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Silver tanka of Shams Al-Din Ilyas Shah (1342-1357 AD), dated 748 AH (1347 AD), al-Balad Firuzabad mint, Bengal Sultanate, India

Silver tanka of Shams Al-Din Ilyas Shah (1342-1357 AD), dated 748 AH (1347 AD), al-Balad Firuzabad mint, Bengal Sultanate, India

Persian inscriptions on both sides, naming Ilyas and his titles spread on both sides. Al-Balad Firuzabad mint, dated 748 AH (1347 AD). 27mm, 10.8 grams. "The coins of Indian Sultanates" #B151.

Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah was the first Sultan of Bengal and founder of the Ilyas Shahi dynasty, which lasted for nearly one hundred and fifty years. A Sunni Muslim of Sistani Afghan origin, he unified the Bengal region into an Islamic kingdom during the 14th century. Popularly known as Ilyas Shah, he waged military campaigns across the eastern Indian subcontinent and defeated the rulers of Delhi, Sonargaon, Satgaon, Nepal, Orissa and Assam. Based in Pandua, his campaigns reached as far as the Kathmandu Valley, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Champaran and Cuttack. His campaigns were considered "world-conquering" in the context of medieval India. Ilyas Shah has been described as the Bengali equivalent of Alexander or Napoleon.

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