Ahilya Bai Holkar (31 May 1725 – 13 August 1795) was the hereditary noble queen of the Maratha Empire, in early-modern India. She established Maheshwar (in Madhya Pradesh) as the seat of Holkar Dynasty.
After the demise of her husband Khande Rao Holkar and father-in-law Malhar Rao Holkar, Ahilya Bai herself undertook the affairs of Holkar dynasty. She defended the Malwa state against intruders and personally led armies into battle, with Tukoji Rao Holkar as her military commander.
Ahilya Bai was a great pioneer and builder of Hindu temples who constructed hundreds of temples and Dharmashalas throughout India. She is specially renowned for refurbishing & reconsecrating some of the most sacred sites of Hindu pilgrimage that had been desecrated & demolished in the previous century by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.