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).
This very specimen was loaned by Raja Wickramasinghe for use as the model to
draw the Rs 13.50 Stamp of
Indigenous Coinage of Sri Lanka
stamp set issued by Sri Lanka Philatelic Bureau on 2001.06.18
Obverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king.
|Alloy||Cu/Ag = 0.5?|
|Codrington #72 OMRS-86; Mitchiner #831
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 in front of face a flower presumed to be
a Jasmine blossom. To the right are five annulet with a dot in
center (Target). 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 Nagari legend Sri Vi ja ya Ba hu is
more regular than the Chola with a slightly different script. The rectangular
asana is crossed by two
short lines (3 compartments).
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 CE 1069/70. Vijaya Bahu was able to capture
Polonnaruwa and enter Anuradhapura about CE 1070. His coronation as
monarch of Lanka was delayed by rebellion, and only took place in his
eighteenth year, or CE 1072/3. Vijaya Bahu married Lilavati,
daughter of Jagatipala of Kanauj.
The coin was scanned at 600 dpi and displayed at 300 dpi.
It is from part of Lalith Raddella's collection (ex: Raja Wickramasinghe)
I purchased in 2016 December.