Kuninda Coins

The Kunindas are a tribe who were dominant in Himachal Pradesh sometime between 1st century BC and 3 rd century AD. I looked up all the history books I have and none of them mention this tribe at all.

The Kunindas were dominant in Himachal Pradesh for a long time. They are mentioned in epics and puranas. In the Mahabharata they are known to have been defeated by Arjuna. In the Vishnu Purana the Kuninda territory has been named specifically as Kulindopatyaka foothills. Varahamehra also places them somewhere in the Himalayan region.

On the basis of literary sources Cunningham has identified the ancient Kulindas with the present day Kunets of Kulu and Shimla. Ptolemy believed the origin of Kuninda in the country irrigated by the river Ganga, Yamuna, Sutlej and Beas.

Incidentally most of the Kuninda coins have been found in places associated with these rivers e.g. Kashipur, Kumaon, Saharnpur, Garhwal, Haryana and Punjab. In Himachal, Kuninda coins have been found at Tappa-Mewa in Hamirpur district, Jawalamukhi and Kangra. A hoard of coins was discovered at Chakker in the Balh valley. With the study of these coins and the knowledge of the places from where the discoveries were made one can conclude that this Kuninda tribe ruled this region from 1st century B.C. to 3rd century A.D.

The Kuninda issued two types of coins. One type was issued about 1st century B.C. and the other about three centuries later. The present hoard was issued during the 1st century B.C. and bears the name Amogbhuti.

The obverse of the coin is in Brahmi and reverse in Khroshti. The obverse has a deer on the right and Lakshmi is facing it. On the reverse a five- arched hill surmounted by Nandipada, on the right a tree in the railing and on the left two swastik and Inderdhwaja. At the bottom is a wavy line representing a river. [Kuninda coins found via India Archaeology]