On June 27, 1742, Malhar Rao Holkar, the Maratha general, with a cavalry force of over 20,000 soldiers reached the vicinity of Kashi.
Holkar planned to pull down the Gyanvapi mosque that was constructed at the site of the Kashi Vishwanath temple by Aurangzeb and rebuild the temple.
The people of Kashi were alarmed and sent a delegation requesting Holkar not to do so. The delegation argued that the Mughals were too strong in Kashi and the residents would be killed once the Marathas left.
Holkar acceded to their request and left without restoring the Kashi temple.
Colonel Anil A Athale (retd)