By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Ahalyabai Holkar, AhalyAbAi Holkar, Ahalyaabaai Holkar
Ahalyābāi Holkar (A. D. 1735-1795) was a queen of Indore. She is one of the few rulers of the medieval period, who did much for the protection of the religion and preservation of temples. She boldly took over the administration in 1765 A.D. after her husband died in battle and ruled with great efficiency till her demise.
She was responsible for the protection of the original Śivaliṅgas of Somanātha and Kāśī. She improved or renovated many temples in North India and also built rest-houses for pilgrims in the places of pilgrimage. The modern city of Indore owes its development during this time to her efforts.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore