Ahmednagar of Maharashtra to renamed after Ahilyadevi Holkar

Context: Maharashtra Government is planning to rename Ahmednagar after Ahilyadevi Holkar (Maratha queen of Malwa).

Who was Ahilyadevi Holkar:

Ahilyadevi Holkar
  • She was born in Chaundi village (present-day Ahmednagar district) of Maharashtra. 
  • She belonged to the Holkar dynasty of Maratha which ruled from Indore. 
  • She made Maheshwar the home of the Holkar Dynasty (south-west of Indore in Madhya Pradesh).
  • She came to power after the passing of her husband Khande Rao Holkar and father-in-law Malhar Rao Holkar.
  • She is known to have built hundreds of temples and Dharmashalas across India. She is particularly well-known for restoring and rededicating some of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites that the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had desecrated and destroyed a century earlier.
  • She rebuilt the Kashi Vishwanath temple which was destroyed by Aurangzeb to build Gyanvapi Mosque in Banaras.
  • The current structure of Vishnupad Temple, Gaya, Bihar was built by Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar in 1787

About Holkars of Maratha Confederacy:

  • The Holkars were Subhedar under Peshwa Baji Rao I (Pune seat).
  • Due to internal feud, Holkar became independent and remained so till 1818. After this they were under the protectorate of the British Empire.
  • The dynasty was founded with Malhar Rao, who joined the service of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire in 1721, and quickly rose to the rank of Subedar. The name of the dynasty was associated with the title of the subhedar, who was known informally as Holkar
  • In the 1720s, he led Maratha armies in Malwa region, and in 1733 was granted 9 parghanas in the vicinity of Indore by the Peshwa. 
  • In 1747, he started the construction of his royal palace, the Rajwada. By the time of his death, he ruled much of Malwa, and was acknowledged as one of the five virtually independent rulers of the Maratha Confederacy.
  • He was succeeded by Ahilyabai Holkar (r. 1767–1795), his daughter-in-law. She was born in the Chaundi village in Maharashtra. She moved the capital to Maheshwar, south of Indore on the Narmada River. 
  • He was succeeded by Ahilyabai Holkar (r. 1767–1795), his daughter-in-law.

Practice question:

Q. With reference to Maratha queen Ahilyabai, consider the following statements

    1. She ruled the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh with the capital at Indore.

    1. She is credited with restoring Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi and Mahabodhi Temple at Gaya.

    1. She ruled the Holkar family of Maratha Confederacy.

How many of the above are the correct statements:

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) All three

(d) None

Scroll down for answer










Answer: (a)

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