In medieval India, the term "Fanam" referred to?


05:23 AM

UPSC Prelims 2022 Question:

In medieval India, the term "Fanam" referred to:

a) Clothing

b) Coins

c) Ornaments

d) Weapons

Correct Answer: Option b) Coins

Learn more about Fanam in the given explanation below.


  • Fanam was a gold currency used only in Southern India in 17th – 19th c. The word Fanam is Europeanized version of the word Panam which means coin. 
  • Fanam come primarily in gold and it was one of the smallest coins in the world: 0.35-0.4 gm (full) or 0.15-0.2 gm (half) range. It was extensively used for trading.
  • States which issued gold fanams include Maratha, Mysore, Cochin, Coorg or Kurg, Travancore, Negapatnam (for circulation in Ceylon), Tuticorin, and the Mughal Empire. Even Madras Presidency issued fanams till 1815. In Danish India, fano was issued while in French India it was called fanon.

Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

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