State archaeology department claims to have found the largest collect of ancient Kashmir copper coins from Budgam district. The experts of the state archaeology department are learnt to have discovered this largest hoard of ancient copper coins from a plateau in Khan Sahib area of District Budgam.
The coin hoard, as per local reports, had been earlier exposed by the soil diggers while leveling their land holdings at the site and it was during this process that the coin hoard was found. Initially coins were collected by the laborers engaged at the site and after receiving the information, police swung into action and recovered the coins from the possession of the concerned village laborers. The hoard consisting of more than 800 coins was later collected by a team of the state archaeology department.
These coins, according to the experts are dating back to 11th to 12th century AD of Hindu Rajas of Kashmir of Yassakara and Lahora dynasties.
Since these two dynasties ruled this land during 11th and 12th centuries (AD), the coins so discovered understandably belonged to these dynasties, say the experts. Unfortunately, the same collect of coins which was a great treasure for the department of archeology, has been gathering dust and the height is that chemical treatment is now unavoidable in order to avoid rusting.
Since these coins have not yet been properly identified and neither deciphered, there are only assumptions that these have been probably issued during the Hindu rule. As for as the Hindu period coins are concerned, these coins are inscribed and depict on obverse the crude motif of standing king and on the reverse the crude motif of a goddess identified as Lakhashmi , the Goddess of wealth.
The name of the king who had struck the coins is inscribed on the obverse in sharda letter with title ‘Shri’. The coin collect for which final details are yet awaited have undoubtedly added a new chapter to Kashmir’s numismatic history.
It is in place to mention here that Kashmir has got very rich numismatic collections in its museums and numismatic collections. The SPS museum at Srinagar houses the largest collection of ancient coins in copper, silver and gold, estimating more than 70,000. Similarly the Kashmir university museum Srinagar and Dogra Art Museum, Jammu also house rich numismatic collections.
Unfortunately this heritage has almost remained unexplored and there has been no appropriate effort at the institutional level to uphold such richness. Looking at the sheer number of coins and the historical significance of them, the government can, and should, have a full-fledged numismatic museum at Srinagar and Jammu respectively. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is rich and probably the only state having the greatest honor of housing the largest numismatic collections which are followed by major numismatic discoveries each year. Hundreds of ancient coins and discovered each year and while several such finds travel to different lands several other numismatic finds go unnoticed. To preserve this heritage and promote the researches, I think it is high time to have a numismatic museum.
By preserving such finds, we indeed preserve our rich history!