Goa is the smallest Indian state which lies on the south-western coast of India within the region known as the Konkan. Geographically Goa is separated from the Deccan highlands by of the Western Ghats. The beauty of Goa attracted many powerful traders, merchants, seafarers, dynasties, and missionaries as it was one of the major trading centres of India. Although the present-day the state of Goa was established in the year 1987; but before the establishment of Goa; Goa was ruled by many dynasties like the Bhojas, Mauryas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Shilaharas, Kadambas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, the Vijayanagara and Adil Shahi dynasties. Amongst all these dynasties today we will discuss the Kadambas of Goa.


Origin of Kadamba

There are several stories about the origin of the Kadamba. According to one such story this dynasty was formed by a three-eyed four-armed warrior called Trilochana Kadamba, the father of Mayurasharma. It is said that Trilochana Kadamba emerged from the sweat of the god Shiva under a Kadamba tree. While the other story says that Mayursharma himself was born to Lord Shiva and Bhudevi (goddess of the earth). Some people tie them with Nagas and Nandas in northern India.


The Kadambas is considered as the ancient royal family of Karnataka; they have ruled northern Karnataka and the Konkan from the Banavasi (in present-day Uttara Kannada district).


From one of the Talagunda inscription, it has found that the Kadamba’s were of Brahmin origins that descended from the king Mayurasharma in the year 345 CE. King Mayursharma is considered as the founder of this kingdom. He founded this kingdom after defeating the armies of the Pallavas of Karachi with the help of some native tribes and claimed sovereignty. Later, during the reign of king Kakusthavarma the power of Kadamba reached its peak.


From the mid-6th Century the Kadamba dynasty continued to be vassal of their feudatories like Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas Empire. They remained the feudatories of these two empires from 937 CE to 1162 CE and later they also became the feudatories of the Yadavas of Devagiri. According to the one of the ‘Savai Vera’ inscription in one of the war; Kadamba allied with the Chalukya, to help Chalukya to defeat Rashtrakutas.


During the 10th century, Kadambas took advantage of the weakness of the Deccan and started getting settle in the Halshi district of Karnataka.Somehow they managed to make dynasties like the Kadambas of Goa, the Kadambas of Halasi and the Kadambas of Hangal.




Rule of Kadambas in Goa

The Kadambas dynasty had its various branches; The Kadamas of Goa being the most famous amongst them. The Shasthadeva of Kadamba is said to be a founder of this dynasty; he founded this dynasty after conquering the city of Chandrapur from the Shilahara Dynasty in the year 690 CE. The Kadambas are considered as the first to rule the ancient town city of Chandrapur. Today, this place is popularly known as Chandor in South Goa. After coming to the power they also shifted their capital to Gopakapattana. King Shashthadeva of the Kadamba dynasty conquered Goa, Port Gopakapattana and Kapardikadvipa. Later he also made Gopakapattana as their capital. He also annexed the large part of South Konkan to his kingdom, making Gopakapattana as his subsidiary capital. Under the rule of Kadamba for the first time in history, Goa took the shape of political organization. This was a time when considered as the First Golden Age of Goa due to its wealth.


The religion, culture, trade, and art of Goa were at its peak during the rule of Kadambas. Under their rule, Goa had turned into Hindu Pilgrimage as they had made many Shiva temples in Goa. But, today among the entire temple only Kandamba’s structure which is surviving today is Tambdi Surla; rest all the temples were destroyed by the Portuguese and by the Muslims. The Tamdbi Surla temple is hidden in the dense jungle and today this temple is considered as the tourist spot.


The Kadamba ruled Goa for almost 300 years; During their rule in Goa Kadamba also assumed the title like Konkanadhipati, Saptakotisha Ladbha Varaveera, Gopakapura Varadhishva, Konkanmahacharavarti, and Panchamahashada.


Kadambas got married to the royalty of Saurashtra and even with local chieftains. The king of Kadamba uses to patronize Vedic religion and also used to perform a fire sacrifice such as ‘AshwamedhaYagna’. They were the follower of Lord Shiva; so they popularized Shaivism and also patronized Jainism in Goa.The name of the some of the rulers of the Kadambas of Goa dynasty is as follows:


  1. Shashthadeva I 960 CE
  2. Veeravarmadeva (1042-1054 CE)
  3. Jayakesin I (1050-1080 CE)
  4. Jayakesin II (1119-1147 CE)
  5. SivachittaTribhuvanamalla (1147-1181 CE)
  6. Shashthadeva III (1246-1260 CE)
  7. Ramchandra Deva (1270-1311 CE)



Coins of Kadambas

Coins issued by the Kadambas in gold metal are one of the most purest and heavy amongst all the medieval Indian gold coinage. In gold metal the Kadambas issued coins in two types

Punched Marked Gold Coins

Die struck gold coins


Punched Marked Gold Coins

In gold, punched marked coins issued by them bear central punch mark of Hunumana and four retrospectant lions. Two prominent punch marks create 2 Shri alphabets in Telgu-Kammada Script and also and depicts goddess Laxmi.


Die struck gold coins

The Die struck gold coin issued by them bears Goddess Laxmi on one side and Toyimadeva on others. One of the gold coins issued by him depicts god Hanumana in centerwithin line and dotted circle, flanked by two chouries and conch; this coin also includes the figures of the sun and moon.


Coins of Kadambas of Goa

The Kadambas had ruled Goa for more than 250 years; and during this period the coins issued by them were mostly in gold. During the first half of 13th Century the gold coins issued by the Kadambas were inspired by the Yadavas of Devagiri. Later; this dynasty fell into the hands of AlauddinKhalji of Khalji dynasty. In later periods this kingdom became the part of the Delhi Sultanate and finally it got absorbed into the Bahmani kingdom.

The gold coins issued by the Kadambas of Goa bear a ‘Lion with reverted head facing towards left.’ The reverse of the coin depicts the king’s name in Devanagari. Probably all the coins of Kadambas of Goa dynasty were issued in a same pattern.




Jayakesin I

This gold pagoda was issued by king Jayakesin I and the weight of this gold pagoda is around 4.4g. The obverse of this coin depicts Lion type, a lion to left with cyclical date in front of it.  The reverse of this coin depicts ‘Nagari legend ‘Virajayakesi deva malvaramari.’




Sivachitta Tribhuvanamalla

This gold Pagoda was issued by king Sivachitta and the weight of this gold pagoda is around 4.49g. The obverse of this coin depicts ‘Lion with reverted head facing towards left.’ The reverse of this gold coin depicts Devanagari legend Sri Sivachitta Vira Parmmadideva Mala Haramari in five lines.




Anonymous Rulers

This gold gadyana was issued by an anonymous ruler of Kadambas of Goa dynasty. The weight of this gold gadyana is around 3.7g. The obverse of this coin depicts ‘lion standing facing left, in front of a bell.’ The reverse of this coin depicts devanagarilegend ShriMalaha / Ramari in two lines.


Decline of Kadambas

In the year 1312 CE the sultan of Delhi Sultanate AllaudinKhilji of the Khalji Empire sent his army under the leadership of his general Malik Kafur to Goa. This invasion of Malik Kafurhad led heavy wastage in all the areas which also includes south of Vindhyas, Konkan, and Gopakapatnam. Later, in the year 1327 when Muhammad Bin Tughluq of the Tughluq dynasty invaded, he brought the distant provinces under his control along with the Western coast bordering the Arabian Sea.

The Mintage World Team comprises of experts, researchers and writers from the field of Philately, Notaphily and Numismatics who try to shed light on some of the most interesting aspects of coins, banknotes and stamps from not just India but across the globe as well.

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