HISTORY OF DISTRICT ALWAR
Origin of Name :
The district is known after its headquarters town of Alwar.
There are many theories about the derivation of the name Alwar.
Cunningham holds that the city derived its name from the Salva
tribe and was originally Salwapur, then, Salwar, Halawar and
eventually Alwar.According to another school it was known as Aravalpur or the city
of Aravali (A hill system dividing Rajasthan roughly into third and
two-thirds).Some others hold that city is named after Alaval Khan Mewati.
A research conducted during the reign of Maharaja Jey Singh of Alwar
revealed that Maharaja Alaghraj, second son of Maharaja Kakil of Amer
(old seat of Jaipur state) ruled the area in the eleventh century and
his territory extended upto the present city of Alwar. He founded the
city of Alpur in 1106 Vikrami samvat(1049 A.D.) after his own name which
eventually became Alwar. It was formerly spelt as Ulwar but in the reign
of Jey Singh the spelling was changed to
The district is situated in the north-east of Rajasthan between
27o4' and 28o4' north Latitudes and 76o7' and
77o13' east Longitude.Its greatest length from south to north is
about 137 K.M. and greatest breadth from east to west about 110 K.M.
It 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
The Alwar state may be said to have been formed as a separate, independent
state when Rao Pratap Singh, its founder, first raised his standard over the
Alwar Fort on November 25th 1775.During his rule the then 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. As the State was being consolidated, naturally, no definite
administrative machinery could have come into being. At the time, the states revenue
was between six to seven lakhs of rupees per annum.
The next ruler Maharao Raja Bakhtawar Singh(1791-1815) also devoted himself
to the work of extension and consolidation of the terriotory of the State. 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, during the
latter's campaign against Marathas, in the battle of Laswari, in Alwar territory when the
State troopes assisted him in finally breaking the Marathas and Jat powers.
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 was the first princely State in India to enter
into Treaty Relations with the East India Company. But in his time also, the State Administration
was very imprefect and cases of loot and dacoity, even in broad day light, were not infrequent. The
State was borrowing money from outside as its finances were poor and mismanaged. Most
of the land revenue was use to pay back the loans and, at times, the farmeres were put to hardship
The State was heavily indebted when the next ruler Maharao Viney Singh acceeded to the throne.
Maharao Raja Viney Singh (1815-1857) suppressed the social anarchy and was to a
great extent, successful in stabilising the general conditions in the State. It was in
his time that the Alwar State administration began to take shape. According to the Imperial
Gazetter of India, " The Government had previously been carried on without any system. But with
the aid of certain Musalmans introduced from Delhi and appointed ministers in 1838,
great changes were made. The land revenue began to be collected in cash instead of
kind and civil and criminal courts were established."
Maharao Raja Viney Singh died in 1857 and was succeeded by his son Sheodan Singh (1857-1874). He was
then a boy of twelve. He at once fell under the influence of the Mohammedan Dewans of Delhi.
Their proceedings excited an insurrection of the Rajputs in 1858, in which several of the
Dewan's followers were killed and the ministers themselves were expelled from the State. Captain Nixon, the
Political agent of Bharatpur, was at once despatched to Alwar who formed a Council of Regency. A Panchayat was
formed with three members to administer the State but it could not succeed. Captain Impey came to Alwar as
the next Political Agent in November, 1858. His tenure of that office continued till the end of 1863, during
which he succeeded in re-organising every branch of the administartion. 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. After the completion of this settlement, Major Impey started work on the
ten year settlement in the State and the annual revenue was fixed at Rs. 17,19,875.
Maharao Raja Sheodan Singh assumed ruling powers on 14th September,1863 and soon after, the agency was
abolished. But the administration soon fell back into the hands of old Dewans who still had links with the
ruler. In 1870, the disbanding of the Rajput cavalry and the wholesale confiscation of Jagir, grants the
extravagance of the chief and his Mohammedan sympathisers, 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 a 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, the Maharao Raja having a seat in the Board. Personnel of administration was changed and the whole
administartion was cleaned. A new Department of Engineering was started. Tehsildars were entrusted with more civil
and criminal powers. They 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. British copper coins were
introduced in the State in 1873 and length and weight measures of yard and seer were also brought into use.
Postal management was improved and the letters from Tehsils which previously, took three daysto reach the capital,
now came within twelve hours. An independent department called `Appeals' was brought into being for hearing appeals
against decisions of lower courts. The railway line from Delhi to Bandikuipassing through Alwar, was laid in 1874.
Mangal Singh the next ruler (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. The hereditary title of Maharaja was bestowed on him in the year 1889. In 1877, he had entered
into the contract with the British Government under the Native Coinage Act of 1876 according to which silver coins bearing
the Alwar device were to be supplied by the Calcutta Mint. The troops in the State were re-organised in November,1888
under the guidance of Colonel (then Major) O.Moore Creagh, whose services had specially been lent for the purpose by the
Government of India. The staff office was established in November, 1888 and Maharaja Mangal Singh himself supervised
the re-organisation of military forces.
On his death in 1892, his only son,Jey Singh succeeded him. And it was in the times of Jey Singh that Alwar State gained name.
Himself an able man, Maharaja Jey Singh 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 . The State Council was composed
of four members and all the business of the administration was carried on by the members jointly
under the advice and guidance of the Political Agent for the time being. The State Council exercised powers of a High Court,
subject to the revising authority of the Political Agent. Revenue and Judicial appeals and cases
were disposed off by the Council. The State administration was taking shape.
During the rein of Jey Singh, the whole state was divided
into twelve administrative units called Tahsils, each under the governing
authority of a Tahsildar. Following is the table showing the names of the
Tahsils, areas and populcation of each :