Author Topic: Coins of Raja Raja Chola  (Read 52137 times)

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Offline THCoins

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #120 on: November 12, 2019, 05:55:19 PM »
Nice overview of the different variants of the late versions of this type.
I looked in the bag of unsorted coins i have of the type to see if i could find a variant you might not have covered yet. But could not find any specimen which was clearly different to the ones you showed already.

Offline drnsreedhar

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #121 on: November 15, 2019, 06:14:22 AM »
Dear Anthony,
I should say that I am a bit lucky to live in peninsular India. My place is less than a hundred Kms from Kanyakumari, the Southern tip of the peninsula. Recently I had contact with two people who bagged a share of two hoards that surfaced a while ago. That really helped me pick around thirteen variants from among about six hundred coins!
I have three more remaining to get posted. One has a lotus below the dots.
Dr.Sreedhar

Offline drnsreedhar

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #122 on: November 15, 2019, 06:22:39 AM »
Here we have a coin with a small foot. QG has previously remarked that this "foot" variety commemorates Rajaraja's victory over the Chera areas. That is quite possible because the Chera kings were called "Thiruvadikal" meaning "Holy feet" (Thiru= Sree=honourable, Adikal= feet. In Tamil, some vowel sounds join together with an additional  vowel. Thus Thiru+Adikal becomes Thiruvadikal). I am adding the picture of the "Cheran mudi", the Chera-crown.
On this coins also you can see that the left leg is represented by two vertical lines.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 07:23:19 AM by drnsreedhar »
Dr.Sreedhar

Offline drnsreedhar

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #123 on: November 15, 2019, 07:13:42 AM »
Now another interesting one. Here, there are two symbols, foot and a fish below the right hand of the standing figure. Fish was the symbol of Pandyas. So bringing them under his power must have triggered the practice of placing the fish below the king's hand. There is a small foot as well below the dots. Rajaraja held an epithet "Mummudi Chola" meaning Chola with three crowns. One of course was the Chola crown. Others are Pandya and Chera crowns. (Some historians are of opinion that the the epithet means three "conquered crowns", another being that of Mahinda-V of Sri Lanka). If the former argument holds water, this coin tells the tale of "Mummudi" Cholan.

There is another device to the right hand side of the foot. It has three horizontal and one vertical strokes.  The temple flag-mast of Tanjavur has a similar shape. This device could be representing "Tanjavur" or the authority of Shiva whom Rajaraja called "Rajarajeswara", the God of Rajaraja. Rajaraja had another epithet "Sivapada Sekharan" meaning one who wears the foot of Siva as his crown. (Sikhara means crown, sekharan is one who wears a crown. Sivapada is the foot of Siva). Thinking on these lines, the foot may be "Siva pada" and this along with the flag-mast of Tanjavur could mean "Crown-Sivapadam at Tanjavur" commemorating something like consecration of Tanjavur Temple.
Dr.Sreedhar

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #124 on: November 15, 2019, 09:27:31 AM »
This was always a world class thread as it showed the transfer from gold to silver to base metal of the type. Now, you added another dimension, by showing these varieties. Suddenly a "one type that was made for centuries" story has changed into "we don't know enough of the symbolism yet to interpret what the coins are trying to tell us". This is important. The "octopus king" sounds a bit ridiculous. The man who had a personal god and acquired up to three crowns of venerable dynasties sounds like the empire builder that Rajaraja Chola was in reality. It takes someone in contact with this part of the past to do him justice today.

Next time you meet people with 600 coins, if you can afford it, buy the whole lot. It sounds like buying 587 duplicates, but you are in fact preserving history as well as buying the time to go through them to see if there are even more varieties. The number, weight and metal composition of even the common types contains information on ancient mining, trading and financial patterns that is at least partly lost when the treasure is dispersed. In turn, such information tells people of a glorious common history, the efficiency of trading, the need for a fair system of payments and the life of common people, a small but effective way to promote peace.

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

Offline drnsreedhar

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #125 on: January 07, 2020, 07:26:17 AM »
Thank you Peter for the remarks.
As you very well suggested, I tried to get as many of those coins and could manage to get thirty of them. I have not so far gone through the remaining seventeen. I will shortly do that and get back. Thanks.
Dr.Sreedhar