An Indian Maratha family of peasant origin that became rulers of one of the most powerful of the Maratha confederacy of states. The family's founder, Malhar Rao Holkar, rose through military service to the Peshwas to establish by 1766 virtually independent control of the Malwa region. The family's control was consolidated in the late 18th century, but succession disputes and quarrels with other Maratha chieftains offset the gains. During the reign of Jaswant Rao Holkar (1797–1811) British expansion destroyed Holkar claims in north India. After defeat in 1804 the Holkars had to accept British protection, remaining a Princely State until 1947.
Subjects: World History.