Indore is the largest city in Madhya Pradesh, and together with its satellite towns of Pithampur and Dewas, is one of the fastest-growing economic regions in India. Its proximity to the Gujarat - Mumbai grid is a major factor behind its huge economic potential. Indore is also one of the foremost centres of education in central India and produces over 50,000 graduates each year, 30% of whom have technical training. The history of Indore is inseparable from the history of the Holkar State. The founder of the House of Holkars was Malhar Rao Holkar, born in 1693 AD. His soldierly qualities brought him to the forefront under the Peshwa and he was rewarded with the gift of territories comprising the Indore region. Malhar Rao was succeeded by his grandson, on whose death, without issue, his mother, Maharani Devi Ahilya Bai ascended the throne. The Holkars with their keen interest in city planning and education shaped much of Indore. Many institutions in the city predate India's Independence. Today, Indore is a perfect mélange of the old and the new, where the old heritage structures coexist with the modern multi-storeyed buildings.
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