HOLKAR, JASVANT RĀO (d.1811), Marāṭhā chief of lndore, who, defeated at Ḍīg and Fatehgaṛh in 1804 by the British, moved northwards to obtain succour from the cis-Sutlej Sikh rulers and from Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh. Accompanied by his Ruhīlā ally, Amīr Khān, he arrived in 1805 at Paṭiālā, where he received assurances of help from the Sikh chiefs assembled there. Meanwhile, Lord Lake's army came in hot pursuit of the Marāṭhā refugee. On hearing the news of Lake's arrival at Pānīpat, he crossed over into the Jalandhar Doāb and ultimately reached Amritsar. Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, who was then camping near Multān, hastily came to see him. According to Sohan Lāl Sūrī, the official Lahore diarist, the Mahārājā was hospitable to his "unwelcome guest," and kept him in royal style. A congress of the Khālsā was held to decide what Raṇjīt Siṅgh might do to help Holkar. The Sikh ruler was counselled against engaging in an armed conflict with the British. It is also recorded that the Mahārājā's decision was based on a "command" obtained from the Gurū Granth Sāhib. Raṇjīt Siṅgh, nevertheless, interceded with the British on behalf of Jasvant Rāo as a result of which a treaty was made between him and the East India Company. The Marāṭhā ruler secured the greater part of the territory which had been seized by the British.

        Jasvant Rāo Holkar became insane in 1806 and died on 20 October 1811.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt-ut-Twārīkh, Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, vol. I. Princeton, 1963
  3. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983

Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā