Know Your India: Coins of Udaipur Princely State – tezbid

Know Your India: Coins of Udaipur Princely State

Posted by Amit Bhandari on

Udaipur, Mewar, Maharana Pratap, Silver, Coins

Udaipur or Mewar, is best known for Rana Pratap’s resistance against Mughal emperor Akbar. The rulers of Udaipur were called Maharanas – the only ones in Rajputana to be honored with this title. The capital – Udaipur, was established by Udai Singh after the sack of Chittorgarh by Akbar. It was his son Pratap Singh who is now better known as Maharana Pratap.

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Udaipur was one of the larger princely states in the British era, and the ruler was entitled to a 19-gun salute. Post independence, Udaipur was one of the first states to sign the instrument of accession to the Indian Union and its ruler was appointed the Rajpramukh (Governor) of the newly formed state of Rajasthan. The accession of Udaipur to India was also critical in scuttling the Bhopal Plan, a scheme by some Indian rulers, who with the encouragement of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, wanted to either join Pakistan or stay independent.

The region is known today for its spectacular forts of Chittorgarh and Kumbalgarh, and its many lakes and tanks – built by various rulers. Silver coins of Udaipur are rarer compared to British Indian coins, but are still affordable to collectors. The denomination of the silver coins were 1 anna, 2 anna, 4 anna, 8 anna and 16 anna (1 Rupee). The 1 anna coin of Udaipur is just 12-mm across and weighs 0.95 grams – among the smallest milled coins in the world.

These coins were minted during the reign of Fatteh Singh (1884-1930) in Vikram Samvat 1985 (1928 AD). The obverse of the coin carries a depiction of the ramparts of the Chittorgarh Fort.

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