A commemorative postage stamp on Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar, Queen of Maratha Malwa kingdom (1725-1795) [a part of ‘Personalities Stamps Series‘] :
Issued by India
Issued on Sep 4, 1975
Issued for : The Posts and Telegraphs Department is privileged to bring out stamps in memory of two great personalities of India, Ahilyabai Holkar and Mir Anees.
Description of Design : The stamp design is vertical and shows a view of ‘Chhatri‘ of Devi Ahilyabai at Maheshwar (Madhya Pradesh).
Designed by : India Security Press
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Mineral Red
Denomination : 25 Paise
Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Printing size : 3.56 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked coated paper on reels
Quantity printed : 3 Million
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Ahilya Bai Holkar
Born on May 31, 1725 at Chondi, Jamkhed, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India
Died on Aug 13, 1795
- Ahilyabai Holkar stands out as a bright star in Indian History. She was born in 1725 to Manakoji Shinde and had her education at home. Her mother, Sushila, was a deeply religious lady and the religious outlook of her parents made a deep impression on young Ahilyabai.
- Ahilyabai was nine when she was married to Khande Rao Holkar. She took keen interest in the affairs of State and even accompanied her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar, to the battlefield where she gave ample proof of her indomitable courage and qualities of leadership.
- Ahilyabai became a widow in 1754. Her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar, died in 1766. On his death, Ahilyabai‘s son, Malerao ascended the throne but he too passed away in 1767. Although plunged in sorrow, Ahilyabai assumed the reins of state and ruled with distinction till her death in 1795.
- Ahilyabai‘s reign which spanned nearly three decades is known for benevolent administration, stability and prosperity. She liquidated bands of thieves and robbers and spared no efforts to create a sense of security in the people and make their lives happy and comfortable. Ahilyabai‘s life and kingdom were dedicated to selfless service and acts of beneficence. The beneficiaries were not only her subjects but many others outside her state. She started free kitchens at innumerable places of pilgrimage all over the country. She constructed temples, dharmasalas and bathing ghats. She was highly tolerant towards other religions and allotted lands and jagirs to various Muslim holy persons and for mosques.
- Ahilyabai paid equal attention to the moral and spiritual advancement of her people and, as an essential step in this direction, strove to make her own life pure and blotless. Last but not the least, in an age marked by clashes and chaos, she patronised arts and literature and gave them a new lease of life.