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City of Alwar from bala quila
City of Alwar from bala quila
Tiger Gate of Rajasthan
Alwar is located in Rajasthan
Coordinates: 27°32′59″N 76°38′08″E / 27.549780°N 76.635539°E / 27.549780; 76.635539Coordinates: 27°32′59″N 76°38′08″E / 27.549780°N 76.635539°E / 27.549780; 76.635539
Founded byRao Pratap Singh
 • BodyMunicipal Council
 • Total198 km2 (76 sq mi)
268 m (879 ft)
 • Total461,618
 • Rank8th in Rajasthan
 • Density2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi)
 • OfficialHindi
 • RegionalMewati
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeRJ-IN
Vehicle registrationRJ-02

Alwar located 150 km (93 mi) south of Delhi and 150 km (93 mi) north of Jaipur, is a city in India's National Capital Region and the administrative headquarters of Alwar District in the state of Rajasthan. Alwar is a hub of tourism with several forts, lakes, heritage havelis and nature reserves, including the Bhangarh Fort, the Sariska Tiger Reserve and Siliserh lake.


There are many theories about the derivation of the name Alwar. Cunningham holds that the city derived its name from the Salva tribe and was originally Salwapur, then Salwar, Halawar and eventually Alwar, According to another school it was known as Aravalpur or the city of Aravali. Some others hold that city is named after Alaval Khan Mewati (Khanzada warrior who wrested Alwar from Nikumbh Rajputs). A research conducted during the reign of Maharaja Jey Singh of Alwar revealed that Maharaja Alaghraj, second son of Maharaja Kakil of Amber. ruled the area in the eleventh century and his territory extended up to the present city of Alwar. He founded the city of Alpur in 1106 Vikrami Samvat (1049 A.D.) after his own name which eventually became Alwar. It was formerly spelt as Ulwar but in the reign of Jey Singh the spelling was changed to Alwar.[1]


Ancient history[edit]

The region was historically known as Matsya. According to the Manusmriti, the Matsyas were included in the Brahmarshidesha and ‘they appear as one of the select few of the Aryan races who were noted for their devotion to Brahmanical ideals’.

The territory around Bairath was included in the Maurayan empire is evidenced by the discovery of the Minor Rock Edict I and Bhabra Edict of Ashoka at this place. The disintegration of Mauryan empire was followed by the invasions of the foreigners and evolution of small principalities. The numismatic material excavated at Bairath is a clear indication that the Indo-Greek rule.

The tribal republic that emerged around this area after the fall of Pushyamitra and end of Greek invasion about the closing years of the first century B. C., was that of Arjunayanas and Yaudheyas. About the end of the first century B.C., the Arjunayanas were subdued by the Sakas. After the decline of Kushanas, the Arjunayanas recovered their independence but had to submit to the suzerainty of the Guptas about the middle of the fourth century.

The Pratiharas who came into prominence about the second half of the sixth century A. D., took advantage of the tottering Gupta empire and established their hold in the heart of Rajputana. Nagabhata I, the Pratihara king in the second quarter of eighth century A. D., successfully resisted the Arab invasions and augmented his territories. The Gwalior Inscription tells us that Matsya was seized by Nagabhata II. An inscription dated 960 A. D. discovered at Rajorgarh (near modern Rajgarh, Alwar) records an order issued by the Maharajadhiraja, Parameshvara, the illustrious Mathanadeva of the Gurjara-Pratihara (Bargujar Rajputs) lineage residing at Rajyapura (i.e. Rajor). Here he invoked the name of the Pratihara Emperor Vijayapaladeva as his suzerain, yet he ruled as a de facto independent king.

In 1009 A.D. Mahmud of Ghazni led an army against the king of Narayan, a place now identified by Cunningham as Narayanpur in the district. The king fought bravely in defence of his country but was defeated. The Sultan smashed the idols and returned to Ghazni with the booty. Meanwhile, Tomaras and Chauhans were the two rising powers to be reckoned with.However, the Chauhan authority was impaired considerably after the second battle of Tarain in 1192 A.D. Thereafter, the hold of the Chauhans over this area (Alwar) slackened and the territory was retained for quite some time by the Sultans of Delhi.

Medieval history[edit]

According to the tradition, a Jadaun Rajput dynasty throve in the area now comprising the Bharatpur and Mathura districts. In A. D. 1196 Muizuddin Muhammad Ghori defeated Kunwarpala, the Jadaun rai of Tahangarh (a fort about 14 miles south of Bayana). After this debacle, the lords of the Yaduvanshi (Jadaun-Bhatti) Rajputs left that area and got scattered in the Mewat region, also at Kaman, Tijara and Sarhatta of Alwar. The descendants of Prithviraj of Ajmer had already settled in (about 1070 A. D.) the area known as Rath (north-west region of the Alwar district) and the raja of Nimrana claims to represent the family of that great Hindu emperor.

Delhi Sultanate[edit]

Shamsuddin Altamash, the Sultan of Delhi started his compaigns in Rajputana about 1226 and invaded Ranthambor and attained some success in Bayana, Thangir and Mewat. After his death in 1236 A. D., a concerted effort was made by the dispossessed Chauhans to regain the lost territories under the leadership of Bhagawata. Soon, Chauhan supremacy seems to have prevailed even on Mewat, thus ample opportunity to the turbulent Rajputs to regain their lost power and present a serious menace to the Delhi authority.

Balban marched in 1248 A.D. to curb the growing power of the Chauhans but attained little success. Jadon Bhatti Rajputs of Bayana (progenitors of Khanzadas) who had settled in Mewat coalesced with the Chauhans and other Rajput dynasties and commenced offensive guerilla war, sometimes even into the Delhi territory itself. After his ascendancy to the throne and consolidating his conquests, Balban paid serious attention to the raids of the Mewatis. He therefore, cleared the forest in the vicinity of the capital and built a fortress. The capital was thereby cordoned off and freed from the Mewati robbers, and for the first time in several years, the citizens breathed freely. Throughout the 13th century, the whole of Mewat was held by Hindu Jadon Bhattis.

In 1372, Firuz Shah Tughlaq granted the Lordship of Khanzadas to Raja Nahar Khan, (who was formerly known as Jadaun Raja Sonpar Pal, of Kotla). Raja Nahar Khan established a hereditary polity in Mewat and proclaimed the title of Wali-e-Mewat. Later his descendants affirmed their own sovereignty in Mewat. They ruled Mewat till 1527. The last Khanzada Rajput ruler of Mewat was Hasan Khan Mewati, who died in the Battle of Khanwa. Following this battle, Mewat was integrated into the Mughal Empire.

Mughal Empire and Hemu[edit][edit]

After his victory at Panipat, Babur had settled himself at Agra. Hasan Khan Mewati joined the powerful confederacy with 12,000 horses, which was organised by Rana Sanga against Babur, The forces marched to Khanwa and Hasan Khan was among those who were slain in the battle that ensued (1527). After his victory over Rana Sanga, Babar marched towards Mewat to reduce it and entered Alwar on April 7, 1527. Hasan Khan's son, Nahar Khan, arrived begging for pardon and was bestowed a ‘pargana’ by Babur for his support. He bestowed the city of Tijara on Chin Timur Sultan who had fought in the battle of Khanwa on the right flank of Babar's army. Fardi Khan, his another follower, was given the charge of the Alwar fort. Babur himself visited and examined the fort, where he spent a night.

After the death of Shershah, his son Jalal Khan was enthroned under the title of Islam Shah. Hemu who was responsible to enthrone Adil Shah at Delhi after the death of Islam Shah in 1552. Hemu was a native of Macheri in Alwar district and is said to be a hawker of salt petre in the streets of Rewari, but rose to the status of prime-minister of Muhammad Shah Adil Sur (1554-1557) by his intelligence, loyalty and great qualities of leadership. He fought and won twenty-two battles against his master's rivals. Gradually he became the de facto ruler of Sur kingdom as his master sank into sloth and obscurity. He fought successfully a battle against the Mughal governor of Delhi, and occupied the city, and proclaimed himself as an independent ruler. He distributed the spoil among the Afghans and thus won them over to his side. He assumed for himself the title of Vikramaditya, but an arrow accidentally struck his eye and pierced his brain in the battle of Panipat (1556). He lay unconscious and was brought before the young emperor Akbar, who gave a blow of sword to Hemu, and Bairam Khan finished him off. Hemu's head was sent to Kabul and his trunk to Delhi to be placed on a gibbet. Soon, forces were sent to strongly defended forts of Deoti and Macheri (now in Rajgarh, Alwar district) where Hemu's wife and his father had taken shelter with their precious goods and treasures. After some resistance, Hemu's father was captured and his conversion to Islam attempted. But he declined and said, “For eighty years I have worshipped my God according to this (Hindu) religion why should I change it at this time, and why should I, merely from fear of my life, and without understanding it, come into way of your worship". At this, he was put to death. Hemu's widow, however, escaped with elephants and treasures to the jungles. She was pursued and a part of treasure was recovered from her.

Khanzadas of Mewat reconciled with the Delhi rulers by matrimonial alliances. Humayun had married the elder daughter of Jamal Khan, nephew of Hasan Khan Mewati. The Khanzadas became distinguished soldiers in the Imperial army.

During the reign of Akbar, Mewat was divided into two Sarkars or districts-Tijara and Alwar, in subah of Agra.Alwar formed a very important base for the launching of attacks by the Mughals on the fort of Ranthambor. It was also an important halting station between Agra and Ajmer.

In 1661 A.D. (1058 A.H.), Alwar was bestowed as a jagir on Khalilulla Khan and some time later, Aurangzeb gave this tract to Mirza Jai Singh of Amber. However, looking to the growing influence of Mirza and the strategic position of the fort, Aurangzeb took the fort back and bestowed it on Abdul Rahim in 1077 A.H.

Petty Chieftainships[edit][edit]

An inscription dating Samvat 1426 and 1439 found at Macheri attests that Rajgarh, Macheri and Devati (Deoti) villages were the possessions of the Bargujar Rajputs who were bound  by matrimonial alliances with the rulers of Amber. A legend states that Ashokmal or Ishwarmal who was the son of Raja Kumbh, refused to send dola to Akbar and also had quarrels with Raja Man Singh of Amber. Thereupon, a combined force of Raja Man Singh and the Delhi emperor, was dispatched against him and he was dispossessed of Devati and Rajorgarh.

Kyaranagari in Thanaghazi was the capital of Mewal Meenas whose ruler was Mokalsi at the time of Akbar's reign. The imperial forces plundered Kyara and in its place founded Mohamadabad.

About the Samvat 1656 (1599 A. D.) Madho Singh, the second son of Maharaja Bhagwandas of Amber, established a chiefship at Bhangarh and made it his capital. In Samvat 1777 (1720 A.D.), Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur attacked Bhangarh, and incorporated the territory in his kingdom.

Madan Singh, commonly known as Rao Made Chauhan, had founded the village Madanpur now known as Mandawar. In course of time, Barrod was also acquired by his descendants. Firoz Shah had forced Rao Jhama (son of Rao Hasa) to embrace Islam but the latter preferred death. However, Rao Chaand, son of Rao Jhama is said to have embraced Islam in Samvat 1499 (1442 A.D.). Thereupon, as a protest, Rajdeo who was the uncle of Chaand, abandoned Mandawar and chose Nimrana as the capital of his chiefship. The descendants of Rao Chaand extended their hold up to Bansur. But they were expelled in Samvat 1560 (1503 A.D.) from Bansur by the Shekhawats of whom Rao Shekhaji, Rao Sujaji and Rao Jagmal were most significant. Rao Sujaji made Basai as his capital whereas Jagmal established himself at Hazipur. After the death of Sujaji in Samvat 1594 (1537 A.D.) his sons Lunkaran, Raimal, Chaand and Bheruji extended their hold up to Khetri, Sikar, Khandela and Shahpura.

The Darbar of Raja Bakhtawar Singh of Alwar in 1810

After the death of Aurangzeb, internal dissensions encouraged the petty chieftains to acquire power. Maharaja Surajrmal of Bharatpur conquered the Alwar fort and some of the adjacent territory. But his son Jawahar Singh, after being defeated by the Jaipur ruler at the battle of Maonda-Mandoli and lost the territory gained by his father. Marathas occupied Tijara and Kishangarh. In 1775 A.D. Pratap Singh of Naruka family acquired Alwar fort and founded the State of Alwar.

Alwar State[edit]

Alwar State, a princely state established in 1770, was established by a Kachwaha Rajput named Pratap Singh who was earlier a jagirdar of "Dhai Gaon" (two-and-a-half villages) near Machari. His successor "Bakhtawar Singh Kachwaha" was defeated after launching an armed incursion into neighbouring Jaipur State (ruled by their Kachwaha seniors, erstwhile overlords of his predecessor) and being forced to accept the consequent treaty mediated by East India Company prohibiting him from political relations with other states without the consent of the colonial British.[2]

Divisions of the State

According to the "Gazetteer of Ulwar" published by the British raj, Alwar State was subdivided into four regions:

  • Rath region: current Behror and Neemrana, was ruled by Lah Chauhan rajput zamindar who had descended from Prithviraj Chauhan.[3] Sahesh Mal was a son of Raja Sangat Singh Chauhan. Sangat was the great grandson of Chahir Deo Chauhan, brother of famous king Prithviraj Chauhan.[4] In accordance with the pledge by the raja Sangat Singh Chauhan to his younger queen for marrying her in his old age, her two sons from him were bestowed the Rath area and its headquarter of Mandhan near Neemrana.[3] King Sangat Singh Chauhan's 19 sons from the older queen set out to seek their fortunes.[3] Of the 19 brothers, Harsh Dev Chauhan and Sahesh Mal Chauhan arrived in the Gurgaon district.[3] Lah Chauhan, the ruler of Rath, was a son of raja Sangat Singh Chauhan by the younger Rani whose two sons became inheritors of Raja Sangat Singh's territory of Rath with its headquarter at Mandhan when other 19 sons from the other wives were required to quit the kingdom as per the promise of Raja Sangat.[3][5][6][7]
  • Wai region: current Bansur and Thana Ghazi, was ruled by Shekhawat rajput zamindars.
  • Narukhand region: current Rajgarh and Laxmangarh, was ruled by Naruka sub-branch of Kachwaha rajputs who were from the same branch as the ruling kings of the Alwar State
    New residential Buildings in Neemrana Alwar
  • Mewat region: current Palwal and Nuh districts, had the highest population of the Meo Muslims.


Alwar acceded to the dominion of India following the independence of India in 1947. On 18 March 1948, the state merged with three neighbouring princely states (Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli) to form the Matsya Union. On 15 May 1949, it was united with neighbouring princely states[which?] and the territory of Ajmer to form the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan. Alwar was designated as part of the National Capital Region, resulting in additional development projects including rapid-rail to Delhi and drinking water improvements.[8] The military cantonment of Itarana lies on the outskirts of Alwar.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Fort View of Alwar

Alwar is the first major city when travelling from Delhi to Rajasthan. The city's heritage, apart from being a draw for tourists, has been an attraction for Bollywood film shoots including Shakespeare Wallah, Maharaja (1998), Karan Arjun at Sariska palace and Dadikar fort and Bhangarh, Saajan Chale Sasural at Sariska palace, Talaash: The Hunt Begins... and Trip to Bhangarh. The Mega Alwar trade fair is held at Dusshera ground every year. Alwar is also known for its hand-made Papier-mâché.

Fairy Queen[edit]

The Fairy Queen, a national treasure (cultural artifact) of India and the world's oldest working locomotive engine (c. 1855 CE),[9] operates as a tourist luxury train between Delhi and Alwar.

Bala Qila[edit]

Bala Qila (lit. "High Fort"), also known as Alwar Fort, is a fort approximately 300 meters above the city, founded by the 15th-century Khanzada Rajput ruler Hasan Khan Mewati and built on the foundations of a 10th-century mud fort.[10] Situated on the Aravalli Range, the fort is 5 kilometres long and about 1.5 kilometres wide with turrets, a large gate, a temple, and a residential area.[11]

City Palace[edit]

The City Palace, also known as Vinay Vilas Mahal, built in 1793 CE by Raja Bakhtawar Singh, blends the Rajputana and Islamic architectural styles and has marble pavilions on lotus-shaped bases in its courtyard. The palace houses a state museum with a collection of manuscripts, including one depicting Emperor Babur’s life, Ragamala paintings and miniatures, and historic swords that once belonged to Muhammad Ghori, Emperor Akbar and Aurangzeb; and a golden Durbar hall. This palace that once belonged to the Maharaja (lit. Great Ruler) has now been converted into a District Administrative office also housing the District Court.[12]

Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri[edit]

This cenotaph was built by Vinay Singh in the memory of King Bakhtawar Singh and his queen, Moosi, in 1815.

Sariska Tiger Reserve[edit]

The Sariska Tiger Reserve, a National Park and Tiger Reserve, is located in the Aravali hills only a few kilometres away from Alwar. Declared a Wildlife reserve in 1955 and a National Park in 1982, it is the first reserve in the world to have successfully relocated tigers. The sanctuary, which became a part of India's Project Tiger in 1978, also preserves other species including rare birds and plants.[13]

Bhangarh Fort[edit]

Bhangarh Fort, branded as the fourth most haunted palace in the world, and the most haunted palace in Asia, is a 17th-century fort built by Bhagwant das for his younger son Madho Singh I.[disputed (for: Identity of father/son are being discussed elsewhere) ] The fort, a monument protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and is known for its association to legends and paranormal activities,[14] is a tourist attraction for visitors across the world.[15]

Ashoka's Buddhist stupa[edit]

Nearby Viratnagar there is a Buddhist stupa and an inscription from the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. According to legends, Pandavas spent some time in their ignorance[clarification needed] here. There are a large number of religious devotees on the Pandupole-Bharthari Loktirtha. Alwar contains a number of historical monuments, such as 'Deewan ji ki lal haweli', which was built in 1754 and owned by Rajendra Kumar Jain.

Hill Fort Kesroli[edit]

Hill Fort Kesroli, a 14th-century fort, has now been converted into and is conserved as a heritage hotel.[16]

Bharthari Temple[edit]

Bharthari temple is dedicated to the king of Ujjain, who became a saint and is now commonly known as Baba Bharthari. He is sometimes identified with Bhartṛhari, a 7th-century poet. He is revered and prayed to, the temple is visited by the local population, and a fair is also organized each year known as 'Bharthari Baba ka Mela'.there is a temple of hanuman baba in ghata bhanwar tehsil kathumar


As of 2019, the most commonly used forms of medium-distance transport in Alwar are government-owned services such as railways and buses, as well as privately operated lok pariwahan buses, taxis and auto rickshaws. Bus services operate from the Alwar old Bus Station which is 5 km (3.1 mi) away from the Alwar railway junction. In addition to this it is also planned that a metro rail system from Delhi to Alwar via Behror route will be started. The nearest airports to Alwar are Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi (143 km (89 mi) away), Jaipur International Airport (150 km (93 mi) away), and an airport currently under development in Bhiwadi airport (90 km (56 mi) away). Alwar Junction railway station, on the Delhi–Jaipur line, is connected with Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai. Alwar is connected by roads from major cities of Rajasthan and nearby states.[17][18][19]


Alwar is located at 27°34′N 76°36′E / 27.57°N 76.6°E / 27.57; 76.6. It has an average elevation of 271 m (889 ft). The Ruparail River is a major river near the city. Alwar is fairly rich in mineral wealth; it produces marble, granite, feldspar, dolomite, quartz, limestone, soap stone, barites, copper clay, copper ore and pyrophylite.[20]


Population Growth of Alwar City 

At the time of the 2011 census, the population of Alwar city and Alwar district were 341,422 and 3,674,179 respectively, with Hindus representing 90.7% of the population, Muslims representing 4.3%, Sikhs representing 2.6%, Jains representing 2.1%, and the remaining 1.3% belonging to other religions.[22][23]


Raj Rishi Bhartrihari Matsya University was established in 2012–13 . Alwar has several schools such as Alwar Public school, St. Anslem's Senior Secondary School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Adinath Public School, Chinar Public School, lords international school, Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Step By Step Senior Secondary School, Raath International School, National Academy and Silver Oak, and colleges (Raj Rishi college, Siddhi Vinayak College, Presidency College, Government Law College, KCRI College, IET College). The Employee's State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Medical College is constructed with a whooping INR 800 crore budget and started operating from 2017.[24]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Ram, Maya (1964). Rajasthan District Gazetteer Alwar. Jaipur. p. 1.
  2. ^ ‹See Tfd› One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain‹See Tfd›Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alwar". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 755.
  3. ^ a b c d e Henry Miers Elliot and John Beames, Memoirs on the History, Folk-lore, and Distribution of the Races, Volume 1.
  4. ^ Henry Miers Elliot and John Beames, 1869, Memoirs on the history, folk-lore, and distribution of the races of the North Western Provinces of India: being an amplified edition of the original supplemental glossary of Indian terms. Trübner & co. p.64 and 82.
  5. ^ Henry Miers Elliot, Supplemental Glossary of Terms Used in the North Western Provinces
  6. ^ Henry Miers Elliot, Supplement to the Glossary of Indian Terms, A.-J
  7. ^ Panjab Notes and Queries, Volume 1
  8. ^ "Bharatpur becomes NCR; Delhi Metro to chug into Alwar soon". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  9. ^ "World's oldest engine gathers fresh steam", The Times of India, 12 February 2017, archived from the original on 5 June 2017
  10. ^ "Alwar Tourism: Places to Visit in Alwar - Rajasthan Tourism". Archived from the original on 11 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  11. ^ Iyengar, Abha (4 May 2017). "Delhi to Alwar: Among the ruins". Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  12. ^ Safvi, Rana (28 May 2017). "In a state of neglect". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Sariska National Park - complete detail - updated". Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  14. ^ Safvi, Rana (12 November 2017). "Bhangarh: the most haunted fort in India". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  15. ^ "The Times of India: Latest News India, World & Business News, Cricket & Sports, Bollywood". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Ruins revisited". The Hindu. 29 July 2004.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Delhi-Alwar rapid rail: Phase 1 corridor to be connected with Delhi Metro, bus stand, railway station!". The Financial Express. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  18. ^ "All RRTS stations to have platform screen doors". Moneycontrol. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  19. ^ Shah, Narendra (13 August 2019). "Regional Rail stations to have platform screen doors". Metro Rail News. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Welcome to Alwar, The Gateway of Rajastan > Mineral Resources". Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Historical Census of India". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Alwar District Population Census 2011, Rajasthan literacy sex ratio and density". Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Alwar City Population Census 2011
  24. ^ "अलवर को इसी वर्ष मिलेगा मेडिकल कॉलेज, 2017 में होंगे प्रवेश". Patrika.


External links[edit]