Gold Pagoda of Arcot

08 Dec 2017  Fri

Arcot is situated on the east coast of India between Madras and Calcutta. Arcot is said to be derived from Tamil word ‘Aarukaadu’. Tamil word ‘Aaru’ means ‘river’ and ‘kaadu’ means forest, hence the word ‘Aarukadu’ means a forest of fig trees.

The Nawab of Arcot (also known as Nawab of Carnatic) was ranked as first Carnatic Noble under the British India. The family was descendent of Anwar-al-Din, who received the title ‘Nawab of Carnatic’ from Nizam of Hyderabad in the 18th century. Nawab of Carnatic ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 till 1801.

Arcot struggled a lot initially to establish an independent state after the fall of Mughals in the North and Vijayanagar in the South. The Nawab of Arcot had to compete with his contemporary rulers such as the Tanjore, Madurai, Mysore, Marathas and the Nizams of Hyderabad.

This Arcot three swami gold pagoda issued by ‘Muhammad Ali’ son of Nawab of Carnatic Anwar-al-Din, weighs around 3.4g. On the obverse image, there is an image of Lord Balaji standing with his two wives Bhudevi and Shridevi. On the reverse, a Persian alphabet ‘Ain’ is inscribed on a granulated field.