Coins of Raja Raja Chola The Great (A.D. 985 – A.D. 1014)
Arulmozhi Varman son of Sundara Chola (Parantaka II) on ascending the throne, assumed the title RAJA RAJA.
The 30 years of Rajaraja ruling constitute the period of extraordinary political, literary, artistic and architecture achievements.
He was the first Indian ruler to appreciate the value of Naval Power and undertake an oceanic policy.
He laid the foundation of the splendid achievements of his son and successor RAJENDRA I, under whom the empire attained its greatest extent and carried its arms beyond seas.
His rule marks a turning point in the history of Cholas as well as South India.
Rajaraja was a remarkable ruler, great in military triumph, in the organization of the empire, in the economical reformation, in the patronage of arts and literature and in religious tolerance.
A masterpiece of architectural achievements in his period is building of Lord Shiva’s temple (Brihadishvara temple) at Tanjore in Tamil Nadu.
Coins of Rajaraja Chola:
Rajaraja issued a varied coinage as detailed below:
Gold coin: Called as MADAI/PON/KALANJU
Silver coin: Called as KASU
Copper coin: Called as SEPPU KASU/RAJA RAJA KASU
Brass coin: Called as EZHA KASU
Apart from these standard coins, Rajaraja issued some special coins also.
These coins have a normal Obverse citing Rajaraja.
On the Reverse, they show the special symbol (Regional Emblem) in place of pellets to the right of the standing king.
The symbols on special coins (Commemorative type) are:
a) Seated Tiger: for his Chola – Homeland
b) Fish: for his Pandya conquest
c) Foot of Vishnu: for his Chera Territory conquest
Description of the Copper coin (Standard Seppu Kasu also called Raja Raja Kasu)
OBVERSE: Sitting King with conch in his hand. The word “SRI RAJA RAJA” in Nagari Script shown in three lines downwards.
REVERSE: The tall temple lamp (Kuttuvilakku) seen on the right side of the standing king. Group of pellets on the right side. His right hand has a ‘scepter’ and the left-hand holds a ‘lotus’ near his face.
These “Rajaraja kasu” appear to have continued to be the dominant item of local currency for several centuries. Since these ‘Rajaraja kasu’ had gained general acceptance as a currency, the same form of the acceptable coin continued to be produced by succeeding Chola kings until the end of the Dynasty.
Copper Coins of Rajaraja Chola are very common and are mostly found in the southern parts of India.