A Collector and His Unique Collection

18 Dec 2017  Mon

Epigraphist and numismatist Musham Damodhar Rao claims that Mahishmati from the movie Bahubali existed in reality. The empire was located on the border of Karnataka and Andhra region. He also claims that he owns one of the rarest coins from Mahishmati Empire. His collection of coins, currency notes, and firmans of Telangana, belonging to various periods and dynasties, was showcased during the World Telugu Conference which was held at LB stadium.

He also owns a rare Gobada coin from 800 BC with a unique Brahmi script. He states that Ashoka was not the first to use Brahmi script on rock edicts. The Gobada coin has Brahmi script of a geometrical pattern while the Ashoka Brahmi script is curved. Gobada coins were issued before the Ashoka period. He also stated that no museum in the world has a geometrical Gobada coin.

Aurangzeb had offered many forts to local Sardars for 500 or 1000 dinars as yearly Shisthu after conquering Golkonda. Damodhar has a firman of Devarakonda that was given by a particular Sardar for a region that stated 1000 dinar.

Many Satavahana coins from his collection were made of nine different materials. The script has dissipated due to corrosion. To understand Satavahana coins, he learned Brahmi script.

One of the highlights was a dagger commemorative copper coin from the 16th century, issued when Hyderabad was founded by Quli Qutub Shah. Urdu inscription on the reverse reads “Farkhunda Buniyad”, which translates to “Happy Foundation of Hyderabad city”. Naga kings had ruled Telangana region before Gobada kings. These coins only feature lines, minus, plus, commas and remain decoded till date. Naga Kings were the first rulers of Telangana.

Hyderabad’s one-rupee silver coin of Nizam era does not weigh 10 grams, but 11.6 grams and is also called old Tula. Britishers used to exchange Rs 125 for 100 coins of Nizam rupees. This shows the strength of Hyderabad Nizam economy.

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