The princely state of Alwar was founded by Pratap Singh, a Rajput of the Kachwaha lineage, in 1770. His son, aided the British against theMarathas. After the battle of Laswari (1803) Alwar became the first state of Rajputana to sign a treaty of ‘Offensive and Defensive Alliance’ with theBritish East India Company. A few years later, Bakhtawar Singh ventured an armed incursion into neighbouring Jaipur, the senior Kachwahastate, and the erstwhile overlord of his predecessor. Bakhtawar Singh was defeated; a fresh engagement was made with him by the HEIC, prohibiting him from political intercourse with other states without British consent. During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, Raoraja Bane Singh sent a force consisting mainly of Muslims and Rajputs, to relieve the British garrison in Agra. The Muslims deserted and the rest were defeated by the rebels. Pran Sukh Yadav, who fought beside Rao Tula Ram of Rewari in 1857, settled along with the kinsmen of dead soldiers at Village Nihalpura,Behror Tehsil, of Alwar District. Following the independence of India in 1947, Alwar acceded unto the dominion of India. On March 18, 1948, the state merged with three neighbouring princely states (Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli) to form the Matsya Union. This union in turn merged unto the Union of India. On May 15, 1949, it was united with certain other princely states and the territory of Ajmer to form the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan.
The state of Alwar is located in the northeast part of Rajasthan. It is considered the oldest kingdom in rajastan . The history of Alwar is steeped into mythology and folklore. In ancient India it was a part of the Matsya Kingdom, which the Kauravas embarked on the cattle-rustling mission, which resulted in the famous war of Kurukshetra with the Pandavas. The history of Alwar dates back to 1500 BC when it was formed a part of the Matsya territory of Viratnagar. The region of Viratnagar also included Karauli, Bharatpur and Dholpur.
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 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.
Timeline of rulers:
Nov 1775 Alwar state founded (previously part of Jaipur).
14 Nov 1803 British protectorate.
Rulers (title Rao Raja)
Nov 1775 - 26 Sep 1791 Pratap Singh (b. 1740 - d. 1791)
(personal style Maharao Rana Shri Sawai)
26 Sep 1791 - 27 Jan 1815 Bakhtawar Singh (b. 1779 - d. 1815)
27 Jan 1815 - 1832 Banni Singh (b. 1806 - d. 1857)
- jointly with following -
1815 - 1826 Balvant Singh (d. 1845)
Rulers (title Maharao Raja)
1832 - Aug 1857 Banni Singh (s.a.)
Aug 1857 - 11 Oct 1874 Shivdan Singh (installed 1867) (b. 1845 - d. 1874)
1857 - 1867 .... -Regent
11 Oct 1874 - Apr 1889 Mangal Singh (b. 1859 - d. 1892)
Maharajas (title Raj Rishi Shri Sawai Maharaja)
Apr 1889 - 22 May 1892 Mangal Singh (s.a.)
22 May 1892 - 1933 Jai Singh (b. 1882 - d. 1937)
22 May 1892 - 10 Dec 1903 .... -Regent
1933 - 15 Aug 1947 Tej Singh (installed 22 Jul 1937) (b. 1911 - d. 2009)
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