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

SPECIFICATIONS
DenominationKahavanu
MetalGold 0.3?
AlloyCu/Ag = 0.5?
TypeStruck
Diameter21.0 mm
Thickness2.3 mm
Weight4.26 gms
Die Axis90°
vijayabahu_stamp_au_obverse vijayabahu_stamp_au_reverse
Codrington #72 OMRS-86; Mitchiner #831
vijayabahu~iv_legend 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 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.