Staff Correspondent

Coin has inscription in archaic Kannada script

Coin found at Banavasi, capital of the KadambasSaid to be the first such coin found in the StateOne side has a five-letter inscription and the other the symbol of Ujjain

MYSORE: A copper coin dating back to the 5th Century with an inscription in archaic Kannada script has been found by Mukunda Prabhu, a numismatist.

According to the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, the discovery should be considered as additional evidence for Kannada to be recognised as a classical language.

According to a press release from the directorate, the coin was discovered at Banavasi, the capital of the Kadambas.

The coin has on one side a five-letter inscription in archaic Kannada reading "Sri Manaragi," which is the name or title of the king who ruled the place. The other side of the coin has the symbol of Ujjain, the release said.

Though punch-marked and Satavahana coins had been discovered in Karnataka, this is the first coin with an inscription in archaic Kannada.

The directorate has said that the discovery of the 5th century copper coin proves beyond doubt that Banavasi had a mint, and the tradition of minting coins with names or titles in Kannada was in vogue as early as the 5th century.

Director of Archaeology R. Gopal and South Indian Numismatic Society General Secretary A.V. Narasimha Murthi have congratulated Mr. Prabhu for finding the coin.