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File:Uttama coin.png

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An early silver kasu of Uttama Chola (973 - 985) Thanjavur in TamilNadu.
It is from the period of trade just before the Chola invasion of Lanka in 990 AD by Rajaraja Chola (985-1014).
This original "seated Tiger" design is also used in a gold fanam coin.

SPECIFICATIONS Denomination Kasu, Alloy Silver, Type Struck, Diameter 18.8 mm, Thickness 2.6 mm, Weight 4.10 gms, Shape Round, Edge Plain, DieAxis 120°,

Uttama Chola Mitchiner #713-725 ; Biddulph #26

Obverse : Tiger (Chola symbol) seated right faces towards two upright fishes (Pandyan symbol): bow (Chera symbol) behind: umbrella above.
Reverse : Uttama / Chola - in Bengali script

The emblem of a "tiger facing two fish" was adopted by Uttam Chola (973-985) of Thanjavur in ThamilNadu.

The seated tiger represented the Chola homeland, and the upright fish for the Pandya conquest.

The coin is discussed by Biddulph in his 1966 monogram on Coins of the Cholas. In his catalog he lists this coin #26 as by Rajendra I Chola (AD 1012-1044) after he assumed the title Uttama Chola. Mitchiner notes that Chattopadhyaya (1977, p53) disagreed.

The silver was scanned at 600 dpi and displayed at 300 dpi. It was purchased on ebay in Sept 2002.

Text edited from

  • Coins of the Cholas: C. H. Biddulph, NSI #13, 1966.
  • Oriental Coins: Michael Mitchiner, London, Hawkins Publications, 1978.

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