In this article, we will know about the Story of Ahilyabai Holkar & Muktabai Holkar, her life, her family tree, and how she got married to Khanderao Holkar. Apart from this, we will also know about her son Male Rao Holkar & Daughter Muktabai Holkar, and why Ahilyabai Holkar is so famous. Let’s start the Story of Ahilyabai Holkar.
Story of Ahilyabai Holkar
|Birthplace||Vill. Chaundi in Jamkhed(Maharashtra)|
|Ahilyabai Holkar’s Father||Mankoji Rao Shinde|
|Son||Male Rao Holkar|
You must have known about the great queens of Indian history. Whether it is Queen Didda of Kashmir or Razia Sultana of Delhi Sultanate. Indian history sings the saga of many queens. But there is also a queen whose story got buried somewhere in history. We probably don’t know much about them.
Today’s story is of one such queen about whom Joanna Bailey wrote, “In latter days from Brahma came, To rule our land, a noble dame, kind was her heart and bright her fame, Ahilya was her honored name”. Let us know about the Story of Ahilyabai Holkar.
Birthplace and Childhood of Ahilyabai Holkar
Ahilyabai was born in a village named Chaundi in Jamkhed in 1725 (Today’s Maharashtra). Her father Mankoji Rao Shinde used to be a Patil or Headman of the villages. At that time, girls have no right to study. But, Mankoji Rao Shinde taught her to read and write at home.
Rani Ahilyabai was not born into the royal family. The story of how her journey to becoming queen started is also very interesting.
After the death of Aurangzeb, the Mughals started declining while Maratha’s presence in the Deccan was increasing. Maratha was ruled by Peshwa Bajirao, and various states like malwa, and Rajasthan were captured by Marathas. Bajirao had given many states to his chieftains in the form of Jagir.
One was Malhar Rao Holkar, who got the jagir of malwa in 1730. He made Indore a Capital and established an independent Holkar Dynasty. He has only one son named Khanderao. Khanderao was not brave enough like his father to run the dynasty. Moreover, he was not interested in kingship. So, Malhar Rao wanted a daughter-in-law, who could handle his affairs, his kingdom, and his son.
Marriage of Ahilyabai with Khanderao Holkar
He once stopped in Chondi Villages on his way back after a campaign. Aarti was being performed in the village’s Shiva temple in the evening. Aarti was doing a 7-year-old girl, whose melodious voice fascinated Malhar Rao. Then, Malhar Rao meets Mankoji Shinde, Shinde invites Malhar Rao to be his guest for a night. Rao immediately accepts their invitation. Further, Ahilya is so fond of him that he proposes to Shinde to make her his daughter-in-law.
Mankoji accepts this and is ready to get married to his daughter. Ahilyabai took care of the family under the supervision of her mother-in-law and with the encouragement of her father-in-law took over all the responsibility of the administration.
In the meantime, a son named Male Rao Holkar and a daughter named Muktabai Holkar were also born to Ahiliyabai Holkar & Khanderao Holkar.
About Muktabai Holkar:
- Muktabai Holkar was the daughter of Ahilyabai Holkar, who ruled the kingdom of Indore in central India during the late 18th century.
- She was known for her devotion to the Hindu god Vithoba and is considered a saint by some followers of the Varkari sect of Hinduism.
- Ahilyabai’s daughter Muktabai was the younger of her two daughters.
- Further, Muktabai Holkar is said to have given away most of her wealth to the poor and to have lived a very simple life.
- Muktabai passed away at a young age and was buried in the town of Pandharpur.
- Today, her tomb is considered a sacred site, and it is visited by thousands of devotees every year.
Explore the Life and Reign of Male Rao Holkar: A Warrior King of India – Click Below
Death of Khanderao & Male Rao Holkar
In 1754, Khanderao attains Martyrdom in the Battle of Kumher against Maharaja Surajmal jat of Bharatpur. Ahilya becomes a widow at the age of 29 only. Moreover, she wanted to be Sati, but his father-in-law stopped her by saying, ” No daughter, now you are my son! If you will also leave, who will take care of me? Without you, we would be nowhere.”
” All this kingship is yours. Till now, considering you as my son, I had handed over everything to you. If you are here, then I will understand that my Khanderao is still alive.” Ahilyabai abandoned her wish to be Sati and with full diligence, she took over the reign of the state in her own hands. In 1766, Malhar Rao Holkar died. Moreover, her son Male Rao Holkar also died due to disease in 1767.
Ahilyabai Countering Peshwa’s Assault
When Rani Ahilyabai took power into her own hands, the Holkar army supported her. During the time of Malhar Rao, she had already led a military campaign like Gwalior.
In 1765, Ahilya captured Gohad Fort, located near Gwalior. Rani Ahilyabai started collecting arms and rations. Moreover, Peshwa Madhavrao also supported her. She raised a whole army of women, and she also gave the knowledge of weapons to the women’s army. Now, she is ready to fight against Raghoba.
She wrote a message to Raghoba, ” Our sword will run as soon as your army comes across the Shipra river. Keeping this in mind, take steps. You want to snatch will never be fulfilled. You have given me a pact. But you will know how bad I am in the rune sector. The army of women under me will face you. Even, If I lose, no one will laugh. But remember, if you lose, you will not be able to see your face anywhere.”
When Raghoba got this message from Ahilyabai, he got worried. Raghoba said, ” Is this voice of any helpless woman? This is a lioness.” He understood that to compete with Ahilya, meant losing his honor. so, they give up the idea of capturing the Holkar state and send a message to Rani Ahilyabai Holkar that he doesn’t want to fight with her. In this way, Ahilyabai protected the state with her wisdom.
Also Read:- Religion of Indus Valley Civilization
Why is Ahilyabai Holkar famous?
- Ahiliyabai eliminates the crisis of Pindaris and Robbers from his kingdom. In this way, the Bhil and Gond started living peacefully in the kingdom of Ahilyabai.
- Scholars, traders, and partitions were also patronized by the state.
- Wells was built in place and trees were installed on both sides of the road.
- Moreover, the arrangement of a rest house for the passengers was also done.
- Rani Ahilybai left her state palace in Indore and started living in Maheshwar, a place of pilgrimage.
- She was the mother of all, and the people of Maheshwar used to bring their problems to her.
- Maheshwar, the new capital of Ahilyabai, had become a Melting Pot of literary, musical, artistic, and industrial achievements.
- Rani Ahilyabai also built the textile industry in Maheshwar, which is famous for Maheshwari sarees today.
- Perhaps, the biggest achievement of Ahilyabai was that no one could attack Malwa during her reign.
- However, When the struggle for power was going on in the whole of Central India.
- Many festivals for also sponsored in various places. Moreover, repair and restore all the temples.
- From Badrinath, Dwarka, Omkareshwar, Puri, and Gaya, Rani Ahilyabai had contributed to every pilgrimage place in some form or the other.
- The most remembered is the Vishwanath Temple of Kashi, Which she got rebuilt and restored in 1780. Vishwanath temple was crushed by Aurangzeb in 1669.
Also Read: Lalitaditya Muktapida
Family Tree of Ahilya Holkar:
Death of Ahilyabai Holkar
There was no special reason behind the death of Ahilyabai Holkar. In 1795, Rani Ahiliyabai goodbye to this world at the age of 70, but her legacy is still alive. Her 28-year-long Reagan is still remembered as a model of effective government.
That is the complete Story of Ahiliyabai Holkar. If you liked the story of Ahilyabai Holkar, then share this story as much as possible.
What reason behind the death of Ahilyabai Holkar?
There was no specific reason behind Ahilyabai’s death, she died due to illness with increasing age, but even today she is alive in the hearts of people.
How did Khanderao Holkar died?
In 1766, Malhar Rao Holkar died due to disease. Moreover, Khanderao was treated for a long time but he could not survive.
How did Male Rao Holkar die?
From many historical sources, we come to know that Male Rao Holkar died due to illness, but from one source we also come to know that Male Rao had punished an innocent person, and due to this, he was depressed and succumbed to illness.
What happened to Muktabai Holkar?
We do not get much information about Muktabai Holkar from historical sources, but we do know that she was married to Yashwantrai and died in 1795.