|The city of Alwar is often referred to as "The Tiger Gate of Rajasthan". Nevertheless, the rich cultural treasure it preserves proves it is more than just a gateway. The history of Alwar goes back to the mythological legends of the Mahabharata and the city is a witness to many battles and rulers. Besides, it is an architectural wonder where numerous old forts and palaces lie scattered.
Earlier, Alwar was also known as Mewat, a Rajput state. It is believed to have been founded in the 11th century by King Alguhraj. Today, the city is a part of the National Capital Region located 170 km south of Delhi and 150 kms from Jaipur. It is enclosed by the Aravallis which encircles sanctuaries and lakes where wildlife and birds thrive. Alwar is also famous for silver jewellery and handicraft items and for a sweet dish of milk cake. Another major attraction is the luxury Fairy Queen that serves the city en route to Sariska.
Sariska Tiger Reserve: This sanctuary is located in the Aravalli hills only a few kms away from Alwar. Also a Project Tiger reserve, it is the prime destination for viewing this apex animal as well as many other species of wild animals including leopard, caracal, striped hyena, golden jackal, chital, sambhar, etc. Birds found here include peafowl, grey partridge, bush quail, sand grouse, tree pie, golden backed wood pecker, crested serpent eagle and the great Indian horned owl.
Fairy Queen: The oldest working engine in the world built in the year 1855. It departs from Delhi encampment to Alwar with seats for just 60 but they are first-class. The large glass windows of the train ensure an enchanting view of rural countryside and the unique and beautiful engine bogey of the train and numerous forts and palaces along the way till it reaches Alwar en route to Sariska.
Other historical interests are the Bala Quila (Alwar Fort) former residence of the Mughal kings; City Palace dotted with numerous temples and a picturesque lake, Government Museum, Moosi Maharani Chhatri, Purjan Vihar or Company Garden and the Tomb of Fateh Jang:
Also a number of fairs and festivals are celebrated at Alwar with pomp and fanfare. Some of them are Sawan Teej (August), Chuhar Sidh, Laldas Maila (May), Bilali Fair (March- April), Sahibji ka Maila, Jagannathji Fair (July) and Bhartrihari (August). These fairs showcase traditional arts, music and dance.
Shopaholics can enjoy a wide range of shopping facilities at Hope Circus, Bazaza Bazar, Sarafa Bazar, Malakhera Bazaar and Kedalgang Bazaar. Plenty of ethnic handicrafts and trinkets are sold here.