Arcot is also known as Carnatic, it is a town 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 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.
This ‘Three Swami’ type gold pagoda issued by Nawab of Arcot weighs around 3.42g. The obverse of a coin depicts the image of Lord Vishnu with Shri Devi and Bhu Devi. The reverse of a coin inscribed Persian letter, ‘Alif’ on the granulated field.
Similar coins with letter 'Ain' are well-known. 'Alif' here might refer to Nawab Anwaruddin Khan of Arcot (1744-1749), who was killed at the battle of Ambur while fighting the French on 3 August 1749.
Image Source: Classical Numismatic Gallery