Almost a year ago a request of the T.T.D to examine the thousands of bags of coins acquired through Srivari Hundi of Lord Sri Venkateswara reached us through Dr. K. Munirathnam Reddy of the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India, Mysore. This was followed by an official request from Sri L. V. Subramanyam, Executive Officer of the T.T.D. Both of us were happy to note this enlightened policy of the T.T.D. Thus, T.T.D. has created history and has set an example to other temples to follow. We accepted the offer and invited about 35 numismatists to take up the examination of thousands of bags containing the coins of all types stacked safely in the T.T.D. treasury. Dedicated numismatic scholars worked for days together and segregated the ancient coins of historical importance from the lot of current coins of not only India but also of many foreign countries. This was a rare and unique experience for all the scholars who participated in this preliminary exercise. It is our duty to express our gratefulness to these scholars who did this work as a service to Lord Sri Venkateswara.
In the second stage the selected coins of importance were examined further by a small group of eight scholars who separated gold, silver and copper coins. Some of the gold coins had been separated as T. T. 0 Museum collection and as a pilot project these coins numbering 1213 were taken up for an intensive study and preparing a corpus of these coins in a chronological way. Muslim and European coins have been analysed and compiled by one of us D. Raja Reddy. Apart from two of us the other scholars who participated in preparing this catalogue are Sarvasri Dr. M. Girijapathi, Dr. T. S. Ravishankar, Mr. M. Nithyananda Pai, Dr. P. V. Radhakrishnan, Dr. K. Munirathnam Reddy and Mr. J. Vijaya Kumar. Each one of these scholars has contributed various sections which find a place in this book. We thank each of them individually for their patient and hard work in deciphering the coins and preparing notes included here. Sri G. Srinivasa Rao of the Archaeological Survey of India has given good support in photographing the coins and also documenting them. Mr. J. Vijaya Kumar, the Chief Museum Officer and his staff have helped in various ways while doing the documentation. We cannot ignore the service rendered by the T.T.D., Treasury staff.
Sri K. Bapiraju, Honourable Member of the parliament and Chairman of T.T.D. Board has expressed his great pleasure in taking up this project in the service of Lord Sri Venkateswara. We express our gratefulness to the Chairman.
The entire project right from its inception to its completion is due to the rare historical sense and acumen shown by Sri L. V. Subramanyam, IAS, the Executive officer of T.T.D. At every stage he has been making enquiries of the progress of this work in spite of his multifarious duties connected with T.T.D. administration. He has been ably supported by Sri K. S. Sreenivasa Raju, IAS, Joint Executive officer in the fulfillment of this project. The other officers like Sri G. V. G. Ashok Kumar, IPS, Chief Vigilance Officer, T.T.D. and Sri O. Balaji, Additional FA & Co. have given good support. We thank all these officers of the T.T.D.
It is our pleasant duty to record the work of coordination undertaken by the young and energetic Dr. K. Munirathnam Reddy. Actually he worked efficiently as a liaison between the T.T.D. and the numismatists, and this hastened the successful completion of this project. We wish to place on record our great appreciation of the excellent designing job performed by Parrot Communications team of Lanka Srihari, Devi Prasad Pyla, Venkat Makina and Surekha. We also wish to thank Pragati offset Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad for printing this work in an elegant way in a record time. Sri Venkataramana Sattiraju of this printing organization has evinced personal interest in the successful completion of this work.
Before closing this preface, we would like to add good news to the world of numismatists. The authorities of the T. T. D. have agreed in principle to bring out more number of catalogues of coins in the Srivari Hundi in future under the title T.T.D. Numismatic series. Thus, thousands of coins of the Srivari Hundi which were incognito will now come to the perusal of numismatists and thereby enrich our cultural heritage. We are sure that the numismatists all over the world will be eagerly looking forward to unveil the saga of numismatic map.
It is hoped that this work will be warmly received by numismatists all over the world. Finally we the numismatists dedicate this work at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Venkateswara of Tirumala.
The holy temple of Lord Sri Venkateswara on the sacred hill of Tirumala has a hoary antiquity both mythologically and historically. It is the most popular and sacred Hindu temple in India and perhaps has a record for the largest number of devotees thronging the portals of Lord Sri Venkateswara. Vengadam or Tirumalai is in the Tondamandalam area and this area was successively ruled from ancient times by Satavahanas (30BC- 230 AD), Pallavas (260-900 AD), Cholas (900-1250 AD), Chola chiefs (1250-1336 AD) and Vijayanagara rulers (1336-1680 AD) respectively. This area came under Muslim rule between 1650-1800 AD and then under the British till independence.
The antiquity of the temple is based on literary, inscriptional and numismatic evidences. According to literary source Sthalapurana, Tirumala was a part of the Meru Mountain. Due to some misunderstanding a fight took place between the divine serpent God Adishesha and the wind God Vayu. During the fierce nature of the fight between the two, the Meru mountain was split into two pieces and one of them fell on the earth and it became famous as Tirumala. The various Tirthas at Tirumala like Akashanganga, Papavinashana etc. have divine connotations. In fact the seven hills of Tirumala are taken to be the symbols of the seven hoods of Adisesha, the divine serpent on which Vishnu reclines. That is why one of the hills is called Seshachala and Lord Venkateswara is referred to as the dweller of Seshachala. The sculpture of Lord Venkateswara in the garbhagriha is considered Swayambu or self manifest which symbolizes its divine antiquity. Thus, mythologically it has an unfathomable antiquity.
The Sangam work Silappadikaram assigned to the early centuries of the Christian era has an interesting reference to the holy shrine of Tirumala. Kovalan and his wife Kannagi were proceeding to Madurai and on their way they met a Brahman by name Marayyan. He told Kovalan that he is returning after worshipping two Vishnu images, one at Srirangam where he is reclining and the other one standing Vishnu at Tiruvengada hills. This means that by the time Silappadikaram was composed (2nd century A.D.) Lord
Venkatesa had became famous to attract devotees from Tamilnadu of the Sangam period. That this is not an isolated reference is attested to by another reference in a different context. The same epic defines the boundary of ancient Tamilnadu and states that Venkatam hills formed the northern boundary of Tamilagam. Thus, from the two references found in the epic Silappadikaram, it is obvious that the lord of Tirumala was well known during the early centuries of Christian era.
There are 1150 inscriptions in the temples of Tirumala and Tirupati and the earliest are those of Pallava numbering 236 followed by those of Vijayanagar kings namely Saluva Narasimha (169), Krishnadevaraya (229), Achyutharaya (251), Sadasivaraya (147) and Aravidu rulers (135) (Subramanya Sastry 1930). The earliest inscription to be found in the temple belongs to the Pallavas of Kanchi of 830 A. D., belonging to the reign of Vijayadantivarman. It mentions Tiruvenkattu Enberumanadigal i.e., Lord Venkateswara. The Pallava queen Samvai Kadavan Perundevi is mentioned in the inscription as making the gift of an image of Manavala Perumal for the temple. Perhaps taking the pre-Pallava period of the area in which Tirupati was situated, it may be assumed that a more intensive exploration may yield inscriptions of pre-Pallava dynasties in Tirupati.
There are also inscriptions of the Cholas, Pandyas, Maratha chiefs, Telugu Pallavas, Telugu Chodas, Yadavas, Rashtrakutas etc. in the region.
The origin of coins, also known as 'metallic money' in India dates back to 6th-7th century BC and it is probable that Lydia, India and China invented coinage around the same time and also independent of each other. That was the period what Indian historians would label as early historic era when formation of 'janapadas' marked the end of the tribal stage of the society and the beginning of organized states with definite territorial units. Secondary urbanization also commenced around this time and hence coins were invented which avoided the problems and limitations associated with the prevalent barter system. The earliest Indian coinage was known as punch marked coins which were mostly made of silver. Lydian coins were made of electrum which was an alloy of gold and silver and Chinese coins were made of copper. The first pure gold coins in the world were issued during the reign of King Croesus (560-546 BC) of Lydia and later by Persians. The gold coins were first issued in India by Indo-Greeks followed by Kushans and Guptas and the latter were the first indigenous kings to issue gold coinage in the country. The source of gold for Gupta coins is said to be Kolar in Karnataka. First indigenous kings to issue gold coinage in the Deccan were the Western Gangas whose ten coins are present in this collection. It is interesting to know that Western Gangas ruled first from Kolar area which besides Hatti are the only two gold producing mines in India even today.
There are 1213 gold coins in the cabinet of the Sri Venkateshwara museum of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam which were the collection from Srivari hundi of the temple. The exact details of the find of these coins are not known. Devotees offer coins made of gold, silver and baser materials such as copper. All the gold coins were preserved in the treasury from ancient times and some of these were made into chains which numbered fifteen. Each chain had number of gold coins. For example Mughal gold coin chain consisted of four strings containing 494 coins which weighed 10 Y2 kilograms. Many of these gold coins have great numismatic value and are of historic interest.
A perusal of the gold coins reveals that there are coins belonging to many ancient dynasties and these are listed in table-I. It is also interesting to note that there are coins of 46 odd kings which are listed in table-H. It is of interest to note that the oldest coin belongs to Roman emperor Nero (54-68 AD) and the latest coin is that of Asaf Jahi ruler Mir Osman Ali Khan (1911-1948 AD) of the year 1935 AD.
COINS OF HINDU DYNASTIES
The Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra
NAYAKAS OF KELADI (IKKERI)
WADEYARS OF MYSORE
Krishnaraja Wadeyar III
Goddess Sharadamba Type
COINS OF MUSLIM DYNASTIES
Muhammad Jalaluddin Akbar
Muhammad Muhiyuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir
Muhammad Muinuddin Farrukhshiyar
Nasiruddin Muhammad Shah
Muhammad Sirajuddin Bahadur Shah II
Muhammad Azizuddin Alamgir II
Sikandar Jah-Asaf Jah III
Nasir-ud-Daula-Asaf Jah IV
Afzal-ud-Daula-Asaf Jah V
Mir Mahboob Ali Khan-Asaf Jah VI
Mir Osman Ali Khan-Asaf Jah VII
MYSORE-HAIDAR All AND TIPU SULTAN
EARLY MODERN PERIOD
East India Company
Three Swamy Pagoda Type
Star Pagoda Type
Temple Gopuram Pagoda Type
Spain and its territories
United States of America
Qajar of Iran
Ottoman of Turkey
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