The Journey Of Indian Currency Since 1947 To The Present
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The Journey Of Indian Currency Since 1947 To The Present

indian currency

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 12-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.

1-rupee note


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.

1000-rupee note 5000-rupee note 10000-rupee note


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.

10-rupee note 100-rupee note


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.

1969 commemorative note


20-rupee notes were issued.

20-rupee note


Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 were introduced.

2-rupee note 5-rupee note 10-rupee note 20-rupee note 50-rupee note 100-rupee note


500-rupee notes were re-introduced on 23rd October with the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi.

500-rupee note


The new design of 10-rupee notes was introduced.

10-rupee note

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.

10-rupee note 100-rupee note


Rs. 50 was issued on 14th March and Rs. 500 on 20th October.

50-rupee note 500-rupee note


1000-rupee notes were introduced.

1000-rupee note


RBI issued Rs. 5 and Rs. 20.

5-rupee note 20-rupee note


Narendra Modi demonetized 500 and 1000-rupee notes and introduced new 500 and 2000-rupee notes.

500-rupee note 2000-rupee note

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.

Also Read: How To Convert Your Black Money To White? 6 Strongest Ways

Suchismita Biswas
Pen is mightier than swords - these words make me passionate about writing. Except writing I love to travel , love to explore the unknown places, love photography and love listening to music. Also I am an avid reader of books. I'm a simple girl but I am what I am.

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