Wednesday, 8 October 2014


Kerala coinage starts with Gold Parasuraman Panam,  A unifaced hold spherule, resembling the coinage of ancient Tamizhakam, which the unknown Greek Mariner and author of 'Periplus' confronted and recorded as Kaltis.  Hoards of Roman Gold and silver coins and finds of Greek, Chinese and Arab coins point to Kerla's age old trade relation.  A rare hoard of Roman silver from Nedumkandam and an AKSUM sopper coin from Karur, the capital of Chera empire.  A counter part of 'Silk Route'.  Kaarshapanam of Magadha Mouryan period had well been transacted in Kerala as is evidenced by Kottayam, Eyyal and Ankamali hoards.  Ankamali hoard consists of 783 Punch Marked coins only.  From Parasuraman Panam to silver Vira Kerala panam and there after upto the security edged Chitra Half Rupee(1946) of old Tiruvithamcore, one could see a continuity, though, not rarely broken by interludes such as that of Kalabhra.  Shedding light in these appalling black holes of Kerala history is challenging.  
   Cultural heritage of Kerala is a happy union of certain powerful subcultures, though did not have a totally different existence from Indian Culture.  Coinage, reflects this much.  Therefore, a voyage to Kerala coinage has to touch Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi and Tiruvithamcore and also the coinage of the trading companies.
   Vellichakrom (silver Chakrom) had been in circulation through out Kerala right from the last phase of 16th century, as told by the hoard obtained from the Siva temple at Kasaragode.
   Kannur silver panam tells as unprecedented story about the Muslim matrilineal Head of State. Kozhikode gold panam and Kochi silver puthan represent the regional heritage, uniquely.
   A vast number of coins of Tiruvithamcore, dating from 1600 to 1946, speaks volumes for a rich coin heritage.  Silver half-one-two chakroms series tell about one of the oldest legal tender coins of India.  
    Venitian Ducat otherwise known as 'Amaaada' a pious gold piece for the Syrian Christians, speaks about a different aspect of its cultural scenario.
     Existence of Ananthasayanam coins and certain coins in brass expand the imagination of the researcher, though they are being misinterpreted.  
     Kerala coinage holds a brief to the most outstanding commemoratives of India.  Silver T99 and T1805, otherwise called Talassery Vella/Talassery panam were issued by the English factors to commemorate the fall of two heros-Tippusultan, and Pazhassi Raja.  Tat the English company's mint at Mumbai itself commemorated this great fall is rather strange.

     Not being a ritual of remembering, this brief note would help the scholars to have an idea of coinage of Kerala.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Anoop.. Could you help me with some reference links to online books or other book names for reading about coins of Kerala?