Gold & Silver Coins of Kumara-gupta

Written by Alok Mohan on August 16, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

“Kumaragupta’s silver coins describe him as a devotee of the god Vishnu. His gold, silver, and copper coins feature Vishnu’s vahana Garuda. He was also a devotee of the war god Karttikeya (Also known as Skanda) His coins feature Karttikeya seated on a peacock”
Kumaragupta issued the large varieties of coins, which include following:

1. Archer type: These coins are identical to the archer-type coins of Chandragupta 2. The reverse legend reads Shri-Mahendrah. The coins ,carry following legends.


Gunesho mahitalam jayati Kumarah 

Vijitavanir avanipatih Kumaragupto

Jayati mahitalam Shri-Kumaraguptah

Jayati mahitalam Shri-Kumaraguptah sudhanvi


2. Horseman type: Similar to the horseman-type coins of Chandragupta 2, but the reverse of some of these coins features a new image, that of a goddess feeding a peacock, with the legend Ajita-Mahendrah.
Swordsman type: A new type introduced by Kumaragupta bears an image of the king holding the sword, with a garuda emblem, and the legend Gamavajitya sucharitaih Kumaragupto divam jayati.
3. Swordsman type: Another type introduced by Kumaragupta bears an image of the king holding the sword, with a garuda emblem, and the legend Gamavajitya sucharitaih Kumaragupto divam jayati (“Having conquered the earth, Kumaragupta wins the heaven by his meritorious deeds”). The obverse depicts goddess Lakshmi sitting on a lotus, and bears the legend Shri-Kumaraguptah.

4. Lion-slayer type: Similar to the lion-slayer-type coins of Chandragupta 2.
5. Tiger-slayer type: Similar to the tiger-slayer-type coins of his grandfather . The reverse side of Kumaragupta’s coins feature a new image: that of a goddess standing on a crocodile, and feeding a peacock. The obverse legend reads Shriman
6. Elephant-rider: Shows the king riding a caparisoned elephant using a divinity, with an attendant holding an umbrella over his head. The legend reads ‘Kshataripu-Kumaragupto rajatrata jayati ripun (“Kumaragupta, who has destroyed his enemies and protects [subordinate] kings, is victorious over his foes.” The reverse features goddess Lakshmi standing on a lotus, with the legend Shri-Mahendragajah.
7. Elephant-rider lion-slayer type: Similar to the elephant-rider type, but the king is shown holding a dagger to slay a lion in front of the elephant. The reverse is also similar, but the goddess holds an indistinct object in her hand.
8. Karttikeya type: Shows the god Karttikeya, who is also known as “Kumara”. The legend is unclear: Altekar has read it as Jayati svagunair-guna Mahendra-Kumarah (“Victorious is Mahendra-Kumara by his own merits”). The obverse shows the king feeding a peacock, who is the vahana (mount) of the god, with the legend Shri-Mahendra Kumarah.

9. Chhatra-type: Similar to the chhatra-type coins of Chandragupta 2. The obverse legend begins with Jayati mahitalam; the rest of it is lost.

10. Apratigha-type: The obverse depicts a man (possibly the king) flanked by a man on his left and a woman in Vitarika mudra on his right. The vertical legends beside the central figure read Kumara and guptah; there is a circular legend which is unclear. The reverse shows the goddess Lakshmi sitting on a lotus.

11. Lyrist type: Similar to the lyrist-type coins of Samudragupta; shows the king sitting on a couch and playing flute  

12. King and queen-type: Similar to the coins of Chandragupta-1. The obverse shows king presenting a bunch of flowers to the queen, with an unclear legend. The reverse shows a goddess seated on a lion.
Some coins discovered at Khairatal have also been attributed to Kumaragupta by earlier scholars. These coins depict Garuda  with outstretched wings and legend mahendraaditya. The other side is blank. It is likely that these coins were not issued by Kumaragupta or any other Gupta ruler.

Number 24.
Asvamedha type of Gold Coins of Kumara-gupta 1
(414-55 AD)
References: Allan, B.MC., Gupta Coins pp66 ff, Pl.XII.13-14,
Obverse: Horse standing to right, wearing breast-band and saddle before yupa on altar, from which pennons fly
over the back of the horse between the leg of the horse. Late Northern brahmi legend: श्वमध (= अश्वमेध : )
On one specimen the legend is जयत दव कुमर means (ज्यति दिवं कुमार गुप्तोयं in उपगीति metre).
Reverse: Mahishi Anantadevi standing to left, nimbate, holding
chowrie over right shoulder and holding an unidentifiable object in left hand, wearing earrings necklace armlets
and anklets sacrificial spear bound with fillets on left border of dots. Late Brahmi legend “श्री अश्व मै महेन्द्र”
Inscription number
25. Silver Coins of Kumara-gupta 1 – Gupta Year 124 ,(443-444 AD)
References Allan, B.MC., Gupta Coins pp 107 ff, Nos 385ff, Pl.XVII., 11ff,
Haad of king to right as on silver issue of Chandragupta-2, on right Gupt varsh 124
Reference: Peacock, standing. facing. with head to left,. wings and tails outspread, border of dots, legend in Late Northern brahmi “विजितावनिश्व निपति कुमारगुप्तो दिवं ज यति”
1. (Gupta) yeas 118, 119 and 122 are also found on this type.
2. Kumara-gupta issued a gold type, king feeding peacock:
Karttikeya or Kumara riding his peacook Paravani. God Kumara and his emblem, peacook had a special significance.
For Kumaragupta, whose name signifies, Protected by Kumara’.
Peacock types of silver coins are belleved to have been
issued in the Ganges valley. while the Garuda type were issued in Westem India, whexe Kumaragupta ‘e brother
Mahareja Govindagupta is known, from the mandasor Inscription
of Dattabhata, to have been ruling as his viceroy.
3. The metre is आर्या or उपगीति
English Translation
Having conquered the earth, the lord of the earth, Kumaragupta conquers heaven.
Inscription number 26.
Junagarh Rock Inscription of Skandagupta,
Gupta years – 136, 137 and 138 (= C. 455. 456 and 457-58 A.D.) .
Provenance: Girnar hill, Junagarh, Junagarh district. Gujrat.
Script: Late Brahmi of the Southern Class.
Language: Sanskrit.
Metres: Vv. 1-3, 38-39 मालिनी
V.4,45, आर्या,
vv.5, 13-15, 17-20, 32-37 उप जाति (इन्द्रवज्रा + उपेन्द्रवज्रा)
vv.6-12, 21-25, 27 -इन्द्रवज्रा
1. The rock bearing this Inscription, is located at the entrance of the gorge that leads to the valley, which
lies round the Girnar hill.
This rock also bears two
earlier Inscriptions, namely Fourteen Asokan edicts
and II of Rudradaman 1, during whose reign the first dam burst occured. Radradaman records a dam-burst in his
reign and reconstruction of the dam in his reign –
Inscription dated Saka year 72 (- 150 AD) Supra I, no. 135, iii. The present
inscription records the repetition of a bust and reconstruction by chakrapalita, son of Parnadatta. The latter governed Saurashtra under emperor Skandagupta. This Inscription
is rather difficult to decipher, owing partly to the irregular and occasionally rather shallow engraving partly
to the roughness of the rock and the way the nature marks on it, get mixed up with the letters and partly to
the fact that at several places the engraver leaves large spaces blank because of roughness of the surface.
References: Bhau Daji, J.B.R.A.S, VII, pp.121 f. the same revised by Prof. Eggeling, A.S.I, West.Ind,.II.
pp.134 f. Fleet. C.I.I. III, pp-56 ff. Sircar,
Select.Inss, I, pp 307-316.

Footnote 1
1. Fleet erroneously considers it as defective .वंशस्थ
2. Fxoym the facsimile in C.I.I., III,opp pp60,
3. Read शवच्र्छि
Footnote 2
1. निर्विषी a herb used as an antidote against all sorts of poisons. प्रतिकृति – मरुडाझा are the orders issued under the Gupta seal bearing the image of Garuda. Fleet failed
to correctly grasp the underlying idea.
2. After तेन the word इति is understood.
3. This reading by Fleet is conjectural. मलेच्छ here seems to refer to the Hanas with whom he claims to have fought a bloody battle in his Bhitari Inscription. see note above.
4. This and a number of other statements in his inscriptions
hint at some sort of rivalry or struggle for the throne after the death of Kumaragupta 1. It is to be noted that
his Bhitari Stone Pillar Inscription avoids the mention of his mother,. While the rest of the genealogy emphasis the descent of his ancestors from Mahadevis. We also
know from Bhitari seal of Kumara-gupta 2, that Purugupta, another son of Kumaragupta 1, was from Mahadevi Anantadevi.
3. Sircar reads दण्डेन
Footnote 3
गोप्ता = governor. Skandagupta’ long and strenuous search for a really competent governor of his western most Province may have been due to Huna menace in Central India
referred to in his bhitari Stone Pillar Inscription. (v.8) says D-C. Sircar.
2. i.e having manly qualities or accompanied by distinguished men.
3. Compare the qualities and accomplishments, required of a
good ruler. as enumerated here and 11. 7-8 with these described in 1.19 of Junagarh Rock Inscription of
Radharaman 1, Year 72( Supra, I, No. 135)
Footnote 4
His son, possessed of a filial disposition, as if his own self re-duplicated: trained by self control, worthy to be protected like his own self by the all-pervading spirit,
always self-possessed endowed with a naturally beautiful form.” D.C. Sircar.
2. उपस्कृत = blamed.
3. Fleet वाक्य
4. Sandhi is Sometimes disregarded here between the last letter
of a pada and the first of the next.
Footnote 5

1. Even in this age which is a mean one, he did not fail to maintain a confidence in the people together with those of the
city (those who have contracted the vices city life. D.C. Sircar.
2. शक्ल = प्रियंवद:
3. D.C. Sircar restores यो जायता स्मात खलु पर्णदत्तात
4. Fleet and Sircar read चात्वरात and split the phruse into च + अत्वरात
and translate अत्वरात into suddenly although अ – त्वरा is negatlon of त्वरा
i.e haste or suddenness.
But the reading चात्वरात is totally conjectural. The four syllable are too wom out to be deciphered with any
5. Bhau Daji reads गुहयस्य काला दग णनां विधाय (प्रौष्ठपद = भार्दपद)
6.रैवतक is the hill opposite the Urjayat or Girnar
सुवर्णसिकता = mod. Suvarnarekha.
Footnote 6

1. उत्सुक anxious, Worried.
2. Fleet: सुदर्शन पुमां = मान हि
पुमां doesn’t yield any sense in this context.
3. Fleet साम्बोनिधि But ओ matrs is clear on सुदर्शन However a masculin स : cannot go with सुदर्शन
a neuter. It seems to be an error
4. Fleet प्र —- शास्त्र चेत्ता

5. ग्रैष्म means the months belonging to ग्रीष्म i.e summer. The first of Jyeshtha seems to be intended.
Footnote 7
Fleet estimates the dimensions of the embankment as: length 100 cubits, breadth = 68 cubits, height =
7 men. But the present record appears to state only the size of the breach, not the dam which must have been much larger The earlier breach that occurred in the reign of Rudradaman was much larger. e.g. Length = breadth = 420 हस्त and depth or height 75 हस्त.
see his Junagarh Rock Inscription, Supra ,I, No. 135, ll 7-8,
2. Fleet ana Sircar हंसास – धूतम

Footnote 8

The temple was possibly called here chada-ratna of the hill suggests D C Sircar.

English Translation of the inscription
Part 1
L1 Success
L1.1-2 (v.1) victorious is he (the god) vishnu the eternal, home of (the goddess) Lakshmi seated on a lotus flower.
the conqueror of distress, the completely victorious and
who for the sake of the happiness of Indra, the lord of
the gods seized back from (the demon) Bali, the goddess of wealth and splendour which is pleasant to enjoy (and) which had been carried of (from Indra) a long time back.
L1.2-4 (v.2-3) And next ever victorious is the supreme king of kings over kings, whose breast is embraced by the
Goddess of wealth and splendour, who creates power with his own arms, who issues under Garuda seal (his) commands, which are like nirvishi (an antidote to poison) to the
(hostile) kings. who were so many serpents lifting up.

Who could be suitable- endowed with intelligence,
Modest possessed of disposition that is not devoid of wisdom and memory ? endowed with truth straightforwardness,,
Nobility and statesmanship, possessed of sweetness, tact and good reputation, loyal. affectionate, endowed with only qualities and possessed of a mind that has been found pure by all the tests of honesty possessed of an
Inner soul pervaded by the inclination for acquittance of debts and obligation, occupied with the
welfare of all the mankind capable in the lawful aquisition of wealth and also preservation of the same, when acquired, and further in causing the increase of it when protected. (and able) to dispense it on worthy
objects, when it has been increased to given all my countries of saurashtra.
I have it (there is)
just one man. Parnadatta. competent to bear this burden.
L1 (vv.12-13) having arrived at this decision after delibera ting
in his mind for more than one bunch of days and nights, who
(Parnadatta) was persuaded with difficulty and appointed to Protect in Proper manner the land of the
Surashtras. (And) just as the gods felt at ease, and not disturbed in their minds after appointing Varuna
to the western quarters, so the king became easy at heart after appointing pernadatta over the region of
the west.
L1.10-11 ( vv.14-16) His son, -possessed of disposition (qualities) sprung from Parnadatta himself
as if he with mastery over the self, has bifurcated
his own personality worthy to be protected by all means
as it were always his own self possessed, endowed with a naturally beautiful form, having an ever
joyful disposition in it’s entirety through a variety of charming actions in keeping with his charming form.
possessing a lotus-like face that resembled a bed of water lilies in full blooms the refuge of men who came to
him for protection, was this same one who is renowned on the earth by the name Chakrepalita, who is beloved
of the peoples and who excelled his father by his flawless noble qualities.
L1.11-12 (vv.17-19) In whom all these qualities dwell in great abundance without ever leaving him, viz. forgiveness, lordliness, modesty. statesmanship (or uprightness) bravery
without expectation of high Praise for the same, competence Self-control, liberality and high-spiritedness,
Tact, the acquittance of debts and obligations and freedom from absentmindedness (or from solitary habits) beauty reprobation of the unrighteous, absence of arrogance,
patience and ambition. Even in the whole world there is none in whom a comparison with his virtues may be made verily he alone has become an entireness, the standard
of comparison for men who are endowed with virtuous qualities.

Father after testing Personally (the existence in him) of these qualities mentioned above and higher
ones even than them and who then accomplished the protection of (this city in such a proper way that he
excelled his Predecessors. Relying on the Prowess of his own two excellent arms, not on the Pride of any othes men he subjected no one in this city to anxiety and he punished the wicked people.
L1.13-14 (vv.22-25) Even in these mean times, who did not diminish his confidence in the people of the city and
who fostered the city-folk as his own sons, after thoroughly checking their faults . And he delighted his
subjects by addressing them with smiles, by conferring honours and gifts by unrestricted and reciprocal visits
to each-other ‘s houses (and) by hospitality in (his)
house with greater affection endowed with the highest piety affable pure (and) devoted to charity in an
appropriate manner; be enjoyed the available pleasures at their proper time without bringing into conflict,
religion and wealth. what is surprising
there in the fact that he, the man born from Parnadatta, is just.
Can heat ever be produced from the moon, which is cold like a string of pearls or like a water-lily?
Ll.15-17 (vv.26-29) Then in due course of time there came these season of clouds, bursting asunder the season of heat. when water rained down continuously for a long time and

because ef which the lake Sudershana burst suddenly.,
making a calculation in the Gupta era, in the century of years increased by thirty and six at night, on the sixth
day of ( the month) Bhadrapada. And these (other, rivers)
which take their source from mountain Raivataka and also this Palasnini and Suvarnasikata, (all of them) the mistress ef the ocean having dwelt for
long in captivity went againe in due accordance with the scriptures, to their lord (the ocean). (And having
noticed the great bewilderment. caused by the excess of rain, ( the mountain) Urjayat. who desirous of doing a
favour to the ocean in the form of the river extended his arm, decorated with the numerous flowers that grew on the edges of (its) banks.
L1.17-18 (vv.30-31) Then on all sides the people were distressed, discussing how they should act and spending
the early and the late (ie. the whole) night awake, in anxiety they deliberated with each other, May the lake known as
Sudarsana in the whole world, but which has assumed a horrible appearance like that of an ocean, again become Sudarsana i.e A pleasant in appearance or can it
resume pleasant look again.
L1.18-22 (vv. 32-38)- —- He (Chakrapalita) having
become—— and displaying the height of devotion towards his father (and) placing before him.
(hid) duty, ehose outcome has to be auspicious, for the welfare of the king. and also of the city in a century
of years added by another thirty and seven in the Gupta era. (Chakrapalita) the scholars of the science of
statecraft, whose great majesty was known to the world, over having sacrificed to the gods with oblations of
clarified butter and with obeisance and having gratified the twice-born with (presenta of) riches and
having paid respects to the citizens with such honours as they deserved, and to such of (his) servants as are worthy of his respect and to his friends with gifts, in the first £fortnight of the summer month- — -. on the
first day, with respectful observances for two months, having spent an imeasureable sum of money after paying homage to the Brahmanas, with great effort. he built the embankmernt – with properly fashioned stones
hundred cubits in all in length, and sixty eight in breadth, and seven men’s height in elevation of two hundred cubits to the famous lake,
that is not basically defective to remain beautiful to look at (sudarsanam) for an eternity of time. Further
(the lake) whose edges have been lent beauty by the strong embankment (and) which is fanned by chakravakas,
kraunchas and swans ——–clear water
on the earth——- the sun and the moon.
( chakravakas means anas casarca, krauncha is a kind of curlew)
L.23 (v 39) And may the city become prosperous; full of inhabitants, cleansed from sin by Vedic hymns, chanted by many hundreds of Brahmanas and free from calamities
and famine for a hundred years.
L. 23 Thus concludes the composition of the book on the restoration of ( the lake) Sudarsana
Part 2
L. 24 (v. 40)
for him (Sandagupta), who destroyed
the Pride of his haughty enemies, who is of great glory, who is the banner of his lineage, who is the lord of the whole earth whose pious deeds ae even
more wonderful than his supreme sovereignty over kings.
L 24-25 (vv.41)
–(Parnadatta), who protects the
island, and who leads great many (soldiers) constituting his armies for the subjugation of (his) enemies.
Ll.25-27 (w.42-45) And by his son Charka palita, who has a
sincere mind who endowed with his own good qualities ;
(and) who has devoted his life to the feet of (the lord)

Govinda —
by him who causes the citizens to bow down to his own majesty, having found the two lotus-like feet of vishnu there
with a great expenditure of wealth and time, there built a temple of (vishnu) who wilds a dis-cus ( for destroying
his enemies ,
(and who became (incarnate and) human by the exercise
of his own free will, in a century of years together with thirty eight as calculated according to the
reckoning of Gupta era.
Ll.27-28 (vv. 46-47) (The temple of Vishnu) as if risen
along with the mountain Urjayat, shines forth on the crest of the city. as if lording over it. And another
on the forehead — obstructing the path of the birds, is
इति = विप्लव = Calamities. They are six according to some smrities : अति वृष्टिर्मू षिका : शलभा According to
others they are seven viz. अति वृष्टिर्मू षिका : शलभा मूषका :
प्रत्यासन्नाश्च राजान बडेता ईतय स्मृता :

शुका स्वचक्रं परचक्रं स्पतैता ईतय: स्मृता :
see the
Sabdakaladruma and Amarakosha with viveka tika of Maheshvara



Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.