In medieval India, the term “Fanam” referred to:

(a) Clothing

(b) Coins

(c) Ornaments

(d) Weapons


In medieval India, the term “Fanam” referred to: (b) Coins

  • Fanam was a currency used historically in major parts of South India, especially during the British Raj.
  • The term “Fanam” is believed to have originated from the Arabic word “Fana”, which means to perish or disappear.
  • Fanams were made of various metals, including gold, silver, and copper.
  • These coins were used in different regions of South India, such as the Madras Presidency and the Travancore State.
  • Fanams were used extensively for trading in the region of South India.

Learn more

  • Fanam is the anglicized form of the native word paṇaṁ, meaning “coin” or “wealth”.
  • The Madras fanam was a currency issued by the Madras Presidency until 1815, circulating alongside the Indian rupee.
  • The Travancore Fanam was a type of money issued by the State of Travancore, now mainly a part of Kerala in South India.
  • Fanams were also issued in Danish India as the fano, worth 1/8 rupee, and in French India as the fanon, worth 1/8 rupee.
  • The Chalukyas, one of the most powerful dynasties during the medieval period in India, issued gold ¼ fanam coins.

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