Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar - Biography - GovtVacancy.Net

Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar - Biography - GovtVacancy.Net
Posted on 15-06-2022

Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar ( born: 31 May 1725; died 13 August 1795) was the wife of Malharrao Holkar's son Khanderao. Ahilyabai was not the queen of any big kingdom, but what she did during her reign is astonishing. She was a brave warrior and a skilled archer. She led his army in many wars and fought with valor riding on an elephant.

Life introduction

Ahilyabai was born on 31 May 1725. Ahilyabai's father Mankoji Shinde was a modest but cultured man. She was married to Maharaj Malharrao Holkar, the founder of the Indore state. The son of Khanderao was born. Ahilyabai had a son in 1745 and a daughter after three years. The son's name was Malerao and the daughter's name was Muktabai. She skillfully awakened her husband's pride. Within a few days, Khanderao became a good soldier under the guidance of his great father. Seeing Malharrao too, he was satisfied. He also used to give education to the son and daughter-in-law Ahilyabai about governance. He was very pleased with her intelligence and cleverness. During the lifetime of Malharrao, his son Khanderao died in 1754 AD. Therefore, after the death of Malhar Rao, Rani Ahilyabai took over the rule of the state. Rani Ahilyabai ruled the state very efficiently till her death in 1795 AD. He is counted among the ideal rulers. He is known for his generosity and generosity. They had only one son, Malarao who died in 1766 AD. 1767 AD

Construction work

Rani Ahilyabai had built many temples, Dharamshala, and Annasastras in different parts of India. The road from Calcutta to Banaras, the Annapurna temple in Banaras, and the Vishnu temple in Gaya have been built by him. He built ghats, built wells and step wells, built roads, opened Sadabrat (food area) for the hungry, made pots for the thirsty, and appointed scholars in temples for contemplation and discourse on the scriptures. He took a major part in the bustle of his time. Apart from this, Queen Ahilyabai also visited KashiGayaSomnathAyodhyaMathuraHaridwar, and Dwarka, Build temples, and opened religious schools at famous pilgrimage places like BadrinarayanRameshwarJagannath Puri, etc. It is said that once Lord Shiva came in the dream of Queen Ahilyabai. She was a devotee of Lord Shiva and hence built the world-famous Kashi Vishwanath temple in 1777.

Devotee of shiva

His whole life became a practice of dispassion, duty, and devotion. She was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Without her worship, she would not let a drop of water in her mouth. She had dedicated the whole kingdom to Shankar and you used to run the government as his servant. 'Sampati sab Raghupati ke ahi'—all property belongs to God, perhaps he was the only direct and only example after Bharata. She did not write her name while signing the edicts. Only Shri Shankar used to write below. The picture of Shankar's Linga and Bilva Patra is inscribed on his money and Nandi's on the money. From then till the attainment of Indian Swarajya, Indore. The edicts of all the kings who came after him on the throne of K. Until the order of Shri Shankar was not issued, then that edict was not considered and was not implemented. Ahilyabai's lifestyle was very simple. She was wearing pure white clothes. She didn't wear anything like jewelry. She used to be regular in the worship of God, listening to good texts and in the administration, etc.

Establishment of peace and security

During the lifetime of Malharrao Holkar, his son Khanderao died in 1754 AD. Therefore, after the death of Malhar Rao, Rani Ahilyabai took over the rule of the state. Rani Ahilyabai ruled the state very efficiently till her death in 1795 AD. He is counted among the ideal rulers.


When Ahilyabai took over the reins of governance, there was great unrest in the state. People were very fed up with the troubles of thieves, robbers, etc. In such a condition he saw that the first duty of the king was to bring the rioters under control and to provide fearlessness and peace to the subjects. The Bhils had a special hand in the riots. He held the court and, while drawing the attention of all his chieftains and subjects, announced - 'I will marry my daughter Muktabai with the brave man who will bring these troubled people under control.' Hearing this announcement, a young man named Yashwantrao Phanse got up and humbly told Ahilyabai that he could do this work. The queen was very pleased. Yashwantrao got busy with his work and in a very short time, She established peace in the whole state. With great pleasure and a great ceremony, the queen married Muktabai to Yashwantrao Phanse. After this Ahilyabai's attention turned toward internal reforms of the government. With the establishment of peace and security in the state, trade-business and art skills started increasing and people also got the opportunity to worship knowledge. Maheshwari was their capital on the arrow of Narmada. Various types of artisans started coming there and soon it became a beautiful center of textile making.

After organizing the expansion of the state, it was divided into tehsils and districts, and keeping in mind the convenience of the subjects and the government, by establishing centers of tehsils and districts, courts were also established wherever necessary. The work of all the panchayats of the state was organized and the steps were made to get justice. The last appeal was heard by the minister. But if no one was satisfied with his decision, then the queen herself used to hear the appeal.

As commander

Tukojirao Holkar was a trusted youth among Malharrao's brothers and sisters. Malharrao had always kept them with him and had prepared them for the administration. Ahilyabai made him her general and entrusted him with the task of collecting Chauth. Although Tukojirao Holkar was older than Ahilyabai in age, Tukoji considered her as his mother and used to do the work of the state with full dedication and truth. Ahilyabai had so much love and faith in him that she also considered him like a son. Wherever he is mentioned in the state papers and also in the seals, 'Khandoji Sut Tukoji Holkar' has been said in this way.

Advocate for women's empowerment

Durga and Chandi to women in Indian culture as shown. Similarly, Ahilyabai gave women their due place. Made full use of women's power. He told that women are not less than men in any situation. She herself used to go to the battlefield with her husband. Even after the death of her husband, she used to enter the battlefield and lead the armies. Before Ahilyabai ascended the throne, there was such a rule of the government that if a woman's husband dies and she does not have a son, then her entire property was deposited in the treasury, but Ahilya Bai changed this law and the widow of the deceased She was given the right to inherit the property left by her husband and use it according to her own will and whether she wants to enjoy it or to work for the welfare of the people from her property. Ahilya Bai's special servant was a woman. During his reign, the Ghats built on the rivers for bathing, etc. They also had a separate system for women. Great care was taken for the honor and respect of women. The small practice of educating girls in the homes was expanded. She took special care of women in giving charity and Dakshina.

some examples
  • Once upon a time, a good 'Dhoti-Chapel' had come from Chanderi point of Bundelkhand, which used to be very famous at that time. Ahilya Bai accepted him. At that time a maid who was present there was looking at the dhoti-chapel with great greed. When Ahilyabai saw this, she gave the precious chapel to the maidservant.
  • Similarly, once his son-in-law had sent some valuable material for worship. A weak beggar whose name was Sindoori gave that item to him. A maid reminded her that you also need this stuff, but she denied the maid's point of view saying that she has more.

Ahilya Bai did not like a woman falling at her feet. She used to lift her immediately with the help of both her hands. Shaking hands on her head and tying consolation. She would tell the weeping women to stop their tears, exhort them to preserve the tears and tell them to use them at the appropriate time. At that time, she did not consider the presence of a man good. Even if a man was present for some reason, she would ask him to leave on some pretext. Thus a woman's agony, listening to her feelings in solitude, is understood. If there was any difficulty or any problem, she would solve it or get it arranged. Women had the right to express themselves freely in private. She liked to visit the remote areas of the state, listen to the people's talks, and their problems, and find their solutions. Ahilyabai, who used to like for herself, had a liking for others. Therefore, especially women used to give sacrificial preaching.

  • Once two widows of the Holkar kingdom came to Ahilyabai, both were very rich, but both had no children. She was influenced by Ahilyabai. She wanted to dedicate her immense wealth to the feet of Ahilyabai. Asked for permission to sacrifice the property, but he refused both of them saying that just as I have invested my property in public welfare, in the same way, you should also use your property in the public interest. Those widows did the same and they were blessed.


The burden of concern for the state and the separation of people dear to it than life. Ahilyabai's body could not handle all this grief much. And on August 13, 1795, his life leaf ended. After the death of Ahilyabai, Tukoji ascended the throne of Indore.

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