The Dhangar are a herding caste of people primarily located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. They are YADAVS.Their original home is said to be Gokul, Vrindavan, near Mathura. From Gokul they are said to have moved into Mewar, and from Mewar, to have spread into Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The word "Dhangar" may be associated with a term for "cattle wealth" or be derived from the hills in which they lived (Sanskrit "dhang"). Ul Hassan noted that some people of his time believed the term to come from the Sanskrit "dhenugar" ("cattle herder") but dismissed that etymology as being "fictitious".
The Dhangar were described by British colonial researchers as industrious, honest and sincere. It was noted that, "truthful as a Dhangar" was a proverb among Indians. Famous Dhangars are Holkar Dynasty.
INDORE PALACE from where Yadav Kings of Holkar Dynasty ruled
The Holkar dynasty ruled as Maratha Rajas and later Maharajas of Indore in Central India as an independent member of the Maratha Empire until 1818, and afterwards as a princely state under the protectorate of British India. The dynasty was founded with Malhar Rao, who joined the service of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire in 1721, and quickly rose to the ranks of Subedar. The name of the dynasty was associated with the title of the ruler, who was known informally as Holkar Maharaja.
Under British rule, the Holkar Maharaja was saluted with a 19-gun salute (21 guns locally). The Princely State of Indore acceded to the newly founded Indian government on 16 June 1948.
Malhar Rao Holkar- The 1st Yadav ruler of Indore and Holkar dynasty
Malhar Rao Holkar (1694-1766) established the dynasty's rule over Indore. In the 1720s, he led Maratha armies in Malwa region, and in 1733 was granted 9 parghanas in the vicinity of Indore by the Peshwa. The township of Indore had already existed as an independent principality established by Nandlal Mandloi of Kampel, sanctioned by a Mughal Imperial order, dated 3 March 1716. Nandlal Mandloi granted the Maratha force access and allowed them to camp across the Khan (Kanh) River. In 1734, Malhar Rao established a camp later called Malharganj. In 1747, he started the construction of his royal palace, the Rajwada. By the time of his death, he ruled much of Malwa, and was acknowledged as one of the five virtually independent rulers of the Maratha Confederacy.
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and Hon'ble Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Somnath Chatterjee offering flowers to the Statue of Ahilyabai Holkar at the Parliament House, New Delhi
Malhar Rao Holkar was succeeded by Ahilyabai Holkar (r. 1767–1795), his daughter-in-law. She was born in the Chaundi village in Maharashtra. She moved the capital to Maheshwar, south of Indore on the Narmada River. Rani Ahilyabai was a prolific builder and patron of Hindu temples in Maheshwar and Indore. She also built temples at sacred sites outside her kingdom, from Dwarka in Gujarat east to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi on the Ganges.
After Auragzeb destroyed the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Ahilya Bai Holkar built the current existing temple for Lord Kashi Vishwanath in year 1780. The whole dome of the temple is made of pure Gold. it's also refered as the Golden Temple of Hindus.
Brief Life Sketch of Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar
Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar (31 May 1725 – 13 August 1795), was the Holkar Queen of the Maratha ruled Malwa kingdom, India. Rajmata Ahilyabai was born in the village of Chondi in Jamkhed, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. She moved the capital to Maheshwar south of Indore on the Narmada River.
Ahilyabai's husband Khanderao Holkar was killed in the battle of Kumbher in 1754. Twelve years later, her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar, died. A year after that she was crowned as the queen of the Malwa kingdom. She tried to protect her kingdom from Thugs, the plunderers. She personally led armies into battle. She appointed Tukojirao Holkar as the Chief of Army.
Rani Ahilyabai was a great builder and patron of many Hindu temples which embellished Maheshwar and Indore. She also built temples and Dharmshala (free lodging) at sacred sites outside her kingdom, at prominent religious places like Dwarka and Somnath in Gujarat east to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi on the Ganges, Ujjain, Nasik, Vishnupad Mandir, Gaya and Parali Baijnath in Maharashtra. Seeing the destroyed and desecrated temple in Somanath, Rani Ahilyabai built a temple where Lord Shiva is still worshipped by Hindus.
SOMNATH TEMPLE- the current existing temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar.
Ahilyabai was born on 31 May 1725 in the village of Chaundi, in the present-day Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. Her father, Mankoji Shinde (Dhangar), was the patil of the village. Women then did not go to school, but Ahilyabai's father taught her to read and write.
Her entrance on to the stage of history was something of an accident: Malhar Rao Holkar, a commander in the service of the Peshwa Bajirao and lord of the Malwa territory, stopped in Chaundi on his way to Pune and, according to legend, saw the eight-year-old Ahilyabai at the temple service in the village. Recognising her piety and her character, he brought the girl to the Holkar territory as a bride for his son, Khanderao (1723–1754). She was married to Khanderao in 1733. She was very brave.
Ahilya Bai’s husband Khanderao was killed during the siege of Kumbher in 1754. Twelve years later, her father-in-law, Malharrao died. Malharrao was succeeded by Malerao, the only son of Khanderao, but he also died on 5 April 1767. From 1767 until her death in 1795, she ruled Malwa, trained in both administrative and military matters by Malhar Rao. A letter to her from Malhar Rao in 1765 illustrates the trust he had in her ability during the tempestuous battle for power in the 18th century:
Already trained to be a ruler, Ahilyabai petitioned the Peshwa after Malhar’s death, and the death of her son, to take over the administration herself. Some in Malwa objected to her assumption of rule, but the army of Holkar was enthusiastic about her leadership. She had led them in person, with four bows and quivers of arrows fitted to the corners of the howdah of her favourite elephant. The Peshwa granted her permission on 11 December 1767, and, with Subhedar Tukojirao Holkar (Malharrao's adopted son) as the head of military matters, she proceeded to rule Malwa in a most enlightened manner, even reinstating a Brahmin who had opposed her. Ahilyabai never observed purdah but held daily public audience and was always accessible to anyone who needed her ear.
Among Ahilyabai's accomplishments was the development of Indore from a small village to a prosperous and beautiful city; her own capital, however, was in nearby Maheshwar, a town on the banks of the Narmada river. She also built forts and roads in Malwa, sponsored festivals and gave donations for regular worship in many Hindu temples. Outside Malwa, she built dozens of temples, ghats, wells, tanks and rest-houses across an area stretching from the Himalayas to pilgrimage centres in South India. The Bharatiya Sanskritikosh lists as sites she embellished, Kashi, Gaya, Somnath, Ayodhya, Mathura, Hardwar, Kanchi, Avanti, Dwarka, Badrinarayan, Rameshwar and Jaganathpuri. Ahilyadevi also rejoiced when she saw bankers, merchants, farmers and cultivators rise to levels of affluence, but did not consider that she had any legitimate claim to any of that wealth, be it through taxes or feudal right. She must, in fact, have financed all her activities with the lawful gains obtained from a happy and prosperous land.
There are many stories of her care for her people. She helped widows retain their husbands’ wealth. She made sure that a widow was allowed to adopt a son; in fact, in one instance, when her minister refused to allow the adoption unless he was suitably bribed, she is said to have sponsored the child herself, and given him clothes and jewels as part of the ritual. To honour the memory of Ahilyadevi Holkar, in 1996 leading citizens of Indore instituted an award in her name to be bestowed annually on an outstanding public figure. The prime minister of India gave away the first award to Nanaji Deshmukh. The only time Ahilyadevi seems not to have been able to settle a conflict peacefully and easily was in the case of the Bhils and Gonds, "plunderers" on her borders; but she granted them waste hilly lands and the right to a small duty on goods passing through their territories. Even in this case, according to Malcolm, she did give "considerate attention to their habits".
Ahilyabai’s capital at Maheshwar was the scene of literary, musical, artistic and industrial enterprise. She entertained the famous Marathi poet, Moropant and the shahir, Anantaphandi from Maharashtra, and also patronised the Sanskrit scholar, Khushali Ram. Craftsmen, sculptors and artists received salaries and honours at her capital, and she even established a textile industry in the city of Maheshwar.
Historians of the 19th and 20th centuries—Indian, English and American—agree that the reputation of Ahilyabai Holkar in Malwa and Maharashtra was then, and is, even now, that of a saint. Nothing has ever been discovered by any researcher to discredit that. She was truly a magnificent woman, an able ruler and a great queen.
After her death, she was succeeded by Tukojirao Holkar I, her commander-in-chief, who soon abdicated the throne in favour of his son Kashirao Holkar in 1797.
"The reign of Ahilyabai, of Indore in central India, lasted for 30 Yrs. This has become almost legendary as a period during which perfect order and good Government prevailed and the people prospered. She was a very able ruler and organizer, highly respected during her lifetime, and considered as a saint by a grateful people after her death."
An English poem written by Joanna Baillie in 1849 reads:
"For thirty years her reign of peace,
The land in blessing did increase;
And she was blessed by every tongue,
By stern and gentle, old and young.
Yea, even the children at their mothers feet
Are taught such homely rhyming to repeat
"In latter days from Brahma came,
To rule our land, a noble Dame,
Kind was her heart, and bright her fame,
And Ahlya was her honoured name."
"The Great DhangarMaratha lady who affords the noblest example of wisdom, goodness and virtue. One english writer quoted that which Akbar is among male sovereigns, is Ahlia Baie among female sovereigns".
"Ahilyabai's extraordinary ability won her the regard of her subjects and of the other Maratha confederates, including Nana Phadnavis. Collecting oral memories of her in the 1820s, Sir John Malcolm, the British official most directly concerned with the 'settlement' of central India, seems to have become deeply enamourned of her. "With the natives of Malwa ... her name is sainted and she is styled an avatar or Incarnation of the Divinity. In the most sober view that can be taken of her character, she certainly appears, within her limited sphere, to have been one of the purest and most exemplary rulers that ever existed". Her latest biographers call her 'The Philosopher Queen', a reference perhaps to the 'Philosopher king' Bhoj."
"Ahilyabai Holkar, the 'philosopher-queen' of Malwa, had evidently been an acute observer of the wider political scene. In a letter to the peshwa in 1772 she had warned against association with the British, and likened their embrace to a bear-hug: "Other beasts, like tigers, can be killed by might or contrivance, but to kill a bear it is very difficult. It will die only if you kill it straight in the face, Or else, once caught in its powerful hold, the bear will kill its prey by tickling. Such is the way of the English. And in view of this, it is difficult to triumph over them."
"This great ruler in Indore encouraged all within her realm to do their best, Merchants produced their finest cloths, trade flourished, the farmers were at peace and oppression ceased, for each case that came to the queens notice was dealt with severely. She loved to see her people prosper, and to watch the fine cities grow, and to watch that her subjects were not afraid to display their wealth, lest the ruler should snatch it from them. Far and wide the roads were planted with shady trees, and wells were made, and rest-houses for travellers. The poor, the homeless, the orphaned were all helped according to their needs. The Bhils who had long been the torment of all caravans, were routed from their mountain fastnesses and persuaded to settle down as honest farmers. Hindu and Musalman alike revered the famous Queen and prayed for her long life. Her last great sorrow was when her daughter became a Sati upon the death of Yashwantrao Phanse. Ahalya Bai was seventy years old when her long and splendid life closed. Indore long mourned its noble Queen, happy had been her reign, and her memory is cherished with deep reverence unto this day.
"From the original papers and letters, it becomes clear that she was first-class politician, and that was why she readily extended her support to Mahadji Shinde. I have no hesitation in saying that without the support of Ahilyabai, Mahadji would never have gained so much importance in the politics of northern India."
"Definitely no woman and no ruler is like Ahilyabai Holkar."
"It reveals beyond doubt that all ideal virtues described by Plato and Bhismacharya were present in her personality like Dilip, Janak, Shri Ram, Shri Krishna and Yudhishthir. After through scrutiny of the long history of the world we find only one personality of Lokmata Devi Ahilya that represents an absolutely ideal ruler."
Over the years, in independent India, the city of Indore, when compared to neighbouring Bhopal, Jabalpur or Gwalior, has progressed dramatically: economically, through business and financial prowess, politically and in all possible ways cities are supposed to progress. In fact, the local population proudly states that they live in 'mini-Mumbai', a reference to the great metropolis pulsing 600 km away. The good deeds of Devi Ahilyabai, her dedication to religion and her policies are enriching the city even today! The faith and belief in the good vibes of Indore go to such an extent that local inhabitants say that if you have lived in Indore for a thousand days, you are unlikely to leave it! Long live Devi Ahilya!
A commemorative stampwas issued in her honour on 25 August 1996 by the Republic of India.
As a tribute to the great ruler, Indore domestic airport has been named Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport. Similarly, Indore university has been renamed as "Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya".
Ahilya Bai Holkar-The Greatest Protector of Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism) and one of the greatest builder of Hindu Temples all over india
The Lotus feet of Lord Vishu or Vishupada at Gaya. All Hindus goes there to perform sradha (shradha).
The existing temple structure at Gaya at Vishupada mandir was constructed by Ahilya Bai Holkar in year 1787
It was the speciality of Holkar family that they did not use public funds to meet their personal and family expenses. They had their personal fund from their private property. Devi Ahilya inherited personal fund which at that time was estimated to be sixteen crores rupees. Ahilyabai used personal fund in charitable works and for building temples throughout india.
Ahilyabai Holkar was a great devotee of the Supreme personality of Godhead and was very humble. Her humble mood is revealed bt the inscription at one of her fort's :
The adopted son of Malhar Rao Haolkar, Tukoji Rao Holkar (r. 1795-1797) briefly succeeded Rani Ahilyabai upon her death. Tukoji Rao had been a commander under Ahilyabai for her entire rule.
The Indore settlement was occupied by the Mandloi family for half a century by the time the House of Holkar settled in Indore in 1818.
His son Yashwantrao Holkar (r. 1797–1811) (also called as Jaswant Rao) succeeded him upon his death. He tried to free the Delhi Mughal Emperor Shah Alam from the British in the unsuccessful Second Anglo-Maratha War. The grateful Shah Alam gave him the title of Maharajadiraj Rajrajeshwar Alija Bahadur in honor of his bravery.
Attempts by Yashwantrao Holkar to unite the kings failed, and he was approached to sign a peace treaty with the British. The Treaty of Rajghat, signed late December 1805, recognised him as a sovereign king and returned all his territories, including Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Bundi, and some Rajput lands from other kings.
In 1811, the four-year-old Maharaja Malharrao Holkar II succeeded Yashwantrao Holkar. His mother, Maharani Tulsabai Holkar, looked after the administration. However, with the help of Pathans, Pindaris, and the British, Dharama Kunwar and Balaram Seth plotted to imprison Tulsabai and Malharrao. When Tulsabai learnt about this, she beheaded both of them in 1815 and appointed Tantia Jog. As a result, Gaffur Khan Pindari secretly signed a treaty with the British on 9 November 1817 and killed Tulsabai on 19 December 1817.
The British, led by Sir Thomas Hislop, attacked on 20 December 1817. In the Battle of Mahidpur, the British defeated the army led by 11 year-old Maharaja Malharrao Holhar III and his 20-year-old generals, Harirao Holkar and Bhimabai Holkar. At the deciding moment Nawab Abdul Gaffur Khan betrayed the Holkars and left the battlefield along with his army. In return, the British gave the Jahagir of Jawara to Gaffur Khan.
The treaty was signed on 6 January 1818 at Mandsaur. Bhimabai Holkar did not accept the treaty, and kept attacking the British by guerilla methods. Rani Lakshmibai of Jhanshi took inspiration from Bhimabai Holkar and also fought against the British. At the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the Holkars lost much of their territory to the British and were incorporated into the British Raj as a princely state of the Central India Agency. The capital was shifted from Bhanpura to Indore.
Malharrao Holkar III entered Indore on 2 November 1818. Tantia Jog was appointed his Diwan as he was a minor. As the old palace was destroyed by the army of Daulat Rao Scindia, a new palace was constructed in its place. Malharrao III was succeeded by Martandrao Holkar, who formally ascended to the throne on 17 January 1834. But he was replaced by Harirao Holkar, nephew of Yashwantrao, who ascended to the throne on 17 April 1834. He adopted Khanderao Holkar on 2 July 1841 and died on 24 October 1843. Khanderao was formally installed as the ruler on 13 November 1843, but he suddenly died on 17 February 1844. Tukojirao Holkar II (1835–1886) was installed on the throne on 27 June 1844. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he was loyal to the British East India Company. In October 1872, he appointed T. Madhava Rao as the Diwan of Indore. He died on 17 June 1886 and succeeded by his eldest son, Shivajirao.
Yashwantrao Holkar II (reigned 1926–1948) ruled Indore state until shortly after India's independence in 1947, when he acceded to the Indian Government. Indore became a district of Madhya Bharat state, which was merged into Madhya Pradesh state in 1956.
HOLKAR - DHANGAR MAHARAJA'S OF INDORE
Maharajadhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Shrimant Malhar Rao II Holkar VII Subadar Bahadur (1806–27 October 1833), was the Maharaja Holkar of Indore (r. 1811–1833). He was born at Bhanpura in 1806 and was the only son of Yashwant Rao Holkar VI, Subadar of the Holkar Domains, and his wife Krishna Bai Holkar Mahasahiba.
On 22 April 1948 the Maharaja of Indore signed a covenant with the rulers of the adjoining princely states to form a new state known as Madhya Bharat. Madhya Bharat was created on 28 May 1948. On 16 June 1948, the princely state of Indore, which the House of Holkar ruled, merged with the newly independent Indian states.
For more details on Dhangar History, suggested reading: Book by Author Shri Madhusudan Holkar, "Yaduvanshi Dhangar Gwala Samaj Ka Ithihas".