Yashwant Rao Holkar II

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Yeshwant Rao Holkar II
Investiture of Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar Bahadur of Indore 9th May 1930
Maharaja Holkar of Indore
Reign26 February 1926 – 28 May 1948
Coronation11 March 1926, Juna Rajwada Palace, Indore
PredecessorTukojirao Holkar III
SuccessorMonarchy abolished, Indore merged into Madhya Bharat
Titular Maharaja Holkar of Indore
Pretendence28 May 1948 – 5 December 1961
SuccessorUsha Devi Holkar
Born(1908-09-06)6 September 1908
Indore, Indore State, British India
Died5 December 1961(1961-12-05) (aged 53)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
SpouseMaharani Sanyogita Bai Holkar
Maharani Margaret Holkar
Maharani Euphemia Holkar
IssueMaharajkumar Shrimant Shivaji Rao Holkar (Prince Richard Holkar)
Maharani Usha Devi Holkar
FatherTukojirao Holkar III
MotherChadrawati Bai Saheba

Maharajadhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Sawai Shri Sir Yeshwant Rao II Holkar XIV Bahadur[citation needed] (6 September 1908 – 5 December 1961) was the Maharaja of Indore (Holkar State, now in present-day Madhya Pradesh) belonging to the Holkar dynasty of the Marathas.


He was educated at the Cheam School, Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford.

He succeeded his father Tukojirao Holkar III, who abdicated in his flavour on 26 February 1926. He was installed on the throne on 11 March 1926 under a regency council. He was invested with full powers on 9 May 1930. On 1 January 1935 he was made a Knight of the Order of the Indian Empire. He established a legislative council for Indore state and created a cabinet with a prime minister and three ministers. K.S. Fitze, a British resident of Indore, remarked on the great amount of time Maharaja Yeshwant spent abroad. Christie's art director Amin Jaffer takes this to exemplify his turn to the West.[1]

On 11 August 1947 he signed the document of accession to India. Indore State was included in the Union of Madhya Bharat on 28 May 1948. He served as the second Rajpramukh of this new state until 31 October 1956. He then worked for the United Nations.

He died in a Mumbai hospital on 5 December 1961.

Manik Bagh[edit]

In 1930 he commissioned the construction of the Manik Bagh ("Jewel Garden") palace in Indore. The architect was Eckart Muthesius (1904–1989) from Germany. The Maharaja was at a young age at that time, as was Muthesius who was just a couple of years older. The work outside and inside was done in the late art deco and international style of modern architecture.[2]

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris had an exhibition in 2019 called "Moderne Maharajah" dedicated to Yashwant Rao Holkar II and Manik Bagh, featuring some of the interior pieces such as the aluminium bed by Louis Sognot and Charlotte Alix.[3]

Manik Bagh later became a branch of the Indian Customs and Central Excise department.


Portrait by Bernard Boutet de Monvel, 1934
H.H. The Maharani of Indore by Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1934)

In the year 1924 he married Sanyogita Bai Sahib Holkar of Indore.[4] Yeshwant Rao and his wife Maharani Sanyogita both studied in England.[5] Together they traveled Europe extensively and were photographed by Man Ray in a series in 1927. Two sets of double portraits were painted by Bernard Boutet de Monvel in 1929 and 1934.[6]

Sanyogita passed away in 1937 at the age of 22 from complications after surgery in Switzerland.[7][8][6]

In 1938 he married Marguerite Lawler, of Fargo, North Dakota,[9] and after their divorce, married in 1943 Euphemia "Fay" Watt, of Los Angeles (aka Lady Fay Holkar).

He is survived by his two children:

  • with Maharani Sanyogita Devi: Maharani Usha Raje of Indore (she inherited the titles and rights)
  • with Lady Fay Holkar: Maharajkumar Shrimant Shivaji Rao "Richard" Holkar (who himself has two children:[10] Sabrina Sanyogita Holkar Ellis and Yashwantrao "Randall" Holkar III).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jackson & Jaffer 2009, p. 202
  2. ^ "About Manik Bagh". www.gstindore.gov.in. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris celebrates the fascinating life of Maharaja Yeshwantrao Holkar II". 14 September 2019.
  4. ^ Poddar, Abhishek; Gaskell, Nathaniel; Pramod Kumar, K. G; Museum of Art & Photography (Bangalore, India) (2015). "Indore". Maharanis: women of royal India. Ahmedabad. pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-93-85360-06-0. OCLC 932267190.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ Jackson & Jaffer 2009, p. 192
  6. ^ a b "(#52) Bernard Boutet de Monvel". Sothebys.com. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  7. ^ "How Maharaja Yeshwant Holkar and Maharani Sanyogita Devi Turned Indore into a Art Deco Paradise". 2 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Thoroughly Modern Maharaja: How an Indian prince amassed one of the world's greatest interwar design collections". 18 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Marguerite Lawler, the Fargo woman who married and then was divorced by a maharaja".
  10. ^ "The wedding royale". 24 February 2006.

External links[edit]

Yashwant Rao Holkar II
Born: 6 September 1908 Died: 5 December 1961
Regnal titles
Preceded by Maharaja Holkar of Indore
Monarchy Abolished
Titles in pretence
Monarchy Abolished
Maharaja Holkar of Indore
Succeeded by
Usha Devi Holkar