India - Rajendra Chola I : 1014 - 1044

Thanjavur Gold - Yuddhamalla

An early gold coin of "seated Tiger" type from the period of continued Chola occupation of Lanka by Rajendra Chola I (1014-1044) of Thanjavur in ThamilNadu.

SPECIFICATIONS
DenominationOne Tenth
MetalGold 0.??
AlloyCu/Ag = 0.??
TypeStruck
Diameter9. mm
Thickness mm
Weight0.43 gms
DieAxis
chola_yuddamalla_au_obverse chola_yuddamalla_au_reverse
Rajendra CholaMitchiner #728 ; Biddulph #29
DenominationOne Tenth
MetalGold 0.??
AlloyCu/Ag = 0.??
TypeStruck
Diameter9.2 mm
Thickness1.1 mm
Weight0.48 gms
DieAxis180°
chola_yuddamalla_au_obverse chola_yuddamalla_au_reverse
Rajendra CholaMitchiner #728 ; Biddulph #29
The design is that of the traditional Thanjavur Fanam.
Obverse : Tiger (Chola symbol) seated right faces towards two upright fishes (Pandyan symbol): bow (Chera symbol) behind: umbrella above.
Reverse : Yuddha / Malla - in Nagari 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 fish for the Pandya conquest. The fish on the Pandyan coins are horizontal (swimming) and in this case vertical (dead). The title Yuddhamalla was adopted by RajaRaja Chola's son Rajendra Chola (1014-1044). Rajaraja Chola invaded Lanka in 990 AD and conquered the northern half. Ruining Anuradhapura he made Polonnaruwa his capital on the island;. Rajendra Chola succeeded in extended Chola occupation over the whole island of Lanka in 1018. The "seated king" design of Lankan massa became the model for subsequent Chola coins. Lanka became regained independence from Chola occupation in 1070 under Vijaya-bahu (1055-1110).

Codrington on page 84, states " a very few with the legend Yuddha mallah (Coins of Southern India, Sir W. Elliot No. 155), of poor gold seem to have been found in the island.".

The coin is discussed by Biddulph in his 1966 monogram on Coins of the Cholas. It's weight is one tenth of a Madai coin and 25% smaller than the Lankan gold aka (one eighth) coin.
The Chalukyan, ruler named Yuddhamalla II (AD 928-935) much earlier than the Chola conquest of Vengi, after only which the group of symbols occurring on these coins are seen on Chalukya-Chola coins. This coin could have been struck by Rajendra I Chola as a special issue at the time of the marriage of his daughter to the Chalukya Raja Raja Narendra (AD 1019-1061), the father of Rajendra II (Chalukya), who was known subsequently as Kulottunga I (Chola) (AD 1070-1118).

The gold coin was scanned at 600 dpi and displayed at 600 dpi. Coin-1 was purchased on ebay in Sept 1999 from a seller who had purchased from a Auction by Harlan Berk of Chicago, who however atributed it to 12-14th century. Coin-2 was obtained within a lot from a collector Lalith Raddella in 2015 August.

IMHO image of the tiger is face-on, with the two eyes represented by the two dots at 10 - 11 O'clock. The larger dot inside is the mouth with the nose and wiskers represented by lines in between. see it ... Since designs often became more stylised with time this coin is probably an older issue.

See also base gold kasu coin of Ragendra Chola. The original "seated Tiger" design is from the Uttama Chola (973 - 985) silver kasu coin.

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