Archive for जुलाई, 2008

Paranumismatica – Indian Token Coins

जुलाई 31, 2008

The coins appearing hereunder, relates to the Indian Token Coins of 1911 issued by Longman, presumably a British  company. As is apparent from the legend, they were produced in Germany. They bear the bust of King Edward VII who died in May 1910. They are made of card board. The denominations are Half Rupee, Quarter Rupee and 1/64th of a Rupee ( 1 Paisa). Although they are not identical but imitations of the coins, having the bust of Edward VII, in circulation during that period. The tokens depict the bust facing left. While One Paisa has a copper color, the other two coins have the appearance of silver.
On a reference being made to the RBI Monetary Museum and the Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, they expressed their unfamiliarity with any such tokens. Accidentally I came across an article dedicated to ‘Exonumia’ (Study of Tokens, Medals etc.), a term I was not familiar with,  in the Coin Encyclopedia web site. The term ‘Paranumismatica’, however, lends more comfort. I was amused as also enthused and thought of getting my token coins published there so that they come to the knowledge of a larger number of enthusiasts in numismatics.

Contact Sheet

Longman's Indian Token Coins

We are aware of  ‘play money’ in use in the U.S. and other countries where replicas of coins are created in plastic or metal for children to play with. They are available in any toy store. But in the Indian context, the above referred tokens do not seem to be ‘play money’.  During World War II there was shortage of all kinds of metal world-wide. But the World War I started only in  August 1914.  An important event during that year was the coronation of George V at New Delhi on the 11th December. Reasons for ‘Token Coins’ being introduced, through private enterprise during that period is unexplainable at the present state of our knowledge. Further more, the above tokens are not in a mint condition. They appear to have changed several hands as the wear and tear suggests.

Recently I  made a reference to the British Museum as well and the response received is appended:

Thank you for your enquiry. This is is not a token coin issued as part of the currency in colonial India, but an imitation produced either as a toy, or possibly for the collectors’ market. In either case, I would guess that it was issued in, and for use in, Great Britain rather than India. While I have not been able to trace a reference to Longman’s, it seems likely that they were a British company, which may well have produced other series of token coins as well. Clearly this one was intended as part of an Indian series, imitating a half-rupee of George V (1910-36).

Yours sincerely,

Gareth Williams

Duty Curator

We welcome contributions in this regard for enrichment of knowledge about the tokens under discussion.

Around Mangalore

जुलाई 24, 2008

Courtesy: Shridhar Shenoy

The 35 kilometer stretch of Shirady Ghat between Kappalli (Manjrabad fort) to Gundya is a nature lover’s paradise. It had always been from time immemorial but the beauty could not be enjoyed due to bad roads and drivers and passengers used to be more pre-occupied with the jolts and jumps that they might get during the journey.

But with the roads now as smooth as it used to be before, people are now enjoying the 90 minutes journey, and why not? There is so much to see, the evergreen Shola forests, the huge ferns that are an endemic species to Western Ghats and the thick foliage which is a delight to watch.

But what turns Shirady into a paradise during monsoons is its numerous water falls. There are no large water falls like Jog, but there are many medium and small water falls that fills your heart and eyes. The central part of Shirady Ghat I.e, between Adda Holay and Gundya is the natural water log area. The rain water re-charges the mountainous water veins and releases through faults and folds of the mountain. But apart from the technical details of the waterfalls the beauty of water falls which is what enthrals the nature lovers. The milky surf that cascades from a great height is a sight to watch. It is stated that there are over 300 small and medium water falls.

According to Dinesh Holla an adventurer and an avid trekker the origin of the water falls in Shirady generally is located at a height of  400 to 600 feet (MSL) many of them have a circuitous course before the emerge into open and fall from a height. Many trekkers stay for considerable time at the water bodies that open into a water fall.

The ideal route to get to the water fall is the route that the Mangalore-Bangalore train takes. It is possible for the trekkers to take the railway get down at Soorikumer and pass to the other side towards Pushpagiri. There are people who have driven their motorcycles on narrow paths from Shirady village up to a certain height and walked from there.

But one cannot go into these areas as they want, they should notify the forest department about their trekking route and take their permission well in advance.

For people who just want to enjoy it on the way to their destination either ways should travel during the day time. The ideal time is to arrive at this stretch either from Bangalore or Mangalore at mid morning or late afternoon, which is when the real enjoyment of waterfalls could be felt. The immediate instinct is to stand below the cascading water, but that is where extra precautions should be taken, the rocky slopes are slippery and the water would be cold.

Various spots like Kempu holay, Yemme holay, Adda holay, Annamma holay have good waterfall sites.