Sign up for the monthly zoom events by sending a PM with your email address to Hitesh

Main Menu

Trisuls from Maratha Confederacy

Started by Rangnath, April 06, 2008, 10:36:41 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I have several copper coins with trisuls. Some appear to come from Mewar State, but more of them appear to be Km 10, a paisa from Maratha Confederacy from between 1788 and 1816.  The die for the trisul must have been fairly small.  There is quite a bit of consistancy on that side. On the other side, however, the die must have been very large indeed. 

The first coin in this post I feel confident is Km 10 and weighs 7.8 grams.  The second coin weighs 8.7 grams and I am not sure that it is a coin from Maratha.  The third coin weighs 13.3 grams and I haven't a clue from where it comes. 



The first two coins are copper coins of the Bhonsla Rajas of Nagpur. This is one of the several Maratha clans, which carved out a State for themselves. Others clans, to name a few, are the Holkars, Sindhias, Gaekwars, etc.
The legend on the trisul side, reads: Julus / Na (trisul) gpur. The otherside has the Ahmad Shah legend of which usually only a part is visible.
The coins were struck in 1825 by Dr. Gordon and continued up to the closure of the mint in 1854. The initial weight was about 9.2 g. but was subsequently reduced to 8.35 g and even lower (as your piece shows)
The coins are described by Prashant P. Kulkarni: Coinage of the Bhonsla Rajas of Nagpur (Nagpur 1990) type#49.
They are also illustrated in South Asian Coins and Papermoney catalogue as KM#5 (p.92) and in the KM-catalogue (18th cent., 4th ed.) as KM#10 (p.746)

The third coin most probably will remain an un-attributed copper coin. Kulkarni illustrated several dozens of them (type 63 to 110), some of which shows resemblance with your coin (in shape and wear) but weighs 20.2 g.


I enjoyed the information immensely and I see that I need to aquaint myself with Maratha history. 
I hadn't realised that the trisul could be used both to represent a letter and to serve as a religious (or political? does this mean that the Bhonsla Rajas were Shaivites?) symbol. 

I also am getting the sense that an understanding of geography and history is useful in looking at coinage continuity as Moghuls and Marathas morphed into "Princely" states. 

Anyway, this is a complicated study, isn't it?  And I'm in the middle of what might be described as Indian Numismatics 101 without the prerequisite text books. Thanks Oesho.  I appreciate your reply very much.


You are way ahead of me, Rangnath. Keep on going.

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