Bell Metal Sel of Manipur

23 Apr 2020  Thu

The Bell Metal Sel is one of the coins of Manipur. These uniface coins are iconic and interesting part of the Coinage of Manipur.

The documented history of Manipur begins with the reign of the Meetei King of Ningthouja clan Nongda Lairen Pakhangba (dragon king/god) (r. 33–154 AD), who unified the seven clans of Meetei society. Since ancient times, the Meetei people have lived in the valleys of Manipur alongside the Nagas and Kukis in the hills.

Meetei Pangal people settled in the valleys during the reign of Meidingu Khagemba in the year 1606. Since then, they also lived along with the Meetei People. Manipur became a princely state under British rule in 1891; the last of the independent states to be incorporated into British India.

The Bell metal coins Known as Sel, which are very small in size, approx 1.3 gms in weight were introduced in Manipur kingdom by Meidingu Khagemba (1597–1652), also known as the conqueror of Chinese. There are other coins like square coins, which are similar to the coins of the Ahom Kingdom of Assam.

The sel coin is inscribed with ‘Nagari’ letter ‘Shri’ and the reverse side is blank.

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