15 Interesting Facts about Pakistani Currencies

When the British left South Asia in 1947, two nation-states- India and Pakistan came into being. The struggle for Pakistan was mainly founded on the demand of creating a separate state for the South Asian Muslims. M. A. Jinnah was the main figure behind this movement. It was his continuous political movement that compelled the British colonial rulers and other Indian nationalist leaders to consider his demand for a separate country. The creation of Pakistan on 14th August, 1947 marked the beginning of a new age in the history of South Asia. Since then the country has experienced several ups and downs. It had faced a crushing defeat at the hands of India in 1971 which resulted in the creation of independent Bangladesh. At present the country is facing serious threat from the growing activities of several Jihadi Islamist groups. All these have adversely affected the economy of the country. Still, the country has a rich history of coinage and currency which is, in many cases, inseparable from the monetary history of India. Here we have gathered 15 interesting facts about the monetary history of Pakistan.

  1. Pakistani currency is called Rupee. Rupee or Rupiya is the term which is used by several other South and West Asian countries for their currency. Rupiya is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit ‘roupya’, meaning silver.
  2. Until 1971, the Pakistani currency carried writings in both Urdu and Bengali. The printing of currency notes in Bengali was discontinued after the creation of Bangladesh following a bloody civil war.
  3. After the independence in 1947, Pakistan continued to use currency notes printed in India for some time. The notes bear stamps of ‘Government of Pakistan’ as symbol of their legitimacy in the Pakistani territory.
  4. The Pakistani state of Bahawalpur issued gold coins as late as 1948. In the early 1950s the currency system was made uniform throughout the country and gold and silver coins were discontinued.
  5. The first Pakistani coins were made of nickel and circulated in the market in 1948 along with the new currency notes.
  6. The first currency notes of Pakistan were of 1, 5, 10, and 100 Pakistani Rupee denominations.
  7. The first series of the notes were signed by the then Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Mohammad Ayub.
  8. The Pakistani Rupee is sub-divided into 100 sub-units which are known as Paisa. However, this decimalized currency system was introduced only in 1961.
  9. Before 1961, the Pakistani Rupee was sub-divided into 16 Annas and each Anna was further divided into 4 Pice.
  10. A currency note of 50 Pakistani Rupee denomination was first issued in 1957. It carried a portrait of M.A. Jinnah and the value of the money in two languages- Bengali and Urdu.
  11. The other note of higher denomination- the 5000 Pakistani Rupee note was first printed in xxx.
  12. The first series of coins which were issued in 1948 were of various denominations such as 1 Pice, 1/2, 1, and 2 Annas, ¼, ½, and 1 Rupee.
  13. In the subsequent years, coins of higher denomination were issued by the State Bank of Pakistan. The issue of Paisa coins was discontinued in the early 1990s.
  14. The State Bank of Pakistan issued special notes for Hajj pilgrims during 1950-1978. These notes were intended for the use of Pakistani pilgrims who visited Saudi Arabia for annual Hajj.
  15. Apart from the regular coins, State Bank of Pakistan has issued several commemorative coins for special occasions such as the issue of a special 20 Rupee coin in 2011 to mark the 150th year of the foundation of Lawrence College in Ghora Gali, Punjab.

The Coins of the Sultans of Bengal

With the inception of Muslim rule in Delhi in 1192 CE under the leadership of Muhammad bin Sam, a new era started in the socio-economic as well as political history of India. Islam was not much familiar in the Indian context before that. However, with the foundation of the Muslim political rule, Islam became a day to day reality in the life of the Indian masses. The rule of these Muslim rulers is known as the Delhi Sultanate in the history of India. Five different dynasties succeeded each other and ruled up to 1526 CE.

However, the realm of the Sultans of Delhi did not cover the whole of South Asia. Several frontier areas such as Bengal and the Deccan occasionally raised the banner of rebellion against the Sultan. In many cases, they successfully asserted their independence and remained outside the control of Delhi. One such classic example is of the independent Sultans of Bengal.

Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah established the Ilyas Shahi dynasty in Bengal in the year 1339 CE. From this year onwards, Bengal was virtually independently ruled by different local dynasties until it came under the rule of Sher Shah Suri in 1552 CE. Ilyas Shah’s own dynasty ruled uninterruptedly up to 1406 CE and then again from 1442 CE to 1481 CE. Under the rule of the Ilyas Shahi and later, the Husain Shahi dynasty, the economic condition of Bengal was quite satisfactory. And the coins of these Sultans bore the mark of prosperity of their realm.

The coins were issued in gold and silver. There are no known evidences of copper issues of the Bengal sultans. The early issues were struck in the weight standard of 170 grains but later, it was devalued to 166 grains. Lakhnauti, Satgaon, Sonargaon were some of the major mints issuing coins under the name of the Sultan of Bengal.

The coins of the Bengal Sultans are quite similar to that of the Sultans of Delhi in design and shape. They also carried similar sounding titles and epithets of the rulers. However, the edges of these coins marked their distinctness from the coins issued by the Sultans of Delhi. They are marked by double or single borders and are in the shapes of circles, squares, hexagons, xnxx, octagons, etc. The Sultans of Bengal were pious Muslims and consider themselves as the part of the universal Muslim empire under the rule of the Khalifa. This is evident from the inscriptions on their coins. The obverse of their coins proudly described their status as “yamin Khalifah Allah Nasir Amir al-Momin or the right-hand of God’s viceregent, aider of the prince of the faithful. Some of the issues described them as “Ghaus al-Islam wa al-musalmin” meaning succourer of Islam and the Muslims. Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah’s (1414-1431 CE) coins are remarkable for the introduction of the Kalima in the coins. Generally, the obverse of the coins carried the Kalima along with the issuing year and name of the issuing mint. However, Husain Shah (1493-1518 CE) dropped the Kalima to accommodate his title which was so long that it covered both the obverse and the reverse. His full title read as follows- al-sultan al-fath al-kamru wa al-kamatah wa Jajnagar wa vrisa which is indeed long! His title is also an important historical source to ascertain the limits of his rule. The title declared the Sultan’s conquest of Assam in the west and Jajnagar in Orissa in the east.

The coins of the Bengal Sultans, however, lacked artistic sophistication and calligraphic styles which is otherwise, an important aspect of the Indo-Islamic coinage.

14 Interesting Facts about the Bangladeshi Currencies

Bangladesh achieved its independence from Pakistan in the year 1971 following a bloody civil war. Before that it was known as East Pakistan. After independence, Bangladesh slowly started the process of rebuilding its economy which was in a very bad condition as a result of the civil war. With the active assistance of India, China, and several other countries, it is now one of the fastest growing economies of the South and South East Asian region. Thus, keeping in mind the importance of fast growing Bangladeshi economy we have prepared here a list of interesting facts about the currency of Bangladesh.

  1. The currency of Bangladesh is known as Taka. Taka is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit term Tangka which is an old term for silver coins used for ages in South Asia.
  2. Before the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the Bengalis of East Pakistan used the Pakistani Rupee as their medium of exchange. The Pakistani Rupee was printed in both Bengali and Urdu prior to 1971 as Bengali was regarded as the national language of the Pakistan Union along with Urdu.
  3. The Bangladeshi Taka was officially introduced on March 4th 1972.
  4. The Bangladeshi Taka is further divided into 100 sub-units known as Poisha.
  5. The Bangladesh Bank is responsible for the printing of currency notes of denominations higher than 10 Taka video porno. The currency notes of smaller value such as 1, 2, and 5 Taka are printed under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance of the Bangladesh Government.
  6. The Taka bears the portrait of the Father of Nation of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was largely due to Mujib’s leadership which enabled the Bengalis to wage successfully the war of liberation against Pakistani authority.
  7. The highest denomination of Bangladeshi Taka is of 1000 Taka which was introduced in 2008.
  8. Now-a-days, the currency notes of smaller denominations are becoming increasingly obsolete and replaced by the coins.
  9. The first series of coins were introduced in 1973 of 5, 10, 25, and 50 Poisha denominations.
  10. 1974 saw the introduction of a much smaller value coin of 1 Poisha whereas in 1975, a 1 Taka coin was circulated in the market. In 1994, to keep pace with the market demands, a 5 Taka coin was introduced in the market.
  11. The old 1 Taka coins were made of an alloy of copper and nickel. But the newer issues of these 1 Taka coins are made of steel. 5 Taka coins and the newly circulated 2 Taka coins of 2004 are also made of steel.
  12. The coins typically represented the natural resources of Bangladesh. Some of the coins carried the figures of Hilsa fish and Royal Bengal Tiger- two animals which are considered the pride of Bangladesh on the obverse.
  13. Similarly, the Bangladesh Bank has so far issued several commemorative currency notes to mark special occasions. For example, 2011 saw the 40th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Bank issued a special 40 Taka currency note on this occasion.
  14. In 2012, to commemorate the martyrdom of those who fell in the historic Language Movement of 1952 the Bangladesh Bank issued a special 60 Taka note which bears the picture of the Shaheed Minar Monument of Dhaka.

The coins of Aurangzeb Alamgir

Aurangzeb Alamgir (r. 1659-1707 CE) was the sixth Mughal emperor. He was the last of the great Mughals and one of the most controversial rulers in the history of India for his political and religious policies. The Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent under the long rule of Alamgir. However, the last decades of his rule also marked the decline of the great empire. Aurangzeb’s policies were much different from the earlier Mughal emperors who followed a policy of syncretism in the religious matters. Aurangzeb was a devout Muslim to the extent of a religious bigot. This alienated him from the majority of his subjects who practiced Hinduism. Aurangzeb’s religious bigotry was reflected not only in his political and economic policies but also in his issues of coins.

Immediately after ascending to the Mughal throne after a bloody fratricidal struggle, Aurangzeb issued coins in his name. Aurangzeb ordered the Islamic Kalima to be removed from his coins because he feared that the holy words of Islam would be polluted once they pass into the hands of the infidels i.e. the Hindus. Aurangzeb issued coins in all the three major metals- gold, silver, and copper.

The obverse of the coins which were issued in his early regnal years carried the full name and the title of the Emperor- Abu-al-Zafar Muiuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Alamgir Aurangzeb Badshah Ghazi. Later issues carried an additional couplet composed by Mir Abdul Baqi Shahbai to exalt the porno position of the Emperor-

Sikka Zad dar jahan chu mehr munir,

Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir.

The meaning of the couplet is- “struck money through the world like the shining sun (or moon), Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir”. All of the mints issued the coins with the couplet throughout the reign of Alamgir. However, the mint of Akabarabad introduced the couplet relatively late, in the twenty-ninth regnal year.

The reverse of the coins carried a unique formula to mention the name of the issuing year and the name of the issuing mint. This read as follows- “Sanh julus maimanat Manus zarb” and name of the mint following. The meaning of the sentence is “struck at (the mint’s name) in the year of the accession associated with prosperity”.

There were large numbers of copper coins too. The copper coins of Alamgir were simple in design and marked by simple inscriptions. The obverse of these coins is variously marked by the following inscriptions- Fulus Badshah Alamgir, Fulus Alamgiri, Fulus Aurangzebshahi, etc. The reverse simply mentioned the name of the issuing mint.

There were numerous mints during the reign of Aurangzeb. Some of the major mints were situated at Shahjahanabad, Akbarabad, Ahmadabad, Surat, Narnol, Kabul, Lahore, and Multan. These mints issued coins in all the three metals. Some of the other mints at Allahabad, Murshidabad, Patna, Thatta, Jaunpur, Kashmir, etc. issued only gold and silver coins. Silver coins were issued exclusively from Alamgirnagar, Bankapur, Bhakkar, Gwalior, Islamnagar, Jinji, Kanji, Peshawar, Puna, Sikakul, etc. Only copper coins issuing mints were situated in Auranganagar, Udaipur, and Bairat.