toli story

Vijaya Toli (also called as 1 amman cash coin) is one of the smallest coins in the Princely state coins. Vijaya toli was released by Pudokkotai (Prudhvikota) – a kingdom and later a princely (feudatory) state in British India, which existed from 1680 until 1948.

The kingdom did not have fixed boundaries originally and was called “Tondaiman country” or “Tondaiman’s woods” until the end of the 18th century.

Coat of arms – Pudukkottai symbol Todiman Raja in his Durbar, Pudukkottai (1858)


For administrative purposes, the state was divided into three taluks: Alangudi, Kulathur, and Thirumayam, each under the authority of a Tahsildar who was responsible for land revenue

Pudukkotai was founded by Raghunatha Raya Tondaram in 1686 when he defeated the Pallavaraya chiefs of the area. The family came from Tondaimandallam, a small village near Tirupathi, and belonged to the Kallen (or bobber) caste. In the late eighteenth century, the Tondaimans aided the British in their struggles against the French in the Carnatic with British ascendancy., the Pudukkotai rules were confirmed in their control of the region. This was regularized in 1806 when subject to a yearly tribute of one elephant, the rajas of Pudukkotai were guaranteed their position. In 1948 the State was merged into Trichinopoly District.

What does Amman mean?

Amman means Mother. In general, Indian goddesses are referred to or called as Amman or amma, which means treating the goddesses as the root of the family. In other words, referring the goddesses as a member of the family.

Why it is called Amman Kassu (Amman cash)?

The Amman Kaasu is so-named after the presiding Goddess Brihadh Ambal or Periya Naachiyaar in the historic Shiva temple at Tirugokarnam in Pudukkottai. The obverse of the coin figures Brihathambal and the other side has Telugu letters which spell ” Vijaya” meaning Victory.

From this, it is understood that the Pudukottai was under the dominions of the Nayak Kingdom of Madurai which in turn was under the mighty Vijayanagar Empire. The first Amman Kasu was minted in the year 1738. In the initial years, the dump Amman Kassu was handcrafted at the Pudukottai mint. Later, the coin was machine-made at Briningham mint, London, and shipped to Pudukottai.

These coins were made of highly pure copper.

The 1st strike of Amman kassu are Hammered Coins by Martanda Bhairava and the 2nd strike is known as Milled Coin that is struck at Briningham mint, later in Calcutta mint.

Why Brihadambal (Bramarambica) as Amman on Coin?

Brihadh Ambal or Periya Naachiyaar is the tutelary deity of the dynasty of the Thondaimaans. The royal family worshipped in the temple and was also the venue of the coronation of many of the rulers. It is said that there was a rebellion in Pudukkottai at one time. The ruling Thondaimaan’s own kinsmen and relatives were contesting for the throne of Pudukkottai. So, in order to sort out the issue, a scheme was proposed by the able Divan of the Samasthaan, called Sesha Saasthrigal.

Accordingly, the Thondaimaan decreed that henceforth the Sovereign State of Pudukkottai would be the property of the Goddess Brihadh Ambal. The Thondaimaan will hereafter administer the state as Her Viceroy. Anybody rebelling against the State also commits sin and thereby against the Supreme Goddess, who is the true ruler of the state.

Why the coin has విజయ in Telugu?

There are very limited sources of information available to identify the reasons behind this. In my research, I’ve found that Telugu is also one of the languages used by the Thondaiman rulers, and their seals, documents, communications, inscriptions are also in the Telugu language as per the Department of Archaeology, Government of Tamil Nadu in their website. This could be due to the impact of the Nayak rule. Here is the reference from the Department website.

References –

– Some of the Images and the content are taken from Wikipedia
– A publication by Mr.Ravi Kapuganti