2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Currency

The Rupee (₨ or Rs.) is the common name for the currencies used in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius, and the Seychelles; in Indonesia the unit of currency is known as the rupiah and in the Maldives the rufiyah. The Pakistani rupee and the Indian rupee are subdivided into one hundred paise or pice (singular paisa).


The origin of the word "rupee" is found in the Sanskrit word rūp or rūpā, which means "silver" in many Indo-Aryan languages. The Sanskrit word rūpyakam (Devanagari:रूप्यकम्) means coin of silver.


The derivative word Rūpaya was used to denote the coin introduced by Sher Shah Suri during his reign from 1540 to 1545 CE. The original Rūpaya was a silver coin weighing 178 grains (11.534 grams) . The coin has been used since then, even during the times of British India, defined as 11.66 grams at 917‰ (that is, silver worth about US$4 at modern prices). In the late 19th century the customary exchange rate was 1 rupee to one shilling and fourpence in British currency, or 1/15 of a pound sterling.

Valuation of the rupee based on its silver content had severe consequences in the nineteenth century, when the strongest economies in the world were on the gold standard. The discovery of vast quantities of silver in the United States and various European colonies resulted in a decline in the relative value of silver to gold. Suddenly the standard currency of India could not buy as much from the outside world. This development was known as "the fall of the Rupee."


Formerly the rupee was divided into 16 annas, 64 paise, or 192 pies. Decimalisation occurred in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1869, India in 1957 and in Pakistan in 1961. Thus an Indian Rupee is now divided into 100 Paise. Paise is sometimes referred to as Naya-Paise, meaning the "new-money", a habit continued from when India became independent -- when the new country introduced new currency, people used Naya-Paise to distinguish it from the old currency. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. The most commonly used symbol for the Rupee is Rs. In most parts of India, the Rupee is known as Rupaye, Rubai, or one of other terms derived from the Sanskrit rupya, meaning silver. However, in the Bengali and Assames languages, spoken in Assam, Tripura, and West Bengal, the Rupee is known as a Taka, and is written as such on Indian banknotes. These days Rupee currency comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Large denominations of rupees are often counted in lacs or lakhs (100,000) crores (10,000,000) and arabs (Abja in Marathi) (1 billion).

Fictional rupees (currency)

Rupees are the unit of currency in the Legend of Zelda video game series created by Nintendo. See Rupee (The Legend of Zelda series).

Other uses

In the game Skies of Arcadia: Legends, Rupee is a Black Pirate which is a bounty you can defeat for money once you return to the Sailor's Guild after defeating him.

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