Holkar Dynasty

The Holkar Dynasty of Indore is one of the more well known dynasties of the princely states of India. The Holkar Dynasty has its origins in the heyday of the Maratha Peshwas. During the time of the downfall of the Mughals, the Marathas, the people populating the Western ghats who rose to prominence under Shivaji, started coming to power.

During the epic struggle against the political and cultural invasion of India by the Afghans, the Marathas faced the invader Ahmad Shah Abdali in the Third battle of Panipat. One of the chieftains in the Maratha side was a warrior named Malhar Rao Holkar. He was given a secondary task during the battle which created a fallout between him and the Peshwa (ruler).

After the Marathas were soundly defeated in the battlefield, a treaty was signed which heralded the wane of the powers of the Peshwa. It brought about the rise of the petty chieftains among whom the Holkars, the Scindhias and the Gaekwads were the most powerful.

Malhar Rao Holkar was granted control of the Maratha armies in the Malwa plateau in 1724 and by 1733 he had become the Maratha governor of this area. He founded the Holkar dynasty. His subsequent successors, chronologically, were
  • Maharaja Malle Rao, 1764-1766
  • Rajmata Ahalya Bai, 1765-1795
  • Maharaja Tukoji Holkar, 1795-1798
  • Maharaja Yeshwant Rao, 1798-1811
  • Maharaja Malhar Rao (II), 1811-1834
  • Maharaja Martand Rao, 1834
  • Maharaja Hari Rao, 1834-1843
  • Maharaja Khande Rao, 1843-1844
  • Maharaja Tukoji Rao (II), 1844-1886
  • Maharaja Shivaji Rao, 1886-1903
  • Maharaja Sir Tukoji Rao (III) Holkar, 1903-1926
  • Maharaja Sir Yeshwant Rao (II) Holkar, 1926-1961
  • Maharani Ushadevi Holkar, 1961- Present
A brief glance at the history of Indore and the glorious rule of the Holkar's enlightens readers about Indore and its past.

Last Updated on 29th Nov 2012



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