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Coins of Medieval Kashmir


Page of the Rajatarangini in Sarada script (Public Domain Source: River of Kings, 1935)


Having just returned (and still jet-lagged) from a trip to India, I will add a quick note on this coin of Kashmir from the Lohara Dynasty and King Sangrama Deva who reigned C.E. 1003 - 1028. Additional coins & references will be added to this entry over time...

Hindu Rajas of Kashmir, Lohara Dynasty, Sangrama Deva, C.E. 1003 - 1028, AE stater (18.3mm, 5.63g, 11h)

Obv: Highly stylized King standing facing, sacrificing at altar to the left, legend bottom right in Sharada script (Ja De).

Rev: Ardochsho (Lakshmi) seated cross-legged facing in lalitasana (with right leg folded under and left leg hanging down), holding diadem in right hand and long-stemmed lotus in left hand, legend in Sharada script (Sa-NGRaMa).

Ref: Mitchiner NIS 179 - 180 (scarce)

The listing in K. W. West, Medieval Coinage of Kashmir

"There is a quaint story [from the Rajatarangini] about how she chose an heir. She called for many boys from her maternal family and placed a heap of fruit in front of them, challenging them to pick up the maximum number. The boys started grabbing the fruit and fighting with one another. At the end of it, her brother’s son Samgramaraja had the maximum number, without actually engaging in any physical fighting. He had managed to incite the other boys to fight, while he calmly gathered up the booty. Impressed by his political acumen, Didda declared him her heir. She made both Samgramaraja and Tunga swear a holy oath that they would work with each other, which created great stability for the next two decades."
-Archana Garodia Gupta, Didda, Controversial Queen Of Kashmir, Apr-26-2015

This coin was issued by Queen Didda when she took power in her own name, following the reigns of her husband Kshema Gupta and their son Abhimanyu.

Hindu Rajas of Kashmir, Didda Rani, C.E. 979-1003, AE Stater (20mm, 5.22g, 11h)

Obv: DEVA (in Sharada script) King standing facing and sacrificing with his right hand over altar.

Rev: SRI DIDDA (in Sharada) Goddess Lakshmi seated facing.



Hindu Rajas of Kashmir, Sangrama Deva, 1003-1028, AE stater (20.5 mm, 6.07g).

Obv: JA DEVA (in Nagari) King standing facing and sacrificing with his right hand over altar

Rev: Sa NGraMa (in Nagari) Goddess Lakshmi seated facing

Ref: MNI 179



This is a coin from the earliest period for these coins:

Hunnic Tribes, Alchon Huns, successors of Toramana II, circa 520-540. AE (Bronze, 20mm, 6.89g, 12h).

Obv: Toramana standing front, head turned slightly to left, sacrificing over altar with his right hand and holding trident in his left.

Rev: JAYA ('Victory / Victorious' in Brahmi) Goddess Lakshmi seated facing, holding long-stemmed lotus in her left hand and raising her left in benediction; to left, kalasha (sacred vessel).


Khasmir, Partha Varma, 906-921 & 934-935, AE stater (6.26g), Mitch-167/68, king standing, varma right // Lakshmi seated, Nagari partha right

This next coin from the Hindu kings of Kashmir, Utpala dynasty a copper dinar of Chakra Varman (923-933; 935; 936-937 AD)

Obv: stylized representation of a seated goddess; Sarada letter Cha to right.

Rev: stylized king standing facing left, sacrificing over altar; Sarada legend kkra below his arm.


Chakra Varman was a child-ruler; who ruled for ten years (until 933/934), for a few months under the regency of his mother and then, under grandmother Ksillika.

A revolution by the Tantrins installed Suravarman I who ruled for a he ruled for about a year before being forced to abdicate the throne. The Tantrins then re-installed Partha who was deposed in a short time, and Chakra Varman bribed the Tantrins who restored him in 935. He appointed Tantrins to important offices failed to raise enough taxes to pay his bribes and was run off again.


References

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