Bhairava on coin

Dr. Nupam Mahajan nupam at MED.UNC.EDU
Wed Aug 5 20:59:37 UTC 1998

Dear Mr.Sundaresan

This coin was debated among few of my friends and it was generally
agreed that it was issued by Bhujbalas. The style of this coin
ruling in Nellore region of modern Andhra pradesh and Bolangir
district of modern Orissa state issued coins in the name of Bhujabalas
or Bhujavalas (literally strong armed ones).  On this coin there is
a legend in Kanarese/Telugu which reads :Bhairava". The question
is if Bahirava is the name of the ruler who issued the coin
or it suggest the name of deity of ruler's fancy. Alternately, do
we know any Telugu Choda ruler whose name or title was Bhairava?

This is an uniface gold coin with four punches (in similar style as that
of Yadava and Kakatiya dynasties with Devnagri or Telugu-Kanarese
inscription). Two punch marks create two "Shri" alphabates in Telugu which
depicts lord Vishnu. The third punch mark correspond to the Telugu
inscription on this coin which reads "Bhairava". Apart from inscription,
there is a triangular motif which most likely represents temple or crown
mark with Ankush. This triangular motif was peculiar to Chalukyas of
Kalayani. There are no other legends. The image of coins is available at:

Thus, as you can see, it is bit difficult to assign the coin to any
specific ruler of Bhujabala dynasty. I tentatively assigned 11th-13th
century for this coin because of the above reason.



Dr. Nupam Mahajan, PhD
School of Medicine, CB#7090
Dept of Cell Biolody & Anatomy, UNC
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Tel: 919-966-6316

> Do you mean E. Chalukyas of Vengi in Andhra Pradesh? Because -
> 1. The Telugu-Chodas, as the name indicates, were a branch of the
> Tanjavur Colas, and they ruled around the Nellore region. It seems
> improbable for them to have been feudatories of the Western Calukyas.
> They must have been allied either to the Colas or to the Eastern
> Calukyas. In any case, both these major dynasties were getting closely
> allied through matrimonial relations.
> 2. The time period 11th to 13th c. is too vast. In the 10th and early
> 11th c., the Colas from Tanjavur were the biggest power in the south,
> with kings like Rajaraja and Rajendra. Western Calukyas had been reduced
> to the status of local chieftains by this time. The more important power
> that was rising in the western region of south India was the Hoysala
> dynasty. By the end of the 11th c., Kulottunga Cola had united the Cola
> dynasty and the Eastern Calukya dynasty in his person. The Telugu Codas
> were definitely vassals of Kulottunga, as long as he lived. They are
> known to have rebelled in the time of his son, but were again subdued by
> Vikrama Cola. In the 13th c., the Tanjavur Colas had been subdued by the
> Madurai Pandyas in the south, who were allied militarily and
> matrimonially with the Hoysalas from Karnataka. It was around this time
> that the Telugu Codas became more independent and issued their own coins
> and inscriptions.
> Perhaps a narrower time frame can be obtained if you figure out the name
> of the chieftain who issued the coin. Isn't there an x-gaNDagopAla or a
> y-siddhi somewhere in it? These were frequent among the Telugu Codas. A
> period can be fixed by identifying the prefixes.

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