The British first introduced the paper money in the 19th century in the Indian subcontinent. In 1923, a series carrying the portrait of George V was an integral feature of all paper money issued in the British India.
The Government of India first introduced its paper money in 1861. In 1864, it inaugurated 10-rupee notes; 5-rupee notes in 1872; 10,000-rupee notes in 1899; 100-rupee notes in 1900; 50-rupee notes in 1905; 500-rupee notes in 1907 and in 1909, 1000-rupee notes. 1 and 2 1⁄2-rupee notes were introduced in 1917.
Reserve Bank of India in 1938 started the bank note production. They issued 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 1000 and 10,000-rupee notes. All the notes were carrying the portrait of George VI. The central government approved the new design of banknotes on the recommendation of the central board of the Reserve Bank of India.
Indian currency in Post-Independence period
After independence, new notes were designed with the image of Lion Capital of Ashoka, the National Emblem which replaced the portrait of George VI.
The first post-Independence note introduced in 1949. The 1-rupee note had the image of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, which was printed on the top right.
Rs. 10,000, Rs. 5000 notes were first introduced in 1938 but demonetized in 1946. Again in 1954, RBI re-issued Rs. 10,000, Rs. 5000 and Rs. 1000 which were again demonetized in 1978.
In 1959 a special issue of 10-rupee notes and 100-rupee notes introduced for the Indian Haj pilgrims. This advantaged the exchange of money with the local currency in Saudi Arabia.
In 1969, the Mahatma Gandhi Birth Centenary Commemorative Issue was released. It was the only commemorative note issue ever by the Reserve Bank of India.
20-rupee notes were issued.
Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 were introduced.
500-rupee notes were re-introduced on 23rd October with the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi.
The new design of 10-rupee notes was introduced.
Mahatma Gandhi series
Reserve Bank of India issued the Mahatma Gandhi series in 1996. This series replaced all banknotes issued before 1996. This series have various security features including micro-lettering, intaglio print, fluorescent ink, optically variable ink, watermark, and see through register.
Rs. 10 and Rs. 100 were issued with the image of Mahatma Gandhi on the observe side.
Rs. 50 was issued on 14th March and Rs. 500 on 20th October.
1000-rupee notes were introduced.
RBI issued Rs. 5 and Rs. 20.
Narendra Modi demonetized 500 and 1000-rupee notes and introduced new 500 and 2000-rupee notes.
However, on 10th November, RBI announced a new redesigned 50 and 100 notes will issue in the coming months, intended to replace all banknotes of previous Mahatma Gandhi Series. Shaktikanta Das from the ministry of finance announced a new 1000-rupee banknote would be released in the coming months.