India - Uttama Chola : 973 - 985

Thanjavur Silver Kasu

An early silver kasu of Uttama Chola (973 - 985) Thanjavur in ThamilNadu. 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.

Diameter18.8 mm
Thickness2.6 mm
Weight4.10 gms
uttama_chola_ag_obverse uttama_chola_ag_reverse
Uttama CholaMitchiner #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 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 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.