Rare silver drachm, successor states of Harshavardhana in Northern India, Kanauj mint, after 647 AD

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Moustachiod head of king right, wearing a simple crescent-topped crown, unread legend left / Fan-tailed peacock facing, crude Brahmi legend around: vijitavanir avanapati.... 13mm, 1.67 grams. Kanauj mint? Unpublished and unknown until recently.

This is a coin of the famous king Harsha or Harshavardhana, who ascended the throne of Thaneswar, a small kingdom in present-day Haryana, at the age of 16, and then reconstituted the remnants of a large part of the fragmented Gupta empire in Northern India into a single realm. He moved his capital to Kanauj and had an illustrious reign of over 40 years. Harsha died in the year 647. He ruled for 41 years. After Harsha's death, his empire died with him. The kingdom disintegrated rapidly into small states. The succeeding period is very obscure and badly documented, but it marks the culmination of a process that had begun with the invasion of the Huns in the last years of the Gupta Empire.