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13th century coins found during digging in Uttarakhand

Archeological Survey of India’s assistant director of Dehradun said prima facie, the coins appear to be from the Mughal era, dating between the 13th and 16th centuries. They sport inscriptions in Arabic.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2018 22:13 IST
Arvind Moudgil
Arvind Moudgil
Pauri Garhwal, Hindustan Times
13th century coins,Uttarakhand,Kathur village
The pot, containing 329 coins weighing nearly four kg, was found when the ground was being dug to construct the main gate for the Bhairav Temple in the village. (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 in Kathur village in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district on July 21, district officials said on Friday.

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

Thapaliyal 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, added that prima facie, the coins appear to be from the Mughal era, dating between the 13th and 16th centuries. They sport inscriptions 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.

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

Kumar had asked the sub-divisional magistrate of Srinagar, MD Joshi, and the ASI to carry out a physical verification of the site on Thursday after learning about the June 21 discovery.

However, before the team could reach the site, the village head handed over the container and the coins to additional district magistrate Ramji Sharan Sharma.

Sharma said 293 of the coins found are circular in shape while 38 are rectangular and they weigh 3,785 grams. He added that while the copper container had oxidized, the coins were in good condition.

Professor Rakesh Bhatt of the department of archaeology in Garhwal University, said kings of the Himalayan regions from 13th to 16th Century used to live here, He added that these rulers used to carry out transactions with the currency or coins manufactured by Mughals and Persians.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 22:13 IST