Copper Tanka of Muhammad bin Tughluq (Forced) – Daulatabad


Year: 732 AH (1331-1332 AD)

Regnal year: N/A

Weight: 9.2g


Min Ata’a Al-Sultan faqad

Ata’a Al-Rahman




Dar Takhtgah Daulatabad Sal bar haftsad si do

(in margins)

मिन अता अल सुल्तान फ़क़द

अता अल रहमन



दर तख़्तगाह दौलताबाद

साल बर हफ़्तसद सी दो

(in margins)

من اطاع السلطان فقد

اطاع الرحمن

(بیچ میں)




در تخت گاہ دولت آباد

سال بر ھفتصد سی دو

(چاروں اور)

He who Obeys The Sultan

Obeys The Merciful One



At the Capital Daulatabad In the year seven hundred and thirty-two

(in margins)

जो सुल्तान की आज्ञा माने वह कृपालु परमेश्वर की आज्ञा माने



राजधानी, दौलताबाद में

साल सात सौ बत्तीस

(in margins)

جو سلطان کا حکم مانے

وہ الرحمن کا حکم مانے

(بیچ میں)



دارالحکومت دولت آباد میں

سال سات سو بتیس

(چاروں اور)


Muhr shud Tankah

Panchah gani dar Rozgar

Bandah umidvar

Muhammad Tughluq

मोहर शुद टंकह

पंचाह गानी दर रोज़गार

बंदह ऊमीद्ववार

मुहम्मद तुग़लक़

مھر شد تنکہ

پنچاہ گانی در روزگار

بندہ امیدوار

محمد تغلق

Sealed as a Tanka

Of fifty gani in The reign of

The slave, hopeful of mercy

Muhammad Tughluq

दया की उम्मीद में दास,

मुहम्मद तुग़लक़ के शासनकाल में पचास गानी के टंके के रूप में मुहर लगाई


بندہ امیدوار،

محمد تغلق کے دور حکومت

میں پچاس گانی کے

ٹنکہ کی شکل میں مہر لگائ





Muhammad was a great innovator when it came to his currency. His adoption of a fiduciary copper and brass token coinage in 730-732 AH (1329-1331 AD) was his most bold venture. He decreed that the base metal tokens should become current for the silver tanka.[i]

In order to secure the success of this experiment, he caused such appeals as the following to be inscribed on them: " He who obeys the Sultan obeys the Merciful". The forgeries were produced in the thousands, and according to a contemporary historian, "The house of every Hindu turned into a mint,". The scheme was doomed to fail. The Sultan thereupon withdrew the scheme and, at his own expense, redeemed both the true and the false coins.

It is unclear why he tried this invention; it's possible that he intended to utilise the empire's silver riches to buy horses for the army. Since he agreed to exchange the tokens for gold and silver coins when the experiment failed—there was allegedly widespread counterfeiting—there could not have been a scarcity of silver. [ii]

Another interesting point is that the reverse’s legend is in Persian rather than Arabic, which was much more common for coins of the Delhi Sultanate. The date is written in Persian as well. The coin was minted in Tughluq’s new capital of Daulatabad.

The supposed conversion rate of fifty gani is also mentioned on the coin. The gani was a lower weight copper denomination. Taking into account that Tughluq issued 6, 8 and 10 gani coins, all under 4g in weight, a fifty gani should weigh far more than 9g. Hence indicating that the weight of the token did not matter as it was a form of fiat currency.

[i] Goenka, S. G. (2022). The Coins of the Indian Sultanates: Covering the Areas of Present Day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. New Delhi: Manoharlal Publishers & Distributors.

[ii] Brown, C. J. (1980). The Heritage of India Series: The Coins of India. University of Toronto Library.