Dakshina Kosala Kingdom
Dakshina Kosala(Hindi:दक्षिण कौशल) or Southern Kosala was a colony of Kosala kings identified to be the Chhattisgarh state and Western Odisha region of India. Raghava Rama's mother " Kausalya " was from this kingdom.
In ancient Indian literature, in the “Ramayana”, “Mahabharata” and the “Puranas” one can find many references to the ancient Kosala Kingdom of northern India. Surya Vanshi Ikshvaku dynasty kings ruled Kosala with Ayodhya as their capital. “Sri Ram Chandra” was a great king of that clan, based on whose character and activities, the great epic “Ramayana” was written. In this great epic, it is mentioned that after Sri Rama, the kingdom was divided among his two sons, Lava and Kusha. North Kosala went to Lava as his share with “Shravasti Nagari”as his capital, and Kusha got south Kosala as his share. He established his new capital, “Kushasthalipura,” on the river “Kushavratee” near the “Vindhya” mountain range, which divides north and south India. This “Kushasthalipura” is identified near “Malhar” in the present-day Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh state. South Kosal was spread across present day’s Chhattisgarh state and Western Odisha region. In the course of time, Dakshin (South) Kosal developed as a mighty empire and for various reasons, mainly because of the rise of the kingdoms of Magadha and Kashi, North Kosal became weaker and lost its existence.
References in Ramayana and Mahabharata
In the “Puranas”, Kosala, Mekhal and Utkal are described as “Vindhyaprustha nivasinaha”, which means these places were located near the Vindhya mountain range. In the epic Mahabharata’s Vanaparba, Kosal is described as a mighty kingdom. Rissava, Kala and Badrika were the famous religious places. They are presently located in the new state of Chhattisgarh. Now also, many ashrams are found in "Gunja" hills. A rock inscription written in Brahmi Lipi, in Gunja parbat, describes the Rissava Khetra.
It is believed that in 1500 BC, wars took place between Ram and Ravan; and in 950 BC, between the Kaurava and Pandava. So, about 3500 years ago Kusha would have formed the state of South Kosal. According to the Puranas, chronologically Aatithhi, Nissadha, Nala, Nabha, Pandurika, Sudhanba, Devarika and Aahinaru have ruled over Dakhin Kosal. In “Harivamsha purana” and “Bhagavata Purana”, there are twenty five kings’ names given chronologically. Considering the names and based on many other incidences, historian Parzitor has described Shrutayu as the king of Dakshin kosal during the era of the Mahabharata war. He was also known as Vruhadbala, 36th in descent from Lord Ramchandra. This king was the contemporary of Dirghajagyan, the Ikshvaku king of Ayodhya. It is mentioned in Mahabharat that Bhima defeated these two kings and forced them to accept the dominion of Yudhisthir and to attain the Rajasuyan yajna of king Yudhisthir.
Sahadeva's military campaigns
Sahadeva targeted the kingdoms in the regions south to the Gangetic Plain. Vanquishing the invincible Bhismaka, Sahadeva then defeated in battle the king of Kosala and the ruler of the territories lying on the banks of the Venwa, as well as the "Kantarakas" and the kings of the eastern Kosalas.
- Dr Bibhuti Bhusan Mishra,"Dakshin Kosal Itihaas", page 23
- Mahabharata, Book 2, Chapter 30