Ahilyabai Holkar!

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Here are some illustrations I was requested to do for the Google Arts & Culture project – ‘Women in India: Unheard Stories’ 🙂

Working on the illustrations to depict the story of Ahilyabai Holkar – The queen who brought peace and prosperity with her wisdom – was challenging and satisfying at the same time due to the kind of research involved.

Most of all it was inspiring & I hope all women find strength and courage in the kind of dreams you want to achieve!

Visit here to know more about this project & be inspired: g.co/womenofindia



Young Ahilyabai’s character and simplicity impressed Malhar Rao Holkar, who was the lord of the Malwa territory and served as a commander in service to Peshwa Bajirao. So great was his liking for the girl, that Malhar Rao got Ahilyabai married to his son, Khanderao, at the age of eight, in 1733. Twelve years after the wedding, in the year 1745, Ahilyabai’s husband got killed during the siege of Kumbher fort. Grief stricken, it is said that Ahilyabai wanted to sacrifice herself by committing sati. But it was her father-in-law, Malhar Rao, who dissuaded her against it and instead, trained her in administrative and military matters.

Known for her wisdom and administrative skills, Ahilyabai had a humble beginning in a small village, near the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. She was born in Chondi to the village head, Mankoji Shinde, on May 31, 1725. Women did not go the school during that time, but her father himself educated her and taught her how to read and write.

Malhar Rao Holkar – The lord of the Malwa territory and served as a commander in service to Peshwa Bajirao.

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