Alwar was built in 1775 by Rao Pratap Singh. For a short while the British and the Marathas took control of Alwar. In 1949, Alwar was merged with Rajasthan. Alwar perhaps is the oldest Rajasthani kingdoms, forming a part of Matsya territories of the Viratnagar in around 1500 BC.
The main attraction of Alwar tends to be the city Palace known as the Vinay Vilas in local parlance. This splendid palace was created in the year 1840 and is situated in triangular hill top. This palace is about 300 m high. This palace’s architecture is specifically Mughal and this palace is filled with buildings, shimmering lakes, museums and monuments.
Main Attractions of Alwar
The Fort: This big fort with its own ramparts stretching 5 kilometers from north to the south and nearly 1.6 kilometers from east to the west, constructed before rise of Mughal Empire. Babar spent a complete night at this big fort and took the hidden treasure to gift his son, Humayun. Jahangir, Akbar's son also stayed in this fort for a little time during his émigré. The fort has numerous gates, Suraj Pole, Jai Pole, Chand Pole, Laxman Pole, Andheri Gate, and Kishan Pole. Also, there are some remains of Nikumbh Mahal, Jal Mahal, Suraj Kund, Salim Sagar, and many temples.
City Palace: Built in 18th Century by Raja Vinay Singh, it is one among the most striking palaces of Rajasthan. The palace’s architecture is a mix of the Mughal and the Rajput styled. The lower floor of this palace is occupied by the government offices now whereas upper floors are utilized as museum. The Museum has one among the best collections of books, archaeological finds, paintings, and armory. Maharaja Vinay Singh had an excellent taste for different books and had a great collection in his own library as he was a fan of the arts. It’s also known that he paid a big amount of rupees 50,000 once to get a manuscript created by sheikh Sadi.
Behind Alwar Palace is mammoth tank, which nestles in lap of surrounding Aravallies. A Kund is outside the Palace, however a part of this complex, has a lot of chhatries Aand small temples with their steps on all the three sides. In backdrop is Mosi Bai Ki Chhatri, built in memory of Mosi Bai, queen of Bakhtawar Singh. The cenotaph was raised in 1816 AD by Raja Vinay Singh. The whole complex with backdrop of Aravallies envelopes you within its grandeur.
Purjan Vihar: A Picturesque garden, created in 1868 AD during the control of Maharaja Dan Singh. This Garden has an enthralling setting called 'Shimla' that was built by Raja Mangal Singh. The cool shades and the lush surroundings make it the relaxing visiting spot during summer.
Hope Circus: It’s another monument which attracts the notice of the people visiting Alwar. Located roughly midway between railway station and city palace, it’s a circular shape having flight of many steps leading to top from all the four sides. It is named after Ms Hope, Lord Linlithgow’s daughter, the Viceroy of India at that time, on the time of his Alwar visit in 1939- 1940 A.D.
Government Museum: Positioned in old City Palace, the Government Museum has an exclusive collection of arms, lacquered, ivory work, bidri work, stuffed animals, musical instruments, beautiful pottery and brass works from Jaipur, Bengal Ceylon and Multan, miniature paintings and Sanskrit and Persian manuscripts. This museum is divided in three major sections, all housed in a big hall. The very first part contains different archaeological finds chiefly inscriptions and sculptures from the area. Items presented by ruler of former Alwar state consist of mounted skin of wild animals such as tiger, lion and leopard shot by them in their foreign and local excursions. The second part is the most imperative one as it includes different manuscripts in Persian like Gulistan of Sadi and marvelous paintings of Rajput and Mughal Schools. These paintings have been divided further into different sub-styles. Its third section of museum contains armory of the State rulers. Various types of shields, pistols, rifles, swords, daggers and other things are on display here.
Vijay Mandir Palace: Located at distance of nearly 10 kilometers from Alwar, this magnificent architectural marvel is a memento of the regal glory and opulence of yesteryears. This palace was built in 1918 by Raja Jai Singh. The gorgeous stately palace stands on a hilly platform at the northern bank of the lake built by Vijay Saagar Bundh Dam. This Bundh is supported completely by two hills over the tributary of Chuhar Siddh and it was constructed in the year 1903. This Palace houses Sita-Ram Mandir that attracts thousands of people during Ramnavami celebrations.
Siliserh Lake: It is just about 13 kilometers from Alwar. This Lake was constructed in 1845 AD just by constructing the earthern dam between 2 hills to store water of small tributary of the river Ruparel. When filled completely, the water spread covers area of nearly 10 sq kilometers. Decorated with domed cenotaphs, the Lake is set picturesquely amidst forested slopes of the Aravalli hills. Open Terraces of Siliserh Palaces offer a wonderful view of water spread of lake as well as its surrounding environment. The stylishly built old palace now is converted into a famous tourist hotel and managed by Rajasthan’s Tourism Development Corporation. Basement of this 4 storey palace leads to water level of lake. A boat excursion in the lake, mainly during the winter season, is an extremely worthwhile experience.
Tijara: It’s a historic town located about 48 kilometers North East of the city Alwar. Previously known as Trigartur, the Tijara Fort located on crest of hill has been well known for mine of hidden treasure lately. It was Mewat’s capital and it has a glorious and long history of sacrifice and bravery. There is a famous Jain Temple, visited every year by hundreds and thousands of pilgrims.
Neemrana Ki Baori: In addition to old Fort, which today is Neemrana, a Heritage Hotel, situated on Jaipur-Delhi Highway, about 2.5 hrs drive from Jaipur. It also boasts of a very magnificent and an old nine storied baori. This stepwell was built by the Thakur Janak Singh in 1700 AD and the local people inform the visitors that they have nine storey’s both above and below water lever. It possess 170 steps and when you descent, the whole place becomes telescopic and felling of entering grotto overwhelms. From water source, you may see the increasing tiered structure and open key. Its atmosphere is cool and moist. Both sides of these steps are the storey of verandahs that allowed people to relax and rest. Its pillars have a solid similarity to architectural design of pillars of old temple at the Qutub Minar complex located outside Delhi, built by Prithviraj Chauhan. Myth has it that the Neemrana, at once was the house of Chauhan Rajputs plus one successor of Prithviraj converted into Islam and then settled in Neemrana. The Baori is in use still, both for use of water by people and for irrigation. Backdrop of this Neemrana Fort adds greatly to its scenic environment.
Jai Samand Lake: In order to have the flood water of river Ruparel, Alwar’s Maharaja Jai Singh started the construction of dam across a river. This striking lake was finished in around 1920 AD and it was named as Jai Samand Lake. This 1.5 kilometer long embankment of Jai Samand lake also caters as the drive way. Around dozen of dome shaped Minar, beautiful chhatris etc were constructed on the bank of Jai Samand Lake. Every Chhatri was built up on a 7 ft high raised lotus shape platform carved from red sandstone. A superb man-made island within the lake has delightfully laid out garden along with lush green, spacious lawns. The garden and these lawns were utilized by Maharaja for organizing extraordinary parties. Jai Samand Lake now is controlled by irrigation department of Alwar and it has a great rest house.
Sariska: It’s located on Delhi - Alwar - Jaipur roads (37 Km), snuggled in the quaint surrounding of Aravalli, this densely wooded part pulsates with life. It’s a wonder of endurance and ecological adaptation. It is not just a delight for the wildlife lovers but for followers of archaeology and art. Sariska Tiger Reserve also has a varied and rich animal population and its key fauna is tiger. The sanctuary has ruined temples, a palace, pavilions and fort. The Sariska Palace, constructed as a regal hunting lodge tends to be a superb piece of architecture.