Alwar District: History, Geography, Places to See
Nestled in the lap of remains of hills of the Aravalli range, Alwar is home to beautiful palaces and forts. It is the first major city that comes while travelling from Delhi to Rajasthan and is uniquely located at 150 km south of Delhi and 150 km north of Jaipur.
Origin of Name of Alwar city:
There are multiple 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 theory, it was known as Aravalpur or the city of Aravali.
- Some others hold that city is named after Alaval Khan Mewati.
- A research conducted during the reign of Maharaja Jai Singh of Alwar revealed that Maharaja Alaghraj, second son of Maharaja Kakil of Amer (old seat of Jaipur State) ruled the area in the 11th century and his territory extended upto 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 Jai Singh the spelling was changed to Alwar.
History of Alwar
During ancient period around 1500 BC, Alwar was part of Matsya region of olden times, whose capital was Viratnagar. Also known as Matasya Desh, this is said to be the Pandavas, the mighty heroes of the Mahabharata, spent the last years of their 13-year exile.
Early medieval times, the area was ruled by Jadaun clan of Chandravanhi rajputs. In ealy 13th century Nahar Khan of the same Chandravanshi clan converted to Islam in thirteenth century during Firuz Shah Tughlak’s regime. Alawar Khan who was the descendent Nahar Khan, established the kingdom of Alawar in 1412 A.D.
During Mughal period, Khanzada Hasan Khan Mewati fought against invader Babar and later on Hasan Khan’s nephew Jamal Khan gave his two daughters to Humanyun and Bairam khan in marriage. In the 1550s, Khanzada Rajput king of Ulwar was overthrown by Akbar’s military campaign to encircle Mewar Kingdom.
Later on 25th November 1775, Rao Pratap Singh raised his standard over the Alwar Fort and founded the modern kingdom of Alwar.
Alwar Location, Area & Administration
Alwar is located in the north-east of Rajasthan between 27°34′ & 28°4′ north Latitudes and 76°7′ & 77°13′ east Longitudes. It is bounded by Mahendragarh (Haryana) in north-west, Gurgaon (Haryana) in the north and north-east, by Bharatpur in the east, by Dausa in south and Jaipur in south-west & west direction.
The district covers an area of 8380 sq. kms. comprising 16 tehsils, namely Alwar, Bansur, Behror, Govindgarh, Kathumar, Kishangarhbas, Kotkasim, Laxmangarh, Malakhera, Mundawar, Neemrana, Rajgarh, Ramgarh, Reni, Thanagazi, Tijara.
Geography of Alwar
Geography of the district comprises of rivers, mountains, plains and semi-arid areas. The beautiful ranges of the Aravali Hills surround the city, which act as a natural barrier for the city, protecting it from the harsh and dry winds during the summer season. The rocky ranges of the Aravallis break the undulating plateau into fragments. The city is adorned with expansive stretches of dense deciduous forests that are inhabited by rich flora and fauna.
The district is located between the Yamuna -Satluj divide and central part of the district is covered by the Aravalli hills which run north south, ranging in height from 456 meters to 700 meters. There is a marked difference between the hills of north east and south, west. While the south western hills comprising the area of Rajgarh, Alwar and Thanagazi have fairly dense vegetation. The north eastern part give an appearance of barren and rocky.
Rivers of Alwar
Five rivers used to flow in the region but due to deforestation and mining activities dried up the rivers. Presently due to the special initiative of Tarun Bharat Sangh, rivers Arvari and Ruparel were revitalized again by using the traditional water harvesting methods and by constructing ‘Johads’ or small earthen check dams.
Sahibi or Sabi River
- It is the largest river of Alwar District
- Two of its stream rises near Bairath & Sewar hills in Jaipur. The river flows in north-east direction across Alwar to Najafgarh lake near Patodi in Haryana.
- Ruparail river rises in Thanagazi tehsil from Udaynath hills.
- It is also called as Lasavar river and varah river. The river flows in south-east direction to flow into Bharatpur.
The metallic minerals include copper (Pratapgarh, Kho-Dariba and Bhagoni), iron and manganese, while non metallic minerals include batytes, silica sand, quartz, yellow ochre, pyrophyllite, soapstone, limestone, granite and marble etc.
The district leads in the production of barytes in the State important barite deposits are at Sahanpuri, Basli, Jandoli and Khora Makroda. Alwar is the another district in the State where copper ore is being mined. Its important deposits are at Bhagoni and Kho Dhariba.
The production of copper concentrate from Kho Dhariba mines is in several thousand tonnes. Other mineral deposits in the district on minor scale are asbestos, china clay, feldspar, fire clay soapstone and quartz.
According to 2011 census the population of the district was 36,71,999. It is 3rd largest populated district after Jaipur & Jodhpur.
Relevant Articles & News Stories:
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) to start in 11 districts
- Places to see in Alwar
- Rajasthan Districts Industrial Potential Survey
- Kachwaha Rulers of Modern Alwar State
- Matsya Festival -Alwar- Matsya Utsav
How to Reach:
- By Air: The nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Aiport, Delhi which is 141 kms away followed by Jaipur International Airport, about 166 kms away.
- By Bus: Buses to the city are available at regular intervals from Delhi, Jaipur and Bharatpur.
- By Train: One can take the Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Jaipur which halts at the city railway station.