Hence the very foundations of the district are rooted in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. With a history that is 3500 years old the district of Alwar still stands tall as a popular tourist destination in Rajasthan. The name Matsya Desh simply means the 'land of the fish'. It is in this place that the Pandavas spent the 13th year of exile. The local people of this land helped the Pandavas in their battle against Kauravas.
During the medieval era Alwar rose to prominence. Because of its strategic location the state was a source of interest to the Mughals, Marathas, the Jats of Bharatpur, Nikumbha and Kachhawaha Rajputs and the British. All of these groups have ruled Alwar. As a result the cultural influences of Alwar are quite varied. The first to occupy the throne of Alwar was the Nikumbhas. They had also built a fort. The ruins of this fort are still visible within the district. As far as the Mughals are concerned they made Alwar their base and from here they had fought many crucial battles against Ranthambore. After the Mughals it was the turn of the Jats to rule this district.
Finally Alwar received political stability in the hands of Thakur Pratap Singh belonging to the Kachhawaha Rajputs from Jaipur. Even with an average economic condition this ruling class was able to gift the district with splendid palaces and led a life in utmost luxury. However, such squandering nature resulted in the downfall of the Kachhawaha Rajputs. This disgruntled the masses.
However, it cannot be denied that it was Pratap Singh who rescued Alwar from a political instability. He became an ally of the British and he was awarded the title of Maharaja by the British. In the year 1771 Alwar became the youngest Rajput Kingdom. After Maharaja Pratap Singh Bakhtawar Singh succeeded to the throne of Alwar. As historical evidence his chhatri is to be found in the city of Alwar.
Raja Banai Singh is another commendable name in the history of Rajasthan. He ruled Alwar from 1815 to 1857 AD. He was a great lover of art and contributed significantly in the beautification of Alwar. However the greatest name in its history has to be Maharaja Jai Singh. the succeeded to the throne in the year 1902 AD. He ruled for 30 years and is well known for his sophisticated lifestyle. He was deposed by the British.
Post independence Alwar merged with the dominion of India.