(Last Updated on : 20/05/2010)
Alwar is a captivating town in the state of Rajasthan. It is described as the Gateway of Rajasthan. The place abounds with many interesting and historical monuments. The military cantonment of Itarana lies on the outskirts of Alwar. Milkcake made in Alwar is a famous cuisine all over the country. Alwar is also known as the land of tigers.
Origin of name of Alwar, Rajasthan
There are several suggestions on how Alwar has derived its name. Some sources say that the district is known as Alwar as its headquarters are located in the town of Alwar. Cunningham holds that the city derived its name from the Salva tribe and was originally Salwapur, then, Salwar, Halawar and eventually Alwar. As per history, earlier the city was known as "Ulwar". As this placed the city in last position when arranged in alphabetical order, a king renamed it to "Alwar" to bring it to the top.
History of Alwar, Rajasthan
Alwar was founded by Pratap Singh in the second half of the 18th century. During his rule the districts of Thanagazi, Rajgarh, Malakhera, Ajabgharh, Baldeogarh, Kankwari, Alwar, Ramgarh and Lachhmangarh, and areas around Behror and Bansur, were finally integrated to form the State. At the time, the states revenue was between six to seven lakhs of rupees per annum.
After him, the next ruler was his foster son, Maharao Raja Bakhtawar Singh (1791-1815). He also devoted himself to extend his territory. He was successful in integrating the pargannahs of Ismailpur and Mandawar and the talukas of Darbarpur, Rutai, Nimrana, Mandhan, Beejawar and Kakoma in the Alwar State. Maharao Raja Bakhtawar Singh rendered valuable services to Lord Lake, by supporting the British against the Marathas. As a result, in 1803, the First Treaty of Offensive and Defensive Alliance was forged between Alwar State and the East India Company. Thus, Alwar became the first princely State in India to enter into Treaty Relations with the East India Company. The state administration was imperfect during his time and there were cases of loot and dacoity. The State also borrowed money from outside as its finances were poor and mismanaged. By the time the next ruler, Maharao Raja Viney Singh (1815-1857), succeeded the throne the state was under debt.
Viney Singh was successful in stabilizing the general conditions in the State. It was in his time that the Alwar State administration began to take shape. He died on 1857 and was succeeded by his son Sheodan Singh (1857-1874), who was then a boy of twelve. He at once fell under the influence of the Mohammedan Dewans of Delhi. This resulted in an insurrection of the Rajputs in 1858, in which several of the Dewan`s followers were killed and the ministers were expelled. As a result Captain Nixon, the Political agent of Bharatpur, was at once dispatched to Alwar who formed a Council of Regency. Captain Impey came to Alwar as the next Political Agent in November 1858. His tenure of that office continued till the end of 1863. He succeeded in re-organising every branch of the administration. The system of fixed cash assessment was introduced. The annual revenue of the State was fixed at Rs. 14,29,425 and work was started on a three years settlement for the State.
Maharao Raja Sheodan Singh assumed ruling powers on 14th September 1863 and soon after the agency was abolished. But the administration fell into the hands of old Dewans. In 1870, the termination of the Rajput cavalry brought about a general uprising of the Rajputs with the result that the British government had again to interfere. Captain Blair, the then Political Agent for the Eastern States tried to bring about reconciliation but failed. Major Cadell was then appointed the Political Agent in 1867 and, with the sanction of the Government of India; a council of Management was formed with the Political Agent as President.
Personnel of administration were changed and the whole administration was cleaned. Tehsildars were entrusted with more civil powers and were empowered to impose fines upto Rs. 20 and a month`s imprisonment. In 1871, the Kotwali was established for the security of the city. The next year work on the 16-year settlement began. Tax on the British rupee was abolished and Rao-Shai coins were put out of circulation. In 1873, British copper coins were introduced in the State. An independent department called `Appeals` was brought into being for hearing appeals against decisions of lower courts.
The next ruler, Mangal Singh(1874-1892), was also a minor when he succeeded to the throne of Alwar State and the State continued to be administered by the Political Agent and the Council of Regency till December,1877 when he was invested with ruling powers. He was bestowed the hereditary title of Maharaja in the year 1889. In 1877, he entered into contract with the British Government according to which silver coins bearing the Alwar device were to be supplied by the Calcutta Mint.
With his death in 1892, his only Jey Singh succeeded him. And it was in the times of Jey Singh that Alwar State gained back its lost name. He turned Alwar into a very well administered State. He was a minor at the time of succession and hence the State administration was carried on by a council, called the State Council, acting under the general supervision of the Political Agent . During his rein, the whole state was divided into twelve administrative units called Tahsils, each under the governing authority of a Tahsildar.
In 1947, after the independence of India, Alwar acceded unto the dominion of India.
On March 18, 1948, Almora merged with three neighbouring states of Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli. On May 15, 1949, Alwar formed into the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan.
Government and politics of Alwar, Rajasthan
is a Lok Sabha parliamentary constituency of Rajasthan. District Collector & District Magistrate is the head of District Administration. There are four Additional District Magistrate (ADM-I, ADM-II, ADM-Devlopment and ADM-City. The district Alwar has 12 sub-divisions. There are 12 Sub Divisional Officers (SDOs) working at the sub-division level. There are 12 tehsil head quarters in Alwar district and each one has a Tehsildar as an administrative officer who work in accordance with the Land Record System to serve for the rural farmers and land holders. There are 14 Panchayat Samitis (blocks) and each one has a BDO (Block Devlopment Officer) to serve as the representatives of the district administration in the rural areas.
The major political parties of Alwar are the Indian National Congress, BJP, Samajwadhi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party etc.
Geography of Alwar, Rajasthan
Alwar is a city in the north-east of Rajasthan. The district is bounded on the north and north-east by Gurgaon (of Haryana) and Bharatpur district and on the north-west by Mahendragarh district of Haryana, on the south-west by Jaipur and on the south by Sawai- Madhopur and Jaipur districts. Its greatest length from south to north is about 137 K.M. and greatest breadth from east to west about 110 K.M. The city is located 160 km south of Delhi and around 150 km north of Jaipur. Alwar is located at 27.57° N 76.6° E. the place has an average elevation of 271 meters.
Demography of Alwar, Rajasthan
As per the 2001 census, the population of Alwar is 260,245. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Alwar has an average literacy rate of 73% out of which
59% are males and 41% are females.
Culture of Alwar, Rajasthan
The festivals celebrated in Alwar are Sawan Teej, Chuhar Sidh, Laldas Maila, Bilali Fair, Sahibji ka Maila, Jagannathji Fair and Bhartrihari. The festivals of Alwar are marked by merry occasions and traditional arts, music and dance.
Places of interest in Alwar
The places of interest in Alwar, Rajasthan are:
Bala Quila or the Alwar Fort
Moosi Maharani Chhatri
Purjan Vihar or Company Garden
Tomb of Fateh Jang