यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे॥
“It is I who descends to earth from time to time to reinstitute the order when the anarchy prevails” – the concept of Divine descend is a phenomenon that speaks about the manifestation of divinity into a form. In Bhagawad Gitā  Shri Kiṣṇa declares that God himself incarnates to eradicate the evil, to put an end to the impious practices and to eliminate the chaos that prevailed in an otherwise peaceful society. These incarnations or the Avatāras is a core concept of Hinduism and being the preserver and sustainer Aspect of God within the Hindu Trinity; they are often associated with Viṣṇu. When pertaining to Avatāras in the Hindu tradition, the most widely associated deity is clearly Viṣṇu. According to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, Viṣṇu has innumerable Avatāras in unlimited universes, though there are ten major incarnations, known collectively as Daśāvatāra. The concept of Daśāvatāra – ten incarnations of Lord Viṣṇu – is not treated as mere mythological or religious stories in India, but is incorporated in the roots of Indian society in the form of philosophy as well as performing arts and creative arts. The most unusual combination of Daśāvatāra mythology, Indian art forms and the practicality of Indian society is “the Depiction of Daśāvatāra on Indian Coins”.
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 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:
Ancient India is full of marvel and every time we turn the pages of it, we stumble upon something fascinating. Today we will study the Indian Temples on coins and revise the evolution of temple architecture! Numismatics has discovered various historical facts about Indian history. Every tiny piece of coin reveals the different story behind it. Coin collecting is a fascinating hobby, but what attracts you the most when you see a coin?
Prior to 1947, hundreds of Princely States existed in India which were not formally ruled by the British, but rather by a local or regional ruler. These vassal states, also called native states, were subject to a subsidiary alliance and the suzerainty or paramountcy of the British Crown. Along with status, size and wealth differences, Princely State coins varied vastly as well. However, not all Princely States issued their own coins. Check out the ones that did:
Elephants play a very important role in many cultures and traditions. But we do not have to go deep into the “cultural” and “religious” significance of these majestic animals to understand why they are such a hit with the public! Just type ‘elephant’ in your Google search and you will find so many adorable videos and images of elephants. Right from the “Manny” of Ice Age (although Manny is a mammoth) to “Snorky” of the Banana Splits Club, our cartoons, movies and Facebook walls are full of cute elephants. Today we find elephants all over the social media, but in the ancient and the medieval times, they adorned various paintings, sculptures and coins! Let’s continue our journey of exploring elephants on Indian coins.
Banavasi is a tiny town on the border of north Karnataka and Shimoga districts. It is mentioned in inscriptions and literature as Vanavasa, Vanavasaka, Vanavasi, Banavase, and Banavasi. It is stated in Mahavamsa that Asoka’s emissary Buddha Rakshita was deputed to Vanavasi. Banavasi has grown around the Madhukeshwara temple built in the 9th century, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It also appears to have been the southern headquarters of the Satavahanas. The town was the capital of the Chutus and the Kadamba rulers.
Of the five great European maritime powers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, France was the fourth to enter the race for commercial communication with India. The fifth power, Spain, never attempted the contest, and Portugal, Holland, and England had reaped considerable benefits from their enterprise before the attention of the French people had been sufficiently attracted to the trade. Nevertheless, though the French were the last to enter upon the venture, their natural genius asserted itself in a manner that speedily brought them to a level with the most securely planted of their European rivals by establishing the French East India Company.
The Lumbini festival is celebrated in the month of December every year in Nagarjunasagar, Andhra Pradesh to commemorate the religion of Buddhism in the state. During the three-day long festival, several vibrant activities are conducted to highlight and promote Buddhism by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims visit the state to witness the beautifully decorated Buddhist temples during this festival.