Located in the western state of Rajasthan, Alwar is a small city that is rich in culture and is often visited by domestic and international tourists. Home to a fascinating museum and a gorgeous fort, Alwar shares close proximity to the Sariska Tiger Reserve, making this city all the more popular and an important destination on every tourist’s map.
Nested amid the lap of the Aravalli, Alwar boasts of man-made marvels, lush green valleys, and rich wildlife. It is an important place in Rajputana history that is well-preserved and can be seen in its food, architecture, and people.
The history of Alwar dates back to as early as 1500 BC, making it one of the oldest regions of the state. Earlier known as Ulwar, the city was developed by a member of the Kachh Family. The Rajputs ruled over the city for a long time; however, it was eventually taken over by the Mughals. Maharaja Pratap Singh, a Kachwaha Rajput, won back the region in 1771 AD. Under his rule, Alwar became a renowned seat of art and culture, attracting the rulers of Jaipur and Bharatpur, only to be evicted by the then ruler.
According to legends, it was on the land of this ancient city where the famous war of Mahabharata, between Pandavas and Kauravas, was fought.
Places to visit in Alwar
When it comes to tourist spots, Alwar has a mix of historical monuments and natural marvels. From lakes to palaces, there is a lot to see and experience in the city.
Also known as the Alwar Fort, Bala Quila stands proud atop a hill, 595m above the sea level. Stretching over an area of 5km from North to South and 1.6km from East to West, it is one of the rare forts that was built before the Mughal rule.
While most parts of the fort are in ruins, some areas are still open to the public (with prior permission from the superintendent of police). The fort is reached after a steep, but rewarding, climb of 7 km, which can be covered on foot or by a vehicle. One can enjoy a panoramic view of Alwar from Bala Quila, and spend some time away from the city.
City Palace is a beautiful fort situated at the foothills of the Aravalli. Built in the 18th century by Maharaja Vinay Singh, incorporating the Rajput and Mughal style of architecture, this palace even has an artificial lake within its premises.
The ground floor of the palace is now used as government offices, while the other floors have been converted into a museum that displays the opulence of Mughal and Rajput kings. A visit to the City Palace is highly recommended.
Located at a distance of 13km from the city centre, Siliserh Lake is an artificial waterbody that was built in 1845 AD to serve as a water reservoir. This picturesque lake is set near the lush green slopes of the Aravalli, making it a perfect spot for picnickers, bird watchers, and photography enthusiasts.
Sariska National Park
Home to the world-famous Bengal Tigers, Sariska National Park is probably the most-visited attraction in Alwar district. A one-hour drive from the city takes you to this park that is spread over 273 sq. km that comprises scrub-thorn arid forests, grasslands, dry deciduous forests, and rocky hills.
Other popular places to visit in or near Alwar are Moosi Maharani Ki Chhatri, Hope Circus, Purjan Vihar, Jai Samand Lake, and Kesroli.
How to reach Alwar
Alwar does not have an airport of its own. So, the best way to reach the city is either by road or by train.
By road: Alwar is about 160km from Delhi and 160km from Jaipur. Frequent state government-operated buses run from both cities, making it easily accessible.
By train: Alwar has an eponymous railway station that is well-connected with Delhi and Jaipur.
Best time to visit Alwar
Summers in Alwar are punishing. They are extremely hot and the temperature soars up to as high as 46°C sometimes.
Monsoons experience irregular rainfall in the region. But the downpour breathes a new life into the surrounding hills, make them look dreamy.
The best time to visit Alwar, however, is considered to be winters. During the months of November to February, the climate is pleasant, with temperature ranging between 5 and 28°C.