Saturday, December 26, 2020

Holker Pagdi

Holker Pagdi    

The Holkar dynasty was a Maratha clan of Dhangar origin in India.The Holkars were generals under Peshwa Baji Rao I, and later became Maharajas of Indore in Central India as an independent member of the Maratha Empire until 1818. Later, their kingdom became 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 rank of Subedar. The name of the dynasty was associated with the title of the ruler, who was known informally as Holkar Maharaja.

The Holkars were great connoisseurs of art and they were great collectors as well who were famous for their collections of jewellery and cars. After the fall of the great Mughal Empire, the Holkars of Indore gained greater control in the late 1900s. The Holkars, who were actually goatherds or Dhangar later developed into one of the most powerful royalties in India. The Holkars inhabited a region that was the most fertile in arid Central India and made Indore their capital. After a tumultuous period during their war with the British and the Scindias, the Holkars signed the Treaty of Mahidpur in 1818 in which they settled down to rule peacefully. This is the time when the Holkars amassed a huge collection of jewellery which was later lost and vanished without a trace.

Maharaja Yeshwantrao Holkar was a great patron of jewellery and French jewelers such as Van Clef, Arpels, Chaumet and Moubassin and had special exquisite jewellery pieces crafted from them. The most popular jewellery pieces in the Holkar collection have been the bejeweled dazzling peacock turban, the Indore Pears, the Jonker and Porter Rhodes diamonds amongst many other such pieces.

The fabled peacock bejeweled turban was one such exquisite masterpiece crafted out of rubies, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and pearls that was specially made by European goldsmiths in order to give the impression of a crown on a turban. Another fabled artifact was the bejeweled walking stick of the Holkars whose elephant-shaped handle was made out of one single ruby.

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