Alwar, cradled by the Aravali hills, is situated in the Alwar district in the Indian state of Rajasthan Known as the ‘Tiger gate of Rajasthan’, this princely state was founded by Pratap Singh, a member of the Kachhwaha clan in the second half of the eighteenth century. Alwar is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan, northern India besides being one of the oldest kingdoms of the state. Its history dates back to 1500 B.C. when King Virata was ruling over the city. It’s historically important as the place where the Pandavas spent the last year of their 13 years’ exile. The strategically important location of Alwar made the Mughals, the Kachhwahas of Amer, the Jats, the Marathas and the British try to gain control over it. Alwar is famous for its scenic beauty and for the wide variety of flora and fauna found there.
The major tourist attractions of Alwar are the City Palace complex or the Vinay Vilas Mahal and the Bala Quila. The Bala Quila is a huge fort which runs 5km from north to south and stands 304 meters above the city. The fort has several gates called Pols – Jai Pol, Suraj Pol, Laxman Pol etc. This imposing fort has 15 large and 51 small towers with a number of openings for musketry. City Palace or Vinay Vilas Mahal situated just below the Bala Quila displays the influence of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Part of the Palace has been converted to a museum which has a superb collection of Mughal and Rajput paintings, miniature writings, weapons, and rare objects of art. The Jai Samand Lake which is just 6 kms away from Alwar is a place worth visiting as also the town of Silisher which is famous for its lake and palace. Sariska Tiger Reserve and National Park which is about 37 kms from Alwar comes under the Project Tiger plan. The wooded forests are a home to the tiger, nilgai, sambhar, wild boar etc. The Sariska Palace, built as a hunting lodge by Maharaja Sawai jai Singh of Alwar, in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh and now converted to a hotel is set amidst enchantingly beautiful natural surroundings.
Alwar is well known for its jewelry and pottery. A travel plan to Rajasthan will be incomplete without a visit to Alwar.