Kumber Fort, Bharatpur, where Khanderao Holkar, son of Malhar Rao holkar died

Khanderao Holkar – Biography, Death, and Family

Khanderao Holkar was a Maratha warrior and ruler of the Holkar dynasty, who lived in the late 17th century and early 18th century. He was the son of Malhar Rao Holkar, who founded the Holkar dynasty in the region of Indore, India.

Khanderao was known for his military prowess and leadership skills, and he served as a commander in the Maratha army during the reign of the Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji. He was also instrumental in expanding the Maratha Empire’s influence in the western part of India.

NameKhanderao Holkar
FatherMalhar Rao Holkar
MotherGautama Bai
WifeAhilyabai Holkar [ 10 wives – Controversial]
ChildrenMale Rao Holkar and Muktabai
Death1754, Hit by Cannonball during the seize of Kumher Fort
Other RelatedTukoji Rao Holkar(Brother)
Kashi Rao Holkar(Nephew)

Life of Khanderao Holkar

He was the only son of Malhar Rao Holkar. So, there was no doubt in his becoming king. Ahilyabai Holkar was his wife. He had one son, Malerao, and a daughter, Muktabai. 

Ahilyabai gradually turned Khanderao’s thinking and mended his stubborn nature by repeating her statecraft and training lessons to him. She used to tell Khanderao stories from the epics, to motivate him to do his duty faithfully.

Death of Khanderao Holkar

In 1754, on the command of Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur‘s Mir Bakhshi Imad-ul-Mulk, Khanderao laid seize of Kumher fort of Jat Maharaj Suraj Mal of Bharatpur State who had sided with Safdar Jang, an opponent of Ahmad Shah.

When Khanderao was inspecting his troops on an open palanquin in the battle of Kumher, he was hit and killed by a cannonball from the Jat army.

In the honor of Khanderao, Jat Maharaja Suraj Mal built a Chattri in Hindu style on his cremation spot at Kumher near Deeg.

After the death of Khanderao Holkar

At the time of death, Malhar Rao Holkar prevented Khanderao’s wife Ahilya Bai from committing Sati.

In 1766, 12 years after the death of Khanderao, Malhar Rao also died. Male Rao, the grandson of Malhar Rao and the only son of Khanderao, became the ruler of Indore at a young age, under the regentship of Ahilyabai. After the death of Male Rao, Ahilyabai became the ruler of Indore.

Recommended Books

  • Karmayogini: Life of Ahilyabai Holkar – Buy Now
  • Ahilyabai Holkar (Amar Chitra Katha) – Buy Now

Frequently Asked Questions

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17 thoughts on “Khanderao Holkar – Biography, Death, and Family

  1. Based on the literature on Holkar dynasty, Khanderao Holkar had only one wife Ahilya Bai Holkar, who later became queen. It is incorrect to mention that he had 10 wives and 9 wives out of 10 committed Sati. This is blatant lie.

    1. Literature is not used as the reliable source of history. The reason is literature is written by the court poets of a dynasty. A court poet will not dare to show that what cruel or unpleasant things happened during the reign of their king or in the ruling dynasty. To ascertain any data, historian uses the data of many different sources to draw a conclusion. Statements of history are neither correct nor incorrect but they are assumptions based on these data.

      1. True however having 10 wives & Having only one child is less likely. Though there might be various factors.

        I don’t think they have mentioned any source for this information.

        Also importantly polygamy was well accepted concept back then, it was not considered as a wrong practice.

        Still entire issue is debatable. People used to have more then 1 wife but 10 wives as no is seen very rarely in mentioned historical duration.

  2. Please correct the information about Khanderao Ji Holkar about his wife. He has only one wife Ahilya Bai Holkar. Else will fill a lawsuit against the website. thanks.

  3. My question whether Dwarka Bailey Holkar was a bad queen and created all the problems between Khanderao and Ahilya Bailey Holkar

    1. There is very less or i can say no information is given about Dwaraka Bai Holkar.

      History is read on the basis of Literary sources available. Why would anybody write about the internal disputes of a royal family? So, there is no clue about any kind of internal disputes.

  4. It is debatable about more than one wife to Khanderao Holkar. The Ahilya serial in Sony TV is creating lot of confusion and twisting the historical facts about Holkar dynasty. Is is permitted these distortions of history in an entertainment serial.

  5. I do not belive that Khandy rao holker has more then one wife. SONY is twisting the history to make money more like it commercial type. I do not feel like watching this show anymore. The story like they are showing drama serials. Please do not mix the history

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