Silver rupee of Akbar/Jahangir – Illahabad Rebellion Issue




Hamisha hamchu zar mihr

wa mah raij bad

हमेशा हमचू ज़र मिहर

माह राइज बाद

ہمیشہ ہمچو زر مھر و ماہ رایج باد


Like the Gold of the Sun and Moon, May Always be flowing forth

सूरज और चाँद के सोने जैसे, जो हमेशा बहते रहे

آفتاب اور چاند کے سونے جیسے، جو ہمیشہ بہتے رہے



Bagharb wa sharq jahan sikka Ilahabad

बग़र्ब शर्क़ जहान सिक्का इलाहाबाद

بغرب و شرق جہان سکہ

 الہ آباد


In the West and the East of the World, the Coin of Ilahabad (Allahabad)

विश्व के पश्चिम और पूर्व में, सिक्का इलाहाबाद का

دنیا کے مغرب اور مشرق میں، سکہ الہ آباد کا



Mirza Nur ud Din Muhammad Salim ‘Jahangir’ (born 1569, reigned: 1605-1627) was the fourth Mughal Emperor was the only surviving son of Akbar. He possessed a violent and arbitrary temper and he was also known for being a habitual drunkard. Starting his reign at the age of thirty-seven, maturity had in some degree mellowed his demeanour. Yet, after his accession, he showed little to no sign of his previous aggressiveness and became almost amiable. He continued his father’s habits by leading military campaigns against the Rajputs and Deccan Sultanates.

Sir Thomas Roe described him, after dinner, as “very affable, and full of gentle conversation.”[i]

Jahangir’s Rebellion

Jahangir's displeasure at Akbar's choice to name his obedient general, Mirza Aziz Koka, as the governor of Kabul—a post Jahangir sought for himself—was one of several reasons for the mutiny. Another thing Jahangir disliked about Akbar was how he got along with his chief wife, Mariam-uz-Zamani, whom Jahangir thought was plotting against him. Jahangir was also worried about his own chances of inheriting the throne.

While Akbar was at his Deccan campaigns, he had ordered his son to go to war with Maharana Pratap. Despite his father’s orders to proceed to Mewar, Salim did not do so. Instead, he preferred ‘self-indulgence, wine drinking and bad company’ at Ajmer. He chosen to revolt in the middle of the year 1600, right when Akbar was far away in the Deccan. He made an attempt to march upon Agra to seize the royal treasury, but his grandmother and step mothers foiled his efforts.[ii] Salim went to Allahabad, of which he was governor, to set up an independent court. He seized people’s fiefs and also took over the Bihar treasury and ‘gave himself the title of Emperor.’[iii] He refused to recognize Akbar's suzerainty and gave himself the appellation of ‘Shah’.

As news of Salim’s rebellion grew, Akbar, although initially unaffected, decided to return to his capital. Many letters were sent back and forth between Agra and Allahabad during the following few months. Akbar made an effort to reason with his son and discover the root of his discontentment. Salim expressed an interest in going to see his father in March 1602, but Akbar rejected the proposal because he believed it lacked sincerity. Unsettling news of Salim's approach to Agra with 30,000 horses, 1,000 elephants, and 2,000 boats reached the capital. This was an army now, not an entourage. His father sent him a stern message once he arrived at Etawah. The prince was given the option of returning to Allahabad or presenting himself unattended. He went with the latter.

Finally, in 1604, Akbar made the decision to put a stop to Salim's uprising and marched to meet him on the banks of the Ganga. However, he returned to Agra after learning of the death of his mother, Marium Makhani Hamida Banu, on September 6, 1604. Against the counsel of his confidantes, Salim, who was very close to his grandmother, attended her funeral in Agra. Salim received harsh criticism from Akbar for rebelling and was imprisoned for a short while.

Salim became furious as a result, and tensions increased. Prince Daniyal, Akbar's last son, shattering Akbar's plans for his eventual succession. After other unfortunate deaths, Salim’s spirit was broken and he finally decided to move back to Agra with his father in 1604.

Following Salim's return to Agra, tensions between father and son erupted once more, with family members and nobels doing all in their power to drive a wedge between them. When Akbar was briefly ill, he once asked Salim to come see him in the palace, but Salim didn't show up for four days.

Salim and Akbar didn't have an opportunity to sort their problems until a few weeks before Akbar's passing. There was strong rebellion to ensure that Khusrau, Salim’s eldest son, became next emperor and not Salim himself. However, good news was brought to Salim that many nobles were on his side. Salim was invited to the Agra Fort by Akbar, who called him there and gave him his turban and sword as a sign that he would succeed Khusrau as emperor. Akbar was laid to rest in Sikandra, Agra, on October 27, 1605, the same day as the funeral. After the funeral, Salim went to his palace, where he was crowned on the eighth day after Akbar's passing.

The coin

There are three known varieties of Jahangir’s rebellion coinage: with date and month, only date without month and a dateless and month-less one. Ilahi years 44 to 49 are known for this coin. The one pictured here is the dateless and month-less one which is by far the most common. Despite the minor differences in positioning of certain words, all three types share the same Persian couplet of ‘Bagharb wa sharq’ with the mint-name of Ilahabad (Allahabad).

It is interesting to note that the name of the Emperor is absent from both sides. Neither Akbar, nor Jahangir’s name is present. Not even his name ‘Salim’, which is found on the so called ‘Salimi’ rupees, is present here. The reason behind this is not entirely clear. It can be assumed that the reason could be the fact that he feared Akbar’s wrath. But this assumption contradicts with the fact that he is said to have declared himself Emperor and also had the khutba read in his name. Perhaps issuing coins with his name was too far, even for him.

Regardless of the reason of the absence of a ruler’s name, this coin remains as a reminder to the constant rebellions of succession instigated by the Mughal princes. The beautiful design is quite reminiscent of Akbar’s late Ilahi coinage, which also then carried over to Jahangir’s coins.

[i] Lane-Poole, S. (1892). The Coins of the Moghul Emperors of Hindustan. London.

[ii] Akbar, S. –R. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[iii] Mukhoty, I. (2020). The Art of Rebellion. In Akbar: The Great Mughal. Aleph Book Company.