|Catalogue Ref. No||:||KM 122|
|Ruler / Authority||:||Peshwa|
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‘A great man is born out of his deeds’ and this quote perfectly described Peshwa Bajirao. He was born on 18 August 1700 into a Marathi Chitpavan Brahmin family to Balaji Vishwanath and Radhabai and had a younger brother named Chimnaji Appa. From an early age, he drew a lot of inspiration from his father and traits such as courage and discipline were instilled in him. His devotion to his father was incomparable to any great leader and this could clearly be seen when his father was arrested by Maharaja Shahu’s army-in-chief Dabhaji Thorat in 1716. Bajirao not only remained with him in prison but stayed with him for the whole two years. Soon, after his father’s death, Chattrapati Sahu made Bajirao the new Peshwa at the young age of 20.
His attributes of courage and bravery complimented his physique which was muscular as he was quite tall for a young man, who was just 20 years old. He was a jewel, waiting to be found and polished. When he was ready to shine, many in the Maratha court were jealous of his prestigious position. Just like in The Mahabharatha, Arjun’s eyes were focused only on the fish’s eye; similar was the case with Peshwa Bajirao, whose only goal was to expand the Maratha Empire. He conquered Malwa followed by Gujarat and then went on to annex most of central India and even made a bold move to attack the imperial Delhi. When it came to his achievements, no one can forget his heroic act in the battle of Palkhed, where he displayed amazing military skills.
From one of the best kings, we move on to Maratha coins that were splendid, filled with grace and depicted strong character. Coins during the Maratha period displayed amazing features and it is certain that Shivaji, the great was the first one to issue coins in 1664. In the early 18th century, the Maratha chiefs made a brave move of minting coins in the south Maratha country. But, the position in the north was quite obscure. Also, there is some evidence of a Mint at Satara, where gold, silver and copper coins were struck. However, the scene in western Maharashtra, Maratha Mints started gaining popularity and even the South debased coin was being issued from many Mints established there.
Athni – It is a town about 66 kilometers west of the city of Bijapur. The rupees of Athni were similar to those of Bagalkot and Bijapur. They were evident by the Mint name Athni, which can be seen at the top of the reverse. The Mints of Athni, Bagalkot and Bijapur were established and operated by Malhar Bhikaji Raste and the notes under the Bagalkot Mint. The rupees of the Athni mint were nicely produced on wide flans. And they all bear the date 1181, which actually is an error for A.H.1171(1757-58) the year when they were first struck.
Kolhapur – Kolhapur Mint struck a rupee T1 in the name of Muhammad Shah, dated AH1139. This rupee looks like an isolated issue as no other coins of this type are known. Before the state government moved to Kolhapur, 1788 coins had been struck at Panhala. And a similar type of rupee was produced at Kolhapur and was known as Panhalli. These Panhalli rupees were circulated until about 1860, when they were withdrawn and sent to the mint at Mumbai to be converted into Imperial coinage. The Panhalli rupee had 9 to 11 annas worth of silver and weighed 170.6 grains.
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