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Evolution of the Indian Currency

The word "Rupee" comes from the Sanskrit words "Rupya" and "raupya," both of which indicate "formed, stamped, imprinted, or currency." The rupee we carry around in our pockets has an unusual or intriguing history. There was a lengthy history of struggle, discovery, and wealth dating back to the 6th century BC in ancient India. The British introduced paper money to the subcontinent in the nineteenth century. The Paper Currency Act of 1861 gave the government a monopoly on all banknotes issued across British India.

Ancient Indians, Chinese, and Lydians from the Middle East were among the first coin issuers around the globe. The Mahajanpadas (ancient India's Republic Kingdoms) known as Puranas, Karshapanas, and Panas struck the first Indian coins in the 6th century BC.


These coins have varied shapes, and a standard weight, and are made of silver with various patterns, such as a humped bull in Saurashtra, a Swastika in Dakshin Panchala, and many symbols in Magadha.

Then the Mauryas invented Punch Marked Coins, which were made of silver, gold, copper, or lead.


By the 12th century AD, the Turkish Sultans of Delhi had supplanted Indian kings' royal designs with Islamic calligraphy. Tanka, a gold, silver, and copper coin, and Jittals, a lower-value coin, made up the currency.


From 1526 AD, the Mughal Empire centralized the entire empire's monetary system. When Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun, he minted a 178-gram silver coin known as the rupiya, which was divided into 40 copper pieces or paisa, and silver coinage remained in use throughout the Mughal period.

The Bank of Hindostan General Bank in Bengal and the Bengal Bank were the first banks in India to issue paper currency in the 18th century, marking the beginning of paper money in British India.

After the insurrection of 1857, King George VI replaced the native patterns on banknotes and coins with the Rupee, which became the official money of colonial India.


India's contemporary Rupee reverted to the appearance of the original Rupee coin after obtaining independence in 1947 and became a Republic in the 1950s. The Lion Capital at Sarnath was chosen as the symbol for the paper currency, which superseded the George VI series of bank notes. As a result, the first banknote created by Independent India was a one-rupee bill.


On Rs 5 and Rs 10 notes, the Reserve Bank of India produced the Mahatma Gandhi Birth Centenary Commemorative design series in 1969.


The Reserve Bank of India issued currency notes featuring Mahatma Gandhi's image. These notes are still in use and have upgraded security features as well as tangible support for those who are blind or visually impaired. The use of high-denomination notes of 5,000, 10,000, and 1,000, on the other hand, was restricted since they were being utilised in unlawful transactions. Following the November 2016 demonetisation, the 1000 and 500 notes were replaced with new banknotes of the same denomination. The 2000-rupee note is a new addition to the denomination.

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