Shown above is silver coin of Queen Lilavati, this is pierced and was used as a pendent.
A silver coin of Queen Lilavati in the collection of lowsley was considered suspicious by HW Codrington in 1924. Few more coins has surfaced since then. It is interesting to know if silver Dambedeniya kasi has been excavated during the Central Cultural Fund digs.Many gold plated Lilavati are found amoung the Copper pieces.
QUEEN LILAVATI – Widow of King Parakrama Bahu I was regent No 148.
First Rule [ 1197-1200 AD] –
Second Rule[ 1209 AD].
Third Rule [ 1211 AD].
The Numismatist has speculated the existence of three type of coins of Lilavati and assigns them to the three periods of reign.
The country had many internal squabbles though prosperous and the Queen was able to devote her time to the development of literature, music, drama and art. There are 3 inscription of hers.
11. Lilavati, queen, A.D. 1197-1200 ;1209;1211.
AV.: “Massa,” “ The appearances of it is suspicious ” (Lowsley)
AR, : Double and single ” massa” “The two double massas are thick coins well struck but in rather bad preservation, through the characters are quite legible” (Lowsley).
AE. : Average of 68 : Diameter. 0.80 inch ; eighty, 65.7 grains. Average of 49 clean ; weight 63.1 grain .PL 80
A Copper ” half massa” is given by Lowsley.
There are many light coins of Lilavati, most weigh 2.6 grams.
A gilt coin of Lilavati.A full massa
Legend, : Sri Raja Lila vati.
The Sinhala Nagari letter drawn by Frank A Lapa in Kings Of Kandy 1968 is given below for those identifying coins.
Sri, -vowel attached or separate.5 Variation are given above.
Ra, -Letters on coins
(1)projection from left vertical starts in an upward directional from the bottom or further up or
(2) is a horizontal stroke, or
(3) forms a small triangle attached to left side of the vertical.
ja, – as in (1) and (2) of Nissanka Malla ; in one instance the left arm is carried round to the right.
Li, – with vowel attached or separate. It sometimes read La.
la, – in one cask Li , reading with the preceding letter. La li.
Va- 2 Variations are above
Ti , – with vowel attached or separate ; in one instance ni
The heads are usually normal, but (c) (i) (1) and(3) occur.