Ahilyabai was born on May 31, 1725 in Jamkheda, Maharashtra. Ahilya’s life changed in 1754 when her husband was killed in the battle of Kumher. With the death of her father-in-law and ruler Malhar Rao Holkar, the rule of the country was vested in Ahilyabai. Ahilyabai would go directly to the battlefield to fight the invading forces and bandits who had invaded her country.
Ahilyabai’s reign was the golden age of Central India. She built excellent roads and inns and advanced her country’s trade and commerce. Construction of wells, reservoirs and canals stimulated the agricultural sector. It was also a time of gains for traders.
Ahilyabai has provided huge financial assistance to pilgrimage and cultural centers across India. Gaya, Somnath, Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kanchi, Avanti, Dwarka, Badrinath, Rameshwaram and Puri are just a few of them. Ahilyabai also transformed Indore, a small village, into a prosperous and beautiful city.
Reconstruction of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which was demolished by Aurangzeb in 1669, is Ahilya’s greatest contribution to Indian heritage and history.