A commemorative postage stamp on the Death Bicentenary of Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar :
Issued by India
Issued on Aug 25, 1996
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Watermark : No
Denomination : 200 Paise
Printer : India Security Press
Name : Her Highness Maharani Shrimant Akhand Soubhagyavati Ahilya Bai Sahiba
Born on May 31, 1725 at Chaundi village, Jamkhed, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India
Died on Aug 13, 1795
- Ahilya Bai, daughter of Mankoji Shinde was born in 1725 in the village of Chaundi situated in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. She received no formal education as there was no school at Chaundi besides it was not the custom to educate girls in those times. Manakoji however did all he could to impart education to his daughter at home. In 1733 she was married. Her husband Khanderao was killed in the battle of Kumbher in 1754. Ahilyabai then learned to run the princely state of Holker under the stewardship of her father-in-law Malhar Rao Holkar. With the death of her father-in-law in 1766, the entire responsibility of running the state devolved on her. She proved to be an enlightened ruler from then onwards, till her death in 1795.
- She shifted her capital to Maheshwar in 1766 where she did a lot to develop the textile industry of Maheshwar. If Maheshwari Sarees are today a symbol of Indian Craftsmanship, it was Ahilyabai’s liberal patronage of the weavers that helped foster this institution. In addition she invited artists of different streams and settled them in her ‘Raj’. Her liberal charities were extended to people without reference to caste, creed, etc.
- Not merely in her State but indeed in other parts of India she is credited with promoting cultural activities including repair and additions to a number of famous temples such as Kashi Vishwanath Mandir at Varanasi, Gauri Somnath Mandir at Chola and the construction of the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat at Banaras.