Art & Culture

Ahmednagar in Maharashtra will be renamed Ahilyanagar

  • Ahmednagar district was called after Punyashlok Ahilya Devi Holkar, a government decision.
  • authorities’ support: Government authorities express gratitude and believe it improves district honour.
  • Previous discussions: Maharashtra Education Minister planned to rename the city ‘Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Nagar’.

Ahmednagar’s Origins & History

  • Ahmednagar was referenced in connection to the Mauryan Emperor Ashok (240 BC).
  • Rashtrakuta Dynasty, Western Chalukyas, and Delhi Sultanate ruled major kingdoms.
  • Revolt led to the foundation of the Bahmani monarchy, with Ahmednagar as one of the five autonomous kingdoms.

Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah and Ahmednagar

  • Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah became Prime Minister of the Bahmani Sultanate in 1486.
  • Victory and city foundation: In 1494, Ahmednagar was built after defeating the monarch of the Bahmani kingdom.
  • Bringing communities together: Muslims, Maratha peasants, and warriors all sided with him.

Ahilyabai Holkar’s Childhood and Marriage

  • A remarkable upbringing: Ahilyabai was born in Chondi village and received an uncommon education.
  • Malhar Rao Holkar arranged Ahilyabai’s marriage to Khande Rao after being charmed by her devotion.

Administration and Temple Construction

  • After her husband’s death in 1754, Ahilyabai assumed authority of Malwa.
  • Effective governance: excelling in administration and military plans under the tutelage of her father-in-law.
  • Temple restoration: Significant efforts in rebuilding Hindu temples earned him credit as a capable king.

Ahilyabai Holkar’s Legacies

  • Recognising accomplishments: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s opening of the Samudra Darshan Path and the Somnath Exhibition Gallery.
  • Somnath temple, erected by Ahilyabai Holkar in 1783, represents the triumph of truth and faith. 
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