Monetary Anemia in Early Medieval India (700-1200AD)

Monetary Anemia: The Early Medieval Age (E.M.A) was the transitional phase of Indian history. The early colonial historians portrayed this period as the dark age of Indian history. It was emphasized that no progress of any kind was witnessed in Indian during this age. Development was absent and the life of people was crisis-ridden.

This interpretation of history was justified on the basis of the absence of coinage belonging to the Early Medieval Age. Very few coins of this period were found during excavations. Because of this, it was interpreted that the monetization of the economy was absent.

This so-called monetary Anemia was used as an indication of the declined stage of trade and commerce.

Recent excavations and historical researches

  1. The recent excavations and historical researches have brought to light that the monetization of the economy was not completely absent during the Early Medieval Period.
  2. The level of monetization was low during 700-900AD but thereafter coins were in circulation quite commonly.
  3. The Harikela (place located in Bangladesh) silver coins have revealed that coins were used in eastern India in the 9 and 10th centuries.
  4. The coins were also in circulation in the Kashmir valley during this age.
  5. According to Huen Tsang, shells and metal powders were used as means of exchange but similar was the comment made by Fahien about the Gupta age when the level of monetization was very high.
  6. The level of monetization significantly during 900-1200AD

Contemporary literary sources

The contemporary literary sources give different names to coins such as Rupaka, Dinar, Tanka, Dramma. The frequent use of these terms in the literature indicates that coins were in circulation quite commonly.


  1. Gold coins used by Kalachauri king Gangaideva (1019-1040A) and copper coins used by Gehadwala king Madanpal(1102-1111A) have been discovered.
  2. Chauhan rules of Delhi Ajmer issued coins in large no. Many of their coins were restricted by Muhammad Gauri when the Turks conquered India.
  3. Coins were also issued by Chola kings in south India in large no.
  4. This evidence and references clearly confirm that there was no such monetary anemia during 900-1200AD. Trade and commerce as well as the industries and crafts were also reviving during this age.

Related questions on Monetary Anemia

Q. Discuses the issue of monetary anemia during early medieval age .

Q. To what extent monetary anemia afflicted the commercial economy during E.M.A.

Q. Critically examine the view that monetisation of the economy was completely absent during E.M.A.

Q. Discuss the issue of coinage related to E.M.A.

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