History of IndoreThe diverse city of Indore shares a diverse history as well. This 400 years old city was ruled by several dynasties including Marathas, Mughals, and lately, the British. As economy and commerce are the nerves of this city in present times, it was so during its early days as well. The city of Indore has its history divided into different phases which need to be enlightened for better understanding of its historical revelations.
The History of Indore
Indore During Mughal EraDuring the Mughal times, the central region was under Kampel which was governed by government of Ujjain in Malwa province of Central India. The administrative control of this region vested in the hands of its local zamindars, conferred with the title of Chaudhari, by Mughal emperors. They even earned the dignity of being Sanads for their entire life from Aurangzeb and Farrukhsiyar and as such they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle with their families for ages.
Mughal History of Indore
Rao Nandlal Chaudhary was the chief zamindar of this region during those days. He was a rather distinguished personality to have received an esteemed position in Mughal court. He was gifted with Gold Langar by Maharaja Savai Jai Singh of Jaipur. This Langar ensured him entry into any durbar of India during those days.
Zamidars in Indore
The royal possessions of this mighty zamindar continued to be same even after the rise of Holkars into this region. In 1713, the reigns of this Malwa region were handed over to Nizam which led to strife between Marathas and the Mughals. Rao Nandlal Chaudhary had an army of 2000 soldiers. With the help of this army, he established the fort of Shri Sansthan Bada Rawala to protect his fellow people from the atrocities of Mughals and Marathas fighting with each other.
Since this place was closely situated near Indreshwar Temple on the banks of River Saraswati it was named Indrapur which later on changed to Indore. Remarkably, it was then the major trade center on busy Delhi Deccan route.
Indore During British EraIn 1730s Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao I was given the control of Malwa region as Viceroy. He appointed Malhar Rao Holkar as the Subedar of this province which led to ascent of Holkar Rule in this region. Even Rao Nandlal Chaudhary accepted the dominance of these mighty Maratha warriors.
The Holkars in return gave him the title of Rao Raja and retained the royalty of his family. It included the rights of performing Dussehra Puja even before the Holkar kings. Malhar Rao Holkar became the governor of Malwa in 1733 when Peshwa Baji Rao I bestowed this Holkar state to him.
His throne was succeeded by his grandson whose early death led to rise of his mother Ahilya bai Holkar as the ruler of this region. She shifted the center of power to Maheswar and made it the capital in 1767.
At that time Indore was a major trade and military hub of Malwa. Holkars were the great patrons of art, education, and architecture. Ahilyabai Holkar too donated huge sum for construction of temples across the country.
Even the later Holkar rulers were instrumental in planned development of this region especially, of Indore as a city. The city grew manifold during their reign and with introduction of railways in 1875, Indore was set on the path of an unprecedented development which continues even till date.
British Era in the History of IndoreWhen third Anglo Maratha battle was fought in 1818, Holkars were defeated by British army at Mahidpur and Holkar state went under the control of British.
Once again, the capital was shifted to Indore after signing the treaty of Mandsaur.
Though the cantonment of Mhow was handed over to British as a result of this treaty, Holkars retained their rights to rule Indore which became a princely state.
During the British regime, Indore flourished as a progressive city having electric supply in 1906 and its first master plan in 1918.
History of Indore Post Independence of IndiaWith independence of India in 1947, the princely states of Central region including Indore merged into Indian Union and in 1948, Indore became the capital of Madhya Bharat state till formation of Madhya Pradesh in 1956. On November 1, 1956, Madhya Pradesh came into existence and Bhopal became its capital.
But like its glorious past, Indore still continues to be the largest and the most flourishing city of this state with a perfect blend of contemporary charm and an affluent history beautifully intermingled into each other.