Enthroned Ardoxsho facing; Nagari legend: "Shri-Didda" / Queen standing. Scarce and nice. 20mm, 5.48 grams.
Very attractive. We are listing a small collection of rare (and no-so-rare) staters of various 9th-11th century Kashmiri rulers, including coins of various very difficult to find rulers. If you have a collection of these staters, you will probably find coins of some rare rulers missing from your collection. These remarkable and attractive coins are the descendants of the gold and silver Kushan staters, and have a distinction of being the longest-minted issue in history - the Goddess/King design remained virtually unchanged in the 1300+ years history of this issue. In ancient and medieval Kashmir, a Hindu queen could rule as the regent of an infant king and, sometimes, in her own right. Didda Rani was one of the celebrated queens, more of a strong than a beneficent monarch. Young husband spoke of her "force of character" as well as her "ruthlessness". She carried the latter trait to the extent of tyranny. Her diplomacy and statecraft were coupled with cunning and cruelty. Her 'fits' of religiosity were followed by bouts of an undignified life that knew no restraint. Didda Rani repelled the attacks of invaders and suppressed the strike of Brahmins, revolts of her people, and rebellion of Damaras with a strong hand that knew no mercy to the vanquished. She put to death her own grandsons and, when she died in 1003 A.D., none of her own descendents lived to succeed her. She disregarded her loyal minister, who had saved her life and her kingdom. And yet she built temples and founded cities. The story of this Catherine of Kashmir, a strange mixture of striking contrasts, is indeed absorbing-and romantic.