05. Mysterious Malhar Symbol









After having traced the Magha’s origin at Malhar, it would be pertinent to dwell on the mysterious “Angular Nandipada” or the Malhar Symbol. This is purely native to South Kosala as indicated by coin finds. Occurrence of this device had been rare elsewhere excepting perhaps on coins from Kausabi reported by Altekar (JNSI IV p.1 & JNSI VII p.7). The coins reported have been counter struck with  Nandipada symbol. This is indicative of the period during which Maghas gained control over Kausambi. The ruler named ‘Pothamitra’ could have preceded Maghas thereat. Coming down to Malhar, we find coins of a king named Silalusiri (who could have been a Saka chief) immediately before the advent of Raja Maghashri (Ranjo Maghasirisa).We come across lead coins of the former king counter struck with the Malhar Device. We have one copper and four lead coins of Silalusiri with and without the so called mint mark. Instead of considering this device as a mint mark for Malhar, we could assume that, to begin with the Magha ruler used his initial letter ‘Ma’ for stamping the coins of the erstwhile rulers to indicate his suzerinity and used the same device for his own issues for smaller denominations.


This symbol is seen in all the coins from Malhar being used by (different or may be by  the same dynasty) issues upto the 4th century AD.


A friend of mine, after examining my coins, was in favour of calling it a religious symbol – a Fire Altar. This can not, however, be ruled out. The rulers could have been fire worshippers.

3 Responses to “05. Mysterious Malhar Symbol”

  1. bimal trivedi Says:

    to me this looks like brahmi letter Ma (Ma for Malhar?).
    such abbreviations were used in gupta coins, if you can look at samudragupta ashwamedha coin they have put letter Si on the coin

  2. paliakara Says:

    This possibility has been expressed by many scholars in the past. This could also be true. Thank you for putting in your comments.

  3. chandrakant Says:

    छत्तीसगढ़ के बालोदा बाज़ार जिले के डमरू गांव में मिले एक सिक्के पर यही “म” का निशान है मगर गोल सिक्के पर लिखा हुआ है “रायो अचुतदासस युगे”।मेरा मानना है ये वही काम्पिल्य के पांचाल राजा अच्युत है ,जिन्होंने मल्हार /डमरू के बुद्ध श्रद्धालुओ को खुश करने के लिए सिक्के जारी किए जिसमे अपने को अच्युतदास (बौद्ध में दास का मतलब बुद्ध का भक्त होता है )बताया।’म’ निशान माकंदी (काम्पिल्य का एक और नाम) दर्शाने के लिए होगा।

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