Revisiting history through coins

A rare collection by Venkatesh on display at Visakha Museum

Published - May 19, 2018 12:50 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Venkatesh Kandula showing some of his rare coin collections during an exhibition in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Venkatesh Kandula showing some of his rare coin collections during an exhibition in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Venkatesh Kandula believes in tracing history through coins. The numismatist from Tuni has around 1,800 coins in his kitty, some that are historical rarities. On World Museum Day, Kandula displayed his treasure trove of rare coin collections at Visakha Museum on Friday.

A manager working with a pharma company, Kandula’s collections include a coin of Andhra Maha Janapadam from the 7-4th century BC - the oldest one among the lot, and one from the Satavahana Empire (165 AD) issued by the ruler of the period Gautami Putra Sri Satakarni, which has an inscription in Brahmi script. Not many would be aware that Visakhapatnam was once known as ‘Kulothunga Cholapatnam’.

Kandula unveils the mystery with another rare coin he displayed that was issued under the reign of Kulothunga Chola between 1070-1120 period.

Each of the coins in his collection has a story to tell. Every coin is carefully presented with important facts like inscription details, emperor, date of issue, among others.

And the passionate history lover took the visitors of the exhibition through a journey through the pages of the rich past of the region.

Kandula’s first brush with history happened as a child when his maternal grandfather Goli Sathi Raju would tell him stories of the kings and ancient royal dynasties of the country.

“As a child I was intrigued by all what I heard from him. It was through him that I have gathered this invaluable collection of coins and currencies,” Kandula said. Among his rare collections include the smallest gold coin of the world issued by Vijayanagar Sri Krishnadevaraya (1509-1530 AD). Over a period of time, Kandula has gathered coins from 276 countries.

Stress buster

The 38-year-old says coin collection is like a stress buster for him that has also taught him a lot.

“By studying coins, one can get a deep understanding of history, the period when the coins were issued, the economy, history and culture,” he said and added: “It is like open up a treasure box.”

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