(Last Updated on : 25/05/2012)
The coinage of various independent kingdoms existed in some parts of India and some of the very striking coins were issued by several independent kingdoms generated considerable interest in Indian numismatics. Due to relative isolation, their coinage was of distinct style. With the expansion of Muslim rule, the indigenous states had gradually vanished. So there was not much by way of Hindu states during the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. During this time some Hindu rulers were occasionally asserting their independence in some corners of India and some of them also issued their own coins at their reigning period.
The rulers of Kangra, perhaps, issued coins during their reigning period. These coins reflected the bull and horseman pattern of Samantadeva during the early period. During the fourteenth century A.D, the coins contained the name of the rulers of the states. Later, during the period of Apurvachand, the reverse bull motif was eliminated and a long legend was introduced instead of it and this particular type for coins was maintained by the successive rulers. It has also been supposed that this type of coins was also followed by some neighbouring states.
As per history, since the early times, Mewar in Rajasthan had been issuing coins. The rulers of Mewar issued some coins of Indo-Sassanian type. During this period, some copper coins were issued that were square in shape and all bore the Nagrai legends and were issued in a number of denominations. Some bigger coins were also issued bearing 'Sri Kubhalameru Maharana Sri Kumbhakarnasya' in Nagari on one side of the coin and the reverse side of the coin bore 'Sri Ekalinga Prasadat' and the date in the Vikrama era in the same script. The smaller coins that were issued contained 'Sri Kumbhalameru' on one side and 'Rana Kumbhakarna' on the other side. Sometimes the coins bore 'Kumbhakarna' on one side and 'Ekalinga' on the other.
In the latter part of the fifteenth and sixteenth century, a Gond dynasty was ruling with its capital at Amarakantak. This extended in the Kosala area and also included some parts of the ancient Akara which is the area around Bhopal. Earlier ruler Sangram Shah of this dynasty issued some gold coins of about 167 grains. The obverse side of the coins had a crested lion in a square and the margin had a Nagari legend. The legend was read as 'Pulasta-vamsa Sri Sangram Sahi Samvat' including the year in numerals. On the reverse side of the coins contained the repetition of the obverse legend in Nagari and Telegu without the date. There was another Gond dynasty at Devagarh, which had issued its coins in copper with Nagari inscriptions on both sides. They reveal the rulers' names as Kokashah and Jatba.
Another independent dynasty that ruled during this era was Oinvara dynasty of Mithila. The seventh ruler of this dynasty had issued some tiny gold coins and the content of the coins had 'Sri' on the obverse and 'Sivasya' on the reverse side of the coin. Some silver coins were also issued by the later ruler of this dynasty. As the history reveals, some other rulers who ruled during this period in the territory of South of Nepal also issued coins that bore legend on the obverse and 'Sri Champakaranyasya' on the reverse side of the coin.
Assam has occupied an eminent place in the history of India from the very early times and during the third quarter of the fifteenth century coins were issued. The earliest coins were issued from Tripura by the ruler Rtnamanikya in 1467 A.D. Since then, the coins were issued uninterruptedly till the last quarter of the nineteenth century A.D. These coins were all round and bore the inscriptions in Assamese script. The first issued coins contained inscriptions on both sides but soon after the introduction of the grotesque lion was introduced on the reverse side of the coin. The rulers of later period introducedsom other devices on the coins that were 'trisula', figure of Ardhanarisvara, figure of flute playing Krishna flanked by a Gopi on either side etc. The composite figure of Ardhanarisvara was made up of the half portion of the ten handed lion rider Durga and that of the four handed bull rider Siva. Some of the rules also included epithets on their coins. An interesting feature of the coins issued during this time was that the names of the queens were placed sometimes on the coins and most of the rulers maintained this style during this period. Other coins of Assam were issued by the rulers of Ahom, Kachari and Jayantia dynasties.
The rulers of Ahom dynasty gave their coins an entirely original octagonal shape and their weight pattern was borrowed from the silver 'tankah' of the Sultans of Bengal. The coins were issued in two types and among the two types one had the Ahomese language and script, the Ahomese names of the rulers and date in the year of 60 years cycle; and the other coin was made for general circulation. The second type of coins had Assamese script and the Indian names of the rulers and the date in Saka years. The later rulers Sivasimha and his consort Parmarthesvari issued a few extremely rare coins which were square in shape and bore a Persian legend and the distiches. These were said to be the imitation of the coins of the Mughal emperors. The Koch rulers also issued some coins. The western kingdom of Lakshminarayana became a tributary of the Mughal Empire and thenceforward its coinage became confined to the issue of half coins. The coins of this time were known as Narayani rupees and were struck with dies bigger than the flan.
The coins of the successors of Naranarayana used devices similar to his and some of them and sometimes Assamese script was put in place of the Persian script and some included the legends that represent their devotion to their deities. The Jayantia rulers perhaps issued coins during their coronation and the coins bore the expression of devotion to a deity on one side and inscriptions with the date in the Saka era on the other side. Some of the coins issued during this time bore the name of the king.