1055 - 1110 - Lanka

VijayaBahu I - Kahavanu

Gold Kahavanu of VijayaBahu I(1055_1110) issued after he freed Lanka from the period of Chola occupation of Lanka by RajaRaja Chola(985-1014).

SPECIFICATIONS
DenominationKahavanu
AlloyBase Gold
TypeStruck
Diameter20.4 mm
Thickness2.0 mm
Weight4.30 gms
ShapeRound
EdgePlain
Die Axis90°
1055_vijayabahu~i_au_obverse 1055_vijayabahu~i_au_reverse
Codrington #72 ; Mitchiner #831
Obverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king.
The normal head consists of an irregular oblong with central eye, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The back and top are formed by a curved line bulging outwards at the crown of the skull. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. To the extreame left is the faint trace of the outermost standing lamp symbol. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a 'dhoti'. The line between the legs being very fine and often obliterated. The lotus stalk with the exception of the finials, is a fine line and is often absent. The right side elbow is curved down with the arm turned upwards holds a flower presumed to be a jasmine blossom. To the right are five dots or spheres. A rim of 40 to 43 beads.
Reverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a chank shell. The left leg is perpendicular and nearly in line with the body. On right Devanagari legend Sri Vi ja ya Ba hu is more regular than the Chola with a slightly different script. The asana usually is represented by a straight line from which four or five short lines project, or it is crossed by that number of lines; but it is faint or omitted.
vijayabahu~iv_legend

This coinage was probably initiated after Vijayabahu completed the expulsion of the Chola from Lanka in 1070/1.
Vijaya Bahu's first attempt to secure Polonnaruwa about A.D. 1066 ended in failure. When a civil war, raged in the Chola empire and ended with the accession of Kulottunga Chola I. in A.D. 1069/70. Vijaya Bahu was able to capture Polonnaruwa and enter Anuradhapura about A.D. 1070. His coronation as monarch of Lanka was delayed by rebellion, and only took place in his eighteenth year, or A.D. 1072/3. Vijaya Bahu married Lilavati, daughter of Jagatipala of Kanauj.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
   Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - Vijaya Bahu I Page 63 PL 72

The coin was scanned at 300 dpi and displayed at 300 dpi was obtained in 2001 December from O. M. R. Sirisena an expert collector in Colombo, Lanka.