Silver rupee of Aurangzeb – Surat




Dar Jahan sikka zad cho bedr monir

Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir

दर जहान सिक्का ज़द चो बद्र मनीर

शाह औरंगज़ेब आलमगीर

در جہان سکہ زد چو بدر منیر

شاہ اورنگ زیب عالم گیر


Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir struck coin in the world like the shining full moon

शाह औरंगज़ेब आलमगीर ने दुनिया में चाँद की रोशनी जैसा चमकता हुआ सिक्का ढाला

شاہ اورنگ زیب عالم گیر نے دنیا میں چاند کی روشنی جیسا چمکتا ہوا سکہ ڈھالا



Julus manus sanah ahad mimnat zarb Bandar-e-Mubarak Surat

जुलूस मानूस सनह अहद मीमनत ज़र्ब बंदर-ए-मुबारक सूरत

جلوس مانوس سنہ احد میمنت ضرب بندر مبارک سورت


Struck in the year one of his reign of tranquil prosperity in the Blessed Port of Surat

सूरत के धन्य बंदरगाह में शांत समृद्धि के पहले वर्ष में ढाला गया

سورت کی بابرکت بندرگاہ میں پرسکون خوشحالی دور حکومت کے پہلے سال میں ڈھالا گیا





Muhi al-Din Muhammad, commonly known as Aurangzeb Alamgir (reigned: 1658-1707) was the sixth Emperor of the Mughal Dynasty and the last of the so-called "Great Mughals." He is known to have greatly expanded the Mughal empire to its greatest extent. He was a man of simple habits. Unlike his forefathers, he was not interested in undertaking the construction of grandiose buildings, even his own tomb in Khuldabad, Aurangabad district is a simple structure with an unmarked grave.[i]

His reign was characterised by deteriorating social relations largely because of his religious policies. His death was followed by a steady decline of Mughal power, at the hands of the Marathas, the Sikhs and the newly arrived European powers.

The coin

Aurangzeb Alamgir forbade the use of the Kalima on coins, as he did not want it be defiled by usage by unbelievers. On the obverse, he opted to use a traditional lyrical passage honouring him and his rule, while on the reverse, he came up with a formula specifying the mint's location and the reign year. The look of Mughal currency changed significantly after this, leaving limited room for calligraphers to express their creativity.[ii]

Each ruler’s personality is reflected in his coins. While Akbar and Jahangir had very elaborate and beautiful couplets and formats which changed frequently, Aurangzeb preferred a more simplistic approach by standardizing the layout of the coinage.

Surat was one of the major ports and was a principal mint town of the Mughals after Jahangir. This coin also features an epithet for Surat which is not used in most other coins minted there. ‘Bandar-e-Mubarak’ so termed because it was the Bab-al-hajj, or starting point of the Indian pilgrimage to Mecca. This epithet was abandoned after the third year.[iii]

Usually the ‘Julus’ or regnal year is in numbers but here since it is the first year of Aurangzeb’s ruler, ‘ahad’ meaning one is used.

[i] Sarkar, J. (2009). Short History of Aurangzeb. Orient BlackSwan.

[ii] Wright, H. N. (1908). Coins in the Indian Museum Calcutta. London: University of Oxford.

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