Vijayanagara Kingdom, Achyutdeva Raya, 1530 AD, Gold Half Pagoda, Gandabherunda type, 1.7g
Sharply struck with full legends. Gandabherunda is a mythical 2-headed bird considered to possess immense strength and is also the official state emblem of Karnataka State where Vijayanagara Kingdom once flourished.
The Gandabherunda is shown swinging 4 elephants, 2 each by its beak and talons. The motif brings forth an interesting element of symbolism and propaganda. Elephants being massive beasts symbolize strength of the hostile neighboring Bahmani Kingdoms (Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golconda, Bidar / Berar ) that Vijayanagara can treat with contempt and disdain as shown by its choice of motif of Gandabherunda swinging the elephants that appear tiny and weak before its might.
The twin headed bird might itself symbolize the 2 brothers Krishnadeva Raya and Achyutdeva Raya as the motif is used for the first time by Achyut after the demise of his famous and illustrious brother whose name and fame no doubt he may have wished to encash to solidify his reign.
The coin is tiny and a tribute to the die engraving skills of the designer.