1236-1271 - Lanka

ParakramaBahu II - One massa

The fairly common copper massa coin of king ParakramaBahu II who reigned for thirty-fifth years mostly from Dambadeniya.

SPECIFICATIONS
Denominationmassa
AlloyCopper
TypeStruck
Diameter19.44 mm
Thickness mm
Weight4.20 gms
ShapeRound
EdgePlain
DieAxis
1236_parakramabahu~ii_obverse 1236_parakramabahu~ii_reverse
Codrington #84Mitchiner #845-847
Obverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king.
The head consists of an irregular oblong, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The crown bulging outwards at the back. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a 'dhoti', and standing on a lotus stalk with flower to the right. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. 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 conch shell. On right Devanagari legend Sri Pa ra kra ma Ba hu
parakramabahu~ii_legend

This is one of six fairly common copper massa coins from the late Polonnaruwa and Dambadeniya era.

I quote from Codrington's "Short history of Ceylon" since the ancient chronicle Culavamsa becomes too verbose in this period.
The Sinhala king Vijayabahu III (1232-1236), who had attained the sovereignty well on in life, made his capital at Dambadeniya in Kurunegala District, and calling back the priests from India conveyed the Tooth and Bowl Relics from their hiding place in Kotmale to the seat of government. He only reigned four years, and before his death committed to the care of the priesthood his sons, ParakramaBahu and BhuvanaikaBahu, both of whom were children. Pandita ParakramaBahu II (1236-1271), was born at Sirivardhanapura not far from Dambadeniya. His first act after his coronation was to bring the Tooth Relic and lodge it at the capital. He then turned his attention to the recovery of Polonnaruva from the Pandaya, and achieved this purpose by 1244. The rest of the reign according to the contemporary records was spent in pious works ; the king also held a convocation for the purpose of reforming the priesthood, whose discipline had been relaxed during the Pandaya occupation. After reigning thirty-three years he abdicated in favor of his eldest son VijayaBahu. Having attended to restorations at Anuradhapura, VijayaBahu sent for his father to Polonnaruwa, where he was crowned a second time. The Tooth Relic having been brought, Parakrama held his ninth ordination festival at Dahastota, and then returned to Dambadeniya, where he died in his thirty-fifth year.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
   Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - Sinhala of 12th & 13th Century - Series II, Page 70
* Culavamsa II Chapter LXXXI: Translation by Wilhelm Geiger. Pali Text Society 1930

The coin was scanned at 300dpi and displayed at 300dpi is from my original collection from Lanka.