Gwalior Rupee: Jayaji Rao, 1843-86, Lashkar Mint, ref. LW 18, Km 152

Started by Rangnath, February 01, 2008, 05:24:02 AM

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Rangnath

I wonder if archery was a popular sport in 19th century Gwalior State?  I have seen the symbol in use in Maratha Confederacy coins. I believe it has had wide spread use. I would suppose that sybolically, the bow and arrow point to the dynasty's warrior past but did it have any other significance? 
This coin is from the ruler Jayaji Rao, 1843 to 1886.  It is 10.8 grams and Km 152. 
richie

Oesho

It's not that archery was so popular in Gwalior state, the bow and arrow may infact be regarded as a religious symbol.
It's the weapon of Lord Rama. Lord Rama is one of the most commonly adored gods of Hindus and is known as an ideal man and hero of the epic Ramayana.
He is always holding a bow and arrow indicating his readiness to destroy evils. He is also called "Shri Rama". More commonly he is pictured in a family style, (Ram Parivar) with his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and devotee Hanuman who is sitting near Lord Rama's feet.
This symbol is already found on ancient Indian coins, like the Kuras of Kolhapur and Belgaum (c. 30BC-AD65/70). The Marathas used it occasionally, of which the Sindhia's the most.




Rangnath

In 1975, I had the pleasure of taking a pilgramage to Nashik district in Maharashtra. As I remember, Rama and Sita were said to have spent some blissful days in courtship there. For the people with whom I talked, it was if the event happened yesterday. The reality of the past was still in the present.
In retrospect, I should have looked for a religious connection between the bow and arrow! Thank you Oesho.
richie

Figleaf

Just to note that archery is a popular sports in large parts of Asia for the skill and concentration it requires as well as the religious connotations. In one Japanese temple, contestants must shoot their arrows between rows upon rows of wooden statues. You can't imagine the stress this gives. Only the coolest heads survive.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Rangnath

In Bhutan, archery is the National Pastime contested by teams. Targets are located 150 meters apart? The distance is impressive, the target is small.  The teammates stand IN FRONT of the target to help the archer get a line.  And then they gracefully avoid getting shot as the arrow draws near.  I couldn't see the darn arrow in the air. Obviously the teammates could, because no one was hurt while I watched the event.  A successful shot gives the team an opportunity for a victory dance.
richie

Oesho

#5
At Gwalior for a long time two mints were in operation, the Gwalior fort mint and the mint at Lashkar (originally the military camp).
The above coin was struck at Lashkar.

Rangnath

With the help of "Coins of the Sindhias" by Lingen and Wiggins, I was able to place this coin as LW 18 and Km 152.
The book is indispensable in the collecting of coins from Gwalior and I can not thank the authors enough for their efforts.
richie