Gupta, one of the popular dynasties, is known for their highly stylized coins. We have seen various different types of coins issued by different Gupta rulers. But today we are going to see something fascinating! But firstly let’s see the coin given aside.
It was issued by Kumar Gupta I (415-450 AD). The obverse of the Gold Dinar depicts the nimbate king, wearing a dhoti, shooting an arrow using a strung bow into the mouth of a tiger to left and Brahmi letter ‘Ku’ below his arm and ‘Shri Ma’ (at 11 o'clock) and ‘Wyaghrabalapara..’ from 3 to 5 o'clock. The reverse has a river-goddess Ganga standing on a Makara, holding a long-stemmed lotus in her hand, feeding a peacock, a Brahmi legend ‘Kumaraguptodhiraja’ in the right field and Tamgha in the left.
In the mythological serials, we usually see Ganga Maiya seated on a white lotus flower. But do you know the vahana of Goddess Ganga?
Makara is the Vahana of Ganga. The word Makara is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘sea dragon’ or ‘water monster’ in Hindu Culture. It is a half terrestrial and half aquatic animal. The front part consists of a stag, deer, crocodile or elephant and the hind part is a fish (sometimes depicted as floral tail). The role or duty of a Makara is to guard the gateway and protect the entryway of a temple.
So, the next time you see this mythical animal, remember it is ‘Makara’. Rarely do we see Makara on coins, so enjoy the beauty and symbology of this coin. Check these coins on our webiste.Till then stay excited to know more facts about Ancient India!