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Digging up for temple work, villagers find pot with 329 antique silver coins

Experts will soon ascertain the age and value of the coins, Ashish Kumar, assistant director, Archeological Survey of India (ASI), Dehradun said.

dehradun Updated: Jul 27, 2018 22:11 IST
Arvind Moudgil
Arvind Moudgil
Hindustan Times, Pauri Garhwal
Uttarakhand news
The pot, containing 329 coins weighing nearly four kilos, was found when the ground was being dug to construct the main gate of the Bhairav Temple in the village located in Khirsu block.(HT PHOTO)

A group of locals, engaged in reconstruction of an old temple, found a copper pot full of antique silver coins dating back to 13th century, from a pit they had dug up at Kathur village in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district.

The pot, containing 329 coins weighing nearly four kilos, was found when the ground was being dug to construct the main gate of the Bhairav Temple in the village located in Khirsu block, gram pradhan Shravan Thapaliyal said.

Thapaliyal and another villager, Meharban Singh, handed over the coins to district magistrate on Friday.

Experts will soon ascertain the age and value of the coins, Ashish Kumar, assistant director, Archeological Survey of India (ASI), Dehradun said. He, however, said that prima facie the coins appear to be of Mughal era, dating between 13th and 16th centuries. The coins have inscription in Arabic.

“Since the department is facing a paucity of funds and technical staff, we will seek help from Government of India and HNB Garhwal Central University to carry out further excavation at the site,” the ASI official said.

DM Sushil Kumar too said that the temple premises and adjoining areas may be dug further with a recommendation to the Centre for further research. He also asked the ASI official and the local administration to keep an eye on the area.

After getting information that the villagers in Kathur have found a pot full of gold and silver coins on July 21 but have not handed it over to the administration, the DM asked MD Joshi, SDM Srinagar, and the ASI to carry out a physical verification of the site on Thursday. However, before the team could reach the site, the village head handed over the container and the coins to the administration

Additional DM Ramji Sharan Sharma said 293 coins are round in shape while 38 are rectangular. They weigh 3,785 grams, Sharma said and added that while the copper container has oxidized, the coins are in good condition.

Professor Rakesh Bhatt of department of archeology, Garhwal University, said from 13th to 16th Century, the kings of Himalayan region used to live here. “Their capital was Devalgarh, which was later shifted to Srinagar in Pauri,” he said, adding the rulers used to carry out transactions with the currency or coins manufactured by Mughals and Persians.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 22:10 IST