Located 150 km from the capital city of Rajasthan, Alwar is well known among the various tourists and travelers. Owing to its numerous historical landmarks, picturesque locations, Alwar has become a leading tourist destination of Rajasthan. Like any other parts of Rajasthan, Alwar is enmeshed in a rich history. Without knowing the fascinating history of Alwar, a tour to this city will not be interesting.
The history of Alwar dates back to the ancient times, some 3500 years back. Alwar is believed to have existed during the time of the Mahabharata. During the time when the Pandavas lived or the time of Mahabharata, Alwar was known as Matsya Desh which means Land of Fish in English. Matsys Desh encompasses the present day Alwar, Bharatpur, Jaipur and Viratnagar.
During the medieval times, Alwar was ruled by a number of rulers, emperors and dynasties. Starting from the Mughals to the Jats, Kachhawaha Rajputs of Jaipur, the Marathas, Nikumbha Rajputs and British have ruled Alwar. According to a popular notion the first ruler of Alwar is believed to be the Nikhumbha Rajputs.
Alwar was used as a place for resting by the Mughals when they would travel from Ajmer to Agra. This city was also the place from where the Mughals attacked the Ranthambore Fort. After the Mughals, Alwar was ruled by the Jats, though for a shorter period of time.
When Thakur Pratap Singh who belonged to the Naruka clan overtook Alwar, the city got political stability. Palaces were constructed and hunting safaris were arranged by Thakur Pratap Singh and the Kachhawaha Rajputs who hailed from Jaipur.
In the year 1771, when Alwar was conquered by Pratp Singh after he defeated the Marathas, this become the newest Rajput territory. However, the Maharaja had to face problem when a British resident got introduced in the court.
With the independence of India, Alwar along with Bharatpur, Karauli and Dholpur was became a part of the United State of Matsya. However, in 1949, Matsya Desh was joined with the state of Rajasthan.