Munu is only 19-year-old. But he has a hobby which the veterans find tough to keep up with. He is a rare coin collector.
Belonging to Kapsila village of Gudvela block of the district, Manoranjan Behera alias Munu has turned his house into a mini museum of coins and currency notes. More than 2000 old coins of 1400 different varieties including ‘Pahuli’ and ‘Adhuli’ are showcased at the museum.
Munu completed his Plus-II from Tusra college and is currently pursuing a course in computer education. His collection has 16 types of eight annas, 24 types of one rupee, 22 types of two rupees coins and 20 types of five rupees from British era. These coins were circulated by the Reserve bank of India.
He has coins of 1835 and 1840 also, bearing the picture of William IV and Queen Victoria respectively. He also claims to have first `10 note, which is equal to the size of the present `100 note.
Describing the earlier currency system, Muna said,”At that time, 64 paisa made one rupee. Coins of less than one paisa value like Pahuli and Adhuli were in vogue. One paisa equals to three Pahuli and two Adhuli. There were three types of one paisa - Churki, Kana and Ghoda. Later, two paisa was introduced and it was widely used during British rule of King George V, VI and VII. Do anna coin bearing the image of Ashok Pillar was used after Independence also. The value of char anna is 16 paise which is locally known as ‘bagha paisa’ (tiger paisa) and was made of iron.”
Muna said he started collecting different types of coins and currency notes when he was only five years old. His collection also includes coins and currency notes from other countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Egypt and USA.
He also has a good collection of traditional ornaments like Kataria, Bandaria, Khili Kataria, Khili Chudi, Panasa Kalari and Bahuti Chudi. His recent collection includes different types of palm lef inscriptions.
“Collecting these coins and currency notes is my hobby. These coins are a sneak-peek into the bygone era.” he said.