Gold Faman of the Banas of Madurai

04 Apr 2020  Sat

Banas of Madurai was an independent kingdom in South India that ruled from the 14th to the middle of the 16th century. The dynasty takes its name from Bana, the son of Mahabali. They served some major dynasties such as the Cholas and Pandyas as feudatories. The earliest mention of the Banas in authentic historical records is in the middle of the fourth century AD and as the feudatories of the Satavahana and early Pallavas.

The primary source to study the history of the Banas is Numismatics which has proved to be an excellent foundation to construct the history of the dynasty. They minted coins from Madurai with Garuda on the obverse and their title on the reverse. Many of them are in copper.

The rare example among the coins of the Banas of Madurai is the Gold Fanam. The fanam issued during the time Samarakolakalan (c. 1469 AD) depicts Garuda running towards the right and with outstretched wings. The reverse shows the stylized depiction of Goddess Kali.

The coin was sold for INR 16,000 in April 2016 at Mumbai.

Image Courtesy: todywallaauctions

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