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Coinage of Pandyan Empire - Through the Ages

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Posted (edited)

I will be posting several, rare coins from this southern empire that I obtained recently in this thread, including the history of the Pandyan Empire during its revival period at the start of the 13th century. But, for now, here is one of these rarely encountered coins. Most of these coins are sparingly documented in Non-Western books. Even Mitchiner's blurb is quite small, limited to a few words...

Pandyan Empire: Maravarman Sundara Pandya (1216-1238) Æ Kasu (MCSI 384; Biddulph 83; Seetharaman 69)

Obv: Footprints of Vishnu flanked by lamps on either side; above royal umbrella flanked by flywhisks on either side
Rev: Tamil legend - கலியுகராமன் (Kaliyukarāmaṉ)
Dim: 15mm; 2.81 g


Edited by quant.geek
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Truly great, @quant.geek.  Looking forward to what you do next with this.  

...In my pure-as-the-driven-snow (please read, vacuous) ignorance, I associate footprints, as a motif, more with the Buddha than with Vishnu.  --Thank you, Vishnu proceeds directly from the Buddha's religious background; guessing there have to be some cool details in the progression (--if I'm not making this up), even at this late a remove.

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Posted (edited)

That's a nice type, there's always a confusion if a Pandyan coin was issued by Maravarman or Jatavarman.

Here's couple of my epigraphic Pandyan issues, 


On the obverse there's the unassuming Chola style standing king, but the reverse show a couple of fishes in the middle surrounded by the legends Ellanthalaiyan. Most agree on the issuer being Jatavarman Sundara Pandya 1251 CE–1268 CE, however I think this belongs to his successor Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan (1268 – c. 1308 CE) who in 1279 put an end to the Chola dynasty and further conquered the whole of south India, and thus the title Ellanthalaiyan( Ellam (all/everyone) -thalaiyan (leader), meaning 'Leader of all'.


This one I think is Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I
Copper Kasu, 2.85 g
Obv: Twin fish interlinked, with sceptre to left, conch below, crescent above, and unknown symbol to right.
Reverse: கச்சி வழங்கும் பெருமாள் Kachi-Valangum-Perumal in Tamil (The king who offers Kachi)
1258-1260 AD

And here's a coin showing Vishnu foot.


Raja Raja Chola, Vishnu's foot coin
985-1014 (likely after 988 AD)
Special issue to commemorate the subjugation of Cheras (their neighboring kingdom).
The Cheras were a Vishnu worshiping country, while the Cholas were Siva worshiping, so when Raja Raja Chola conquered them, he issued special coins that portrayed the feet of lord Vishnu called Sripada aka 'sacred foot' along with the Chera symbol bow, at the obverse's bottom right.

Edited by JayAg47
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  • quant.geek changed the title to Coinage of Pandyan Empire - Through the Ages

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