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With her spirited pursuit of people’s welfare, Devi Ahilyabai Holkar set the benchmark for ideal rulership.
Devi Ahilyabai was the legendary Holkar queen, who ruled Malwa in the 18th century. Her 30-year reign was marked by spectacular peace, progress and prosperity.
Most notable among her achievements were the renovation of ancient Hindu temples and pilgrim spots as well as extensive provision of civic amenities to the people. She was equally accessible to the dispossessed sections of the society, and addressed their smallest grievances. Ahilyabai was also a patron of all that was good and enriching, both in the cultural as in the commercial spheres of life.
Devi Ahilyabai is remembered today not only for her magnanimity, but also for the impetus she gave to the handloom industry. The Maheshwari sari, which derives its name from Maheshwar, her administrative capital, was made famous by her.
Why we find her inspiring:
– Because she was impeccably fair and level-headed
– Because she was a humane ruler, synonymous with utopian governance
– Because in her progressive outlook, she was way ahead of her times
– Because she believed that it was more important to win hearts rather than kingdoms
A divinely gifted queen
Sari Safari: The Maheshwari Sari
*Photo credit: http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/461/121114ahilyabaiholkar.jpg
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