Mahatma Gandhi Series (banknotes)

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The obverse design of the series was based on this photograph of Gandhi and Lord Pethick-Lawrence.
Details of the photograph.

The Mahatma Gandhi Series of banknotes are issued by the Reserve Bank of India as the legal tender of Indian rupee. As the name suggests, the series is so called because the obverse of the banknotes prominently display the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi. Since its introduction in 1996, this series has replaced all issued banknotes.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced the series in 1996 with the 10 and 500 banknotes. At present, the RBI issues banknotes in denominations from 5 to 1000. Printing of five-notes, which had stopped earlier, restarted in 2009. ATMs usually dispense 100, 500, and 1000 notes. In July 2015, several newspapers, most prominently in the South reported that a new series of Indian banknotes, featuring heritage monuments will be released by the RBI.

Security features

The following features are included in the notes.[1]

  • Secure thread : The notes contain an embedded security thread that can be seen as a vertical straight line when held against light. The notes contains the words 'Bharat' in Devanagari and RBI. The ₹1000 denomination contains the number 1000 as well. Older notes, however, are not readable.
  • Latent image : When held against the light at an angle of 45 degrees, an inscription of the value of the denomination is seen on the right side of Mahatma Gandhi's image.
  • Microlettering : Micro-letters are used to print RBI on ₹10 notes, and the value of the denomination on other notes.
  • Intaglio print:
  1. An intaglio (raised) shape is present on all denominations other than the ₹10 note to help the visually impaired.
    1. 20-Vertical rectangle
    2. 50-Square
    3. 100-Triangle
    4. 500-Circle
    5. 1,000-Diamond
  2. The image of Mahatma Gandhi, Reserve Bank of India seal, clause of guarantee, Ashoka Pillar emblem and signature of the governor of the Reserve Bank of India are all intaglio prints.
  • Fluorescence : The number panels are printed with fluorescent ink.
  • Optical fibre : The notes have optical fibres that glow when exposed to ultra-violet light.
  • Optically variable ink : Denominations of ₹500 and ₹1000 are printed with ink that changes color with the angle of placement to light.
  • See-through register - Floral design (later issues now have the corresponding denomination) printed on the front and the back of the note coincides and perfectly overlap each other when viewed against
  • EURion constellation - A pattern of symbols found on the banknote helps software detect the presence of a banknote in a digital image so that it can prevent its reproduction with devices such as color photocopiers.
  • Angular lines: A series of lines placed on both the left and right side of the 100, 500 and 1,000 notes. They are only featured on the 2015 series notes, and are utilized to help those with visual impairments in identifying the notes.
  • Novel numbering: A set of six digit serial numbers that increase in size from left to right. Issued for the 2015 series 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 notes.

The series

Mahatma Gandhi Series [2]
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Year of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
1 97 × 63 mm Pink-Green Mahatma Gandhi Sagar Samrat oil rig Mahatma Gandhi 1994 / 2015
82px 82px 5 117 × 63 mm Green Tractor 2002 / 2009
96px 96px 10 137 × 63 mm Orange-violet Rhinoceros, elephant, tiger 1996 / 2006
103px 103px 20 147 × 63 mm Red-orange Mount Harriet, Port Blair 2001 / 2006
103px 103px 50 147 × 73 mm Violet Parliament of India 1997 / 2005
110px 110px 100 157 × 73 mm Blue-green at centre, brown-purple at 2 sides Kangchenjunga Range, Sikkim 1996 / 2005
117px 117px 500 167 × 73 mm Orange and Yellow Dandi March 2000 / 2005
124px 124px 1000 177 × 73 mm Amber-Red Economy of India 2000 / 2005
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

See also


  1. Reserve Bank of India Currency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 9th Jan, 2012
  2. "Reserve Bank of India - Bank Notes". Retrieved 2011-11-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>