Paisa of Vagh Rajas of Mehidpur (1740-1817)

Started by Rangnath, November 14, 2008, 12:01:43 AM

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Dear Richie
Do you have any more information about "Vagh Rajas" because it think that correct title would be "Bagh Rajas" since in Hindi "Bagh" word is used for "Tiger" . Please clear my doubt.



I am sorry Shariq. I wanted to ask Oesho about the meaning of the word "vagh". 
You are most likely a native Urdu and/or Hindi speaker. "Sher" refers to a "lion", but can not "Bagh" refer to either a Tiger or a Lion? 
We also have the problem of Romanized Hindi or Urdu.  The "b" and the "v" sound in English are not exactly the same in Hindi or Urdu, no? Sometimes the truth is in the middle, as in Bindraban or Vindraban.


Vaghari is a word combined with two independent words-vagh means tiger and Ari means enemy. Vaghari means the enemy of the tiger. The Vaghari community was known for the skill in hunting. Vaghari used to wander in forests, obtained honey form the honeycombs, killed the flying birds and hunted the wild animals like tiger. These hunters were the protectors of human being form the wild animals at one time. The society respected them for their obligation. They used to live in tent like dwellings on the outskirts of the villages. For ref.: see
Bagh is a garden or park, like Jallianwala Bagh (Garden) in the northern Indian city of Amritsar where, on April 13, 1919, British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children; Gulab Bagh (de Rozentuin); Khusrau Bagh or Khusrau Park in Allahabad or Lal Bagh Botanical Garden the well known botanical garden in Bangalore.
The reference of the Vagh Rajas was told to me, a b or a v sound vocally very similar and Vhag may some times also be written as Bhag.
As I always thought the animal depicted on the coins to be a lion, at second thoughts and also because the reference to Vagh, it might be a tiger.


That was fascinating Oesho.  Thank you. 
I looked into the historical ranges for Asiatic Lions and Tigers.  I don't know what wild life existed in the vicinity of Mehidpur between 1740 and 1817.  It well could have been both!  And it is possible, of course, that the artists who designed the coins never saw either.
And then, the lion and tiger are anatomically quite related.  Take the skin off and they are nearly identical.  So, I suppose that we will never know which is on the coins of Mehidpur.


Dear Oesho and Richie

Vagh/ Vyagrh/ Bagh (Hind/Sanskrit) - are used for Tiger
Sher(Urdu) / Sinh (Hindi/Sanskrit) - are used for Lion

Bagh(Urdu/Persian -  "be"+ "alif"+ "Ghain" = Bagh  ) is used for Garden

Vatika/ Uup-Van(Read as op-van )(Hindi/Sanskrit) are used for Garden

My  previous question was, from where did you refer word "Vagh Rajas" ?


Dear Shariq,

In Marathi vagh/wagh means - tiger


Hello ACOI and welcome to the forum. Thanks for digging up this thread. It deserves some more contemplation. I hope you will find many more threads to enjoy and that you have some more thoughts (and coins) to contribute.

I think Oesho's point that because of the word Vagh/Wagh, the animal is meant to be a tiger is well taken. However, looking closely at Rangnath's coin, we can observe the manes of the lion. Comparing the picture with those of Oesho's coins, we see that on other coins the animal has no manes and could well be a tiger. My conclusion is that while the animal was probably meant to be a tiger, successive die cutters, maybe influenced by heraldic climbing lions on European influenced coins, would sometimes cut an animal that's more like a lion.

What a treasure of discoveries we have here.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


I have to check more, I am not remembering clearly, but there is one article on these varieties by Prashant Kulkarni in Indore's journal. Unfortunately i dont have the copy now to give the details.


I have  similar coin. The 7 dotted circle in the Julus suggests this to be from Princely state of Gwalior.
Is this coin from Gwalior state?



As far as am aware, Mehidpur has been a dependency of Indore.


Here's one from my collection that I've not photographed before


Searching on Google I came across the Indore state gazateer and it seems that the term "Vagh Rajas" come from "the Wagh saranjdmi sarddrs, locally known as the Wagh Rajas."

So this is derived from the last name of Maratha chieftains.

There is a difference between garden and tiger in Hindi-- garden is "baag" while tiger is "bagh" (ga and gha). This is a moot point now with the origin being known now. As someone pointed out before Wagh last name in Marathi means tiger.


Yes there were a Zamindars of Mahidpur having special authority to mint copper coins under the Indore State.


Quote from: repindia on January 20, 2015, 05:23:54 AM
Searching on Google I came across the Indore state gazateer and it seems that the term "Vagh Rajas" come from "the Wagh saranjdmi sarddrs, locally known as the Wagh Rajas."

Yes. This is a local Zamindar issue.............

Quote from: repindia on January 20, 2015, 05:23:54 AM
...... Wagh last name in Marathi means tiger.
In Gujarati too it means Tiger. Also most names with a V or W are, in Hindi, pronounced with a B...........

"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"