Indore State

This article is about the princely state during the British Raj. For the dynasty, see Holkar.
Indore State
इंदौर रियासत
Princely State of British India

Flag Coat of arms
Map of the territories of Indore State, some forming enclaves in neighbouring Gwalior and Bhopal states
  Maratha Confederacy, British protectorate 1818
  Indian independence 15 June 1948 1948
  1931 24,605 km2 (9,500 sq mi)
  1931 1,325,089 
Density 53.9 /km2  (139.5 /sq mi)
Today part of Madhya Pradesh, India
Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
The Rajawada (Old Palace) of Indore.
The Sukhnivas Palace.
The Maharaja of Indore on his state elephant.
Tukojirao Holkar III, Maharaja of Indore.
Maharani Shrimant Chandravati Bai Sahib Holkar, First Wife of Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar III of Indore.
Maharani Indira Bai Sahib Holkar, Second Wife of Maharaja of Indore Tukojirao Holkar III.

Indore State, also known as Holkar State,[1] was a Maratha princely state in India during the British Raj. Its rulers belonged to the Holkar dynasty and the state was under the Central India Agency. Indore was a 19 Gun Salute (21 locally) princely state (a rare high rank).

Indore princely state was located in the present-day Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The capital of the state was the city of Indore. The state had an area of 24,605 km² and a population of 1,325,089 inhabitants in 1931; other important towns besides Indore were Rampura, Khargon, Maheshwar, Mehidpur, Barwaha and Bhanpura; there were also a total of 3,368 villages.[2]


By 1720, the headquarters of the local pargana were transferred from Kampel to Indore, due to the increasing commercial activity in the city. On 18 May 1724, the Nizam accepted the rights of the Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao I to collect chauth (taxes) from the area. In 1733, the Peshwa assumed the full control of Malwa, and appointed his commander Malhar Rao Holkar as the Subhedar (Governor) of the province..

On 29 July 1732, Bajirao Peshwa-I granted Holkar State by merging 28 and half parganas to Malhar Rao Holkar, the founder ruler of Holkar dynasty. His daughter-in-law Ahilyabai Holkar moved the state's capital to Maheshwar in 1767, but Indore remained an important commercial and military centre. After the defeat of the Holkar rulers in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, an agreement was signed on 6 January 1818 with the British and Indore State became a British protectorate. The Holkar dynasty was able to continue to rule Indore as a princely state mainly owing to the efforts of their Dewan (Chief minister) Tatya Jog.

The capital was moved from Maheshwar to Indore on 3 November 1818 and the Indore Residency, a political residency with a British resident was established in the city. Later Indore would be established as the headquarters of the British Central India Agency. In 1906 electric supply was started in the city, a fire brigade was established in 1909 and in 1918, the first master-plan of the city was drawn by noted architect and town planner Patrick Geddes.

During the period of Maharaja Tukoji Rao Holkar II (1852–86) efforts were made for the planned development and industrial development of Indore. During the reigns of Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar, Maharaja Tukoji Rao Holkar III and Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar business in Indore flourished thanks to the railways that had been introduced in the state in 1875.

Post Independence

After the independence of India in 1947, Indore State, along with a number of neighbouring princely states acceded to India. Yashwant Rao Holkar II, the last ruler of the state, signed the instrument of accession to the Indian Union on 1 January 1950. The territories of the state became part of the new Indian state of Madhya Bharat.


The kings of Indore held the title of 'Maharaja' Holkar. The rulers of the state were entitled to a 19 gun salute by the British authorities.[3]

Rulers (title Maharaja Holkar)

Name Birth Death Reign
Malhar Rao I Holkar I 1694 1766 1731 – 20 May 1766
Male Rao Holkar II 1745 1767 20 May 1766 – 5 Apr 1767
Ahalya Bai Holkar (III)(f), regent 1725 1795 Apr 1767 – 13 Aug 1795
Tukoji Rao I Holkar IV 1723 1797 13 Aug 1795 – 29 Jan 1797
(also listed as co-ruler from Apr 1767)
Kashi Rao Holkar V ? 1808 29 Jan 1797 – Jan 1799
Khande Rao I Holkar VI 1798 1806 Jan 1799 – 1806
Yashwant Rao I Holkar 1776 1811 1806 – 27 Oct 1811
(regent from Jan 1799)
Malhar Rao III Holkar VII 1801 1833 Nov 1811 – 27 Oct 1833
Maharani Tulsi Bai (f), regent ? 1817 Nov 1811 – 20 Dec 1817
Martand Rao Holkar VIII 1830 1849 27 Oct 1833 – 2 Feb 1834
Hari Rao Holkar IX 1795 1843 2 Feb 1834 – 24 Oct 1843
Khande Rao II Holkar X 1828 1844 24 Oct 1843 – 17 Feb 1844
Maharani Maji (f), first regency ? 1849 24 Oct 1843 – 17 Feb 1844
Tukoji Rao II Holkar XI
(knighted 25 Jun 1861)
1835 1886 27 Jun 1844 – 17 Jun 1886
Maharani Maji (f), second regency (s.a.) ? 1849 27 Jun 1844 – Sep 1849
Shivaji Rao Holkar XII
(knighted 30 Jun 1887)
1859 1908 17 Jun 1886 – 31 Jan 1903
Tukoji Rao III Holkar XIII
(knighted 1 Jan 1918)
1890 1978 31 Jan 1903 – 26 Feb 1926
Yashwant Rao II Holkar XIV
(knighted 1 Jan 1935)
1908 1961 26 Feb 1926 – 15 Aug 1947
Usha Devi Holkar, 1961 Present

Dewans (Chief ministers)

Prime ministers

British Residents

British Residents of the Indore Residency.[4]

British Agents

Agents to the Governor-General for the Central India Agency. The headquarters of the agent were at Indore.

See also


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Coordinates: 22°43′31″N 75°51′56″E / 22.7252°N 75.8655°E / 22.7252; 75.8655

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