Ahilyabai Holkar AHILYABAI HOLKAR
Saint-Queen of Malwa
Malharrao Holkar of Malwa, in Central India, was so impressed by the religious devotion and regal bearing of eight-year-old Ahilya, that he decided to make her his daughter-in-law. A decision he never regretted.
Recognising her abilities Malharrao trained the young girl in the art of statesmanship and trusted her enough to leave the administration in her hands when he went on military expeditions.
Then, in a series of misfortunes, Ahilya lost her husband, father-in-law and son. The brave queen took over the reins and turned Malwa into a contented and prosperous kingdom. So much so that even the British, whom she opposed steadfastly, praised her as a truly great ruler.