Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh:
A large collection of rare coins minted in the 19th century have been discovered from a 300-year-old Shiva temple in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
About 975 coins were found last month during an excavation at the foot of the temple 'Dwajasthambham' (pillar), which is being restored after its collapse last year in November, Executive officer Suryachandra Rao of Ksheera Ramalingaswara Swamy Temple told PTI in Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh.
There are about five gold coins, 40 silver and 930 copper coins in the entire collection.
Most of the coins date from 1853 to 1873, and were found beneath a150-feet tall pillar. The gold coins weigh approximately 22 grams each, and one of them belongs to the Napoleonic era, he said.
Mr Rao said that some of the devotees felt that the collapse of the Dwajasthambham was inauspicious and asked us to place all the coins back in the column of the Pallakolu temple.
Recently, at the time of re-installation (of Dwajasthambham) all coins were put under it as desired by devotees, he added.
The Archaeology department was informed about the discovery at the ancient temple site following which they prepared a report on the coins.
However, the value of the coins was not assessed.
The temple was built over 300 years ago by the Chalukyas and was subsequently renovated by the Reddy kings. It has been listed as a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India, the official said.
The pilgrimage earns about Rs one crore on an annual basis and is listed as 'A' category of temples in Andhra Pradesh, he said.