अहिल्याबाई होळकर(जन्मः ?? १७२५ ते ?? १७९५) या मराठा साम्राज्यातील महत्वाच्या व्यक्ती होत. त्यांना पुण्यश्लोक या पदवीने संबोधित करण्यात येते.
माळवा प्रांताचा कारभार त्यांनी बांधला. त्या मल्हारराव होळकरांच्या सून होत. मुलाचे मृत्युनंतर मल्हाररावांनी त्यांना सती जाऊ दिले नाही. भारतभरात त्यांनी अनेक मंदिरे, घाट बांधली वा त्यांचा जीर्णोद्धार केला. त्यांच्या स्मरणार्थ इंदूर विद्यापीठास त्यांचे नाव दिलेले आहे.
Punyaslok Rajmata Ahilyadevi Holkar, called "Catherine the Great, Elizabeth, Margaret of India”, (1725 - 1795, ruled 1767-1795) was a Holkar dynasty Queen of the Malwa kingdom, India, The 'Philosopher Queen'. She was born in the village of Chaundi in Tal.Jamkhed Dist.AhmednagarMaharashtra. She moved the capital to Maheshwar south of Indore on the Narmada River.
Ahilyadevi's husband Khanderao Holkar was killed in the battle of Kumher in 1754. Twelve years later, her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar, died. She tried to protect her kingdom from Thugs, the plunderers. She personally led armies into battle. She appointed Tukojirao Holkar as the Chief of Army. She is also famous for justice, once she gave the order for killing her only son under the elephant feet for his punishable activities.
Rani Ahilyadevi was a great builder and patron of many Hindu temples which embellished Maheshwar and Indore. She also built temples and Dharmshala (Free lodging)at sacred sites outside her kingdom, at prominent religious places like Dwarka in Gujarat east to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi on the Ganges, Ujjain (M.P.), Nasik (Mh.), Parali baijnath (Ms.). Seeing the destroyed and desecrated temple in Somanath, Rani Ahilyadevi built a temple where Lord Shiva is still worshipped by Hindus.
Early life[ફેરફાર કરો]
Ahilyadevi was born on August 31 1725 in the village of Chondi, in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra. Her father, Mankoji Shinde, was the patil of the village, a member of the proud Dhangar community. Women then did not go to school, but Ahilyabai's father taught her to read and write.
Her entrance on to the stage of history was something of an accident: Malhar Rao Holkar, a commander in the service of the Peshwa Bajirao and lord of the Malwa territory, stopped in Chondi on his way to Pune and, according to legend, saw the eight-year-old Ahilyadevi at the temple service in the village. Recognising her piety and her character, he brought the girl to the Holkar territory as a bride for his son, Khande Rao.
Ahilya devi’s husband was killed in battle in 1754. Twelve years later, her father-in-law, Malhar Rao died. From 1766 until her death in 1795, she ruled Malwa, trained in both administrative and military matters by Malhar Rao. A letter to her from Malhar Rao in 1765 illustrates the trust he had in her ability during the tempestuous battle for power in the 18th century:
- "Proceed to Gwalior after crossing the Chambal. You may halt there for four or five days. You should keep your big artillery and arrangeforits ammunition as much as possible….On the march you should arrange for military posts being located for protection of the road."
Already trained to be a ruler, Ahilyadevi petitioned the Peshwa after Malhar’s death, and the death of her son, to take over the administration herself. Some in Malwa objected to her assumption of rule, but the army of Holkar was enthusiastic about her leadership. She had led them in person, with four bows and quivers of arrows fitted to the corners of the howdah of her favourite elephant. The Peshwa granted permission, and, with Tukoji Holkar (Malhar Rao's adopted son) as the head of military matters, she proceeded to rule Malwa in a most enlightened manner, even reinstating a Brahmin who had opposed her. Ahilyadevi never observed purdah but held daily public audience and was always accessible to anyone who needed her ear.
Among Ahilyadevi's accomplishments was the development of Indore from a small village to a prosperous and beautiful city; her own capital, however, was in nearby Maheshwar, a town on the banks of the Narmada river. She also built forts and roads in Malwa, sponsored festivals and gave donations for regular worship in many Hindu temples. Outside Malwa, she built dozens of temples, ghats, wells, tanks and rest-houses across an area stretching from the Himalayas to pilgrimage centres in South India. The Bharatiya Sanskritikosh lists as sites she embellished, Kashi, Gaya, Somnath, Ayodhya, Mathura, Hardwar, Kanchi, Avanti, Dwarka, Badrinarayan, Rameshwar and Jaganathpuri. Ahilyadevi also rejoiced when she saw bankers, merchants, farmers and cultivators rise to levels of affluence, but did not consider that she had any legitimate claim to any of that wealth, be it through taxes or feudal right. She must, in fact, have financed all her activities with the lawful gains obtained from a happy and prosperous land.
There are many stories of her care for her people. She helped widows retain their husbands’ wealth. She made sure that a widow was allowed to adopt a son; in fact, in one instance, when her minister refused to allow the adoption unless he was suitably bribed, she is said to have sponsored the child herself, and given him clothes and jewels as part of the ritual. To honour the memory of Ahilyadevi Holkar, in 1996 leading citizens of Indore instituted an award in her name to be bestowed annually on an outstanding public figure. The prime minister of India gave away the first award to Nanaji Deshmukh. The only time Ahilyadevi seems not to have been able to settle a conflict peacefully and easily was in the case of the Bhils and Gonds, "plunderers" on her borders; but she granted them waste hilly lands and the right to a small duty on goods passing through their territories. Even in this case, according to Malcolm, she did give "considerate attention to their habits".
Ahilyadevi’s capital at Maheshwar was the scene of literary, musical, artistic and industrial enterprise. She entertained the famous Marathi poet, Moropant and the shahir, Anantaphandi from Maharashtra, and also patronised the Sanskrit scholar, Khushali Ram. Craftsmen, sculptors and artists received salaries and honours at her capital, and she even established a textile industry in the city of Maheshwar.
Historians of the 19th and 20th centuries—Indian, English and American—agree that the reputation of Ahilyadevi Holkar in Malwa and Maharashtra was then, and is, even now, that of a saint. Nothing has ever been discovered by any researcher to discredit that. She was truly a magnificent woman, an able ruler and a great queen.
Views about her[ફેરફાર કરો]
"The reign of Ahilyabai, of Indore in central India, lasted for 30 Yrs. This has become almost legendary as a period during which perfect order and good Government prevailed and the people prospered. She was a very able ruler and organizer, highly respected during her lifetime, and considered as a saint by a grateful people after her death." 
"For thirty years her reign of peace,
The land in blessing did increase;
And she was blessed by every tongue,
By stern and gentle, old and young.
Yea, even the children at their mothers feet
Are taught such homely rhyming to repeat
"In latter days from Brahma came,
To rule our land, a noble Dame,
Kind was her heart, and tright her frame,
And Ahlya was her honoured name." 
"Ahilyabai's extraordinary ability won her the regard of her subjects and of the other Maratha confederates, including Nana Phadnavis. Collecting oral memories of her in the 1820s, Sir John Malcolm, the British official most directly concerned with the 'settlement' of central India, seems to have become deeply enamourned of her. "With the natives of Malwa ... her name is sainted and she is styled an avatar or Incarnation of the Divinity. In the most sober view that can be taken of her character, she certainly appears, within her limited sphere, to have been one of the purest and most exemplary rulers that ever existed". Her latest biographers call her 'The Philosopher Queen', a reference perhaps to the 'Philosopher king' Bhoj."
"Ahilyabai Holkar, the 'philosopher-queen' of Malwa, had evidently been an acute observer of the wider political scene. In a letter to the peshwa in 1772 she had warned against assoication with the British, and likened their embrace to a bear-hug: "Other beasts, like tigers, can be killed by might or contrivance, but to kill a bear it is very difficult. It will die only if you kill it straight in the face, Or else, once caught in its powerful hold, the bear will kill its prey by tickling. Such is the way of the English. And in view of this, it is difficult to triump over them."
"This great ruler in Indore encouraged all within her realm to do their best, Merchants produced their finest cloths, trade flourished, the farmers were at peace and oppression ceased, for each case that came to the queens notice was dealt with severely. She loved to see her people prosper, and to watch the fine cities grow, and to watch that her subjects were not afraid to display their wealth, lest the ruler should snatch it from them. Far and wide the roads were planted with shady trees, and wells were made, and rest-houses for travellers. The poor, the homeless, the orphaned were all helped according to their needs. The Bhils who had long been the torment of all caravans, were routed fron their mountain fastnessesm and persuaded to settle down as honest farmers. Hindu and Musalman alike revered the famous Queen and prayed for her long life. Her last great sorrow was when her daughter became a Sati upon the death of Yashwantrao Phanse. Ahalya Bai was seventy years old when her long and splendid life closed. Indore long mourned its noble Queen, happy had been her reign, and her memory is cherished with deep reverence unto this day. 
Over the years, in independent India, the city of Indore, when compared to neighboring Bhopal, Jabalpur or Gwalior, has progressed dramatically: economically, through business and financial prowess, politically and in all possible ways cities are supposed to progress. In fact, the local population proudly states that they live in 'mini-Mumbai', a reference to the great metropolis pulsing 600 km away. The good deeds of Devi Ahilyabai, her dedication to religion and her policies are enriching the city even today! The faith and belief in the good vibes of Indore go to such an extent that local inhabitants say that if you have lived in Indore for a thousand days, you are unlikely to leave it! Long live Devi Ahilya!
As a tribute to the great ruler, Indore domestic airport has been named "Devi Ahilyabai Holkar airport". Similarly, Indore university has been christened "Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya".
Her Work Throughout India[ફેરફાર કરો]
- Alampur (MP) – Harihareshwar, Batuk, Malharimarthand, Surya, Renuka, Ram Hanuman Temples, Shriram Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Maruti Temple, Narsinh Temple, Khanderao Martand Temple, Memorial of Malharrao (I).
- Amarkanthak(MP)- Shri Vishweshwar Temple, Kotithirth Temple, Gomukhi Temple, Dharamshala, Vansh Kund.
- Amba Gaon – Lamps.
- Anand Kanan – Vishweshwar Temple.
- Ayodhya (U.P)– Built Shri Ram Temple, Shri Treta Ram Temple, Shri Bhairav Temple, Nageshwar/Siddhnath Temple, Sharayu Ghat, well, Swargadwari Mohatajkhana, Dharamshalas.
- Badrinarayan (UP) – Shri Kedareshwar and Hari Temples, Dharamshalas (Rangdachati, Bidarchati, Vyasganga, Tanganath, Pawali), Manu kunds (Gaurkund, Kundachatri), Garden and Warm Water Kund at Dev Prayag, Pastoral land for cows.
- Beed – Jirnnodhar of a ghat.
- Berul (Karnataka) – Ganpati, Pandurang, Jaleshwar, Khandoba, Tirthraj and Fire temples, Kund.
- Bhanpura – Nine Temples and Dharmashala.
- Bharatpur – Temple, Dharmashala, Kund.
- Bhimashankar – Garibkhana
- Bhusawal - Changadev Temple.
- Bitthur – Bhramaghat
- Burahanpur (MP) – Ghat and Kund.
- Chandwad waphegaon – Vishnu Temple and Renuka Temple.
- Chaundi – Chaudeshwaridevi Temple, Sineshwar Mahadev temple,
Ahilyeshwar Temple, Dharamshala, Ghat,
- Chitrakut(UP) - Pranpratishta of Shri Ramchandra.
- Cikhalda – Annakshetra
- Dwarka(Gujrath) – Mohatajkhana, Pooja House and gave some villages to priest.
- Ellora – Temple of Red Stone.
- Gangotri – Vishwanath, Kedarnath, Annapurna, Bhairav Temples, Many Dharmashalas.
- Gaya (Bihar) – Vishnupad Temple.
- Gokarn – Rewaleshwar Mahadev temple, Holkar wada, Garden and Garibkhana.
- Gruneshwar (Verul) – Shivalaya Tirth.
- Handiya – Siddhanath Temple, ghat and dharmashala.
- Haridwar (UP) – Kushawarth Ghat and a Huge Dharmashala.
- Hrishikesh – Many temples, Shrinathji and Govardhan ram temples
- Indore – Many Temples and ghats
- Jaggannath Puri (Orrisa) – Shri Ramchandra Temple, Dharmashala and Garden.
- Jalgaon - Ram Mandir
- Jamghat – Bhumi dwar
- Jamvgaon – Donated for Ramdas swami Math.
- Jejuri – Malhargautameshwar, Vitthal ,Martand Temple, Janai Mahadev and Malhar lakes.
- Karmanasini River – Bridge
- Kashi (Banaras) – Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Shri Tarakeshwar, Shri Gangaji, Ahilya Dwarkeshwar, Gautameshwar, Many Mahadev Temples, Temple Ghats, Manikarnika Ghat, Dashaaswamegh Ghat, Janana Ghat, Ahilya Ghat, UttarKashi Dharmashala, Rameshwar Panchkoshi Dharmashala, Kapila Dhara Dharmashala, Shitala Ghat.
- Kedarnath – Dharmashala and Kund
- Kolhapur – Facilities for temple pooja
- Kumher – Well and Memorial of Prince Khanderao.
- Kurukshetra (Haryana) - Shiv Shantanu Mahadev Temple, Panchkund Ghat, Laxmikund Ghat.
- Maheshwar - Hundreds of temples, ghats, dharmashalas and houses.
- Mamaleshwar Mahadev – Lamps.
- Manasa – Seven temples
- Mandaleshwar – Shiv Temple Ghat
- Miri (Ahmednagar) – Bhairav Temple in 1780.
- Naimabar(MP) – Temple.
- Nathdwar – Ahilya Kund, Temple, well.
- Neelkantha Mahadev – Shivalaya and Gomukh.
- Nemisharanya(UP) – Mahadev Madi, Nimsar Dharmashala, Go-ghat, Cakrithirth kund.
- Nimgaon (Nashik) – Well.
- Onkareshwar (MP) – Mamaleshwar Mahadev, Amaleshwar, Trambakeshwar Temples (Jirnnodhar), Gauri Somnath Temple, Dharmashalas, Wells.
- Ozar (Ahmednagar) – 2 wells and kund
- Panchawati – Shri Ram Temple, Gora Mahadev temple, Dharmashala, Vishweshwar Temple, Ramghat, Dharmashala.
- Pandharpur (Maharashtra) – Shri Ram Temple, Tulsibag, Holkar wada, Sabha Mandap, Dharmashala and gave silver utensil for the temple.
- Pimplas(Nashik) – well
- Prayag (Allahabad UP) - Vishnu Temple, Dharmashala, Garden, Ghat, Palace.
- Pune – Ghat.
- Puntambe(Maharashtra) – Ghat on Godavari river.
- Pushkar – Ganpati Temple, Dharmashala, Garden.
- Rameshwar (TN) – Hanuman Temple, Shri Radha Krishna Temple, Dharmashala, Well, Garden etc.
- Rampura – Four Temples, Dharmashala and houses
- Raver – Keshav Kund
- Sakargaon – well
- Sambhal – Laxmi Narayan Temple and two wells.
- Sangamner – Ram Temple.
- Saptashrungi – Dharmashala.
- Sardhana Meerut – Chandi Devi Temple.
- Saurashtra (Guj) – Somnath Temple in 1785. (Jirnnodhdhar and Pran Prathistha)
- Shri Nagnath (Darukhvan) – Started pooja in 1784
- Sreesailam Mallikarjun (Kurnool, AP) – Temple of Lord Shiva.
- Shri Shambhu Mahadev Mountain Shignapur (Maharashtra) – Well
- Shri Vaijenath (Parali, Maha) – Jirnnodhar of Baijenath Temple in 1784.
- Shri Vhigneshwar – Lamps
- Sinhpur – Shiv Temple and ghat
- Sulpeshwar – Mahadev Temple, annakshetra
- Sultanpur (Khandesh) – Temple
- Tarana – Tilabhandeshwar Shiv temple, Khedapati, Shriram Temple, Mahakali Temple
- Tehari (Bundelkhand) – Dharmashala.
- Trimbakeshwar (Nashik) – Bridge on Kushawarth Ghat.
- Ujjain (MP) – Chintaman Ganapati, Janardhan, Shrilila Purushottam, Balaji Tilakeshwar, Ramjanaki Ras Mandal, Gopal, Chitnis, Balaji, Ankpal, Shiv and many other temples, 13 ghats, well and many Dharmashalas etc.
- Vrindawan (Mathura) – Chain Bihari Temple, Kaliyadeha Ghat, Chirghat and many other ghats, Dharmashala, Annakstra.
- Waphegaon (Nashik) – Holkar wada and one well.
In popular culture[ફેરફાર કરો]
- A film titled Devi Ahilya Bai was produced in 2002 featuring Shabana Azmi as Harkubai (Khaanda Rani, one of Malhar Rao Holkar's wives) and also including Sadashiv Amrapurkar as Malhar Rao Holkar, Ahilyabai's father in law.
- A 20 mins documentary was made by EMRC indore, about life and time of Devi Ahilya bai holkar,
See also[ફેરફાર કરો]
- English writer Laurens compared her with Catherine the Great of Russia, Queen Elizbeth and Queen Margaret of Denmark.
- Jawaharlal Nehru:Discovery of India, 2004, page-304
- English poem written by Jaonna Baillie, London, 1849.
- Quote of an English writer given in the Book Ahilya Bai Holkar by Khadpekar
- Malcom, J., A Memoir of Central India, quoted in Kamath,M. B. and Kher, V. B., Devi Ahalyabai Holkar: The Philosopher Queen, p.85 and Quoted in John Keay, India: A History, p. 407
- John Keay, India: A History, p. 407, Gordon, S., The Marathas etc., p. 162
- John Keay, India: A History, p.425. reference of Sardesai, G. S., Marathi Riyasat, Bombay, 1925, quoted in Kamath,M. B. and Kher, V. B., Devi Ahalyabai Holkar: The Philosopher Queen, p.126 and Quoted in
- Dr. Annie Besant, Ahalyabai - A Great Ruler, Children of the Mother Land, Page 290-291.
ચેતવણી: કી "Holkar, Ahilyadevi" આગળનામૂળે પ્રસ્થાપિત ક્રમિકાવર્ગીકરણ કી "होळकर,अहिल्याबाई"નું સ્થાન લઈ લેશે..