“Punyashlok” Ahilyabai Holkar

Ahilyabai Holkar

Ahilyabai Holkar

There have been many courageous warriors among the Marathas. Most of us remember the name ‘Ahilyabai Holkar’. She is honored as ‘Punyashloka’ as her social work is still hailed as ideal. Ahilyabai originally hailed from a place called Chondhi in Beed district of Marathwada, Maharashtra but her work was mostly in and around Madhya Pradesh. She was astute in looking after her home and kingdom. Ahilya, the daughter of Mankoji Shinde-Patil was bold from her child. Ahilyabai Holkar had inborn qualities of a monarch.

Once, the Thorle (Elder) Bajirao Peshwa’s army was stationed in the town of Chondi. Ahilyabai Holkar , who was a child, went with her mother to a temple on the banks of the river Sina. She made a Shivalinga while playing with her friends in the sand on the bank of river. Suddenly, a horse from the army got wild and started galloping towards the kids. Ahilya’s friends ran away. But Ahilyabai Holkar covered Shivlings with her body in a bid to protect it.

Bajirao Peshwa soon appeared on the scene and sternly asked Ahilya, “Did you realize that the horse would have trampled you?” Ahilyabai Holkar looked straight into his eyes and boldly stated, “I have created this Shivlinga and my elders have taught us to lay down our life to protect our creations, and that is exactly what I have done.” Bajirao was very pleased to hear this courageous answer from Ahilya. The person accompanying him Malharrao Holkar was so impressed that he decided to bring her home as his daughter-in-law. Ahilyabai Holkar proved that her father-in-law’s choice was right and she brought fame to the Holkar family.

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