Gwalior – 19 gun state

This part of the catalogue is based on Lingen & Wiggins (LW), Coins of the Sindhias, published by Hawkins Publications, 1978



In 1726, Ranoji Scindia, Malhar Rao Holkar, the founder of Indore, and the Ponwars were authorised by the Peshwa to collect local taxes (chauth at 25% and sardeshmukh, a further 10%) in Malwa. Ranoji, having established a foothold in Malwa, fixed his head-quarters in Ujjain, which remained the capital until 1810, when Daulat Rao founded Lashkar. The treaty of Salbai was signed with the British at the end of 1782, and came into effect early in 1783. This event seems to have prompted Mahadji Scindia to consider himself independent of the Peshwa and with the help of his French general, Benoit de Boigne, he proceeded to carve out territories and establish himself as one of the leading players on the Indian political stage. Mahadji died in 1794 and was succeeded by Daulat Rao and, following a further war with the British (1803), he was obliged to give up much territory, including, initially, Gwalior fort although this was eventually returned to him in 1805. However, Scindia continued to annex territories around Gwalior and it was not until 1818 that the state of Gwalior became more firmly established.

The state had an area comparable to that of Greece and consisted of several detached blocks. [1].



Ranoji (AD1726-45, AH1139-1158)

Jayapa (AD1745-59, AH1158-1173)

Dattaji (AD1759, AH1173)

Jankoji (AD1759-61, AH1173-1175)

Mahadji (AD1761-94. AH1175-1209)

Daulat Rao (adopted) (AD1794-1827, AH1209-1243)

Jankoji Rao (adopted) (AD1827-43, AH1243-1259)

Jayaji Rao (adopted) (AD1843-86, AH1259-1304)

Madho Rao (1886)



See Barry Tabor’s article, Bhandare S (2009), JONS 198, pp16-38

(below taken verbatim from ref 1 pp96-97)

When Gwalior state was founded the prevalent forms of coinage were those of the Mughals and a few local issues made by Rajput chiefs. Moghul mints were situated at several places still within the limits of the state, coins issuing from Ujjain, Bhilsa, Gwalior and Narwar, while other places such as Agra and Ajmer were at one time in the hands of Scindia. With the fall of Mughal power the Maratha chiefs acquired or assumed the right to coin, the coins being issued in the name of the Mughal Emperor. Prinsep points out that the mints were used as a means of fraudulent profit; thus Tantia Scindia, Governor of Ajmer, in 1815 abolished the standard Ajmer currency and introduced a debased Sri Shahi rupee with the idea of increasing his revenue, the use of all purer issues being interdicted. Later on the Darbar, while maintaining a fine issue at Gwalior, debased the Chandori rupee, and even coined a debased Balashahi rupee at Garha-Kota.

Mints rapidly increased in number, and in 1819 were opened in many places, including Shadora, Ujjain, Isagarh and Chanderi. The list appended gives the mints at which Gwalior coin was issued.



Silver Coins

Weight in Grains

Mint Closed



Sri Shahi of Tantia Scindia


1818, on cession of this territory to the British



Issued by Jankoji Rao



Coins rare


Chanderi rupee










Best of Scindia’s issues



Copper also issued


Deo Rao Balashahi issued by Scindia








Silver and copper issued


First issue 1803














Top Shahi



Copper also


Coins are said to have been issued by Jean Baptiste



Coins rare

Up to 1899 issues of coins from several local mints were still current in Gwalior. Besides various coins belonging to neighbouring states, such as the Salim-Shahi of Partabgarh, the Gajja Shahi of Jhansi and the Datia issues, they included issues of the Gwalior rupee struck at Gwalior, the Chandori at Isagarh and the Top-Shahi at Sheopur. The inconvenience of this multiplicity of currencies was accentuated at the regular settlement of 1871, when five parganas were assessed in the British currency, 20 in the Gwalior, 19 in the Chandori and 3 in Top-Shahi.

Rupees have also been issued in the name of Madho Rao I, Daulat Rao, Baiza Bai (as regent), Jankoji Rao, Jayaji Rao, and Madho Rao II.

In 1893 the state mints were closed. By 1897 it was found possible to convert the Gajja Shahi and Jhansi and the Top-Shahi and in 1898 and 1899 the Gwalior and Chandori, which were called in.

The British rupee and its fractional coins are now [1908] the only legal tender. The Darbar, however, has never relinquished its right to coin silver. The state still mints its own copper, which is of the same value as the British coin, and gold coins are struck for special purposes.

[1] Luard C.E., Gwalior State Gazetteer, Vol. 1, Calcutta 1908