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Rani Ahilyabai Holkar Jayanti - Birth Anniversary of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar

Rani Ahilyabai Holkar Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Queen Ahilyabai Holkar who was the fearless queen who ruled the Malwa Kingdom in India. Rani Ahilyabai Holkar Jayanti 2024 date is May 31. As per Gregorian calendar her birth anniversary is on May 31 – She was born on 31 May 1725. In 2024, it is the 299th birth anniversary of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar.

She was born in the village of Chondi in Jamkhed, Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. Her father, Mankoji Rao Shinde, was the Patil (chief) of the village. Despite women’s education being a far cry in the village, her father homeschooled her to read and write.

While Ahilya did not come from a royal lineage, most deem her entry into history a twist of fate. It dates back to when the acclaimed Lord of the Malwa territory, Malhar Rao Holkar, spotted an eight-year-old Ahilyabai at the temple service feeding the hungry and poor. Moved by the young girl’s charity and strength of character, he decided to ask her hand in marriage for his son Khanderao Holkar. She was married to Khanderao Holkar in 1733.

Rani Ahilyabai Holkar lost her husband in the battle of Kumbher in 1754. In 1766 her father-in-law also died. She lost her only son Male Rao Holkar in 1767 CE.

One can imagine how a woman, royalty or not, would suffer after losing her husband, father-in-law and only son. But Ahilyabai stood undeterred. She did not let the grief of her loss affect the administration of the kingdom and the lives of her people.

She ascended the throne and became the ruler of Indore on 11 December 1767.

Perfect order and good Government prevailed and the people prospered during her 30-year-old rule. She personally led armies against enemies of her kingdom.

Rani Ahilyabai Holkar is credited with rebuilding numerous shrines including the famous Somnath Temple in Gujarat which was plundered and destroyed by Muslim Invaders. She also built numerous ghats, sacred places, temples and ashrams throughout western and northern parts of India. Some of the temples that she has repaired include the Vishnupad Temple in Bihar and Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. It is believed that she repaired more than 100 famous temples in various parts of India which were destroyed mostly by Muslim invaders.

“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 from their mountain fastnesses and persuaded to settle down as honest farmers. Hindu and Musalman alike revered the famous Queen and prayed for her long life,” writes Annie Besant.

The great aspect of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar was she never used public money to build temples. She used her personal wealth for the purpose.

Satsangs and philanthropic activities are organized on her birth anniversary in many parts of India.

Her birth anniversary is annually observed on May 31.