How the Holkars lost their prosperity

May 05, 2020

Destinations :: Indore

The rulers of Indore, the Holkars, were known for their lavish lifestyle. From jewellery by French jewellers to a collection of cars, they had it all.


So where did it all disappear?

The rise of Holkars to royalty is akin to a rags-to-riches cinema. Originally goatherds or Dhangar, the Holkars, later, came to rule Indore and parts of Central India. The dynasty began with Malhar Rao Holkar, a commander in Peshwa Bajirao's kingdom. With time, he and his successors made Holkar one of the richest empires.


Their flamboyant lifestyle included jewellery from world-renowned French jewellers like Van Clef, Arpels, Chaumet and Moubassin. Along with this, they possessed a collection of popular luxury cars, raising their status higher than other kingdoms.


Then their rags-to-riches extravaganza took a U-turn. They had to sell several of their exquisite jewellery pieces to Harry Winston to pay taxes that ran into crores. In addition to this unfortunate event, lot of their prized possessions were stolen in a jewellery heist in 1900s.


Yet, the Holkar dynasty deserves the credit for making Indore what it is today with their administration, leaving behind a valuable legacy.