Khanderao Holkar (1723-1754 CE) was the only son of the founder of Holkar Dynasty Malhar Rao Holkar and Gautama Bai.
Life of Khanderao Holkar
Khanderao was the only son of Malhar Rao Holkar. So, there was no doubt in his becoming king. Khanderao had 10 wives. Ahilyabai Holkar was his first 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.
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
After his death, 9 of his 10 wives committed Sati. Malhar Rao Holkar prevented Khanderao’s first wife Ahilya Bai from committing Sati.
In 1766, 12 years after the death of Khanderao, Malhar Rao also died. Male Rao Holkar, 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 Holkar. After the death of Male Rao, Ahilyabai became the ruler of Indore.