Built by the Parama ruler Raja Bhoja, who founded Bhopal, Bhojpur and Mandu, Dhar is an ideal stopover on a visit to Mandu. Dhar remained the capital of Malwa till Mandu gained in prominence. The Mughal administration during Akbar, Dhar featured as the principal town of a Mahal in Mandu Sarkar of the Subah of Malwa. Akbar made Dhar the centre of directing a campaign in the Deccan. Jahangir stayed in Mandu for six months. In his memoirs Jahangir has referred to the peaceful climate and scenic surroundings of Mandu.
Dhar was an important centre of the revolt of 1857. Mutineers seized the fort of Dhar. The Bhils actively participated in the revolt. British forces under the command of Colonel Durand recovered Dhar from the hands of the rebels. Dhar was finally given to Anand Rao III in 1860. Today Mandu in Dhar is an ecological treasure trove with gurgling streams. Tour to Dhar offers a memorable experience.