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Narayani Currency

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Currency of Maharaja Nara Narayan

Silver Coin of
Maharaja Nara Narayan

(p1) When from use of currency came in vogue in the ancient Pragjyotispur or Kamrup is not exactly known. Emperor Samudragupta, Kings of Hun dynasty, Pal & Sen dynasties ruled over Kamrup over decades. But no currency belonging to their age was discovered in this region. A few coins were discovered in 1863 A.D. near Gosanimari Kasteswari Temple contained within ancient kingdom of Kamtapur. Of them currency belonging to Hosen Shah and Pathan Sultan of Delhi were identified. But no currency of King Nilambar of Kamtapur could be traced.

Maharaja Viswa Singha became the king of Kamtapur after Nilambar. But there is no trace of Maharaja's currency. He was descended by Maharaja Nara Narayan. Few silver coins of his time (1554 - 1587 A.D.) has been discovered. Some of those coins have been kept at the Asiatic Society of Kolkata and some are present at the royal palace of Cooch Behar.

front side of Maharaja Nara Narayan's coin >
Currency of Maharaja Nara Narayan

Coins issued by Maharaja Lakshmi Narayan (1587 - 1621 A.D.) have also been discovered. Some of those silver coins are kept at the British Museum, Royal Palace of Cooch Behar, Cooch Behar Treasury, Sahitya Sabha of Cooch Behar, Shilong Cabinet and Bangiya Sahitya Parishad.

Currency of Maharaja Lakshmi Narayan Currency of Maharaja Lakshmi Narayan

preview of Maharaja Lakshmi Narayan's coin >

Apart from this  few coins of Maharaja Pran Narayan have been preserved at the Sahitya Sabha & Treasury of cooch Behar, British Museum and Shilong Cabinet. One quarter of a coin issued by Maharaja Basudev Narayan has been kept at the Cooch Behar Treasury. Coins issued by Maharaja Rup Narayan, Maharaja Upendra Narayan and Maharaja Debendra Narayan have been preserved at the royal palace and treasury of Cooch Behar. The inscriptions on those coins are in Debnagari script. Coins of Maharaja Shibendra Narayan bear modern Bengali script. Reverse side of those coins bear scripts in Maithili. Total eleven golden coins of Maharaja Shibendra Narayan are preserved at the Cooch Behar palace & treasury. Coins belonging to Maharaja Narendra Narayan, Nripendra Narayan, Raj Rajendra Narayan and Jagaddipendra Narayan have also been preserved at the Treasury. Coins of Maharaja Raj Rajendra Narayan bear the seal of lion and elephant - the royal emblem, along with the word "Jatodharmatostoe Joy" in Bengali script. Prior to him the coins of all previous kings bore the name of Shiva (Hindu God).   next (p2)

(p2) The currency of the Koch Kings were named as "Narayani" after the royal surname "Narayan" of the dynasty. Those currency were in vogue in entire North Bengal including states of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Assam. In 1773 A.D., when princely state of Cooch Behar was transformed into a friendly state of the British, about 40 - 50 thousand Narayani silver coins used to be issued in the village of Takagachh under the "Bhandar Thakur". While entering into agreement with East India Company, Maharaja of Cooch Behar tried to retain the power/authority to issue currency in His name. In 1774 A.D. Governor General and Revenue Council notified ban on acceptance of Narayani currency. At that time in Rangpur region use of Sikka, Narayani, Parsi, Arkot currency were in practice. Finally during the time of minor Maharaja Harendra Narayan British officials totally stopped the use of Narayani currency. After that on 27th December 1845 A.D. Indian Government commanded the British Agent to shut down the mint at Cooch Behar. In 1866 British Government made it mandatory by law to use its own issued currency. ~ End ~

 Source  :- Translated from "Kochbiharer Itihas", 2nd edition (1988), by Shri. Hemanta Kumar Roy Barma, M.A.,B.L. (ex-Nayeb Ahilkar of erstwhile Cooch Behar Princely State)

also check out Cooch Behar Merger Agreement

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"Narayani" Currency of Koch kingdom

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