Ahilyabai Holkar, the Queen who brought peace and prosperity with her wisdom, was the Holkar Queen of the Maratha ruled Malwa kingdom, India. She is fondly remembered as a noble, saintly and courageous woman. She ruled the kingdom of Indore (which was then part of the wider Maratha Empire) for several decades. Her rule is remembered as a golden age in Indore’s history.
Ahilyabai was born on 31 May 1725 in the village of Chaundi, in the present-day Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. And today we celebrating her 295th birth anniversary.
All you need to know about Ahilyabai Holkar:
- Ahilyabai Holkar is regarded as one of the finest female rulers in Indian history. As a ruler of Malwa kingdom, she spread the message of dharma and promoted industrialisation in the 18th century.
- Known for her wisdom and administrative skills, Ahilyabai had a humble beginning in a small village, near the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. She was born in Chondi to the village head, Mankoji Shinde, on May 31, 1725. Women did not go to school during that time, but her father himself educated her and taught her how to read and write.
- Young Ahilyabai’s character and simplicity impressed Malhar Rao Holkar, who was the lord of the Malwa territory and served as a commander in service to Peshwa Bajirao.
- Malhar Rao got Ahilyabai married to his son, Khanderao, at the age of eight, in 1733. Twelve years after the wedding, in the year 1745, Ahilyabai’s husband got killed during the siege of Kumbher fort. Grief-stricken, it is said that Ahilyabai wanted to sacrifice herself by committing Sati. But it was her father-in-law, Malhar Rao, who dissuaded her against it and instead, trained her in administrative and military matters.
- After the deaths of her father-in-law in 1766 and her son, Malerao, the very next year, Ahilyabai petitioned the Peshwa to allow her to take over the reign of Malwa.
- She had been fully trained in military and administration matters by then and she was brilliant at it. Though some of the nobles objected to this, she had the full support of the Holkar army.
- On many occasions, Ahilyabai led the army herself from the front like a brave warrior, armed with bows and arrows on the elephant. The Peshwa granted her permission to take over in 1767 and Ahilyabai proceeded to rule Malwa in a wise and sagacious manner for the next 28 years.
- During her reign, Malwa was never once attacked, when at that time the whole of Central India was facing a power struggle, with battles being fought for the throne. Under her rule, Malwa remained an oasis of stability and peace.
- She even established a textile industry at Malwa, which is now home to the famous Maheshwar saris. Rani Ahilyabai never observed purdah, held daily public audience, and was accessible to anyone who needed her ear.
- Ahilyabai turned Malwa into a prosperous land, starting with improving the infrastructure of the place by building forts and roads and repairing Ghats.
- From Badrinath, Dwarka, Omkareshwar to Puri, Gaya, Rameswaram, every holy pilgrimage place in India had a contribution, in one way or another, from Ahilyabai Holkar. Most notable of all was the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, which she rebuilt and restored in 1780, 111 years after its destruction by Aurangzeb.
- The warrior queen passed away on August 13, 1795, at the age of 70 in Rameswaram. Centuries later, her legacy lives on in the form of the numerous temples and Dharamshala, and in the amount of public work, she dedicated her life to.
Projects undertaken by Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Part 1
- Mandaleshwar – Shiv Temple Ghat.
- Omkareshwar (MP) – Mamaleshwar Mahadev, Amaleshwar, Trambakeshwar Temple Jirnnodhar, Gauri Somnath Mandir Dharamshalas, Wells.
- Datta Mandir Mangaon – Datta Mandir – near Sawantwadi, Konkan Maharashtra.
- Miri (Nagar Bhairav Temple 1780).
- Naimabar (MP) – Temple.
- Nandurbar (1) – Temple, Well.
- Neelakantha Mahadev – Shivalaya and Gomukh.
- Nemisharanya (UP) – Mahadev Madi, Nimshar Dharamshala Go-ghat.
- Nimgaon (Nasik) – well.
- Ozar (Nagar) – 2 wells and a kund.
- Panchavati (Nasik) – Shri Ram Temple, Gora Mahadev Temple Dharamshala, Vishweshwar Temple, Ramghat, Dharamshala.
- Parli Vaijnath – Shree Vaidyanath Mandir.
- Pandharpur (Maharashtra) – Shri Ram Temple, Dharamshala.
- Bhanpura – 9 temples and Dharamshala.
- Manasi Devi – 7 Temples.
- Bharatpur – Temple, Dharmashala, and Kund.
Projects undertaken by Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Part 2
- Kashi – Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, Shri Tarakeshawar, Gautameshwar, many Mahadev temples, Dasashvamedha Ghat, Janana Ghat, Ahilya & Shitala Ghat, Uttar Kashi & Kapila Dhara Dharamshala, Rameshwar Panchkashi Dharamshala.
- Kedarnath – Dharamshala and Kund.
- Karmanshini River Bridge.
- Kurukshetra – Shiv Shantanu Mahadev Mandir, Panchkund & Laxmikund Ghats.
- Kumher – Well and Memorial of Prince Khanderao.
- Maheshwar – hundreds of Temples, Ghats, Dharamshala, and houses.
- Madaleshwar Mahadev Himachal Pradesh – Lamps Ghat.
Projects undertaken by Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Part 3
- Gokarn (Karnataka) – Rewaleshwar Mahadev Mandir, Holkar wada, Garden, and Garibkhana.
- Gaya (Bihar) Vishnupad Mandir.
- Jagannath Puri Orissa – Shri Ramchandra Temples, Dharamshala, and garden.
- Shri Ganeshwar Mandir, Ellora (Jyotirling).
- Gangotri – Vishwanath, Bhairavnath, Annapurna, Kedarnath temples.
- Chaundi – Shri Mahadev Mandir & Chaudeshwari Temple.
- Chitrakoot – Pranprathisha of Shri Ramchandra.
- Gruneshwar (Verul) – Shivalaya Tirth.
- Handiya – Siddhanath Temple, ghat, and Dharamshala.
- Haridwar – Kushawarth Ghat and a huge Dharamshala.
- Hrishikesh – Shreenathji and Goverdhanath temples amongst many others.
- Jalgaon – Ram Mandir.
- Jaamghat – Bhumi dwar.
- Jamvagaon – Swami Ramdas math.
- Jejuri – Malhar Gautmeshwar Mandir, Martand Temple, Janai Mahadev and Malhar lakes.
Ahilyabai Holkar Jayanti 2020 Wishes in Marathi:
Ahilyabai Holkar Jayanti Chya Hardik Shubbheccha
Ahilyabai Holkar Jayanti 2020 Chya Hardik Shubbheccha
Ahilyabai Holkar Jayanti 2020 Chya Saglyanna Hardik Shubbheccha
Wishing Happy Ahliyabai Holkar Jayanti 2020