‘Shrusti Devo Shilpam, TTasya Pratikruti Manushya Shilpam’, it means ‘Nature is the art of god and human art is just a gist and imagination of it’. Therefore, the art developed by the men is influenced and copied from the nature. Indian art and architecture has beautiful and magnificent examples of this brilliant influence. These monuments are the insignia of Indian culture and tradition. There are so many of such splendid structures on this land, yet the best chosen among them are renowned monuments known all over the world as the “seven wonders of India”. These massive architectural miracles have ornamented this land with its splendid beauty.
The Mughals hardly require any introduction; it is perhaps the most famous dynasty in Indian history. The coinage of the Mughal Empire occupies a unique position in the history of Indian numismatics. Endowed with the imagination and magnificence of Akbar and Jahangir that was fostered by the later Mughal emperors, Mughals presented a breathtaking example of coinage in terms of art and wealth. Here, in this session, we will see the endearing couplets which beautifully bore on the coins of Jahangir. These soulful couplets are the clear evidence was of his obsession with the Poetries. His obsession reflected excellently through his coins.
The Persian Gulf Rupee or the Gulf Rupee was a currency issued by the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India for use in the Persian Gulf and the Arabic peninsula. The Indian rupee was an official currency in several areas that were controlled by the British and governed from India and it was a legal tender in the Gulf countries up till 1966.
“Separation” is the general term used to describe methods used to separate postage stamps. The three standard forms currently in use are perforation, roulette, and die-cutting. These methods are done during the postage stamp production process, after printing. Sometimes these methods are done on-press or sometimes as a separate step. The earliest issues such British-India 4 annas, half anna and one anna did not have any means provided for separation as seen in the image below. The stamps were probably cut apart with scissors or folded and torn.
The advent of the Common Era brought the rule of the illustrious Kushan and the Gupta empires. When the mighty Kushan Empire crumbled, many small kingdoms acquired territories. One such was the Gupta dynasty. Starting from a small kingdom in Magadha in the late 3rd century CE, the Guptas gradually extended their rule over a large part of Southern Asia. Under the able and strong leadership of many rulers, this dynasty grew and became deeply rooted in the Indian subcontinent. The empire at its paramount included all of northern India from the Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east and in the south it extended along the eastern coast of the Indian peninsula.
In legal terms, a princely state was defined as ‘Any territory, whether described as a state, an estate, a jagir or otherwise, belonging to or under the suzerainty of a ruler who is under the suzerainty of His Majesty and not being part of British India (under direct colonial administration)’ – Section 31 (I) of the Government of India Act, 1935. This elastic definition applied to entities of diverse size and status, the number of which varied according to different interpretations. Most of the official documents mention 562 princely states, but other governmental sources numbered 600 or more. Out of these 60 of them issued their own Princely state coins. Let’s continue from the last part and look into the ones that did:
Unknown, unheard and unsolved, the mysteries of the world are one most fascinating enigmas for mankind. These events do not have any scientific explanations and are a wide string of mysterious webs with complex and untraceable origins since aeons. People who have witnessed these phenomena believed in it, but for the rest of the world, these are just fancy stories told to entertain local tourists. We can only experience these events, a mere explanation won’t justify them. Many countries across the world have acknowledged these mysteries of the world in their own fancy curious ways. They have illustrated these mysteries on stamps and coins to allure the interest of the people towards these unexplained happenings.
Once upon a time when we were young, we loved to listen to bedtime stories. Our days were filled with imaginary castles and with lovely fairytales, with princes and princesses of the far-off lands, with animals that talked and with trees that walked! Such a distinct memory it seems to be. The stories that made and shaped our childhood seemed to be lost now. But what if we tell you that you can fall back in time and relive those lost moments again? Yes, it’s true. Many countries have issued our favourite fairytales on stamps! You can now collect them and get lost in those far away fairy lands again…
A long ago, around 3700 BCE the world’s one the earliest port was built in the city of Lothal (Gujarat, India) by the people of Indus Valley. And this was the beginning of the maritime history in the Indian subcontinent. So today, we will surf into the Indian maritime history through Indian numismatics; coins with ships and boats.
We are fortunate enough to share our ecosystem with animals. They enhance the natural beauty of our planet and even the most ferocious amongst them illustrate the nature with its refined and primal grace. Many artists had tried to capture this creation of nature with the brush or chisel but yet few come near to copying their perfection. Every aspect of a man’s creativity is inspired by its surroundings. Hence, it shouldn’t surprise us to see these beautiful animals depicted on coins too. One of the finest artistic representation of them are the animals on Roman coins. This coinage covers the wide variety of fauna, the embellishment of these beasts on Roman coinage is unique and awe-inspiring.