How Ahilya Bai accidentally entered history and made it eventful

May 05, 2020

Destinations :: Indore

The city of Indore owes much of its success to the Holkar regime, to be specific, the Queen of Holkar, Rani Ahilya Bai.


Born in 1725, Ahilya Bai accidentally walked on to the stage of history. When she was eight, Malhar Rao Holkar, army commander to Peshwa Bajirao, spotted her at a temple service in Chondi. So impressed was he by her character that he decided to get his son, Khande Rao, married to her.


Ahilya Bai took control of Malwa after her husband's death in the battle of Kumbher in 1754. She excelled at administrative and military strategies under the guidance of her father-in-law. She then laid the foundation of the indomitable Holkar army in 1792 and become one of the most feared archers of her time.


With keen interest in religion and charity, she built numerous temples like 2 of the 12 Jyotirlingas to name a few. Her charity extended beyond her territory to the rest of India. Respected historians have sung her praises in their books.


She is the powerful, influential woman who successfully transformed Indore village to the magnificent city that it is today.