Ancient coins shed light on links between Kerala, Kongu lands

Numismatic evidence on the close ties which existed between Kongu lands (Eastern Palakkad, Coimbatore, Salem and parts of Karnataka).

Published: 23rd May 2016 04:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2016 04:26 AM   |  A+A-

PALAKKAD: Numismatic evidence on the close ties which existed between Kongu lands (Eastern Palakkad, Coimbatore, Salem and parts of Karnataka) and Kerala in the late medieval period onwards has been brought to light.

It was the Palakkad gap which linked Kerala with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and the unearthing of the coins establish the strong links through the centuries. The head of the department of History of Government Victoria college K Rajan who examined and identified the coin hoard assessed its importance and linked it to the late medieval period. It is not just Roman coins but also indigenous coins which throw much light on the commercial and cultural importance of Palakkad gap, he said.

He said: It was in 2013 that the present Chairman of the Sreeramathirtham temple in Thenari, 9 kilometres to the East of Palakkad town Gopalakrishnan cleaned the sacred well (Thirtha kulam) and recovered a coin hoard which consisted of a Dutch copper coin (known as Duit) and British coins of different denominations.

Rajan said that it was three months ago that he examined and identified its importance. He said the Dutch coin is noted for the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or Dutch East India Company) monogram topped by the Zeeland mint symbol on the obverse and the crown with lion on the reverse. The British coins cover the period starting from 1835 onwards.

He said the coins seem to have been thrown into the ‘thirtha kulam’  which is believed to be sprouting from the river Ganges. Rajan pointed out that numismatic evidence strongly supports the fact that from the middle of the 18th century, perhaps even before the conquest of Kerala by Hyder Ali, there could have been a close connection between Mysore and parts of the State bordering the Kongu lands. This is evident from the unearthing of several copper ‘kasu’ of the elephant type belonging to the period of Krishnaraja Wodeyar II (1734-1766). Coins bearing lion symbol have also been found. Apart from coins belonging to the Wodeyars of Mysore, several other coins belonging to the post-Tippu era have also been identified, he added.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp