Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Story of Indian Money - XIV Rise of Rajput clans (1000-1200 A.D.)

Rise of Rajput clans (1000-1200 A.D.)
 The tenth century saw the rise of smaller regional powers like Chapas and Chaulukyas of Gujarat, Paramaras of Malwa, Kalachuris of Tripuri, Chandelas of Khajuraho, Gahadavalas of Kashi, Tomaras of Dhillika, Chahamanas of Ajayameru (Ajmer) collectively called the Rajput clans by modern historians.
Of these, the Chaulukyas adopted the imperial Gurjara-Pratihara coinage as their prototype whereas the Chahamanas and Tomaras adopted the ‘Bull-and-Horseman’ type of Hindu Shahis. The Paramaras of Malwa adopted the Gurjara-Pratihara type by replacing the fire altar on the reverse with a battle scene between a horseman and two soldiers.

The Kalachuris of Tripuri (near Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh) initiated a new gold coin under King Gangeyadeva (1015-1040) bearing the image of seated Goddess Lakshmi flanked by elephants on either side on the obverse with the inscribed name of the king on the reverse in Devanagari. 
Gangeyadeva’s prototype was copied many other dynasties of Central India in the following centuries like the Chandelas of Khajuraho, the Yadavas of Bayana and the Gahadvalas of Kashi who replaced the king’s name on the reverse side in Nagari script. 
The Lakshmi coin type as it is called by modern numismatists was even copied and issued by Muhammad Ghori (known as Muhammad bin Sam on his coinage) when he captured the Gahadvala ruler, Jayachandra's kingdom in A.D. 1194 centred upon Kannauj.
Jayachandra, also known as Jaichand in Prithviraja Raaso, was the famous rival of Prithviraj Chauhan, Prithviraja III, of Dihilka/Ajayameru who was treacherously defeated by Ghori at the Battle of Tarrain in A.D. 1192 through Jaichand's tacit refusal to fight the Ghorid armies.
Another coin type was issued by the cadet branch of the Kalachuris which ruled from Ratnapura had the image of a lion fighting an elephant called as Gaja-Shardula in lieu of the Lakshmi image.
The coinage of Lakshmi type was probably inspired by the Gupta coinage and was the last 'Hindu' icon to occur on a North Indian coinage as the next epoch was the introduction of Islamic coinage which involved a different paradigm.

The Lakshmi image underwent progressive degradation with the parts of the deity's body showing division and separation with passage of time. This phenomenon is seen on many coinages and probably owes its origin to lack of royal patronage to the minters' art as the later dynasties were content with the crude copies of the original prototype.