Government of Nepal
Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation

Department of Archaeology
National Numismatics Museum
Chhauni, Kathmandu


Medieval Coins

Silver coins in the form and size of a rupee weighing a Tola (11.6grams) were introduced for the first time in this period in Kathmandu Valley. Authentically Indrasingh Dev the king of a petty kingdom of Dolakha (about 76 km east of Kathmandu) is found to be the first king to mint the silver coin in above denomination in Nepal.
But within the divided Kathmandu valley states, King Mahendra Malla is credited to bring out the coins in the standard form and weight of one tola. The old generations still remember him as the first king to mint the silver coin of that denomination and the coin is thus called Mahendra Malli. Even the foreign travelers who came during Malla period wrote them as Mahendra Malli than to call them as a rupee or taka.
After the division of Kathmandu valley into three petty states in 1618 AD all three kingdoms within that valley started to issue their respective coins. During this period, the names of the queen, queen mother, prince, minister and army general are found embossed in addition to the king in some coins. The tantric diagrams and the names of the female deities further follow them as well. Because of the economic recession due to blockades and internal feuds in Kathmandu Valley the coins in latter Malla period are found more debased in purity of silver. A smallest coin often known as windblown type (Fukadam- Nepali and Chundam- Newari) is found issued on gold by Jaya Prakash Malla the last king of Kantipur. The silver coins of such type were already in circulation before that time.