Malhar, 40 KMS south-west of Bilaspur, records continuous human habitation from the Bronze Age to the medieval period. The ancient road from Kaushambi to the ports of the Bay of Bengal passed through Malhar. Excavations here have revealed the remnants of a pre-Mauryan fort. A unique sculpture of a four-armed Vishnu was found in Malhar, with an inscription in Brahmi script which dates the piece to the 3rd century BC. Further excavations at Malhar have yielded a clay coin dating to the 2nd century BC.
The script used in the coin is clearly Brahmi, and it reads gamas Kosaliya (village of Kosali). Kosali has been identified to be a village 16 kms north¬east of Malhar, now called Kosla. The period from 325 to 655 AD is considered the golden age in the history of Dakshin Koshala. Religion and fine arts reached their peak in this period and Malhar emerged as a major centre of art. As Malhar grew and prospered, its citizens built temples and monasteries.
Remains of Shiva temples have been found at various places in and around Malhar. Somraj, a provincial governor appointed by the Kalachuri king Jajalladeva, built the famous Kedareshwar Temple at Malhar in the 9th century. This temple later came to be known as Pataleshwar Temple. At a distance of 2 kms from Pataleshwar is the Didneshwari Temple, built by Jajalladeva of the Kalachuri dynasty in the 11th century.