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Indian Numismatics: Its Bearing on History, Culture, Art and Iconography

Devendra Handa (Author)

The present volume contains 31 essays which have significant bearing on history, culture, art, architecture, religion, iconography, language, orthography, palaeography, geography, metallurgy, coin-technology, movement of peoples, migration of motifs, etc. The first paper deals with the much debated crested figure of punch-marked and Ujjain coins which has variously been identified with different deities by scholars. Fresh clinching evidence has been presented to identify the figure properly. Vatasvaka coins found from the Taxila region have been debated for long but a new piece illustrated here establishes it to be a place-name. Many new types and varieties of copper and lead coins bearing the Brahmi legend Kadasa have been discussed and illustrated together with the species belonging to Sujyeshtha, Gomitra and Vishnumitra, all from Sugh in Haryana. An up-to-date data of Pratishthana coins has been presented. Coins of Gomitra of Mathura reveal the earliest appearance of nimbus and a new technique of making coins. For the first time eight different versions of legends on the silver Kuninda coins have been presented. Coins of the Trigartas have been revisited illustrating newer varieties, some found from Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. Orthographic peculiarities of Yaudheya and other coins betray scriptural bearing on pronunciation of certain sounds. An exhaustive treatment of coins from Maheshwar with many new varieties of city-state specie forms the subject of another paper. Coins of the city-states of Hathodaka and Kuraghara/Kuraraya have been discussed with their possible significance and newer identification of the location of the former. Many new coins and seals/sealings like those of Magha, Sivaghoshaka, Bhavaraja, Dhavalapa, Sarangapanideva, Sura-Varmmana, Vijayamitra, etc. from different places and belonging to different dynasties have a great bearing on their history and chronology. A new epithet of Rajamatya has been deciphered on some sealings. Coins from Kashmir show lion as Siva’s vehicle instead of Nandi. Corroborative literary evidence has been searched and cited. New and interesting evidence regarding the Aulikaras and their associates has been discussed for the first time. The work is adequately illustrated with some latest finds.





Transliteration Table


List of Illustrations


I. Identification of the Crested Figure of Punch-marked and Ujjain Coins

II. Vatasvaka Coins

III. Kada Coins

IV. Coins of Sujyeshtha

V. Lead Coins of Gomitra and Vishnumitra

VI. Coins of Pratishthana

VII. Two Interesting Coins of King Gomitra of Mathura

VIII. Legends on Kuninda Silver Coins: Numismatic Evidence of the Transition from Prakrit to Sanskrit

IX. Revisiting Trigarta Coins

X. Orthographical Peculiarities of Yaudheya and Some Other Tribal Coins

XI. Coins from Maheshwar

XII. Coins of the City State of Hathodaka

XIII. Coins of Kurara(ya) and Kuraghara

XIV. Alleged Coin of Brahmana-nagara-sthana

XV. Early Indian Lead Coins

XVI. The Bull on Indian Coins

XVII. Panchala Coins: Sovereigns, Symbols and Significance

XVIII. Some Interesting Ayodhya Coins

XIX. Some Observations on the Square Copper Coins of Ayodhya

XX. A New Type Coin of Sivaghoshaka

XXI. Social Mobility and the Migration of a Numismatic Motif

XXII. Coins of King Magha

XXIII. Seals and Sealings from Haryana

XXIV. An Interesting Gupta Clay Sealing from Kausambi

XXV. The Aulikaras and Their Associates: Recent Numismatic Evidence

XXVI. Lion as the Vehicle of Siva on Kashmir Coins

XXVII. Interesting Clay Sealings of Bhavaraja

XXVIII. Two Interesting Sealings of Rajamatyas

XXIX. A Copper Seal of Dhavalapa

XXX. A Unique Gold Coin of King Sura-Varmmana–I of Kashmir

XXXI. A Diminutive Silver Coin of Sarangapanideva




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About the author

Devendra Handa

Shri Devendra Handa holds Post-Graduate degrees in Sanskrit, History and Education-all in First class and with top positions in the University. He obtained his Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology (ASI, New Delhi) in 1964 with Credit (Distinction). He is the recipient of Maulana Azad and Archaeological Centenary Commemoration Medals, Sir Mortimer Wheeler Prize and various other awards. He is known to the indologists through more than three hundred research papers and the following books and monographs: 1 Osian: History, Archaeology, Art & Architecture, Delhi, 1984; 2 Studies in Indian Coins and Seals, Delhi, 1985; 3 Indological Studies: Essays in Memory of Shri S.P. Singhal, Delhi, 1987 (Ed.); 4 Ajaya-Sri: Recent Studies in Indology (Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri Felicitation Volume), 2 Vols., Delhi, 1989 (Ed.); 5 Praci-Prabha: Perspectives in Indololgy (Essays in honour of Prof. B.N. Mukherjee), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. D.C. Bhattacharyya); 6 Ratna-Chandrika: Panorama of Oriental Studies (Shri R.C. Agrawala Festschrift), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ashvini Agrawal); 7 Heritage of Haryana: Buddhist Remains, Chandigarh, 1989; 8 Vishvambhara: Probings in Orientology (Prof. V.S. Pathak Festschrift), 2 Vols. New Delhi, 1995 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri and C.S. Gupta); 9 Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-3 (1991-93), New Delhi (Ed.); 10 Oriental Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-2 (1994 & 1996), Delhi (Ed.). He has attended numerous national and international conferences and delivered lectures in various institutions. In 1992, he got the Lowick Memorial Grant of the Royal Numismatic Society, London for studying the tribal coins of India. In 1993, he visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Numismatic Society. He was honoured for his contributions to the science of numismatics at Calcutta in 1994. After a teaching career of more than thirty years, he finally retired from the Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1999. After his retirement from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, he was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla (2000-2003) and Senior Fellow of the Ministry of Culture, GOPI, New Delhi (2003-2005). He presided over the 88th Annual Conference of the Numismatic Society of India at Nagpur in 2004 and Seminar on Coinage of the North West India at Chandigarh in 2005.

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Bibliographic information

Title Indian Numismatics: Its Bearing on History, Culture, Art and Iconography
Format Hardcover
Date published: 13.03.2022
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173056659
length xviii+294p., plates, Illustrations; 28cm.