The gold gadyana found recently, one of the first inscribed coins with elephant and floral design, originates from the Western Gangas dynasty of Talakad in T Narsipur taluk, said Department of Museum, Heritage and Archaeology director R Gopal.
Though the coins were said to be in circulation during the Western Gangas dynasty, there is no evidence to confirm it.
R Gopal told Express: “Recently, I came across a gold Gadyana which was in the possession of a collector in Mysore. The coin is unique as it has confirmed the attribution of the elephant type to the Gangas of Talakad.”
“On one side the elephant standing to the left is highly ornamented with jingling girdles and other ornaments. The ornamented trunk hangs down. In front of the trunk is what looks like an ‘ankusha.’ Above the elephant is a Kannada letter which cannot be deciphered. It is a profusely decorated elephant which was not seen even during the Vijayanagar period,” he said.
“On the tail side is an elegant floral design within which is inscribed the Narasinga, a Kannada legend. On the obverse these coins have been ascribed to the Western Gangas of Talakad. The main reason for attributing them to the Gangas is the presence of the caparisoned elephant on the obverse. This depiction is highly similar to that of the copper plates of the Gangas. Though not inscribed, they have been attributed to the Gangas. What is noteworthy is that the coins so far published have only floral designs and no legend on the reverse,” he said. The coin is unique because of the presence of a legend in Kannada characters. The coin can be dated to the 10th century CE. It is evident that Narasimha or Narasinga was an able Ganga king who was not only learned but also a good warrior. As stated, he thwarted the efforts of the Nolamba chiefs to become independent. Hence, there is nothing surprising in a king of this stature issuing gold gadyanas, he said.