Posted by Amit Bhandari on
Bajranggarh was one of the many Indian princely states to issue coins in the British era. Bajranggarh was the name of a fort in the Raghugarh state – which was a feudatory of the Scindias of Gwalior. This state and the fort lie within the present day district of Guna. The rulers of Bajranggarh had a long standing dispute with the Scindias, and two of them were even imprisoned by the Scindia. This dispute was eventually resolved with British mediation in 1818. Bajranggarh was a small state – with an area of just 112 square miles and a population of 19,446 (1901), but its chief was recognized as the head of the Khichi Chauhans. This was a once powerful branch of the Chauhan clan, to which Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the last Hindu ruler of Delhi belonged.
The Imperial Gazetteer of India 1908 observes “Till forty years ago the State had its own silver coinage, but the British rupee is now current”. These were silver one-rupee coins – 10.51 grams – lighter than the British Indian rupee of 11.66 grams. Two rulers of Bajranggarh are known to have issued coins – Jai Singh and Ajit Singh. The legend is in Devnagari script, and parts of the word ‘Pavanputra’ – the name for Hanuman, or Bajrang Bali, can be clearly seen on these coins. Other than that, these coins carry a lotus on the obverse and a bow and arrow on the reverse.
The small size of the state means these coins were minted in very small numbers – making them a numismatic rarity.