Rajwada, Maheshwar Fort, Madhya Pradesh (MP)
Abode of Ahilya Bai
Ahilya Bai is second to none in valour, sagacity and eminence. Nobody can equate her in these matters.
The massive Maheshwar Fort stands on hill overlooking the Narmada River on the south. The stupendous walls of the Maheshwar Fort rises straight out of the Narmada River to a height of more than 30 meters.
The Maheshwar Fort dates back to antiquity and there are no clear evidence of its first construction. The fort as we see today was conceived during the reign of Ahilya Bai Holkar (1767 – 95).
Ahilya Bai, was the daughter in law of Malhar Rao Holkar, the founder of Hindu Maratha dynasty of Holkar, who ruled central India from Indore.
Ahilya Bai was born in 1725 in the village of Chondi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Her father was Mankoji Shinde, a village chief. Unusual for the time he tought her daughter to read and write.
According to legend one day Malhar Rao Holkar, while passing through the village of Chondi spotted the 8 year old Ahilya Bai.
Pleased with her beauty and personality he brought her home as a bride for her son Malhar Rao Holkar. They were married in 1733. Ahilya Bai become a widow in 1754, when her husband Malhar Rao Holkar, died during the siege of Kumbher.