What’s on the Back of India’s New ₹500 and ₹2,000 Currency Notes?

A monument and a space mission get the spotlight. | By NGT Staff  
Indian currency note Rs500
Delhi's Red Fort looms large on the new ₹500 note. Photo courtesy Ministry of Finance, Government of India

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has just revealed a first look at India’s new currency notes that are soon to be released for public circulation. Delhi’s Red Fort emblazons the back of the new ₹500 note, which will be olive green. The newly introduced ₹2,000 note is purple, and celebrates India’s first venture into interplanetary space with an image of Mangalyaan, a space probe orbiting Mars since September 2014.

India’s natural landscapes and resources are often spotlighted on the currency; the Indian coast on the ₹20 note has even inspired locals in the Andaman and Nicobar islands to claim that the palm-fringed beach is North Bay Island. The new currency icons are easier to identify, and even visit. Ever since Jawaharlal Nehru oversaw the hoisting and unfurling of the national flag at Delhi’s Red Fort in August 1947, every prime minister has delivered their Independence Day speech from its historic 17th-century ramparts. Continue your tour of the capital’s iconic structures with a visit to the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, an hour’s drive away. Armchair travellers can also get under Delhi’s skin with these travel books on the capital.

Mangalyaan garnered global attention for the Indian Space Research Organisation as it entered the Red Planet’s orbit on its first attempt, which no other space agency has managed to do. Travellers can experience the excitement of watching a rocket launch at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thumba, Kerala; use our guide.

The new currency notes have been unveiled following the demonetization of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, which are no longer legal tender. The move, which is effective from November 9, 2016, was announced by the government as a bid to tackle black money and corruption. Other currency notes and coins are still valid, as are cheques, and cashless transactions via debit or credit card and online portals.

Travellers can exchange the demonetized notes for foreign currency at international airports. Until midnight on November 11, 2016, these notes will be accepted at government hospitals; ticket booking counters at railway stations, airports, and government buses; petrol, diesel, and gas stations; crematoria and burial grounds; and government-run co-operative stores and milk booths. Demonetized notes can be returned to banks and post offices from November 10-December 30, 2016, against valid ID such as a passport, PAN card, or Aadhar card. Following that, these notes can be declared with the RBI until March 30, 2017.

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