Mysuru: A day-long exhibition of coins (from ancient to modern) was organised by Maharaja’s College, in association with the Department of Ancient History & Archaeology and Musicology and the Department of History and Graduate Library, University of Mysore (UoM), at the Library Reference Hall, Maharaja’s College campus here recently.
The exhibition was by Dr. Abdul Rasheed, popularly known as the ‘Coin Man of Mysore.’ The main objective of the exhibition was to create awareness on the antiquity of Indian Coinage among students and members of the public. The exhibition was inaugurated by H.I. Abdul Rashid, Programme Executive (Co-ordination), All India Radio, Mysuru.
The exhibition featured coins of the next age that were circulated in India by the Indo-Greek kings of North Western India. The coins are mainly made of Silver, Copper, Nickel and Lead. The collection of coins belonged to dynasties like Kalingas, Hoysalas, Cholas, Vijayanagar Moghuls and coins from East India Company, all of which were made of Gold, Silver, Copper, Nickel, Aluminium, Lead and other alloys.
The fascinating collection further included coins from the kingdoms of Kashmir, Jaunpur, Malwa, Diwanpur, Gujarat, Bahmanis, Bengal, Shahi and other princely States which existed during the British rule and prior to it, and also from Goa, Hyderabad, Travancore, Mysore, Arcot, Wadiyars, Pudukottai rulers, Peshwas, Marathas.
A total of 1,200 coins of 93 foreign countries from all continents and belonging to the times of Napoleon, Hitler, Queen Victoria, Tipu Sultan and other rulers were on display.
Also on display were more than 2,000 currency coins of India and other unique coins of many great personalities, events, food, agriculture practices etc., of the past. These coins have been collected with great efforts and persevered carefully over the years. They have also been systematically classified, categorised and fixed on proper display boards. It was an informative exhibition on Numismatics, the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money and related objects.
The expo chronicled the decline of coinage, with notings in their number, their appearance and their value. Almost all the coins had inscriptions of their times, mainly in Perso-Arabic-script.
The exhibition, apart from display of collection of coins through the ages from punch marked coins to gold coins from the Moghuls to the imperial coins and coins of post-independent India, also featured coins from third century BC, Ghazni era coins from North India and from Kanishka era coins in South India.
Over a thousand students and members of the public visited the expo.
When asked what drove him to pursue such a time-consuming hobby, Dr. Abdul Rasheed said that it all began with a curiosity to know about coins of different countries, supplemented by fascination and passion.
The journey began in the year 1955 when he was studying in high school, where he used to exchange coins which he had in excess from the collections of his forefathers, he said and added that his grandfather was an Inspector during British rule,who had the hobby of collecting coins.
Continuing, Dr. Rasheed said he used to collect ancient coins whenever he visited historical places during his trips abroad and he has coins from as old as 3rd Century BC.