful chieftains, who appear on the Tamil scene from the beginning of the Christian era, and played a subordinate role to all the major powers of the Tamil country. During the early Pallava period they were active in the northern part of Tamilnad serving the Pallavas. Towards the end of the Pallava rule they shifted their field of activity towards the Kavari region near Trichy. At the height of the Chola reign they were absolutely subordinate to the Imperial power. But when the Chola power showed signs of weakness, they showed their might and were sought after by both the Cholas and Pandyas. When Kulottunga III, conquered Madurai in the 13th century A.D., he installed the Bana as the ruler and gave him the title Pandya. Bu within a short period Maravarman Sundara Pandya, captured the Chola country with the help of the Bana and honoured him with some territories. This was the signal for the Banas to achieve independence. So long as the mighty Jatavarman Sundara Pandya and Maravarman Kulasekhara maintained their power till 1310, Banas bid their time and with the family feud of the Pandyas showing their ugly head in the 14th century, the Banas asserted their independence. They are seen ruling Madurai, a part of Ramnad, and even a part of Kongu country. From 14th to middle 16th century their epigraphs are found in regions Madurai, Ramnad and Pudukottai.
They were called in all these recors, Mahabali Vanadarayar. They were great Vaishnavites and were deeply devoted to Lord Vishnu of Alagar Koil and the Andal temple at Srivilliputtur. The main Vimana of the Andal shrine of Srivilliputtur was built by the Bana Chieftain. Before the advent of the Ramnad Sethupati Chieftains, Ramesvaram and its pilgrim route were under the control of the Banas. They assumed the title Bhuvanekavira and Setumula Raksha durandharan.
An inscription from Sevalur, in Thirumeyyam Taluk Pudukkottai district, mentions a Bana whose same is given as Sundaratoludaiyan and Thirumalirunjolai ninran (after the name of the deity of Alagar Koil). His number of titles are also recorded in the epigraph. Among them Samara Kolakala and Bhuvanekavirare the important titles worthy of note. From another village-Nekkonam, dated in Saka era 1045 (1483 A.D.) comes anoter inscription of the same Bana ruler, whose following titles are significant.
Samarakolakalan Bhuvanekaviran Sethumula Raksha durandaran Madhurapuri mahanayakan Pandyakulantakan Rajakula sarpa garudan Garudaketanan etc.
It is evident from the above that he had the Garuda as his royal crest. That he conquered Pandyas and was master of Madhurapuri is also significant.
Against this background may be viewed the number of coins assigned to the Pandyas by all scholars on S. I. Numismatics. These coins bear two distinguishing titles Bhuvanekavira and Samarakola kalan. Type 1: Obverse: a seated Garuda on a fish; flanking the Garuda are conch and discus. Reverse: The legend reading Samarakolakala. The legend is in three lines separated by line markings. Type 2: Obverse: Garuda with conch and discus Reverse: Legend Samarakolakala in beteen lines. Type 3: Obverse: Gauda with conch and discus Reverse: Legend Samarakolakala in between lines. Palaeographically earlier. Type 4: Obverse: Garuda. Sankha and Cakra, a beautiful umbrella above. Reverse: legend ‘Bhuvanekavira’. Type 5: Obverse: Garuda holding a snake in the arms. Sanka Cakra present in the obverse. Reverse: the legend Bhuvanekavira separated by lines. Type 6: Obverse: Garuda with conch and discus. Reverse: Two fishes shown horizontally with a crozier in between.
All the above types ascribed to the Pandyas by earlier writers were the issues of the Banas of Madurrai-Ramnad area. The fact that the Garuda is shown seated over the fish indicate that they have put down the Pandyas. The title “Valudisekharan” shows their conquest over Pandyas. The title Garudaketanan would show why they depicted Garuda on the coins. Another interesting title is ‘Rajakulasarpa Garuda” the Garuda to the snake of Rajakula (literally the very death to other Rajas). As if to portray this, the Garuda in their coin is shown holding a snake in its arm.
Over the head of Garuda is a well executed umbrella.
As mentioned earlier that there is some palaeographical difference in the letters of the coins which indicate that all do not belong to the same period. Some of them are 15th century and others 16th century coins. In the initial stage the Banas seem to have tried to maintain the continuity of Pandya tradition. So the coin bearing two fish and a sceptre on one side and the Garuda on the other but with no legends may be taken to be the earliest series of the Banas. 

Sangam Pandya Coins

Elephant type

The Pandyas coins have been discovered at Madurai and other places in the Pandyan region and also in Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. The coins of this dynasty are mostly in copper and sometimes in sliver. They are usually die-struck but some are punch-marked, The motifs appearing on the obverse of the Pandyan coins are the elephant, horse, bull, tortoise, fish, Sivalinga, svastika, domed temple, etc. Some of these coins bear legends on the reverse in the Tamil language and Tamil Brahmi script which convey the name or the title of the ruler. The reverse of most of their coins portrays the fish which was their dynastic emblem.

Hyderabad Nijam Coins

The Princely State of Hyderabad was founded around 1724 when Mir Qamar-ud-Din, the Mughal Viceroy of the Deccan, assumed independence under the title of Asaf Jah and founded the dynasty of the Nizams of Hyderabad. In the post 1857 era, the State of Hyderabad was one of the largest Princely States in India and later came to be known as the 'Dominion of His Exalted Highness, the Nizam'. The State which covered territories presently included in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka was assimilated into the Indian Union in September 1948. In matters of currency and coinage, the coins of the Nizams were issued in the name of the Mughal Emperor till 1858 when a coin legend was introduced with the name of the founder of the state, Asaf Jha. Thereafter, they were struck independently and the new coins were termed the 'Hali Sicca', i.e., the current coins. In 1903-04 coins were machine struck for the first time. These coins featured the Charminar on the obverse with Persian inscription Nizam-ul-mulk Bahadur Asaf Jah around it. The reverse carried the value. These coins confirmed to the British coins in denominations and metals.

When the English assumed the power of administration, there were more than three hundred native states minting their own independent coins. These native states found that the retention of the name of the Mughal Emperor on their coins are not justified and so they gradually removed the same. However, they retained the old practice of having Persian inscriptions on their coins.
The English administration, after sanctioning this, conceded the right of minting coins only to 34 states put in to 3 categories.
a) The fifteen states which imprinted the name of the English Queen on their coins.
b) Ratlam & Sailana states inscribed the name of state,date and denomination of the coins.
c) Hyderabad, Travancore, Gwalior, Indore and Baroda states ignored in placing the name of the king, but placed their name of the ruler.
First modern series of coins incorporating the historical Charminar were minted and remained till 1948.
Gold coins – it was not legal tender, but used for ceremonial and ornamental purposes and also as gift to the Nizam’s.
Design of the Gold coins are,
Ashrafi = 172.5 gms.
Half Ashrafi = 86.25 gms.
Quarter Ashrafi = 43.125 gms.
One-eighth Ashrafi = 21.562 gms.
In 1930, the value of gold Ashrafi’s in terms of O.S Rupees was full Ashrafi – Rs 29/-, half Ashrafi – Rs 15/-, quarter Ashrafi – Rs 8/-, and one-eighth Ashrafi – Rs 5/- .
Silver coins – Silver coins were in 4 denominations Rupee,8 Annas,4 Annas,and 2 Annas.
Copper coins – There were 3 copper coins, the half, one-sixth, and one-twelfth anna.
Currency Act – In 1911, the Currency Act was passed and in 1936, the Act was modified and nickel coins followed by several other modifications and amendments to the original Act.
Paper Currency – Paper currency was introduced in 1918
Hundred Rupee Note – 1918.Ten Rupee Note – 1918Five Rupee Note – 1919One Rupee Note – 1919One Thousand Rupee Note – 1926

Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I (1720-1748)

Mir Ahmed Ali Khan Siddiqi, Nizam-ud-Dowlah Nasir Jang (1748-1750)
Nawab Hidayat Mohi-ud-din Sa'adu'llah Khan Bahadur, Muzaffar Jang (1750-1751)
Nawab Syed Mohammed Khan Siddiqi, Amir ul Mulk, Salabat Jang (1751-1762)
Nawab Mir Nizam Ali Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Nizam ul Mulk, Asaf Jah II (1762-1803)
Nawab Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikandar Jah Siddiqi, Asaf Jah III (1803-1829)
Nawab Mir Farkhonda Ali Khan Siddiqi Nasir-ud-Daulah, Asaf Jah IV (1829-1857)
Nawab Mir Tahniat Ali Khan Siddiqi Afzal ud Daulah, Asaf Jah V (1857-1869)

Fateh Jang Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VI (1869-1911)

Fateh Jang Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VII (1911-1967)

Nizam a shortened version of Nizam-ul-Mulkedw, meaning Administrator of the Realm, was the title of the native sovereigns of Hyderabad State, India, since 1719, belonging to the Asaf Jah dynasty. The dynasty was founded by Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiqi, a viceroy of the Deccan under the Mughal emperors from 1713 to 1721 and who intermittently ruled under the title Asaf Jah in 1724, and After Aurangzeb's death in 1707, the Mughal Empire crumbled and the viceroy in Hyderabad, the young Asaf Jah, declared himself independent.
By the middle of 18th century, the scions, known as The Nizams, had quickly surpassed the Mughals ruling a vast dominion of about 125,000,000 acres (510,000 km2) in south India. They were among the wealthiest people in the world. Seven Nizams ruled Hyderabad for two centuries until Indian independence in 1947.
The Asaf Jahi rulers were great patrons of literature, art, architecture,culture, jewelry collection and rich food. The Nizams ruled the state until its integration into the Indian Union in September 1948 after independence from the British. Nizams were Shia muslims.
Family OriginsThe Asaf Jahi dynasty originated in the region around Samarkand, but the family came to India from Baghdad in the late 17th century. Shaikh Mir Ismail (Alam Shaikh Siddiqi) Alam ul-Ulema,son of Ayub younus Salim, son of Abdul Rehman Shaikh Azizan Siddiqi, fourteenth in direct decent from Sheikh Shihab-ud-din Siddiqi Suhrawardy, of Suharwada in Kurdistan, a celebrated [Sufi] mystic, or dervish, maternal (first), a lady of the family of Mir Hamadan (a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed), a distinguished Sayyid of Samarkand.
Origin of the Nizam TitleNizām-ul-mulk was a title first used in Urdu around 1600 to mean Governor of the realm or Deputy for the Whole Empire. The word is derived from the Arabic word, nizām (نظام), meaning order, arrangement. The Nizam was referred to as Ala Hadrat /Ala Hazrat or Nizam Sarkar, meaning His Exalted Highness (The last Nizam was awarded this title. It is a heredity title).
Rise of the NizamsThe first Nizams ruled on behalf of the Mughal emperors. But, after the death of Aurangazeb, the Nizams split away from the Mughals to form their kingdom. When the British achieved paramountcy over India, the Nizams were allowed to continue to rule their princely states. The Nizams retained power over Hyderabad State until September 1948 when it was integrated into the Indian Union.
The Asaf Jah dynasty had only seven rulers; however there was a period of 13 years after the rule of the first Nizam when three of his sons (Nasir Jung, Muzafar Jung and Salabath Jung) ruled. They were not officially recognized as the rulers.
A legend about the first Nizam states that, on one of his hunting trips he was offered some kulchas (an Indian bread) by a holy man and was asked to eat as many as he could. The Nizam could eat seven kulchas and the holy man then prophesied that seven generations of his family would rule the state.
The Nizams, by an honoured Hyderabad tradition that no Nizam has ever left India no matter how good a reason might exist for doing so, they believed, "the Sovereign is too precious to his people ever to leave India.".
Ever since Hyderabad stood aloof from the great first war of Indian Independence of 1857 while betraying many Indians and also at time acting against those who opposed the British such as Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan, its Royal Family had been accorded by British Royalty special honours and the Nizam was given the official status of Faithful Ally.



C# 10a PAISA
11.5000 g., Copper Obv: Tiger left Note: Size varies 18-20mm.


Silver Obv: “J” Obv. Inscription: Muhammad Akbar (II)
Rev: “A” in Nagari Note: Weight varies 10.70-11.60 grams.




Copper Note: C#28 and #30 were named after Toka Raj who
operated the Aurangabad Mint under a state license from about 1830.


Silver Obv. Inscription: Shah Alam (II) Note: Weight varies
10.7 - 11.6 grams.


Arcot Nawab Coins

The Nawabs of Arcot, issued many coins in copper and a few in gold and silver. The earliest coins of the Arcot Nawabs were issued in the name of the Mughal emperor and later the Nawabs began to issue coins in their own name. Most of their coins bear inscriptions in Persian while a few coins have inscriptions in Tamil. Various motifs such as the flower, horse, elephant, fish, flag, sun, moon, dagger, peacock and geometric designs have been featured on their coins. Although the Arcot Nawabs were Muslims, they often portrayed several Hindu deities and symbols such as the Siva Linga and Nandi on their coins, mainly to please their Hindu subjects.

The Mughal emperor, Aurangazeb, appointed a Nawab as the governor for the provinces of North and South Arcot in Tamil Nadu. Thirteen years after Aurangazeb's death, the Nawab claimed to be an independent ruler and founded the dynasty of the Nawab of Arcot. The important Arcot Nawabs were Sadat-uulah Khan I, Muhammad Ali also known as Walajah and Umdat-ul Umara. In the 19th Century, the English captured their territory.The Nawabs issued many coins in copper and a few in gold and silver. The earliest coins were issued in the name of the Mughal emperor. Later, they issued coins in their own name.
Most of the coins bear inscriptions in Persian while a few are in Tamil. Various symbols and motifs such as the flower, horse, elephant, fish, and geometric designs have been featured. Although the Arcot Nawabs were Muslims, they often portrayed Hindu deities and symbols on their coins. These coins are preserved in several museums in south India.

Nawabs of the Carnatic (also referred to as the Nawabs of Arcot), ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1801. They initially had their capital at the town of Arcot near Chennai. Their rule is an important period in the history of Tamil Nadu, in which the Mughal Empire gave way to the rising influence of the European powers, eventually culminating in the British Raj.

The old province known as the Carnatic, in which Madras (Chennai) was situated, extended from the Krishna river to the Coleroon, and was bounded on the West by Cuddapah, Salem and Dindigul, all of which formed part of the State of Mysore. The Northern portion was known as the Mughal Carnatic, the Southern the Maharatta Carnatic with the Maharatta frontier fortress being Gingee. Carnatic, the name commonly given to the region of Southern India between the Eastern Ghats and the Coromandel Coast and the Western Ghats, extends from Palghat to Bidar and stretches from the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh in the North, to Cape Comorin at the Southern-most tip of Tamil Nadu State.[citation needed]


Mohamed Ali Khan Wallajah, (1717 - 1795)The Nawabs of the Carnatic trace their origin back to second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab.[1] The Nawabdom of the Carnatic was established by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who in 1692 appointed Zulfikar Ali Nawab of the Carnatic, with his seat at Arcot as a reward for his victory over the Marathas[citation needed]. With the Vijayanagara Empire in serious decline, the Nawabdom of the Carnatic controlled a vast territory south of the Krishna river. The Nawab Saadetullah of (1710-1732) moved his court from Gingee to Arcot. His successor Dost Ali (1732-1740) conquered and annexed Madurai in 1736.

Muhammad Ali Wallajah (1749 - 1795 ) was freed from his suzerainty and made the independent ruler of the Carnatic by the Mughal emperor in 1765. His rule was long and mostly peaceful. He donated generously to Churches, Temples and Mosques. The temple at Sri Rangam was one which benefited from his generosity.

The growing influences of the English and the French and their colonial wars had a huge impact on the Carnatic. Wallajah supported the English against the French and Hyder Ali, placing him heavily in debt. As a result he had to surrender much of his territory to the East India Company.

The thirteenth Nawab, Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan (1825–1855), died without issue and the British annexed the Carnatic Nawabdom applying the doctrine of lapse. Ghouse Khan's uncle Azim Jah was created the first Prince of Arcot (Amir-E-Arcot) in 1867 by Queen Victoria, and was given a tax free pension in perpetuity. This privilege continues to be honoured by the Government of India. This status is protected by the Indian Constitution and the family continues to retain its privileges and titles. The current Prince of Arcot Abdul Ali came to the title in July 1994.

List of rulers

Nawabs of the Carnatic

First Dynasty
Nawab Muhammed Saadatullah Khan I (1710 - 1732)
Nawab Dost Ali Khan (1732 - 1740) (d.1740)
Nawab Safdar Ali Khan (1740 - 1742) (d.1742)
Nawab Muhammed Saadatullah Khan II (1742 - 1744) (d.1744)

Second Dynasty
Nawab Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan (1744 - 31 July 1749) (b.1672 - d. 1749)
Nawab Chanda Shahib (de-facto nawab between 1749 to 1752)
Nawab Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah (31 July 1749 - 16 October 1795)
Nawab Umdat Ul-Umra (1795 - 1801)
Nawab Azim-ud-Daula (1801 - 1819)
Nawab Azam Jah (1819 - 1825)
Nawab Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan (1825 - 1855)

Princes Of Arcot
Nawab Azim Jah (1867 - 1874)
Nawab Sir Zahir-ud-Daula Bahadur (1874 - 1879)
Nawab Intizam-ul-Mulk Muazzaluddaula Bahadur (1879 - 1889)
Nawab Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur (1889 - 1903)
Sir Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur (1903 - 1952)
Nawab Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur (1952 - 1969)
Nawab Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader (1969 - 1993)
Nawab Muhammed Abdul Ali (1994 - current)