04. Maghas from Malhar
Our Puranas (Vayu Purana) contain references to the sway of 9 rulers of Magha or Megha dynasty in South Kosala (present day Chhattisgarh) during the ancient times. However, in the absence of epigraphical or any significant numismatic evidence to support the Puranic reference, Ajay Mitra Shastri (Kausambi Hoard of Magha Coins) had to remain contended with the assumption that the Kosala Country could have extended upto Bandhogarh (Shahdol District in Madhya Pradesh) as its northern most boundary. On the other hand K.D. Bajpai (Indian Numismatic Studies, Delhi 1976 Page 16/17) has reported issuance of Copper Coins by Magha rulers in the South Kosala region. His discovery is assigned to the second half of the 3rd Century A.D. The coins are supposedly discovered by him at Bandhogarh. It seems that he has assumed Bandhogarh as being in South Kosala so as to validate the Puranic references. Secondly no coins of Maghas excepting of Sivamagha and Yamagha are known from South Kosala. However tonnes of coins assignable to a second or third generation Sivamagha in Bell Metal are known from Shahdol (Bandhogarh) and Rewa regions.
It may be remembered that the earliest epigraphic evidence (N.P. Chakravarty – Brahmi Inscriptions from Bandhogarh – Epigraphica Indica, Vol.XXXI-1955-56 p.167) relating to one of the Magha rulers, Bhimasena reckoned to be of 129 and 130 A.D. were found at Bandhogarh (Shahdol) and Ginja Hills (Rewa) respectively followed by one of Bhattadeva of 168 A.D. at Bandhogarh itself. The latest one is of Bhimavarman of 217 A.D. from Kosam (the ancient Kausambi) near Allahabad, which indicates a South to North movement of the dynasty.
Two copper coins reported by Shri R.R. Bhargava (Numismatic Digest, Vol VIII, June & December 1984) from Tewar (ancient Tripuri near Jabalpur) have been found to be almost identical to the two coins of Sivamagha from Malhar reported later by Shastri and Rishbud (Numismatic Digest, Vol. IX). Together with the above two coins, in the reportings, a third copper coin of Yamagha from the same place i.e. Malhar was also published. Provenance of the aforesaid coins were also not considered sufficient to establish Malhar as the original seat of the Maghas. The hesitation was due to non occurance of the coins of the founder “Maharaja Magha” in the region But now in view of fresh evidence of coins attributed to a ruler named Maghasiri or Magha from Malhar, the puzzle remains resolved. Therefore the Maghas originated at Malhar and then moved to Bandhogarh and finally to Kausambi as indicated in previous paragraph.