Hun, HIND. I Varaha, Varagan, SAME.
Pagoda, a gold coin that was current in Madras until towards the middle of the 19th century. The derivation of its name, pagoda, though it is of modern origin, is very obscure. Prinscp derived the term from the pyramidal temple depicted on one side of the coin, and this would appear to be the general opinion. Bartolomeo, who lived in Southern India from 1776 to 1789, called the coin Ilhagavadi, and states that it was improperly called by the Europeans pagoda or pagoda. Bhagavadi or Bhagavati is one of the names of Durga or Parvati, whose image used to be shown on tho coin, and as Bartolomeo was a good linguist, his etymology of the term is probably correct, Tho East India Company's pagodas, with the figure of a temple on one side, were comparatively modern, and it scents more probable that this device was adopted on account of the prevailing European name for the coin, than that the name arose from the device. The following are the names of the different classes into which the coins described have been divided :—(1) Buddhist coins, (2) Chalukya coins, (3) Nonambayadi coins, (4) coins of the Gajapati dynasty, or elephant lords, (5) the Lingayat Vijayanagar or Bijanagar pagodas, (7) tho Gandikota pagoda, (8) the Chittuldroog pagoda, (9) the Travancore pagoda, (10) East India Company's pagodas, (11) Adoni (12) Mysore pagodas. Latterly, the varieties of these coins became very numerous, so that their discrimination at the present day is a matter of some difficulty. The immediate prototype of the pagoda is a globular punch struck coin believed to be of Buddhist origin. It was known to some of the people of S. India as the Varaha or Varagan, from the practice of the ancient Chalukya dynasty of stamping their coins with the figure of the boar incarnation or avatar of Vishnu, varaha mudra meaning boar stamped. The same figure appears as the signet of the rajas of that country in some old copper grants of lands in the Mackenzie collection. A pon seems to have
been half a pagoda. In Tanjore the revenue accounts were kept in pon, panam, and. k.asu, but the modern value of a pen was R. 1.9. The Tamil name for gold is ponna. With the Canarese-speaking race the term honnu meant gold ; two Manna were equal to one varaha ; and the term henna (hun) was adopted by the Muham madan conquerors for the coin which the British call a pagoda. The Hindu name probably varied according to the image of the coin ; thus we find the Rama tanka having the device of Rama and his attendants, and the matsya bun of Vijayana gar with four fish on the obverse. Other pagodas have Vishnu, Jaganath, Vencateswar, etc., on them. Those with three swami or figures are of the best gold, and were valued ten per cent, higher than the common pagoda. The canteroy pagoda is named from Kanthirava or Lion, the title of an ancient raja who ruled Canara. The Nayu pagoda probably means a coinage by Timma Nay; a ruler in tho Peninsula.
The hun was subdivided into fanams and kits. Fanam, or more properly panam, is identical with the word pan, known in Bengal as one of the divisions of the Hindu metrical system, now applied chiefly to a certain measure of cowries and copper money. The old fanam was of gold only, and was the one-sixteenth of a bun. In the Lilavati we find 16 pans = 1 dharan ; 16 dharan = 1 niskh, where tho dharan (or dharam) seems to accord with the bun, which is identical in weight with the Greek drachma. The lkkeri pagoda contains 16 fanams, that of Vararai and Anandrui 14, and the Kalyan pagoda 28. The division adopted by the British was 42. A pagoda, as a Madras gold coin, was equal to three rupees and a half, and it was about 50 to 52.3 grains weight ; 80 pagodas weight is a (cutcha) seer of 24 rupees weight. This corresponded with the average weight of the old native rupee of 175 grains ; but after the introduction of the ' Com rupee' rupee ' of 180 grains, the pagoda weight was 54 grains generally.—Brown's IVars.