The political history of the Cholas has been so ably presented by that great historian, Prof. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, that it is hardly possible to improve or add new dimensions to its study. Obviously it has been possible for scholars to deal adequately with the numismatic history of their reign. The present chapter is merely an attempt to complete the story.
Among the Cholas of the Sangam age, the most outstanding ruler was Karikala, whom Prof. Sastri assigns to circa 190 A.D.(1) Karikala fought a great battle at Venni in which the Pandya and he Chera both suffered severe defeat. Eleven minor chieftains who allied themselves with the Chera and the Pandya shared the same fate. The Chera who lost the battle is said to have committed suicide. Paranar, one of the greatest poets of the Sangam age, has sung the valour of this great monarch. Rudran Kannan, another eminent poet, in his Pattinappalai states, the numerous Oliyars submitted to him, the ancient Aruvalar carried out his commands and the westerners were depressed. Conscious of the might of his large army ready to shatter the fortresses of enemy kings, Karikala turned his flushed look of anger against the Pandya whose strength gave way. The Ilangovel was uprooted.(2) He became the centre of many legends. Among many legends Karikala is said to have conquered upto Kanchi and settled agrain colonies in the Tondaimandalam region.(3) Refering to this Karikala legend, Prof. Sastri says, it would seem that Tondainad was ruled by Tondaimain Ilam Tiraiyan in the days of Karikala and thre is no satisfactory evidence in support of suggestion that this chieftain was the grandson of Karikala or at least a Viceroy appointed by him after his conquest of Kanchi.(4) It seems to us that it is not unlikely that Karikala conquered the region upto Kanchi. What was found all these years in legend is now found in a 10th century copper plate of Parantaka Chola, obtained from Tiruttani. It refers to the conquest of Kanchipuram and building of lofty palaces by Karikala. We are here only suggesting that there was active contact between the Kaveri region and Kanchipuram.
The description of Kaveripumpattinam, in the reign of Karikala gives a vivid picture of the state of industry and commerce under him. He is said to have promoted the reclamation and settlement of forest land and added to the prosperity of the country by multiplying irrigation tanks.(5) Another point of interest is Karikala’s faith in Vedic religion. The poignancy of the grief caused by his death finds moving expression in the following lines of Karungulal Adanar. ‘He who stormed his enemies’ forts dauntlessly who feasted his minstrels and their families and treated them to endless draughts of toddy; who, in the assembly of Brahmanas noted for knowledge of bramha and purity of life guided by priests learned in their duties and attended by his noble and virtuous queen, performed he Vedic sacrifice in which the all sacrificial post stood on a birdlike platform (garuda cayana) he the great and wise king, alas is no more.(6)
This long citation is meant to show that, along with the Vedic ideas, the economic concepts of the north also had penetrated to the south in the reign of Karikala.
Besides Karikala, the other Chola rulers of eminence are Nedum Killi, Nalamkilli and Koccengannan. About Perumarkilli, another great king, we have this account. “May you in your lifetime pour out with water flowers and gold into the outstretched hands of the Brahmins; drink of the sweet liquor which your servant maids glittering with jewels, hold before you in golden cups”.(7) Koccengannan, the last and at the same time a great ruler, distinquished himself both in war and religious pursuit. He imprisoned the Chera and later set him free by listening to a poem, Kalavali. A somewhat later tradition of the seventh Century, states that he was a spider in his previous birth and on account of his devotion to Lord Siva of Thiruvanaikkaval he was born in the Chola family. He is praised for having built 70 great temples to Siva. From the seventh Century onwards this legend persists in literature and the mythical portion in the introduction of the Chola epigraph. A point of interest is that till we come to Kocengannan there is no substantial participation of the rulers in temple movements. But they all actively participated in Vedic sacrifices. It is against this background that the occurrence of punch marked coins in Tamilnad upto Thirunelveli should be viewed. It is said that most of the punch marked coins found in Tamilnad bear close resemblance to the issues of the Mauryans Regarding trade and commerce in the Chola country of the Sangam age K. A. N. Sastri has the following to say(8)
“Next to agriculture in all its forms including the raising of sugarcane, cotton and pepper, the most important industry of the land was the production of cloth. Early European Writers and Sanskrit sources confirm the truthfulness of the numerous references to the fine quality of the textiles produced in the Tamil country at this period. They are compared to the slough of the snake and to a cloud of steam; yet these muslins carried much fine floral work and were of different colours. Silk, wool and other fabrics are referred to as cloth not spun by any one (nulakkalingam). Production was generally for local consumption, and only articles of great value in small bulk, or necessities like salt which could not be made everywhere, entered into trade. Much trade was carried on by barter; examples occur of honey and roots being exchanged for fish-oil and toddy, and of sugar-cane and corn-flakes (aval) for venison and toddy. Salt merchants moved about with their families in trains of carts; the roads were hard, and often the merchants had to negotiate ups and downs and thought it necessary to carry a spare axle (semav-accu) for every cart. Pepper was carried from place to place by caravans of asses. The bazaar in big cities was a busy place with many flags (hoisted over the shops), plenty of cash (gold), and a number of taverns. References to the different aspects of maritime trade are many and important. An elephant running amok is compared to a storm-tossed ship, and there are other references to shipwrecks in storms. Salt, dried fish, and processed tamarind were conveyed in boats, evidently a reference to the coastal trade of the country. Foreign ships came laden with horses in the company of merchants who were eager to take the precious products of the Tamil country in exchange for them. Saliyur was an important port on the Madurai coast, often visited by great ships. Nirpeyarru probably some where near Mamallapuram, was another seaport to which were brought horses from the west and other products from the north; this was in the territory of Tondaiman Ilam Tiraiyan. Near the port was a tall lightouse in which a bright lamp burnt all night. Access to the lamp was by means of a steep ladder not easy to climb. In between Saliyur and Nirpeyarru, lay the still larger emporium or of Puhar or Kaverippattinam, the Khaberis of Ptolemy, which is described at great length in the Pattinappalai. Large boats had carried while salt and returned laden with paddy in exchange, and when lying in harbour, they resembled a row of horses tethered in a garden. Great ships sailed straight into the harbour of Puhar without slacking sail, a description that cannot apply at the present day to any place in the Tanjore delta on account of changes in the course of the Kaveri river and in the shape of the seaboard. The merchandise brought to the port of Puhar included war-horses that came by sea, bags of black pepper brought overland by car, gems and gold from the northern mountain, sandal and agil woods from the western mountain, pearls of the southern and coral of the eastern sea, the produce of the Ganges basin and the Kaveri valley, food stuffs from Ceylon and luxuries from Kadaram besides other rare and precious products Puhar was a cosmopolitan city where people from different countries speaking various language lived amicably together and contributed to its vast and increasing wealth and prosperity. Its merchants were not greedy cheats, but honest dealers who were content with a modest profit, feared wrong, spoke the truth, and gave the same consideration to the interests of their customers as to their own. The ports were even more numerous on the west coast than on the east and in closer contact with the traders of the Roman empire. Musiri was perhaps, the leading emporium; a song in the Purannuru speaks of the sale of fish for paddy, of bales of pepper, and of the transport of a variety of merchandise in small boats from the large ships to the shore. Bandes and Kodumanam were other ports with a wealth of sea-borne imports. Bondar being noted for its peals, and Kodumanam for rare jewels Mention is made of the abundance of quartzite precious stones in the hills of the Chera country, and we find allusions to artisans skilled in the repair and refitting of ships called here ‘the timber that swims the great ocean (perungadal nindiya maram)”.
A few coins were found recently in the Kaveripattinam region. They are of copper, square in shape, bearing on the one side the figure of a standing tiger with an uplifted tail and on the other side fish, elephant or other symbols. Above the tiger is shown the sun. The significance of the representation is obvious. The sun is symbolic of the solar race of the Cholas. The tiger with it roaring mouth, lifted paw and upturned tail is specially referred to as the royal crest of the Cholas in Sangam literature. Praising the Valour of the Chola Nalamkilli, the poet Kovur Kilar states that, when he captures the opponent’s forts, he imprinted his crest of the tiger with a roaring mouth”(9) In the port of Kaveripumpattinam itself, the wooden doors of forts were marked with the tiger, the royal crest.(10) However, on the coins found in the Kaveri delta, at Neidavasal etc., the animal is certainly a tiger with a raised paw and an uplifted tail.
Writing on these coins, Chattopadhyaya states, “While in view of the provenance, this attribution has some justification, it should, at the same time, be remembered that in the absense of any other comparable coins, definitely atatributable to the early Cholas it cannot be considered as at all certain. Secondly, he animal which features regularly on one side of these coins does not appear to be a tiger, but it is a typical lion with uplifted tail such as those which appear on Pallava and other coins published from time to time. It thus appears that the Vanagiri and Neidavasal coins were also issues of the Pallavas and are comparable to some of their lion types, rather than of the early Chola family.(11) The following citation is also relevant in this regard. “The dynastic crest of all the Pallava families seems to have been the bull which features on seals attached to copper plate charter from the early stage of Pallava history. But some Pallava copper plates seem to show another animal, which strangely resembles the ‘lion’ of this type of coin and of other types which on the basis of find spots and in the absence of any other data, may be attributed to the Pallavas. Some of these types with the lion device come from as far south as Madura or Kumbakonam, which were under Pallava suzerainty before the rise of the Chola-Pandya power.” All these considerations may show that besides the bull the lion was one of the major devices used by the Pallavas on some of their early types”.
There are a few errors in the above conclusions. Pallava power never extended upto Madurai at any time. I do not think there is any Pallava seal with a lion. The Pallavas themselves say that they had the bull as their lancana. So coins with the lion motif are certainly issues of the Vishnukundins, as suggested by other scholars.
The commodities imported and exported at the port of Kaveripumpattinam (Neidavasal – Vanagiri area) were imprinted with the tiger, the Chola crest. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the square coins found in Neidavasal and Vanagiri bearing tiger on the obverse are the coins of the Sangam Cholas. The reverse of these coins at times show elephant, fish or a Kalpa or Chaitya Vriksha, While the elephant or fish might indicate their close connection with the Cheras or Pandyas respectively either by dynastic alliance or conquest, the sacred tree within a fence was an early Indian tradition foundd in many dynastic issues. It occurs in the early Pallava coins, where the Pallava bull is shown standing on the obverse and the sacred tree on the reverse(14). In the Sangam age, though the three crowned kings fought against each other frequently, they also frequently allied themselves very close. That might perhaps explain the presence of elephant or fish on the back. I am of the opinion that there need to be hesitation in accepting these series as the coins of the Cholas of the Sangam age.
POST SANGAM AGE
From the close of the Sangam age till the rise of the imperial Cholas of Vijayalaya, the powerful Chola dylasty remained unknown. Among the post-Sangam classics the Silappadhikaram, Manimekkhalai and the collection of works alled 18 smaller works (Padinen Kil Kanakku) are important in throwing some light on the economic condition of the Chola country. The port city of Kaveripumpattinam owed its greatness to its commercial wealth. Commodities brought in vehicles and ships brought wealth to the country. The commentator states the merchants were seafarers. A point of interest in this work is the presentation of 1008 kalanju of gold by the king of an accomplished danseuse who exhibits her talent in he maiden performance. The dancer is called Nataka Ganika in the text. It is said that it was the customary prize presented by the king. The commentator of Arumpadavurai says that 1000 Kalanju was towards the prize and the remaining eight were meant for meeting expenses. But Adiyarkkunallar, the later commentator states that 1000 Kalanju were the prize money and the remaining eight were one day’s money for sexual intercourse. The commentator further says that it was customary for the king witnessing a maiden performane of a dancing girl to long for her pleasure. The king gave her a costly necklace of 1008 Kalanju as present. It is not known whether this Kalanju was a coin or weight. But the commentary says it was a type of gold called Kiliccirai. Another point of interest is that this costly jewel would be carried in public by a beautiful attendent of the dancing girl and whosoever offers the highest money for that can take her as his concubine. Though the Silappadhikaram describes the commercial activity of the port city of Pumpuhar, it throws very little light on the currency system. A few Tamil works of didactic nature called 18 smaller works refer to the testing of gold by heating it in fire.(15)
THE IMPERIAL CHOLA COINAGE
The history of the Imperial Cholas begins around 850 A.D. with the advent of Vijayalaya. Till recent times the name of Vijayalaya’s father was unknown. The recently found Velanjeri copper plate of Parantaka Chola gives his name as Orriyuran. He is praised as a great king. Judging from the name assumed by several of his subordinates his claim to greatness is not unwarranted.
Vijayalaya, the great conqueror who established the Imperial Chola line captured Tanjore, fortified the city and consecrated an image of goddess Nisumbasudani. He is praised in later literature as one who had, won several battles. From this time onwards, the Cholas started adopting the titles alternately Parakesari and Rajakesari. Till we come to the time of Rajaraja I, the Cholas mentioned only their title in their epigraphs without giving their names. It makes the identification of the early Chola rulers open to doubt. But at least a few of the inscriptions found in the Tondaimandalam region belong to Vijayalaya.
Vijayalaya’s position remained somewhat subordinae to the Pallavas. But his son Aditya threw off the Pallava yoke, and soon established Chola power upto Tondaimand near Kalahasti (near Madras). In the south he reached the limit of Pudukottai territory, but not beyond. Aditya also conquered the Kongu, and is said to have brought gold to enrich the Chidambaram temple. He built innumerable stone temples, dedicated to Siva all along the banks of the Kaveri. S. R. Balasubramaniam has recently done yeoman service by identifying several of Aditya’s temples.
Parantaka was, like his father a great conqueror. His conquests were at the expense of the Adityas of Madurai, followed by a victory over Sri Lanka. He assumed the title Maduraiyim Ilamum Konda, i.e. the conqueror of Madurai and Lanka. In Sanskrit his title appears as ‘Madurantakan’. After Parantaka many rulers followed with varying fortunes. The immediate predecessor of Rajaraja, the great was Uttama Chola, who also had the title Madurantaka.” The earliest Chola coin which could be definitely attributed to a chola ruler is that of Uttama. His territory extended upto Madras in the north and to Madurai in the south. At least two issues of this ruler are now identified.
The first type is a gold coin unfortunately lost. But Elliot has preserved a good illustration of it. His description reads;(2) “No. 151 gold coin lost; facsimile in wood cut; weigh 50 to 60 grains. Obverse and reverse exactly the same; a tiger seated to the left; opposite it a fish etc. The legend running around reads in grantha characters ‘Uttama Chola”. This has been rightly identified with the issue of Uttama Chola.
I have published the other coin with a proper reading in Damilica I. The coin which was imperfectly read all these years bears close resemblance to the earlier one carrying seated tiger and a fish with the legend Matirantakam running around it. As mentioned earlier Matirantakan was one of the titles of Uttama Chola. In early inscriptions the city of ‘Madurai’ was called Matirai. So this coin has also been taken as an issue of Uttamachola.
“Several inscriptions of the Chola period give the names of coins that were under circulation. From these we gather that the coins were called after the ruling kings either by the names or titles such as Rajarajan Madai, Rajendran Madai. The earliest coin so referred to by name is Madurantakan Madai. It is likely that the coin referred to as Madurantakan Madai is identical with the present coin “Damilica Page 102).
Chattopadhyaya, agreeing with my suggestion, states, “The legend which has so long baffled scholars has now satisfactorily been read as Matirantakam which is the equivalent of Madurantakan. It is thus likely that the type is identical with the Madurantakan Madai of the epigraph and that it belongs to the period of Uttama Chola(16)
UTTAMACHOLA – NAGARI
The third type of coins attributed to Uttama Chola made of silver or copper. On one side the coin bears a seated tiger, two fish and a bow. These are shown on a pedestal. Above this emblem are seen a parasol and two chowris. On the reverse is the legend ‘Uttama Chola’ in Nagari characters. Opinion is divided among scholars about the author of this issue. Prof. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri assigns it to Rajendra I, while Chattopadhyaya holds that it could be an Uttama issue.
The practice of a ruler adopting all the three emblems was known even in the age of Silapadhikaram. The Chra ruler, Sengut tuvan is said to have carved, these three crests on the Himalayas.(17) In another instance the same ruler is said to have sent an order baring the crests – ‘bow – fish – tiger’ said to be the seal of the Tamil land.(18)
If the ruler was a great conqueror, subduing the two other crowned kings of the Tamil country, he adopted all the three royal crests. In the coin under discussion the three emblems are under the same umbrella. This would suggest that both the Chera and the Pandya had been vanquished. While in the earlier coin of Uttama, only the fish and tiger are seen, in the present case all the three are seen. The conquest of the Chera was accomplished by Rajaraja I, and not under Uttama, his predecessor. It is probably due to this reason that Profesosr Nilakanta Sastri thought that this could be an issue subsequent to Rajaraja I, and assigned it to Rajendra I. The two earlier coins are typologically of the same group, while the later is different. It is not unlikely that the later also was an issue of Uttama Chola.
A point of importance is that for the first time in Tamil coins we find a Nagari legend. Why and how it was introduced? it is not possible to explain at this stage.
One of the greatest rulers of India, who was not only a mighty conqueror, but also a most efficient administrator was Rajaraja I (985-1014). He extended Chola power upto the Tungabhadra in the north and Sri Lanka in the south. Prof. Nilakanta Sastri states, “The thirty years of Rajaraja’s rule constitute the formative period in the history of the Chola monarchy. In the organisation of the civil service and the army, in art and architecture, in religion and literature, we see at work powerful forces newly liberated by the progressive imperialism of the time. A relative small state at his accession that had hardly recovered from the disasters of Rashtrakuta invasion the Chola kingdom had by the end of Rajaaja’s rule grown to be an extensive and well knit empire efficiently organized and administered, rich in resources possessed of a powerful standing army, well tried, equal to the greatest enterprises. More wonderful than the work of this great monarch have been his personality. Rajaraja conquered Ceylon and Maldives islands.”
Rajaraja’s coinage is best known to South Indian numismats. It is found in several thousands. It looks as though for several centuries his coins were the main currencies circulating in Tamilnadu.
Two types of his coins are well known. Type 1, bears on both the sides of the ‘bow-tiger-fish’ emblem and the legend ‘Sri Raja Raja’ written beneath in Nagari characters.The second type carries a standing man on the obverse and a seated figure on the reverse with the Nagari legend ‘Sri Raja Raja’ beneath his left arm. It is the later variety that is found in several thousands. Both these types are found in gold, silver and copper.
Rajaraja’s wars and political annexations have a direct baring on his coinage. First he reduced the Pandyas and Kerala. Then the north-west Gangapadi, Nulambapadi, Tadigaipadi, and Rattaspadi were conquered. In theGengi kingdom he adopted a different policy. He gave shelter to the legitimate successor of Dhanarnava (who was killed by Jata Chola Bhima) Saktivarman and Vimaladitya. He restored Saktivarman to the throne of Vengi and gave his daughter Kundavai in marriage to Vimaladitya, the brother of Sktivarman. Vimaladitya ascended the throne around 1011 after his brother. Under Rajaraja the Vengi kingdom enjoyed his protection.
A point of interest discussed in detail by numismatists concerns the abstract standing or seated figure portrayed in the obverse and reverse of this coinage. What does this figure represent? It seems to us that the figure portrays of the king, as found in Kushan coins. This should have been influenced by Roman coins. The object shown in the hand seems to be a flower, also as found in Kushan coins. While Kushan coins figure a portrait of the ruler, the standing and seated figure of the South Indian coins are clearly abstractions. But why is this portrayal found in Kushan coin not used until the 10th century A.D. and why does this figure dominate South Indian coinage till the 16th century? It is not possible to explain this.
There are a number of types with the legend Sri Rajaraja in Nagari characters. Not all the coins were issued by Rajaraja I. It seems that the same type of coins with the same name was minted in subsequent a certain amount of detrioration. But the largest number of coins found in Tamilnadu are of this type; on the obverse the standing royal figure is seen and on the reverse are the seated figure and below its left arm the legend Sri. Rajaraja in Nagari.
SPECIAL ISSUES OF RAJARAJA
There are three types with this name which require special mention. In all the three types one side carries the same device viz. a seated figure, and below is left arm the nagari legend ”Sri Rajaraja.” On the obverse the devices vary. In one type there is the standing figure and below his left arm is a seated tiger. In another type there is the standing figure with under his left arma fish shown vertically. The third variety carris the standing figure and below his left arm is a pada (foot) mark. A slight variation in the type is the presence of a bow in addition to the foot.
The fact that in all these cases the name “Sri Rajaraja” is found shows that these were issues of Rajaraja I. But the various symbols represented show a definite pattern of thinking. I have suggested in a recent article that Rajaraja deliberately introduced these symbols for circulation in the different territories he conquered. For example the coin with a fish was meant for circulation in Pandimandalam. The coin with the tiger was meant for circulation in Chola territory. The coin with a foot was obviously intended for circulation in the Kerala country, called the Thiruvadi country. The presence of the bow also confirms our presumption. In one instance Desikachari refers to a coin bearing a boar in the place of a seated tiger below the left arm of the seated figure. It is significant that this adoption of the royal crest of the respective regions shows the respect the ruler had for the conquered regions and at the same time introduces his name. Such an approach is quite in conformity with Rajaraja’s personalityand character. Rajaraja changed the name off each country. Tondaimandalam was changed of Jayamkonda chola mandalam; the pandya country was called show the innovatie and personal imprint of the great monarch.(19)
MURALIDHARA & HORSE RIDER
There are two other varieties bearing the name ‘Rajaraja’ that show same variation and both the variations are significant. In one there is the seated figure, below whose arm is the legend Rajaraja. On the other side is shown a figure of Muralidhara Krishna. On the other type is seen a rider on the back of a galloping horse. Rajaraja was a great Siva bhakta and was called Siva Cudamani but his benefactions to all faiths are so well known, that under his patronage, Vaishnavism, Buddhism and Jainism flourished alike. But except this one coin showing Muralidhara Krishna, no other coin shows a God or religious motifs. So the ascription of this coin to Rajaraja-I may not go unchallenged. However no other explanation is possible at present.
Rajaraja was succeeded by his might son Rajendra I, who perhaps was the only ruler of India to carry his arms to the far east across the sea and won several victories. So he assumed the title Kadaram Konda Chola. What other Cholas could not accomplish with reference to Sri Lanka Rajendra was able to achieve. He brought the entire Ceylon under his control. In India itself he raced across eastern coast and conquered upto the Bangaladesh and marked his victory by bringing the sacred river of Ganges and assumed the title ‘Gangaikonda Chola’. This particular victory of Rajendra himself was proved to be of great interest for he built a new capital and named it Gangaikondacholapuram. The Chalukyas in the west were no match to him. From 1012 to 1044, this mightiest conqueror kept the banner of his family flying high over several kingdoms.
Two series of coins which could definitely be assigned to Rajendra are well known. Both the group show the ‘bow-tiger-fish’ emblem on both the sides. The legend in one series reads Sri Rajendra’ and in the other “Sri Gangaikonda Chola.” Though these two varieties are not so frequently met with, yet they are fairly known.
Another type of coin attributed to Rajendra I shows on the obverse the ‘bow-tiger-two fish’ emblem, flanked by lamp stands and topped by the royal parasol and the chowris. Below this is the Nagari legend reading ‘Sri Raja Rajendra’. On the reverse is the seated figure and to his right is shown a seated tiger(29).
A gold coin, smaller in size, bearing on the obverse the ‘bowtigher-fish device, and on the reverse a two line legend reading “Yuddhamalla” is also noticed. This has been attributed to Rajendra I. It could have been struck at the time of the marriage of his daughter to Chalukya Rajaraja Narendra, the father of Rajendra who was known as Kulottunga, subsequently. Quoting this view of Biddaulp, Chattopadhyaya rightly points out the lack of evidence to support this view point. However, as he rightly points out, it is not unlikely that it was issued by Rajendra I.
The one Chola ruler, who from the time he was crowned as young prince in 1018 A.D. , till his death in 1055 A.D., spent all his time and energy in war, and died in the war front, was Rajadhiraja I., he son and successor of Rajendra I. Rajadhiraja was more a ruthless fighter than his father. In fact he seems to have been mainly responsible for most of the victories of his father. His prasastis refer to his ruthlessness in dealing with his captured monarchs. Among all the Chola rulers of the Imperial line, he was the only ruler, who performed an Asvamedha yaga.
One gold coin with the legend ‘Rajadhiraja’ has come to light. It shows on the obverse a standing figure and the leend Sri Rajadhiraja’. On the reverse it bears the seated human figure in front of a seated tiger(21). This in all probability was an issue of Rajadhiraja I.
A few types of silver coins found in north Canara bearing the legend Rajadhiraja, Maharajadhiraja and simply Raja are assigned to him.(22) While the reverse of the coin has the legend in Nagari reading Maha Rajadhi Raja, the obverse according to V.P. bears the figure of a dagger on top. There are also other types in the same hoard without giving the name, but various sizes. These are also said to be of various sizes. But judging from the illustration reproduced it is seen that typologically these varieties are not the issues of Cholas. The lion depicted with a dagger, even if it is taken to be a tiger has nothing in common with the Chola tiger. After the sangam age, the Cholas, represented their tiger mostly as a seated figure. The figure on the coin under discussion also resemble a lion than a tiger and seems to me an issue of the Western Indian dynasty, than the Chola. The find spot also seems to confirm our suggestion.
THE DHAVALESVARAM HOARD
At this stage we may discuss the famous Dhavalesvaram hoard, which forms a distinct group and has been discussed by eminent historians like Prof. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri and Prof. Balakrishna Nair. Writing on this, Prof. Sastri states, “An accidental discovery in 1946 in the village of Davalesvaram brought to light a hoard, of which only 127 gold coins could be recovered. Here is a genuine collection of ancient gold coins which have elsewhere mostly disappeared in the goldsmiths crucible. The coins are all of fine gold, thin round discs bearing a lancana in the middle and letters round the margin all punched on one side of the disc, the other side being left blank. There are 49 coins of Rajaraja I, the Eastern Chalukya King Nos. 5 and 6 on the plate which call for no remarks. They bear the regnal years 33, 34 and 35 corresponding to A.D. 1055-57 as Rajaraja is known to have celebrated his coronation in 1022 with the aid of Rajendra Chola. The remaining coins fall into two sets with different inscriptions in Tamil grantha but and the same lancana in the centre of this field which is clearly the Chola mark. The inscription on one set read ‘Kam gai konda Cholan’ and bear regnal years 28 to 33. These are obviously the issus of Rajendra I and the regnal years corresponding to 1040-1045 A.D. There are other figures above the regnal year such as 4000 and 11 of which the significance is not clear, so also there are some letters with the lancana in the centre, which await explanation. The second set of 46 coins bears the inscriptions ‘Ma-lai-na-du-konda Colan’ and bears regnal years from 34 to 36. From their association these coins are easily attributed to Rajakesari Rajendra I in 1018 A.D. and who continued to rule with his father till 1044 and then for ten years more in his own right till he fell on the battle field of Koppam. It will be recalled that Rajaraja , Chalukya had a troubled reign and had to appeal for Chola aid on many occasions against the aggressions of the Western Chalukyas and Vijayaditya Vii. Rajadhiraja might have taken the title Malainad konda by virtue of te wars he wagedf or his father in Kerala and the title might have been chosen for being put on his coins to disttinquish them from Rajendra’s issue. It is not known if these coins which closely follow the fabric of Eastern Chalukya coins were minted for circulation in the Venggi country only or went into more general use”.(23) This some what lengthy citation from Sastri is to focus the attention on the importance of the group.
The identification of the first group with the legend Rajarna and the bear emblem as the issue of Eastern Chalukya ruler Rajaraja seems convincing. But the identification of the second and third types needs revision in our opinion. The second and the third types carry the well known Chola emblem ‘the bow-tigher-two fish’ below the royal umbrella is found and there could be no doubt that these were the issues of the Cholas. Prof. Sastri attributes the coin with the legend ‘Malai nadu Konda Cholan’ as an issue of Rajadhiraja I while Prof. Nayar takes the ruler as Kulottunga I. I beg to differ from boh the scholars for the following reason. The title Malainadu Konda Chola is not found for either of them in epigraphs or for hat matter in literature. On the other hand, the title is found for Rajaraja Chola I. The Ulas of Ottakkuttan, specifically mention Rajaraja I as Malainadu Kondan. I consider that the coins bearing the legend ‘Malainadu Konda Cholan’ were probably the issues of Rajaraja I. What probably prompted Prof. Sastri to identify him with Rajadhiraja was the No. 34 or 36, which was taken to represent the regnal years. While Rajaraja I ruled only for 30 years. Rajadhiraja I ruled for 36 years. But it is not proved that these figures stand for the regnal years of the ruling monarch. For Sastri himself admits that the figures like 4000 occur on the coins which are not explicable.
The legends on the third group of coins according to Prof. Nayar read Kataikonda Cholan. It is with reference to this group, that the author marshals interesting arguments to establish the reading as Kataikonda instead of Kangaikonda. Katai according to Nayar, is the shortened Tamil fom of Kadaram, which is identical with Kedah of the Malan Peninsula. A chart is added at the end, showing the letter ‘ta’ from contemporary Chola records, to justify the reading Katai. Kalingattupparani refers to the conquest of Kadaram by Kulottunga I. In this connection, the author points out that at the death of his father, Kulottunga did not ascend the throne of Vengi, but allowed his uncle Vijyaditya to rule the Kingdom.
Prof. Nayar, tries to solve this puzzle by suggesting that Kulottunga conquered Kadaram about 1054 A.D., and was actually ruling Kadaram till 1069 A.D. for about 15 years. If Kulottunga could not succeed his father in Vengi, it was because he was away in Kadaram, and his absense was utilized by his uncle to consolidate his own rule. Prof. Nayar also identified Ti-houa-kie-to, the Indian ambassador to China in 1067 A.D., with the Chola king Ti-houa-kic-Ip, who sent an embassy to the same country in 1077 A.D., and concludes that this person, referred to in the Chinese annals none other than Kulottunga himself. Prof. Nayar also agrees with Prof. S.K. Ayyangar that Purvadesam refers to Kingdom of Kadaram including lower Burmah. Prof. Ayyangar was certainly wrong when he made the above suggestion, since many Chola inscriptions refer to Rajendra as the conquerrer of Puradesam, Gangai, and Kadaram, which clearly establish that Purvadesam is different from Kadaram. Regarding the other points raised by Prof. Nayar the following deserve special mention. Neither the contemporary inscriptions nor the contemporary literature, like the Kalingattuparani of the Ulas of Ottakkuttar refer to the sojourn of Kulottunga at Kadaram. On the contrary Kulottunga in his own words, records tahat at the demise of his father he caem to an agreement with his uncle and allowed him to rule the Vengi country. Further Jayamkondar in his Parani, clearly states, that Kulottunga was ruling in the North, when the Chola king passed away at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, and that Kulottunga had to rush to the capital to prevent chaos. The title Kataiknda Chola, is also not found either in inscriptions or in literature.
A few gold coins found in the Nellore district Kavaliavalli Village are said to carry the tiger and the fish on the one side, and on the other the legend Sunga in Tamil characters with the numerical figures 27, 31 and 34.(23) In one type of this variety along with the tiger and fish the legend Kanchi is said to be found in Tamil. While the other side carries the word Sunga(24). Another type of the same variety is said to carry the legend ‘Ne’ in Tamil taken to stand for ‘Nellore’.
Kulottunga I was certainly the master of Kanchi and Nellore region. He had a palace at Kanchi. The Tamil work kalingattupparani extolling his greatness, mention that his commander Karunakara Tondaiman conquered the Kalinga country even while Kulottunga was camping at Kanchi. There is a graphic description of he palace of Kulottunga at Kanchi in the same work. In fact all the Chola monarchs had their palace at Kanchi. But if the reading is correct, the word ‘Kanchi’ would indicate that in 12th century A.D., the custom of indicating the place of minting the coin has come into vogue. Similarly the word ‘Ne’ standing for Nellore. Nellore was equally an important centre and the rulers of Nellore of 12-13th century call themselves Nellore puravaradhisvara
Another coin which is attributed to Kulottunga also needs consideration. It carries on the obverse the usual standing royal figure and on the reverse the seated figure with a Tamil legend said to read Kulottu(nga). Biddaulp reads the legend as Kuna. Chattopadhyaya holds the reading as unlikely. It is the same coin illustrated as No. 140 by Elliot who read it as Kuma Pandya. It is seen from the illustration that only two letters are visible which read “Kula”. It is absolutely clear that there is no possibility of reading the second letter ‘lo’ which would require the curved character before ‘la’ if it is to be read as ‘lo’. The reading is only ‘Kula’ and so the coin cannot be attributed to Kulottunga. Further Paleographially the letter ‘Ku’ seems to be later and in all probability the coin belongs to ‘Kulasekhara Pandya’.
PROF. SASTRI ON CHOLA ECONOMY
Before we take up a brief analysis of the currency value and the economic conditions under the cholas it would be most rewarding to recall what prof. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri has said on this subject.(24)
WAGES AND PRICES
Some idea of the economic condition of the different classes of labourers may be had by a review of the date on wages and prices yielded by the inscriptions. No general statement on the standard of life of the people is possible; much less can we now trace the changes in the standards and tastes of the population. The sources of our information are not sufficiently copious or precise to allow of such attempts being made with success. The permanent staff of village servants and others in the enjoyment of hereditary service-holdings are, of course, not included in the discusson which follows. So also the serfs and slaves are excluded.
The wages of common labour can be estimated from the following instances. The Madras Museum Plates of Uttama Cola record a wage of one kuruni per day and two kalanjus per annum for clothes for a watchman; and six nails per day with half a kalanju per annum for a gardener. At Lalgudi (Trichinopoly district); about A.D. 960, digging was done at the rate of firty kulis per kasu, each kuli being about 10 feet square by two feet and a half. In the village of Kiliyanur (South Arcot), the man appointed to sound the bugle for summoning the sabha had, from A.D. 1001, a fixed wage (nivandam) of two meals a day at the cost of the village, besides the supply of such things required for his personasl use as were sold in the village. In A.D. 1018, the daily wage of a wood-cutter at Nattam (Chingleput) was four nails of paddy per ay, which was also the daily wage of a Brahmin cook. The wage of a palanquin bearer at Tirumukkudal (Chingleput) was also four nails of paddy in the rign of Rajendra I. This was obviously not a full day’s wage for we find that garden labour in the same place and about the same time commanded a wage of ten nails per diem. The same rate is given in a record of Rajadhiraja I as a sort of family wage for the same kind of labour.For lifting water and irrigating gardens and fields, and for gathering flowers and other like operations, the wage of male labourers was eight nails per day at Tiruvamattur (South Arcot) in A.D. 1030; but women employed in makin garlands and flowers were paid only at half the rate. In the reign of Rajadhiraja I, however, the women servants employed in a feeding house at Tiruvenkadu erned a wage of two nails per day. A man employed to supply drinking water in a public place at Tiruvorriyur in 1077 was paid two kasus per annum esides a daily wage of one Kuruni. The rather low wage of two nails per day for a potter and for a fuel supplier at Kudumiyamalai in 1213 was, no doubt, only remuneration for part-time work, the men being free also to work and earn wages elsewhere.
Work that demanded some kind of skill or special equipment in the workman commanded correspondingly higher rates of wages. A certin Tiruvellaraiccakkai was remunerated at the rate of two kalams of paddy for each kuttu, some kind of operatic dance, performed by him; and seven such performances were guaranted to him in a yer in one temple in the reign of Aditya II. Possibly he was free to accept other engagements elsewhere. With this may be compared the permanent endowment of a house and one hundred kalams of paddy per annum for each of the four hundred dancing-girls settled by Rajaraja I around the big temple of Tanjore. Three kurunis per day was the wage-rate fixed by the same monarch for each of the fifty persons of the choir established by him for singing Tiruppadiyam in the temple. The wages mentioned in another Tanjore inscription of the same monarch may also be noted. Each mani (brahmacari) serving in the temple got one padakku (sixteen nails) of paddy per day and four kasus (two kalanjus) of gold per year; ten among them with had vowed permanent service in the temple were to get an extra kuruni (eight nalis) of paddy peer day; twenty others who apparently made garlands were to receive one padakku each pr day and five kasus per annum. An accountant received 200 kalams of paddy per annum, and his assistant seventy-five, which works out at 6 2/3 kurunis and 2 ½ kurunis respectively for a day. An accountant of another, perhaps smaller temple at Periyakorukkai, Trichinopoly district, earned 1 ½ kurunis of paddy a day in the reign of Rajaraja III. An inscription for Tiruvorriyur of 1038 A.D. states that two garlands makers were employed each on a wage of 10 nalis (one padakku and four nails for both) per diem in addition to a kalanju and a half of gold per annuk for clothes; and four Brahmins to recite stotras and Veda at 12 nalis (kuruni and four nails) each per day together with 1 ½ kalanjus of gold per annum for clothes. At Ennayiram, about the same time, the persons who recited Tiruvaymoli were paid, like the reciters of Tiruppadiyan at Tanjore, three kurunis per day, which is twice what the Brahmins of Tiruvorriyur got. The rate of three kurunis also obtained at Tribhuvani for reciting Tiravaymoli in 1048 A.D. whereas the officiating priest got only a padakku per day. A Brahmin appointed to expound the Sivadharma at Tirunagesvaram in 1054 A.D. was also paid seventy-five kalams f paddy in a year, the same as the wage of Junior Accountants of the Tanjor temple. A nimbi, officiating priest in a temple, got two kurunis of paddy pr day at Tirumananjeri, Tanjore district, in addition to sixteen kalams per annum in lieu of two kasus.
The currency of money of small denominations did not altogether displace the ancient habit of exchanging things for corn. The earliest Tamil poems state that salt and venison were exchanged for paddy; to this day, in the villages of South India, housewives may be seen pouring out the grain from their stores into the baskets of hawkers and dairy-women in return for the vegetables, ghee or curd supplied by them. The picture of economic conditions under the Colas will not be complete without some ideaof the relation of paddy to other commodities and to money. Ghee was converted into gold at 9 kurunis per kalanju and fifteen kalam of ghee are equaed to twenty kalanjus of gold. If this rate of converstion followed the prices prevailing at Kalahasti in A.D. 1012, the date of the record, the price of ghee in those days must have been about a sixth or seventh of what it is to-day. A nail and a half of curd was to be had for one nail of paddy, and paddy was selling at seven kalams per pon-kalanju, a price which to all appearance is slightly higher than the prices of 1937. We shall see, however, that the price of paddy in gold varied very much with time and place. At Nattam (Chingleput), three nails of paddy fetched forty-eight betel leaves and twelve area nuts in A.D. 1918. In the same year, at Tiruppangili in the Trichinopoly district, a nail of good dhal was of the same value as five nails of paddy; one palam of crude sugar as two nails of paddy; and one nail of paddy was required to make one curry-offering in the temple. At Tirumukkudal in Chingleput, in A.D. 1016, one nail of oil was bought for four of paddy, one nail of ghee for 1/3 kalam of paddy, and one measure of curd for two of paddy; milk was had also at the same rate, and one nail of turmeric was got for one kuruni of paddy.
Inscriptions recording endowments for charitable feeding often lay down schedules of expenditure calculated to give an idea of the quality of the food supplied and of the prevailing prices of food-stuffs. One record f 1004 A.D. from Tiruvadandai states that it took 5/6 of a kalam of paddy for providing one meal to twelve Brahmins, the items of expenditure being 21 nalis of rice at 1 ¾ nails per heap, (equal to 52 ½ nails of paddy); 6 nalis of paddy for 1 ulakku and 2 ½ sevidus of ghee; 5 nalis for vegetables and 5 per curd ½ nails for salt, 2 nalis for salt; 2 nalis for the man who supplied fleu, four for the Brahmins cook, three for the potter who supplied earthenware, and two nails for betal leaves and nuts. Considering that this allowane of 5/6 kuruni of paddy per head sufficed for a square meal for an adult, the provision of ¾ kurunis for each of the junior pupils and 1 ¾ kuruni for the seniors in the college at Ennayiram, and of ¾ and 1 kuruni respectively at Tribhuvani must be considered fully adequate to their requirements. An inscription of the reign of Kulottunga I, dated 1115 A.D. records that an endowment for feeding fifty Brahmins in a Vaisnava matha and on new moon days was made on the basis of one kuruni per head, and that this included provision for rice, curry, salt, pepper, ghee, curd, earthenware pots, fuel, area nuts and betal leaves.
PRICE ON PADDY
Some variations are recorded in the price of paddy and the rate seems to have generally differed with the fertility of the area concerned. Often these rates are not temporary prices prevalent at the timeof the record, but some standardized average rates to hold good for all future time. At Tiruvallam in North Arcot we find the rate 40 kadis or 13 1/3 kalams per kalanju recorded in A.D. 992; and this is repeated in A.D. 1015 in another inscription from the same district Yet another record of A.D. 1012 from Kalahasti equates one pon to seven kalams, and the pon was the same as the kalanju. Differneces in the measures employed often make close comparison difficult. An inscription of Virarajendra’s reign from Tirumukkudal Chingleput) states that 16 kalams of paddy by the Rajakesari measure was the equivalent of one kalanju. At Tiruppugalur (Tanjore District ) eight kalams perr kasu i.e., sixteen to the kalanju was the price in 1006 A.D. At Cidambaram the spurious inscription of Rajakesari Rajendra gives the rate 8 ½ kalams per kasu, or seventeen kalams to the kalanju. A Rajakesari record gives 15 kalams per kalanju for Pandaravadai (Tanjore); the rate of ten kalams at Tribhuvani in 1048 is high, though not the highest price recorded in the inscriptions of the early period as the basis of a permanent endowment of charities. Twelve kalams per kalanju is found at Nattam (Chingleput District) in A.D. 1018. Early in the reign of Kulottunga I, the kasu still equal to half a mada, fetched only 2 ¾ kalams of paddy at Kolar and 4 kalams at Tiruvorriyur; the relatively high price must have been due to scarcity consequent on the disturbances which caused the death of Adhirajendra and led the war between Calukya Vikramaditya VI and Kulottunga. At the end of Kulottunga’s reign, the Kasu paid for thirteen kalams of paddy in the Tanjore area; but even the mada fetched only eight kalams at Emapperur (South Arcot) in A.D. 1136.
Of the money prices of commodities relatively little is learnt from the inscriptions. Only the more precious articles which formed the staples of long distance trade seem to have been bought and sold for money. The Tanjore inscriptions tell us, for instance, that ne kasu (half-Kalanju) fetched towards the close of the reign of Rajaraja I, 1 ½ kurunis of Cardamum seeds, 2 kurunis of campaka buds, 605 palams of khaskas roots, 2 ½ to 3 kalanjus of camphor, and two palams of sugar which seems to have been a luxury at the time. One kasu (pon) fetched nine ewes at Melappaluvur, (Trichinopoly district) in A.D. 931, and at Senkunram (North Arcot) in A.D. 1014, but a Tanjore inscription gives only three ewes for a kasu. A pasu (cow) is valued at fifteen kasu at Tittagudi (south Arcot) in 1136. The price of a cocoanut tree was 150 kasus at Nallur (Tanjore district) in 1221 if it was yielding fruit (ka-tengu) and 100 if it was not; but the kasu of the time of Rajaraja III was a very depreciated coin.
Of the value of metals we learn incidently that bronze sold at 35 palams per kasu (half kalanju of gold), copper at 30 palams, tin at 26 2/3 palams, and tara (alloy) at 70 palams; these rates are found in a record of A.D. 1099 from Tiruppanandal.
Figures bearing on the value of land reveal equally disparate conditions. The prices stated differ so widely from place to place and among different transactions that it is impossible to attempt a detailed explanation of such differences without an accurate knowledge of the quality of the land concerned, or to institute comparisons with present conditions in respect of land-values. A rough idea may be gathered from a few examples chosen at random which will show not merely the difference in values, but wide divergences in the rates at which future dues on land were capitalized for the advance payment of the irai-kaval, the ‘tax-fund’ as it may be called. At Tiruvaiyaru (Tanjore district), in A.D. 1006, one veli of land was sold for 100 kalanjus of gold. At Kuttalam in Tinnevelly, 8 mas of land including the tax dues on it were valued at 43 kasus in the fourth year of Rajendra I. Two years later, in the Tanjore district, 2 velis and 8 mas of wet land including a tank together with dry land of the same extent were sold for the low amount of 10 Kasus, though the irai-kaval on it was 190 kasus. The low sale price in this instance was perhaps due to the temple. In the same year and place, another sale records the price of 40 kasus and irai-kaval of 90 for just one veli of land, which looks more normal. One Madhurantakam madai fetched two hundred and fifty kulis of land or one-eight of a veli at Tiruvorriyur in the thirtieth year of Rajendra I. Land of the extent of three and a half veils and two mas was sold for 50 kasus and an eqal amount provided for bringing it under the plough at Tiruvarur in the eight year of Rajendra II. One veli of land was sold at 20 kasus at Kancipuram in 1073; and for a little less at Tiruvorriyur. In 1126, dry land of the extent of 4250 kulis was sold for twenty kasus at Tiruvottur, North Arcot. In 1133, four veils of land fetched a price of 90 kasus at Uttattur, Trichinopoly district, each kasu being equal to three-fourth of a kalanju of gold. Land yielding a melvaram of 120 kalams per veli was valued at 40 kasns and 45 kasus at Tiruvarur, Tanjore district in tenth regnal year of Kulottunga II, A.D. 1143.
In the fourth regnal year Rajendra II issued an order to several villages in the Tanjore district, a samudaya tirumugam as it was called regulating the prices of land sales in the whole of Virudarajabhayankara-valanadul the settlement resulting from this order was to supersede the tenancy conditions that had obtained till the fifteenth year of his predecessor.The new terms which were fixed by a number of high officials acting together applied to different categories of tenure such as devadana, brahmadeya, palliccandam, rajakulavar-kanipparru etc.
The kasu, as pointed out elsewhere, underwent a rather steeply progressive debasement, or more probably the term came to be applied in later inscriptions to a new coin of much lower denomination.The price of land as stated in terms of this new coin will not bar any direct comparison with the prices mentioned above. Thus at Tiruppalanam, one ma of land ws valued at 2000 kasus, working to 40000 kasus per veli in 1214 A.D. and the price of veli, at Kumbakonam in 1220 is said to have been 25,747 kasus. About the same time, one ma of land which stood in need of reclamation was valued in Tiruvenkadu at 1334 kasus, the cost of reclamation being estimated at 500 kasus. Again land of the extent of 2 velis and 19 mas was sold at Kumbakonam in 1221 A.D. for a sum of 4,50,000 kasus. About the same time, house-site was valued at 40 kasus per kuli at Nallur and 16 kasus at Tiruvalanadu (Tanjore). It would seem that the kasu became a coin of somewhat higher value after the close of the reign of Rajaraja III for the inscriptions of Rajendra III record prices of landed property that suggest such a conclusion. Two house-sites of the total extent of twelve manaik-kol were sold for 700 kasus at Kuttalam (Tanjore) in 1261; one veli and 16 mas of agricultural land were exchanged five yars later, at Tirukkannapuram, for 5350 kasus, which we learn was the equivalent of thirteen kalanjus of gold; lastly, at Tiruvilimilalai, nineteen mas of land found a sale for 1000 kasus and a house-site of 10 kulis for 300 kasus, in 1267. Rajendra III made a great effort to resuscitate the Cola empire, and a reform of currency must have been part of his plan. It will be noted also that most of the records of the later Cola period come from the Tanjore district, proof of the waning and disappearance of the direct influence of the central government in the outlying parts.
In comparing the figures cited above with one another, it should be borne in mind that neither the unit of measurement nor the unit of currency was constant, and that owing to local variations in the length of the measuring rod and the number of kulis that went to the ma, and owing to the currency of various types of old and new money of varying weights and fineness, any attempt to make a detailed comparison is rendered altogether fruitless.
Closely allied to agriculture was cattle-raising and dairy-farming, an industry pursued generally by the manradis or shepherds. Here again, we depend much on the temple records for our information. The manradis seem to have been organized in a professional caste group (kalanai) and generally taken charge of the cattle donated to the temples for the maintenance of lamps under stated conditions. Though the pasu (cow) and adu (ewe) area sometime used only as units of reckoning, still in the majority of instances there is no doubt that live animals are meant, and often enough, breeding bulls and rams form part of the gifts. The importance of cattle-farming may also be inferred from the names of several imposts the exact nature of which is ot fully known, such as nalla, nallerudu, alagerudu kasu and so on.
On customs and octroi duties in this period we have little direct evidence. Kulottunga I is celebrated in contemporary literature and epigraphy for abolishing the sungam. We seen to have no detailed account of this most important trnsaction of the reign, and there is no means of knowing how this was managed, and what steps, if any were taken to fill the gap in the revenues of the government caused by the remission. The word sungam is explained generally as including all the imposts on articles of merchandise imported in ships and carts, that is to say, from across the seas or the interior.
The ‘I.O.U.’ as an instrument of borrowing was apparently in common use. It is mentioned quite casually in an inscription from Tiruvaduturai of the reign of Rajaraja I. The sabha of that place owed some money to a Kaikkola which they have borrowed from him on a promissory note (Kaiyeluttolai). For some reasons not recorded the entire property of the Kaikkolan became rajasvam, that is, it was confiscated by the king who naturally sought thereupon to realize the money due from the sabha. These facts are recorded in explanation of the assignment to the temple of some of the village lands in lieu of the money then borrowed by the sabha for paying of the king. Another instance of borrowing on a promissory note is the loan of 100 kasus from a temple in Punjai to the mula-parudai of Talaiccangadu mentioned in an inscription of the reign of Rajendra I.
Wide divergences are traceable in the rate of interest on loans, and also in he manner in which the rate is 12 ½% per annum, of ½ kalanju pr Kalanju of gold, was for long the standard rate on the investment of religious endowments, though 15 percent or 3 manjadi per kalanju, also obtained in many instances. The lowest rate met with is 5 percent or one manjadi per kalanju, though this rate is coupled with the reign of Vijaya Kampavarman, and not a Cola king. Higher raes of money interest are also found though not so frequently as the normal 12 ½ of 15 percent. Thus we have rates like 12 ½ percent per half-year (pu) working to 25 percent per annum; for hundred kalanjus, yielding one hundred and fifty per annum, 37 ½ percent; or even a 50 percent rate expressed as half kasu per annum per kalam. These rates cannot be explained easily at present. It is certain, however, that they are not due to differences either in the purpose of the loan or investment or in the political conditions affecting social security. The Rastrakuta invasion made little difference in the prevailing rate of interest as can be seen from inscriptions quoting Krsna’s regnal years; the higher and the lower rates of interest alike prevail in the reign of Rajendra I, when there was little or no disturbance to internal security. Very often the rate of interst is expressed in terms of commodities and sometimes even the principal of the loans is also given quantity of some commodity, usually grain. The divergences in the commodity-rates are quite as wide and as unaccountable as in money-rates. The lowest grain-rate of interest per kalanju of gold is one kalam per annum; the highest rate goes up to 3 kalams; and even four; the more common rate is in the neighbourhood of a kalam, or a kalam and third. In one and the same region and at the same time, who village assemblies are seen borrowing from one creditor, a temple, at the different rates of 2.3 kalam and one kalam per kalanju per annum. Generally high rates of interest, seldom less than 25 percent, are quoted when the principal is expressed in terms of grain, and in one case there occurs the impossibly high rate of 75 per cent per annum. Another way in which different rates of interest find expression is by means of the adoption of different rates of capitalization for purposes of endowments of the same service; thus the supply of a quarter measure of oil every day is provided for by the endowment of 18 kalanju 3 manjadis and 1 kunri of gold in one instance, and by that of just 10 kalanjus in another.
That there must have been a great amount of borrowing and lending among traders and merchants in the normal course of their business we may take for granted; but of such transactions no record seems to have survived. Almost all the investments recorded in the inscriptions are of charitable funds generally ear-marked for specific purposes, and some-times a certain stability is imparted to these purposes, by the investments and the terms governing them being made irrevocable. Thus a merchant from Malai-nadu invested 16 ½ kalanju of gold in a vadakkadan, permanent loan, from the interest where of twelve Brahmins were to be fed for one month (Kumbha) every year in the temple of Varahadeva at Tiruvadandai (Chingleput). Again the ur of Koneri accepted a loan of five kalanjus from a temple (Kancipuram) subject to the conditions that they should pay interest at 1 2/3 kalam per kalanju per annum and that they should at no time offer to return the principal of the loan. An inscription from Malurpatna (Bangalore) of the reign of Rajendra I provides another example which is of great interest for the sanction it lays down to enforce conformity to the terms of the loan. The grain-principal (nellu-mudal) of the perpetual loan was 320 kalams and the rate of interest 3 ¾ kurunis per kalam per annum yielding in all100 kalam in a year, to be remitted in two instalments, 50 kalams at each of the two harvests. The borrowers were the members of the sabha of Vandur who agred to give two meals a day to the persons delegated to cllect this grain-interest these persons might resort, if necessary, to process of distraint such as stopping the supply of water and fires surrounding the habitation, and impounding cattle, nothing is stated in explanation of these rather drastic sanctions and we cannot say if they ever were actually enforced. The problem of modern finance is to fund public debts in order to secure stable interest charges; the problem that the temples of South India had to face one was that of secring a fixed income as interest on their investments, of funding their loans as it were.
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY
The transfer of immovable property by sale or gift was generally attended with more formalities than that of movables. The ordinary transactions among individual owners are seldom presented in the records before us. Only those of public interest are found recorded in inscriptions, and an analysis of the sales of land so recorded reveal, that at least four types were distinguished among them. They are 1 Ajnakrayam, 2 The peruvilai (great sale) of some king (named) 3 The peruvilaii of Candesvara and, 4 Sabhaivilai or ur-vilai. The first of these was sale by ajna or royal order of the properties of persons found guilty of treason against the king or his family. The leading example of this class is the sale recorded in the Udaiyargudi inscription of the properties of persons involved in the murder of Aditya II. The peruvilai of the kings was the sale of the lands of cultivators in the processes of revenue-collection when other means of collection had failed. The Candesvara-peruvilai was the sale of land by siva temple, Candesvara representing siva as his adi-dasa, first devotee, in such transactions. The corresponding term, if any, for describing sale by Visnu temples was senapati-vilai. The sabhai or ur-vilai was, as the name implies, the sale of land from the comman land of the commune effected by he local assembly of the village. A careful study of the prices mentioned in these different classes of sales points to the conclusion aht they were often governed by extra-economic considerations, and this may be the reason why the nature of the sale was specifically mentioned in each such case. The rates specified had apparently little or no relation to the market value of land in neighbourhood. It is pobable that in the peruvilai (lit. great sale) something like a public auction was the method of sale followed the usual procedure being to cry out the upset price in a public place at the time fixed in advance, and await the response of those present at the sale. It is doubtful if it was a real auction where bidding against one another on the part of the buyers was allowed; the formula in the inscriptions suggests terms, if any, on whih he property was offered, and the acceptance by the buyer.
The main features of the formulae adopted in documents sale or gift deeds, conveying property in land may briefly noted. The minute care with which the boundaries were described in each case may be seen from the copper-plate grants like those of Anbil, Anaimangalam, Tiruvalangadu and Karandai (Tanjore). The same feature marks the stone inscriptions as well, though the description is often more summary in form and therefore much shorter than in the copper-plates. Then the phrase mihudik-kurai-ulladanga., including excess or shortage’, is invariably employed, and this implies that the boundaries rather than the measurements stated formed the decisive factors. Then three occurred phrases which excluded other properties like old devadanas, canals, roads etc, which were not meant to be conveyed. Like gift-deeds, sale-deeds conveyed. These included the ownership of the subsoil, trees, hills, wells etc., irrigation rights, leasement rights and so on. The document usually concluded with a declaration that the price agreed upon had been fully paid and the land duly conveyed, and that the document concerned was to serve as the acquittance for the sale price and that no other receipt or acquittance was to be demanded in the future. One sale deed from Arpakkam dated 1232 A.D. contains the following provisions; a declaration was discovered, the vendor would release the land from it; the usual clause about acquittance for the sale price; a declaration that the purchaser acquired all the rights over the land including the rights to sell, mortgage and give away; that the vendor was not to raise objections at a later stage and plead that document was void on the score of imperfect wording, illegibility of letters and so on. An inscription from Tiruvannamalai (1204) records a resolution of the Mahesvaras that houses built on sites in the Tirumadai-vilangam (temple area) where to be sold at a price to be fixed by a superintendent (kankani) from the temple treasury, and that half the sale proceeds must be remitted to the temples, the owner of the house being entitled only to the balance. Very often a payment is made in addition to the price of land to cover the future taxes and dues on the land so that it may be conveyed tax-free; in these cases this further payment is also mentioned in the documents and the taxes inended to be remitted specified in detail. Sometimes the irai-kaval was a separate document, that is when the taxes were commuted some time after the purchase of the land.
TWO WEIGHT STANDARDS
Two weight systems are traceable from the ancient coins of the South. ‘The gold gadyana coin of the Deccan averages 58 grains, he heaviest reaching 60-1 grains’; this was the standard unit called gadyana or kalanju in the Tamil country. If the weight of the lost gold coin of Uttama Colan, figured by Elliot is correctly recorded as 50 to 60 grains, this coin must have followed the old gadyana standard and must have remained in circulation lae in the tenth century. The survival to late times of a small cess called Kumarakaccanam may be accepted as confirmation of the same fact. But in the Cola period the more usual standad was the kalanju of twenty manjadis equal in theory to 72 grains, but sometimes going upto 80. It is apparently this unit of bullion weight that is employed in an inscription of the thirtieth year of Parantaka I, which equates the kalanju with the niska (Sanskrit). When exactly the Cola currency was brought into line with this weight standard does not admit of preise determination.
By the side of several inscriptions which seem to employ the kalanju in recording payments by weight, there are some which mention the pon and equate it to the kalanju, implying thereby that the pon was coined gold of the full weight of one kalanju. This coin was also called madhurantakadevan-madai, served as the standard of fineness for testing gold, and yielded the same interest as one kalanju of fine gold. This coin is mentioned in the thirty-first year of Rajarajadeva, and if this king was Rajaraja I, as seems likely its issue must have been commenced undere his predecessor Madhurantaka Uttama Cola.
Exactly half of this madai was the Rjarajan kasu, issued apparently by Rajaraja I. But the kasu of this weight and fineness was certainly in use earlier than the time of Rajaraja I. A record of the fourth year of Aditya II mentions that twenty kasus were equal to ten kalanjus. It was in vogue after Rajaraja also, as the same relation between the kasu and kalanju reappears in some of the later inscriptions. In fact both the madai and the kasu, the standard gold coins of the realm, were issued by each one of the cola kings of the period before 1070 the different issues being distinguished in epigrphy by the names of the kings being prefixed to those of the coins in question: thus we have expressions like the madai of Rajaraja, the madai of Rajendracolan, a phrase of which by the way makes it more likely that the mahurantakadevan-madai was issued by Rajaraja’s predecessor, anradu-narkasu meaning ‘good current kasu,’ and palangasu (‘old kasu’) and sometimes even anradu-(nar)palangasu, current (good) old kasu in later inscriptions.
The madharantakan madai was still current in the reign of Kulotunga I; and it is said to have been equivalent to the kalanju of the fineness of 9 ½ mari or two kasus. That this high standard was not maintained at all times in the actual currency goes without saying, and the inscriptions give valuable evidence on the extent of the departure from the standard at different times and places.”
This somewhat long citation from K. A. Nilakanta Sastri’s views on the economic condition under the Cholas, would give a comprehensive idea about the state of currency from 9th to 13th century A.D. and can hardly be improved. However, there are still some aspects, which could be enlarged and commented in the light of full texts of inscriptions published in recent years. A fresh work similar to the one by A. Appadurai is a desideratum. In the following paragraphs, an attempt is made to focus attention on some aspects of the problems.
Prof. Sastri has drawn our attention to the variation in prices of land in different transactins and the difficulty in attempting any generalisation.(25) A glance at the tale given by A. Appadurai, in his ‘Economic conditions in Southern India’,(26) would show the differences. In 962 A.D. 1 veli of land in Tanjore was valued at 312 kalanju and 22 years later, it is found to be 25,747 kasu, in the same region. About five years later, 1 veli cost about 5187 ½ kasu. About fifty years laterr, 1 veli cost about 5187 ½ kasu. About fifty years later, one veli yielded 3000 kasu in the same lae. Chattopadhyaya, in his ‘Coins and currency systems in Southern India’ discussing this difficulty, rightly points out that instead of attempting to arrive at a conlusion on the basis of theoritcal standars, it would be advantageous to examine the coins that have come down, to evaluate the standards(27).
VARIATION IN WEIGHT AND FINENESS
It has been shown that the weight of the gold coin varied from 55 to 70 graiins. The available gold, silver, and copper coins, of one and the same ruler show variation in size and weight. Forr example, the copper coins, bearing the legend Rajaraja, are found in various sizes and weights. It has been shown that coins were issued by not only the royal mint, but also various guilds and corporations. The variation in sizes and weights might possibly be due to this factor. However, it is very clear that, the King’s government fixed a specific standard of weight and fineness for the currency system. This is evident from the expression as Tippokku Sempon, Sevvaikkasu, Tulaikkal etc. In some cases, the epigraphs, explicitly state that, the coin is tested for fineness by the village touch-stone-Ur Kal Cemmai. An inscription in the reign of Parakesari (Parantaka I) from Thiruviramisvaram, states that 10 Kalanju gold tested by that village stone 'þùç÷ì ¸øÄ¡ø ¦À¡ý 10 ¸ÆïÍ'. In the reign of the same ruler, 15 Kalanju gold were gifted as Irai Kaval (tax-guard). Refering to the coin the record states that the coin ws both in fineness and quality, of the required standard and tested by the village standard stone. ¦ºõ ¦À¡ý ¸¨Æïº¢ø §À÷òÐ ¯¨ÃÔõ Ð¨ÇÔõ ÅØÅ¡¾Ð þùçÃ¡Î ¸øÄ¡ø ¦¸¡ñ¼ ¦À¡ý 15 ¸ÆïÍ. þ¨È¸¡Åø ¾¢ÃÅ¢Âõ ¦¸¡ñ¼ ¦À¡ý 15 ¸ÆïÍ. Another inscription dated in the 3rd year of a Parakesari from Kilaiyur, Mayuram Taluk, 8 kalanju of gold equal to 5 kalanju of gold is referred to "¦À¡ý ³í¸Æïº¢ø ´ò¾ ¦À¡ý ±ñ ¸ÆïÍõ".
From Somur, in Karur Village comes an inscription of Parakesari (probably Parantaka I) dated in his 31st year (938 AD) referring to 5 kalanju of Pon, weighted by the standard weight, eght kasuka. This indicates that the kalanju gold was weighted against a standards tone(30). These instances clearly show, that the concept the currency should have approved weight and fineness was recognised enforced and issued by the King’s Government. At the same time coins of different fineness and standards were in circulation. It became therefore necessary to test each coin, in the respective village. The variation observed in prices is due to this reason, which is one among other reasons for such differences. Some records make specific reference to the relationship between the coin given and the standard coin but such cases are only few and far in between. In many instances this relationship is not mentioned which makes a critical assessment difficult. However with reference to gold coins, the variation ought to have been within recognizable limit. But when the variation ought to have been within recognizable limit. But when the variation was in terms of 100 or even 1000 then it should be attributed to the change in metal, (either silver or copper) rather than depreciation in the value of gold. The enormous difference for one veli of land noticed in the table of Appadurai should be considered mainly due to this factor; the lower number representing gold coins, and the higher number representing copper coins. By and large in the early period, from 9th to 12th century A.D., the transactions were mainly in gold coins. From 12th century onwards, silver and copper coins, begin to appear largely in records though they are not specifically mentioned by their metal as in the case of gold. For example, Appadurai states thatin 962 A.D., ½ Veli of land in Tanjore cost 156 Kalanju of gold (No. 1 of the table) but in 989 in the same place, 1 Veli was valued 25,747 Kasus (No.2 of the table.) While in the former case the value works out to 312 Kalanju in the later 25,747 Kasu. Obviously the later currency was a copper coin. Further the date 989 A.D. assigned to the later inscription, seems to be wrong. This inscription probably belongs to 13th century. The error might have crept in due to the fact that nscription might begin ith the introduction ‘Rajaraja deva’ and taken to refer to Rajaraja I, while it actually was a recrd of Rajaraja III.
The following table would show, that in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries A.D., it was the gold coin which was widely used in transactions,
|KING||VILLAGE||DISTRICT||FOR 1 PERPETUAL LAMP|
|Aditya I||Lalgudi||Trichy||20 kalanju|
|Parantaka I||Udaiyarkudi||S. Arcot||13 ½ kalanju|
|Thirupparkadal||N. Arcot||15 3/8 kalanju|
|Arinjaya||12 ½ kalanju|
|Uttama Chola||12 ½ kalanju|
|Aditya II||Thiruvialur||Tanjore||15 kalanju|
|Rajaraja I||25 kalanju|
|Rajaraja II||25 kalanju|
By far the majority of the inscriptions of the early period refer to the endowments made for burning perpetual lamps in the temples. Over 50 percent of such records deal with mainly gift of sheep and occasionally cows or buffaloes. A survey of such recores show, that a fixed number, or money was prescribed for a perpetual lamp. This also included a fixed quantity, to be measured daily for burning he perpetual lamps. Occasionally there are some minor variations noticed, but these should be cnsiderred as exceptions made by the temple administrative Committee or the Village Assembly.For example, in a number of inscriptions dated in the reigns of Arinjaya, Aditya Ii and Uttamachola, 12 ½ Kalanju f gold were endowed for burning one perpetual lamp and the party in whose hands the endowment was entrusted, was expected to measure one Ulakku of ghee daily for burning the lamp.(31) The same amount found in a number of inscriptions, shows that there was uniformly fixed amount stipulated for endowments and the value of the currency recognised. Some inscriptions specifically mention(32) that 12 ½ Kalanju gold equalled 96 sheep and one tagar which indicates that 1 Kalanju, fetched 8 sheep approximately. In some instances 25 Kalanju were endowed for the one lamp. The quantiy of ghee to be measured daily doubled in this instance. The 25 Kalanju of gold, fetched ¼ Cey of land was equal to 100 Kalanju. Inscription 58/19 refers to 13 ½ Kalanju which fetched 96 sheep, gifted for one perpetual lamp. It is not known whether the additional amount of one Kalanju (12 ½ + 1) was meant towares the cost of lamp or the gold was a little sub-standard one. 10, 15, 25, 25 ½, 30 or 32 Kalanju are also found in records. The variations should be attributed either to the variation in quantity to be measured daily or the variation in the standard of gold gifted. In the reign of Sundara Chola Pandya(33) 15 Kasus were the capital for measuring one Ulakku of ghee; 25 Cows(34) and 50 sheep (¦ÅûÇ¡Î) were endowed for the same purpose.(35) Two denomination of coins seems to havae been in circulation, (1) in terms of 1/20, 1/40, 1/80 Kani, 5/8 Kani, and ma etc. and (2) 1, ½, ¼, 1/8 etc. For one Veli of dry land, the taxation was 3 5/8 Kasu. In Ambasamudram, 20 sheep (25?).(36) In Sermadevi, 50 Semmari Adu were gifted for measuring 1 Ulakku and 1 Alakku ghee daily,(37) In fact in other inscriptions it appears for one Ulakku alone, 50 sheep were gifted. It means the Semmari was supposed to yield more milk or its value was higher than Velladu. ¸¡Í 35+1/4 = 3/80 mentioned in Thiruvalisvaram.(38) For ½ a lamp to measure Alakku ghee were gifted three Buffaloes.(39) In the reign of Vikrama Chola Pandya 12 Kasus deposited for measuring one Ulakku daily.Fine for default was 5 Kalanju(40). In another instance, ¼ Cey of land was bought for 25 Kalanju of gold in the middle of 10th century A.D. in the reign of Aditya II(41). In the 4th year of Parakesari (probably Parantaka-I ….?) 4 ma and 3 Kani of land cost 20 pon of which the endomwnet of tax (tax guard - þ¨È¸¡Åø) was nearly thrice that (of the cost of the land(42). Another inscription from Kilappaluvur dated in the 8th year of Parakesari, shows that 2 ma of land was sold for 8 Kalanju (¾£ô§À¡ìÌî ¦ºõ¦À¡ý). Another inscription of Parakesari dated in the next year (9th year) from the same village, shows that 2 ½ ma (Cey) land was sold for 15 Pon(42). It is almost the same price as the previous one. Another inscription from Govindaputur, in the 8th year of Parakesari, records 230 Sevvaikkasu as the price of 111 (¦ºù¨Åì ¸¡Í ¿¢¨Èô ¦À¡ý 230 ¸ÆïÍ.)(44). A 12th year record of Parakesari from Kilaiyur, records 2 ½ Ma of land, was sold for 25 Ilak-karum-kasu (®Æì ¸Õí¸¡¸) (45). We have seen that I ma was sold for approximately 5 Kalanju of gold, but in this instance the cost of one ma of land a equal to 10 Kalanju of Ilak-karum-kasu. Obviously this Ilak-karunkaju was not a gold coin but either a silver or lead coin. The meaning of the word Ilak-karum-kasu is the “Ceylonese – Black-Coin”. It is not clear that the term black coin stands for. Either it stands for base silver or lead coin. If it meant lead coin, then the value off lead seems to have been very high. An inscription from Lalkudi, in the reign of Parakesari, 16th year 6 ma and 1 Kasu of land was sold for 30 Kalanju of gold(46). The land value continues to remain 5 Kalanju per ma.An interesting inscription from Tillaisthanam, dated in the 24th year of Parantaka equates 40 Illakkalanju with 20 Kalanju gold. (®Æì¸ÆïÍ ¿¡üÀ¾¢É¡ø ¦À¡ý 20 ¸ÆïÍ) This shows that the exchange value of 1 Kalanju of gold remained 2 Ila kalanju, in the early 10th century A.D. It is also seen that the term Ilak-karun-kasu and Ilak-kalanju were synonyms. The word Kalanju was also used in a general sense, of currency, like Kasu.(47)
CURRENCY SYSTEM UNDER RAJARAJA I
One of the greatest administrators of India was Rajaraja Chola I and his records, particularly the ones from his temple at Tanjore give us insight ito the value system obtained in his reign. While detailing the taxes to be paid by various villages which were transferred to the great temple of Tanjore, the record specifies the paddy measured by the standard measure Adavallan, and the gold and coins determined as tax.
þ¨È ¸ðÊÉ ¿¢Äò¾¡ø ¸¡½¢ì¸¼ý
±ýÛõ ÁÃì¸¡Ä¡ø «Çì¸ì¸¼Å ¦¿øÖõ,
þ¼ì¸¼Å ¦À¡ýÛõ ¸¡Íõ §Àº¢ì¸øÄ¢ø ¦ÅðÊÉ"(48)
It shows that both unminted gold in weight and minted coins were accepted as tax, the expression Pon and Kasu (¦À¡ýÛõ ¸¡Íõ) indicating the distinction. Besides this regulative statement at the beginning, the body of the inscription also makes the distinction between Pon and Kasu, for example the village Kuruvaniyakkudi, in Thiruvali nadu, paid a tax of 304 Kalanju, 3 manjadi, 9 ½ ma of gold (pon); the village Andakkudi in Perumbur nadu, in pandinadu paid 284 ½ Kasu 2 ma and 1 ½ Kani; the village Perayur, in Perayur nadu, in Tondainadu, paid a tax of 202 Kalanju, 13 manjadi 1 ma, 3 Kasu of gold Pon. These instances show, gold in weight and as minted coin was accepted for transactions and in a number of records, reference to Kalanju might mean gold in weight rather than minted coin. There were two standard weights-one for gold, weighed by the stone Adavallan and the other for coin, weighed by the stone the Kasukal (Coin-stone) called Dakshinameru Vitankan. The denominations of Kalanju as recorded in these inscriptions are Kalanju, manjadi, ma, Kani) The other denomination mentioned are Kalanju, Manjadi and Kunri (Kalanju divided into ¼, ½. ¾ & 1) But it is clear that the Kasu mentioned in Rajaraja’s Tanjore inscriptions are gold coins. Sastri has demonstrated that madai was equal to one Kalanju of gold and that Kasu was equal to ½ Kalanju of gold. It is interesting to mention that in the inscriptions of Tanjore, only Kalanju and Kasu figure, madai being conspicuous by its absense. Evidently, either the madai was not minted in large numbers or were not very popular, Kalanju continuing to hold the pre-eminant position. Among the gold coins so for discovered only coins of three weight standards are known (1) weight ranging between 60 and 70 grains (2) weight approximately 7 grains and (3) weight 1.7 grains.
Whether the coins ranging in weight between 60 and 70 be identified with Kalanju (madai) or Kasu which was half in value as that of Kalanju. If these coins, are taken to be the Kalanju (madai), then it would show that we have not recovered any Kasu, which should range in weight between 30 and 35 grains. (no gold coin in this weight range has been recorded so for). If one the contrary these represent Kasu, then no Kalanju (madai) which should range between 120-140 grains have come down to us. This problem requires further study. Similarly if the coins weighing approximately 7 grains are identified with the manjadi of the inscriptions, then ten such coins would equal one kalanju. According to a traditional weight standard, preserved by the merchantile community of Tamilnad, 10 manjadis equal 1 Kalanju(49) But this equation is at variance with the inscriptions which show 20 manjadis as equal to 1 Kalanju. A separate detailed study might throw some light on the subject.
Reverting back to the study of Rajaraja’s epigraph, we find that one Kasu fetched three ewes. The record specifically mentions that the calculations were made at the rate of 3 ewes for one Kasu. In the same inscription two Akkams fetched one ewe. It equates 6 akkams with 1 Kasu. In some cases 1 kasu fetched 4 ewes as well. Probably the ewes were of inferior bread. From this epigraph we learn, that the price of one ewe was 1/3 Kasu, 1 Cow was 2/3 Kasu, 1 Buffalow was 2 Kasus. Rajaraja’s inscription give valuable information about the cost of making various jewels which included gold, the rubies and gems, etc. a few off which ae listed below.
PRICES OF JEWELS
Thirppattikai- gold – 10 ¾ Kalanju, 3 Manjadi, 1 Kunri. Lacquer – 8 Kalanju – 7 manjadi. Pinju – ¾ Kalanju. Palingu – 1 Kalanju Potti 3 – 3 manjadi Pearls – 1512 – 41 Kalanju – 7 manjadi Coral – 24 – ¾ Kalanjn – 3 manjadi1 Kunri. Total weight 63 Kalanju-9 manjadi Price 90 Kasu. (It is evident from the above 2 Kunri 1 manjadi and 20 manjadi-Kalanju). Another Pattikai Total weight of which 63 ½ Kalanju 1 manjadi Price 90 Kasu Another Pattikai Total weight 65 ½ Kalanju 1 manjadi Price 95 Kasu Bangle of Pearls Gold 5 Kalanju 9 manjadi Kunri Pearsl 10 Kalanju 1 manjadi 1 kunri Total weight 15 Kalanju- 11 manjadi Price 25 Kasu Bangle of Pearls Total weight of 16 Kalanju 1 manjadi Price 27 Kasu Bangle of Pearls Total weight 16 Kalanju 7 manjadi 1 Kunri Price 30 Kasu Sri Nudi (Kirite) Gold 38 ¾ kalanju 4 manjadi 1 kunri Palinggu 124 1 Kalanju 9 manjadi 1 Kunri Diamond 71 3 manjadi 1 Kunri Potti 32 7 manjadi 1 Kunri Pinju 1 ½ Kalanju Pearls 234 7 Kalanju Total 49 ½ Kalanju Price 82 Kasu Golden Garland Gold 7 ½ Kalanju 1 manjadi 2 ma Pinju 6 manjadi 1 Kunri Palingu 71 Kalanju 1 manjadi Diamond 62 1 manjadi Potti 3 3 ma Pearls No. 145 ¾ Kalanju manjadi 1 Kunri 9 Kalanju 6 manjadi 5 ma (This makes it clear that 5 ma were equal to 1 Kunri). Price 18 Kasu Sri Chandam Total weight 41 Kalanju 3 manjadi 1 Kunri Price 55 Kasu Purakkudai (Umbrella) Gold 71 Kalanju 1 ma Palingu 81 2 Kalanju Diamond 16 Pinju 2 Kalanju 8 manjadi Kunri Pearls 1272 23 Kalanju 4 manjadi 1 Kunri Total weight 99 Kalanju 9 manjadi Price 160 Kasu Thiruppattikai Total weight 1051 Kalanju 9 manjadi 1 kunri Price 2000 Kasu Chain (necklace) Total weight 179 Kalanju 7 manjadi. Price 500 Kasu. Pullikai Kantanan Including diamond 76 Manikkam 24, Maragatam 14 Total weight 120 Kalanju Price 301 Kasu. Padakkam Weight 13 Kalanju 1 manjadi Price 27 Kasu. Ratna Valayil (Bangle of rubies) Weight 9 Kalanju 1 manjadi 8 ma. Price 20 Kasu 1 ma
A few more epigraphs may be examined now. In some epigraphs the interest is calculated for one Tingal. Tingal generally means month orr day. An inscription of Rajaraja I, 989-990 a.D., from Thiruvisalur in Tanjore district, calculates the interest in terms of month. 100 coins were deposited or feeding Brahmins. 1 ¼ kasu was levied as interest for 100 kasu per month which yielded 15 kasu annually. This works out to 15 percent annual interest(50). "þì¸¡Í áÚìÌõ ¾¢í¸û ´ý§È ¸¡ø ¸¡Íõ ÀÄ¢¨ºÂ¡ø ´Ã¡ñ¨¼ìÌ ÅóÐ ÀÄ¢¨ºì¸¡Í À¾¢¨ÉïÍ" Further this record states one Kasu equaled 10 Kalam of paddy. An inscription dated 1075-76 A.D. in the reign of Kulottunga I from Kanchipuram, calculates interest at the rate of 1/8 Dramma for Kasu per month. 108 Kasu were deposited and the interest that accrued is said to be 27 Kasu.
§¸ÃÇ¡ó¾¸Á¡Ã¡Âý Àì¸ø ¦¸¡ñ¼ «ýÈ¡¼ ¿ü¸¡Í 108 ¦¸¡ñ¼ ÀÃ¢º¡ÅÐ ¸¡Í ´ýÚìÌ 1/8 ¾¢ÃõÁÁ¡¸ ¦À¡Ä¢Å¾¡¸×õ ¸¡Í áü¦ÈðÎìÌõ ¾¢ÃÁõ ¸¡Í 27-õ ¦¸¡ñÎ
The inscription is said to be some what damaged. It is not known whether the 27 kasu was the annual interest for the 108 kasu or monthly interest. In all probability it denotes annual interest in which case one kasu was equal to 6 drammas. It is possible the kasu of this record was a gold coin and drama a silver coin(51).
In the 12th century A.D., the gold and probably silver continued to dominate the market. For example, in 1123 A.D. under Vikrama Chola, one perpetual lamp was endowed for which 1 Kasu was gifted(52). In 1130 A.D. in the same place 12 Kasu were endowed. 10 Kasu were endowed for one twilight lamp under Rajendra II(53). In another village named Kottur, for 1 twilight lamp 10 kasu were gifted under the same ruler(54). In Sekal village, 100 kasu were deposited under the same ruler for one perpetual lamp. The coin was probably a silver coin.(55)
þÅý Àì¸ø ¦À¡ý ¦¸¡ñÎ ¦À¡Ä¢äð¼¡¸ ¿¡í¸û ¦¸¡ñ¼ «ýÈ¡¼ ¿ü¸¡Í 100. þì¸¡Í áÚí ¦¸¡ñÎ þò¾¢Õ ¦¿¡ó¾¡ Å¢ÇìÌ ±Ã¢ì¸ì ¸¼§Å¡Á¡§É¡õ.
COPPER COINS PREDOMINATE
In the 13th century A.D., a definite change is noticed as the coins are mentioned in thousands under the later Cholas, Hoysalas and pandyas, though here and there gold coins are also referred to. In the reign of Kulottunga II 400 Kasu were gifted(56) for one perpetual lamp. In the reign of the same ruler, in his 30th year 4000 coins were deposited for one perpetual lamp. Obviously the former was a silver kasu and the later a copper kasu. Two inscriptions recorded from Kaccanam, Tanjore District belong to the reign of Kulottunga III.(57) One records gift of 100 Kasu for one perpetual lamp while the other refers to 22,000 kasu for one lamp. The later is evidently a copper coin In Srirangam, 9000 kasus were gifted for one perpetual lamp in the reign of Kulottunga III.(58) Similarly in the reign of Rajaraja III, 1500 Kasu were gifted for one perpetual lamp at Agastyanpalli.(59) In another inscription of Rajaraja III, 33 Veli of land was sold for 16,520 Kasu(60). In Thiruvanchiyam 16100 Kasu were paid as price for 3 Kani land in the reign of the same ruler Rajaraja III(61). His another record mentions 45500 kasu for ¼ Veli of land.(62)
When the Hoysalas established themselves in the Tamil country in the middle of 13th century, the same trend (namely copper coins) dominated the market. A few examples are listed below to show the important change in the 13th century A.D. A Srirangam inscriptions of Vira Somesvara records that 20 kuli of land cost 3000 kasu. About 15 years later 600 kuli of dry land cost 3000 kasu.(56) Earlier Vira Narasimha’s record shows 8 Veli of land was sold at 40,000 Kasu.(64) In the reign of Viraramanatha 4 Veli was valued at 40,000 anraddunarkasu.
These citations are sufficient to show, that the copper coins have come to occupy a predominant position in monetary transactions, gold and silver being made use of sparingly. It may be mentioned that aong the Chola coins that have survived, gold coins of Rajaraja I, Rajendra I, Rjadhiraja I and also Kulottunga I are known, so also the silver coins. But copper coins bearing the name Rajaraja, bearing on the obverse the standing royal figure and on the reverse the seated figure, are found in several thousands throughout Tamilnadu. It is possible that the coins mentioned in thousands in the 13th century Chola records, are these copper coins.
Besides the above, a few more records need mention. The coin Dramma was still in use in the reign of Rajaraja III in 13th century at Sekal in Tanjore District.(65) The record refers to the gift of 1 dramma mentioned as Palamkasu for a lamp called Pavaivilakku (with a lady figure holding it). This Dramma yielded an interest of 1/8 Dramma per month which works out of 150 percent. À¡¨Å Å¢ÇìÌìÌ ¦¸¡Îò¾ ÀÆí¸¡Í ´Õ ¾¢ÃõÁõ. þì¸¡ÍìÌ ¾¢í¸û 1/8 ¾¢ÃõÁõ ÀÄ¢¨ºÂ¡¸.
In the reign of the last Choal ruler Rajendra III, Varahan is mentioned to an inscription of Pancanadikkulam. The record refers to 40 Varahan for Thiruppadimarru. The word Varaha rarely occurs in Tamil records of the Chola period. This is one rare instance, which might be due to the Hoysala supremacy in the middle of he 13th century in Chola land.
There are a few other coins attributed to the Cholas especially the coins bearing a standing bull on the one side with the Nagari legend and the standing royal figure on the other. These are not the issues of the Cholas but of the subordinates of the Vijayanagar rulers issued in 15th-16th century A.D. and will be discussed in the sequel. Similarly coins with the legend Konerirayan are later issues.
It may be mentioned that it in the Kongu country, a collateral branch of the Chola dynasty was ruling from 9th to 13th century A.D. The coins under circulation in that region, are studied in a separate section.