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Garhwal Timasha

Started by Rangnath, October 23, 2008, 10:56:36 PM

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Rangnath

In the Standard Catalog, there are two similarly named minting authorities; Garhwal and Garwal.  Garhwal is described as a Princely State.  It's coins in the catalog are dated from 1770 to 1815, with a "token" dated 1850.  Garwal is described as an Independent Kingdom.  Three coins are listed, from 1808 to 1816.  The denominations of the coins from both entities are "Tamashas".  Are these two places one and the same? 
The coin I have seems to be from Garhwal, C#20.  Was the coin minted in the name of Lallat Shah or Shah Alam?  Would I be wrong to guess at a date of 1772 to 1781, which the catalog suggests? My coin weighs 2.3 grams and is 20 X 18 mm across.  Is it a "Tamasha" or is "Tamasa" a better spelling in English?
richie

Oesho

The name of the state is Garhwal, the mint Srinagar (Srinagar in Garhwal and not the Srinagar in Kashmir) the denomination is a timasha (i.e. coins weighing 3 mashas).  The coin is in the name of Shah Alam II, with the Ry.15 (1773/74). This date would indicate that it was struck during the reign of Lallat Shah (1772-1781). In KM it's listed under Pradip Shah (1717-1772).
The silver quarter rupees, locally known a timashas, were first struck at Srinagar in Garhwal by Fath Shah (1686-1717) in the late seventeenth century, but the issue was never plentifull until about 1760 when the blockade of the Kathmandu Valley by Prithvi Narayan caused traders to bring wool from western Tibet down to India through Garhwal rather than through Nepal. For the next twenty years until about 1780, the trade flourished and many silver coins were struck. After 1780 political disturbances in Garhwal caused the wool trade to be routed through Ladakh, where similar silver coins were struck, until 1804. In 1792 the Gorkha army defeated Parduman Shah, the ruler of Garhwal, but was unable to follow up its military success when it was recalled to defend Kathmandu against the Chinese. Parduman Shah signed a treaty acknowledging the suzerainty of Nepal, and agreeing to pay an annual indemnity of Rs.9,000. During the period between 1780 and 1804 only copper coins were struck in Garhwal, but in 1804 the Nepalese finally annexed Parduman Shah's territories, established a stable rule in Garhwal, encouraged the wool traders to pass through Garhwal once again, and recommenced the striking of silver coins. From then until 1815, when Garhwal passed into British hands after the treaty of Segauli, numerous silver coins were struck and a smaller number of copper pieces. The silver coins, called timashas were nominally equivalent to a quarter rupee, but actually circulated at five to the Farukhabad rupee. 10 copper Tacas were equal to a silver timasha.

Rangnath

Thank you Oesho.  I never thought much about the sources of Kashmiri wool, let alone its economic impact on the region.
As for "Independent Kingdom vs. Princely State", the issue is one of definition, isn't it? Garhwal, while it existed,  was always something of a small fish amid large preditors.

BC Numismatics

Richie,
  That is a very nice coin that you've got there.

When did Garhwal come under British suzerainty? Any coins issued from that date are of interest to British Commonwealth numismatists.

Aidan.

Rangnath

From what Oesho wrote, the magic date which swtiches on interest to British Commonwealth numismatists is 1815.  I'm afraid that this coin (1773 or 1774?) was minted at an earlier time. 
richie

BC Numismatics

Richie,
  Thanks for pointing that out.

I'll be glad once I am able to get things sorted out as far as my computer's original power box goes.I hope to get some photos of my coins posted up.

Aidan.