Silver Half Tanka of Mahmud Shah II– Malwa Sultanate




al wathiq bil-mulk al samad abul muzaffar mahmud shah

अल-वसिक़ बि-मुल्क अल समद अबु मुज़फ़्फ़र महमूद शाह

الواثق  بالملک الصمد ابوالمظفر محمود شاہ


The Truster in The Kingdom, The Endless (God)

The Father of the Victor

Mahmud Shah

राज्य, अनादि (ईश्वर) में भरोसा रखने वाला

विजेता के पिता

महमूद शाह

ملک، غیر فانی (خدا) میں

عتناد رکھنے والا


محمود شاہ



bin nasir shah

al khalji al sultan

Khallada mulkahu 923

बिन नासिर शाह

अल ख़लजी अल सुल्तान

ख़लदह मूलकहु 923

بن ناصر شاہ

الخلجی السلطان

خلد ملکہ 923


Son of Nasir Shah

Khalji the Sultan,

May [God] preserve the country


नासिर शाह ख़लजी के पुत्र,


[भगवान] इस राज्य को कायम रखे 923


بن ناصر شاہ الخلجی سلطان

 اس سلطنت کو قائم [خدا] 923رکھے





Mahmud Shah II

Mahmud Shah II (reigned: 1510-1531) was a Sultan of the Malwa Sultanate. He was the third son of Nasir Shah. Mahmud’s accession was immediately challenged by his elder brother Shihabuddin and upon his death, by shahzada Sahib Khan who assumed the title of Sultan Muhammad, sparking a civil war. The rebellious prince Muhammad succeeded in capturing the fort of Mandu. As a result, Malwa at this time had two rulers, both of whom asserted control over the sultanate and simultaneously issued their own independent currencies.[i]

Thus, Mahmud Shah II attempted to enlist the aid of Medni Rai, the formidable Purbia Chief, and was successful in regaining his throne. Eventually, due to the old nobles and the introduction of several Rajputs in the Malwa court, the state of affairs was viewed disquiet by most of the Muslim courtiers. After a series of conflicts involving the Lodi rulers of Delhi and the Rajput chiefs, having made a military blunder against Medni Rai, Rana Sangrama managed to kill many of Mahmud’s men and took him captive to Chittor. Rana Sangrama treated him well and released him.[ii]

After further offensive campaigns instigated by the Sultans of Gujrat, in 1531, the siege of Mandu had started. Bahadur Shah of Gujrat eventually succeeded and the whole of Malwa was annexed to Gujrat. Thus ended the Khalji dynasty of Malwa.

The coin

Half tankas, such as the one here, made up the bulk of Mahmud Shah II’s currency. This coinage was imitated by the pretender, Sultan Muhammad. Once again, Mahmud retains the format of his forefathers; only slight modifications in his title are seen. This coin features two mint-marks, one being arrow-like, and the other being the swastika.

The swastika is featured in other coins of the Malwa Sultanate as well. It is likely that the purpose would have been to consolidate the ruler’s reign by gaining the popular acceptance by the majority Hindu subjects, who would have readily accepted the coinage in trade due to familiarity with an auspicious symbol since millennium. [iii] Hindi and Sanskrit is also said to have received patronage from the Sultans of Malwa. For instance, during the reign of Ghiyas Shah, Punjaraja wrote a commentary on Sarasvata, a Sanskrit grammar written in Mandu.[iv]

[i] Bhatt, S. K. (1980). Studies in The History of Malwa. The Journal Of of Itihaas Parishad.


[ii] 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.

[iii] Singh, M. (2019). A new "Hindu" style Swastika on Indian Islamic copper coin. The Numismatic Society of Calcutta.

[iv] Hasan, S. B. (1992). Malwa under the Mughals (1562-1707) . Aligarh: Department of History Aligarh Muslim University.