History of Indian Currency: Evolution of Rupee-Then & Now
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History of Indian Currency: Evolution of Rupee-Then & Now

History of Indian Currency: Evolution of Rupee-Then & Now

Posted Date: 07-04-2021 Posted By: Sadda Pind

The history of Indian currency is a rich and fascinating one that dates back thousands of years. Let's explore a brief overview of its evolution:

1. Ancient Period: The earliest coins in India can be traced back to the 6th century BCE, during the Mahajanapada period. These coins were made of silver or copper and were issued by various kingdoms and republics. The most famous of these coins were the punch-marked coins, which had symbols punched on them to denote their value.

2. Medieval Period: During the medieval period, various dynasties and rulers issued their own coins. The Gupta Empire (4th to 6th century CE) introduced gold coins called dinars, while the Delhi Sultanate (13th to 16th century CE) introduced silver and copper coins.

3. Mughal Era: The Mughal Empire (16th to 19th century CE) played a significant role in the history of Indian currency. The Mughals issued gold and silver coins known as mohurs and rupees, respectively. These coins featured intricate designs and calligraphy. The Mughal rupee became the dominant currency in India during this period.

4. Colonial Period: The arrival of European powers in India led to the introduction of their own currencies. The Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British all issued their coins. However, it was the British who gained control over large parts of India and had a lasting impact on its currency.

In 1835, the British colonial government introduced the Indian rupee as the official currency. The rupee was divided into 16 annas, and each anna was further divided into 12 pies. The British Indian coins had inscriptions in English and Persian.

5. Post-Independence: After India gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947, efforts were made to establish a new currency system. In 1950, the Indian rupee was decimalized, and the anna and pie were phased out. The rupee was divided into 100 paise.

Over the years, various denominations of banknotes and coins have been introduced in India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is responsible for issuing and regulating currency in the country. In recent times, advancements in technology have led to the introduction of new security features in Indian currency to combat counterfeiting.

Additionally, in 2016, the Indian government introduced the demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes to combat corruption and black money. New denominations such as 2,000 and 200 rupee notes were introduced as a part of this initiative.

Today, the Indian rupee (INR) remains the official currency of India and is widely used throughout the country.