Maharajas of Indore

The Maharajas of Indore were the scion of one of the most distinguished royal families in India. Indore was founded by one Nandlal Rao Chaudhary near the banks of the river Saraswati. But the clan which ruled over Indore was founded by Malhar Rao Holkar who was previously one of the chieftains of the Maratha Peshwas.

Malhar Rao Holkar was given the command of the Maratha forces of Malwa in 1724. By 1733 he was made the governor of the entire province of Malwa. By that time, the Maratha Peshwas were losing their grip and their chieftains were breaking away to form empires of their own. Among the chieftains, the Holkars, the Scindhias and the Gaekwads deserve special mention.

Maharaja Malhar Rao Holkar can be rightly called as the first Maharaja of Indore. He founded a dynasty the descendants of which exist even today. His successors, in chronological order, are
  • 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
Among these rulers, Rajmata Ahilya Bai deserves special mention. She overcame internal strifes and stigmas to become a female monarch in a male dominated society and she steadfastly resisted the British. Maharaja Sir Yeshwant Rao (II) Holkar was instrumental in giving up his sovereign right on the throne and integrating the state of Indore with India.

A glimpse at the history of Indore is an eye opener on the glorious Holkar rule and enlightens readers about Indore's past.

Last Updated on 29th Nov 2012