COINS OF KING VIJAYABAHU I[1055-1110]

His name during his boyhood was Kitti,at the age of thirteen he was full of wisdom and valour and possessed great skill as an archer, he dealt in the village of Mulasala, at fifteen he took the title of Adipada[ Governor] at sixteen he attacked  and killed Kesadhatu who held Rohana for six months, and at seventeen he freed the Rohana from enemies. Thereafter he assumed the title of Vijaya Bahu, and in the fifteenth year of his reign as a ruler of Rohana, that is to say in his thirty third year of his age, he completed the conquest of  the Cholas and entered Anuradhapura”= Mahavansa.

The Gold,Silver and Copper Coins are perhaps, the first coin with the name of a Sinhala king’s coin on them. Many of the earlier coins don’t mention the name of the King, however coins of Devanampiyatissa and Mahasen has been identified by Numismatists.[ Read Blogs- King Devenampitiss’s coin.-sirimunasiha.wordpress and King Mahasens Coin.sirimunasiha.wordpress.]
He was able to free the Island from the Cholian Kings and ruled 37 years, he married a Sri-vijayan princess who was his second Meheshi from Kalainga. His sister named Mitta married a Pandya Prince. He restored most of the ancient irrigation work and rebuilt the monasteries and built the temple of the tooth at Pollonnaruva.

Atadage- Housed the Tooth relic and the Arms Bowl of the Buddha.

King Vijayabahu I coins from the cabinet of Mr Ruvan Fonseka;Coin numbers 1-4, the first row in the obverse and the second row is the reverse. The rows three and four, the top is the obverse and bottom the reverse. The last coin is a Type III  Kalanda of Gold.

Coin No 1.   Silver washed

Silver Washed Vijeyabahu Coin

Obv. Standing figure on lotus stalk with the Sanka or Chank on left and the Flower on right. Four Golas with Sun symbol as in Type III. Left hand hold a flower. Under right hand in the Srivatsa. A trace of lamp between hand and bead circle.

Rev: Seated figure hovers over an Asana and hold a Sanka in front of face., letters Sri Vi je bahu to left.

An Intaglio Seated Figure on a throne- Similar to Seated figure on Coin-Henry Parker.

Diameter=

Weight= 54 grains

Coin No 2.   Debased  5.4 Carat Gold.

Vijeyabahu I Coin No 2

Obv. Standing figure on lotus stalk with the Sanka or Chank on left and the Flower on right. Four Golas with Sun symbol as in Type III. Left hand hold a flower. Under right hand in the Srivatsa. A trace of lamp between hand and bead circle.

Rev: Seated figure hovers over an Asana of 3 compartments and hold a Sanka in front of face., letters Sri Vi je bahu to left.

Diameter=

Weight = 66 grains

Coin No 3.    Debased 3.4 carat Gold.

Vijeyabahu I Coin No 3

Obv. Standing figure on lotus stalk with the Sanka or Chank on left and the Flower on right. Four Golas with Sun symbol as in Type III. Left hand hold a flower. Under right hand in the Srivatsa. A trace of lamp between hand and bead circle.

Rev: Seated figure hovers over an Asana and hold a Sanka in front of face., letters Sri Vi je bahu to left.

Diameter=

Weight=66 grains

Coin No 4.   Debased 5.2 carat Gold.

ijeyabahu I Coin No4

Obv. Standing figure on lotus stalk with the Sanka or Chank on left and the Flower on right. Four Golas with Sun symbol as in Type III. Left hand hold a flower. Under right hand in the Srivatsa. A trace of lamp between hand and bead circle.

Rev: Seated figure hovers over an Asana and hold a Sanka in front of face., letters Sri Vi je bahu to left.

Diameter=

Weight= 66grains

Coin No 5.   Debased  2.9 carat gold

ijeyabahu I Coin No 5

Obv. Standing figure on lotus stalk with the Sanka or Chank on left and the Flower on right. Four Golas with Sun symbol as in Type III. Left hand hold a flower. Under right hand in the Srivatsa. A trace of lamp between hand and bead circle.

Rev: Seated figure hovers over an Asana and hold a Sanka in front of face., letters Sri Vi je bahu to left.

Diamter= 21mm

Weight= 66 grains

Coin No 6. Debased Gold 3.5  carat

Vijeyabahu I Coin No 6

Obv. Standing figure on lotus stalk with the Sanka or Chank on left and the Flower on right. Four Golas with Sun symbol as in Type III. Left hand hold a flower. Under right hand in the Srivatsa. A trace of lamp between hand and bead circle.

Rev: Seated figure hovers over an Asana and hold a Sanka in front of face., letters Sri Vi je bahu to left.This the letters Vi and Yais different

The Legend on coin No 6

Diameter= 23 mm

Weight=65 grains

Coin No 7. Debased Gold 2.9  carat

Vijeyabahu I Coin No 7

Obv.  Standing figure on lotus stalk with the Sanka or Chank on left and the Flower on right. Four Golas with Sun symbol as in Type III. Left hand hold a flower. Under right hand in the Srivatsa. A trace of lamp between hand and bead circle.

Rev: Seated figure hovers over an Asana and hold a Sanka in front of face., letters Sri Vi je bahu to left.

Diameter= 23 mm

Weight=66 grains

Coin No 8 – A Gold Kalanda of Gold Jassamine Flower & Chank.

This is may be  the design that the Rajaraja and the Colas bases their coin . Vijayabahu disposed of the Cola invasion and liberated the country and minted coins based on a design that was easily identified by the people.Read Kalandas of Gold- sirimunasiha.wordpress.

Polonnaruwa Period

Type III- Inscribed Sri La Ka Vi Hi

King Number 137. VIJAYABAHU I  1045-1095 AD – Grandson of Vikrama Bahu a member of the Sinhala Royal Family – The valiant prince Kirti, who had started his military career at the age of thirteen and was now seventeen years of age, who spent his early days in the jungles of Ruhuna, was proclaimed king under the name of Vijaya Bahu I. He then made every preparation for ridding the country of Chola (Tamil) domination. After nineteen years of ceaseless campaigning he succeeded in expelling the Tamils from Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. Later, he sent strong forces into Pihiti Rata (Jaffna) and after bitter battles, succeeded in capturing and fortifying the Colans (Tamils). The Mahavansa Chapter 58 para 3, states that he applied the four method of warriors for the destruction of the Cholas. This is the Caturo upaaya- The four means of Success found in ancient Literature.

1. Bhedha.The division of the enemy .

2. Danada. Offensive open warfare. Dandanayaka was called the army commander. Budal is called danadanayaka in Panakaduwa Copper Plates.

3. Sama.Friendly negotiations or treaty.

4.Danani. Gifts or Bribes

The oldest copper plate charter so far known was discovered dated 27 year of his reign. This is known as Panakaduwa copper plates. This describes his early age  and his gratitude to Badul his army commander, who looked after his family during his child hood. see below- Amnesty even for Treason.

Thereafter, Vijaya Bahu, who until then was crowned only as King of Ruhuna, had himself crowned as King of Lanka at Anuradhapura but chose Polonnaruwa as his capital of administration.

Having rid the country of Chola (Tamil) domination he produced order, peace and prosperity out of the chaos and misery that had prevailed when he ascended the throne. The king brought Bhikku’s from Burma and thus gave an impetus to the great revival of Buddhism. It is also significant that Hindu Devale’s were respected and Tamil soldiers were maintained in the service of the king. In order to worship the footprint of the Buddha he provided resting places along the route to the mountain, Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada).{Read Epigraphia Zeylanica Volume II -Ambangamuwa arock Inscription  of Vijeyabahu Ipage 202- This further  describes his story and what he did to assists the pilgrims to Adams Peak.

King Vijaya Bahu married Princess Lilavati, the daughter of Prince Jayatipala, as his chief queen. Later, the king married a princess from Kalinga Royal Family as his second Mahesi, and from her he had a son named Vikrama Bahu and a daughter named Ratnavali. His sister, Mitta, was given in marriage to a Pandya Prince who had three sons, the eldest of whom named Manabharana, became the husband of Ratnavali. Their son was Parakrama Bahu I.

A copper grant of this King is described in sirimunasiha.wordpress as  a post  Amnesty even in  case  for treason .


King Vijaya Bahu, one of the greatest of  Lanka’s Kings, died peacefully in the fifty fifth year of his reign at Polonnaruwa.

CHAPTER VI- HW Codrington.

MEDIAEVAL CEYLON(contd) Viiaya Bahu I

It is likely that no coins were struck by the Sinhalese during the Tamil occupation of the capital and of the northern provinces of the Island, and the consequent anarchy among the native princes1. The first king to whom any coin with the sovereign’s name thereon can be assigned is Vijaya Bahu I (AD. 1055 – 1111), in whose fifteenth year Polonnaruwa was recovered. The common copper coins bearing the legend Sri Vijaya Bahu bave been attributed to Vijaya Bahu II who reigned for one year (AD. 1186-1187), by Professor Rhys Davids, and to Vijaya BahU III (AD 1232-1236] or Vijaya Bahu IV (AD 127l-1273) by Mr.still(J.R,A.S., C.8., XVIII, No. 56,1905). As regards the gold and silver coins bearing this name-

    (a) The letters of the legend are unlike those on the issues of Pardkrama Bahu I, and his successors, while they more closely resemble those on the coins of Rajaraja, being large and rather irregular.

(b) The design is midway between the pieces of the Cola kings Rajaraja and Rajadhiraja, with which No. 98 of the Colombo Museu:n excavated at Arulagam Vila by the Archaeological Survey has much in common, and the issues of Parakrama Bahu I, to which No. 102 in the same collection bears more resemblance. The treatment of the dhoti in type III is the same as in the copper Polonnaruwa series.
(c) Though fairly good gold is occasionally found, the metal is usually either silver or gold so debased as to be almost indistinguishable from silver, as in the case of the coins of Rajadhiraja, whose reign ended two years before Vijaya Bahu’s accession.

Of these coins, there are three types with many intermediate variations ‘-

      I. As type (1) of Rajardhiraja, but somewhat coarser. Legend in four lines :

Sri Vija ya Ba hu

    .

The Sri resembles the same letter on the Rajaraja coin ; the Vi as in variation (b) in types II and III given be6low ; the ya is defective at the bottom.

Colo. Mus., 98. Diameter : 0,89 in. Weight : 63.8 gr. Cf C.A., Pl XtV, 9 Pl. 71.

II. As the last, but the head is as on the coins of Parakrama Bahu. The crown on Colombo Museum 102 resembles that on the gold kahavanu type lll A.   P1.72.

Diameter Weight
In Gr.
Colo. Mus.,97 0.84 67.4 .. Once ringed
Colo. Mus.,99 0.89 63.8 ..
Colo Mus,101 .. 0.85 65.8 ..
Colo. Mus,, 102 .. 0.86 60.7 ..

III. As II, but on the obverse no, symbol to the extreme left, or at best, a mere trace thereof. The ends of the dhoti at either side are shown by a dot under each arm and no longer in one piece. The lotus plant under the feet is usually almost invisible, except the finials, and has no central ring.

Colo. Mus., 100. Diameter :0.88in. Weight :64.6gr. PI.73.

The chief variations in the legend in types II and III are :

(l) Vi :The vowel is indicated by-

      (a) The normal mark ;
      (b) As (a), but with a wavy line ;
      (c) A continuation of the horizontal head of the

V

      curved downwards ;
      (d) The mark usual in

Ve

      .

(2) ya :

      (a) The normal form ;
      (b) As (a), but with no continuation of the right hand vertical line below the lower horizontal ;
      (c) As (a), but with the lower horizontal line crossing the right hand vertical ;
    (d) As (a), with a small horizontal projection on the outside of the right hand vertical line, just above its junction with the lower horizontal ;

(e) Various degrees of incompleteness in the lower horizontal line. presumably through defects in the die

{3) hu : Part of this letter is cut off by the bead circle ; it is either-

The Sri resembles that on the coins Parakrama Bahu,[ The fork is on the right vertical , while in the rest of the Dambedeniya series the fork is on the left vertical]

The average diameter of all is 0.87 inch,, and the weight 64,5 grains on an average of weight, or if one of 60.7 grains be excluded, 65.1. Parker gives 64.1 grains on aAdd an Imagen average of ten (Ancient Ceylon, p. 489). The coins arc deeply struck ; the asana varies in size .

2. The only copper pieces of the same character as the above are the one found in the Topavewa Tank dagoba (A.S., 1909, p. 30, No. 3) and No. 103 in the Colombo Museum (Pl. 74). The former is very worn and corroded, weighing only 27.3 grains, and was once gilt ; the ja is formed like the English J, with an arm tuning downwards projecting from the centre to the right, and the Ba reads as ra. The legend is complete. The second coin is of type II, but the head is rounder, and on the reverse the left hand holds a ball. It also was ore gilt ; its diameter is 0.89 inch and weight 49.9 grains. Another in the British Museum, once silvered, weighs 57.7 grains All these, probably ancient forgeries, differ very materially from the usual copper Sri Vijaya Bahu coins, which have little in common with the gold and silver pieces described above, and must be assigned to a latter period.

8 thoughts on “COINS OF KING VIJAYABAHU I[1055-1110]

  1. Nice post!

    May I please use Vijayabahu I Coin no. 6 photo for a blog post with a link to your page?

  2. Pingback: හැම සතයකින්ම චන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කරන සුවිශේෂී ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී සංස්ථාව | අරුණි ශපීරෝ‍ වෙතින්

  3. hey I really thanking for u

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s