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Aryabhata, A New Frontier For Hindustan: 2 Rupee (India, 1977)-Article

Updated: May 2, 2022

This Indian banknote represents the smallest denomination of the Indian Rupee (Series 1970). Initially the 5 Rupees note was the smallest denomination of the series. Although due the successful launching of the satellite Aryabhata. The (previously discontinued) 2 Rupees note was reintroduced in 1975, to celebrate its success.

A notable feature of the Indian Rupee is their multilingual nature. Featuring primary text in both Hindi and English. The English language was retained long after the end of British rule, due to its utility among the nation's various people. Despite this all Rupee notes since British rule featured language charts, notifying their bearer the note's value.

Series 1970 notes feature a language table, on their observe. The table displays the note's value, in an impressive 13 regional languages. This number was increased to 15 regional languages, on the current generations of Indian banknote. Those being the Mahatma Gandhi New Series (2018) and the previous Mahatma Gandhi Series (1996).


The observe's surface is highly ornate, featuring multi-layer printing. To the extent it can be considered to be cluttered. As such, this review primarily focus on foreground elements. At the observe's center is a large number "2", representing the note's 2 Rupee value. Beneath is a stylized solar symbol. There an additional "2", located on the upper left corner.

To the far left is a circular watermark area, with a pair of pinholes. The watermark is fringed by a decorative pattern, facing outward and extending into a radiating underprint. The watermarks fringe and this radiating underprint, are an additional reference to sun symbolism.

On the note's far right is the State Emblem of India, based on the Lion Capital of Ashoka. Above is the the Reserve Bank of India logo. The logo's wrap-around fringe features small floral designs. Decorative floral patterns play a relatively large role in the note's overall design aesthetic.

The note's primary text is bilingual, printed in English and Hindi. The Hindi text is printer besides the English text. The header translates to the "Reserve Bank of India", below reads "Guaranteed By The Central Government". While the text to left the center "2" reads, "I Promise to Pay the Bearer the sum of Two Rupees". Further left is a language table repeating the note's "Two Rupees" value. The table printed in 13 of India's official languages.

The note's value (Two Rupees) is repeated a additional time, on on the lower left footer. At the center of the footer is a stylized peacock. To the right is the note's serial number "2JW 181462", beneath is a large "B". The "B" represents the plate letter, the the note's printing run. Notably not all printing runs feature a plate letter, although differ Governor signatures. This signature is found above the serial number, at the solar symbol's base.


The reverse is centered on an illustration depicting space. At its center is the satellite Aryabhata floating in orbit above earth. The "earth" lacks discernable details, featuring only small dots of various blue-violet hues. Although knowledge of the Aryabhata's mission confirms it to be earth. Rather than the moon, as sometimes misinterpreted. The watermark area is implied to be the "sun", implied by the lighter hue of blue near its surface.

To the far left, is a stylized number "2". Feature a somewhat "wing-like" appearance, particularly at its midway and tail section. The framing and at least most of the backing, were designed using a guilloché/geometric lathe. Above and blow are patterns, formed form intertwined branches with small flowers. A branch from each these pattern extends rightward, decorating the header and footer.

On the upper left corner is a flower, with guilloché frame and background. The header to the right, features text in Hindi script. Just as the observe header it reads the ""Reserve Bank of India". Further to the right, is additional Hindi text, it reads "Two Rupees". The decorative framing features a guilloché background and a single flower, at the lower center.

The footer repeats the note's "Two Rupees" value. It it flanked by a pair of small flower and features a decorative border beneath. On the lower right corner is an additional number "2", on a guilloché background. Its border is a simple thin "rimmed" design.

To the upper left is a small wing embellishment. Formed from a single flower with a pair of outward facing branches. Creating a "resting spot" for the watermark, the single flower directly above, forms a cap. Unlike the observe, the reverse watermark has no decorative fringe. Done so to better match the the center art's softer, more muted design atheistic.

Owning to space's more tranquil and surreal environment. As opposed to the hectic, fast-paced and vibrant environment of India. Which has influenced much of India's art and culture throughout the millennia.


Ultraviolet Gallery


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 107 x 63 mm or 4.21 x 2.48 in, smaller than a US Dollar.

  • Aryabhata was launched on 19 April 1975, from Kapustin Yar (Soviet Union).

  • Aryabhata was named in honor Indian astronomer Aryabhata I (476-550 CE).

  • The Indian Space Research Organization, under U. R. Rao (1932-2017) built Aryabhata.

  • Aryabhata remained active until March 1981, after experiencing a previous power failure.

  • Aryabhata reentered Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992, burning up in the process.

  • A number of Indian banknotes feature pinholes, due traditional accounting practices.

  • The pinholes are created by a pair of pins, used to hold stacks of banknotes on place.

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