If one had to choose the most popular destination in eastern Rajasthan, Jaipur would win hands down. The city’s place in history and tourist attractions make it one of the most-visited holiday cities for Indians and foreigners. However, eastern Rajasthan also includes Alwar. A dusty, yet charming, city that offers travellers a different side of eastern Rajasthan.
Alwar is all about basking in peace and quietude. No jostling with over-eager tourists here. The Alwar Palace is well-maintained; and the museum has a number of rare artefacts hidden away from most tourists who give Alwar a miss.
Mythologically, Alwar was an important part of Matsya territories of Viratnagar. It’s history can be traced back to 1500 B.C. In the 18th century, Maharaja Pratap Singh preserved Alwar against attacks from the Marathas. Rulers of Jaipur and Bharatpur also tried to invade Alwar, with little success. Alwar formed early ties with the British but that relationship was always rocky because of the latter’s interference in internal matters.
The best time to visit Alwar is during the winter months. The summers bring blistering heat waves. Ajmer and Jaipur are eastern Rajasthan destinations that people flock to, but you should go against the grain and visit Alwar. Shopping for kaleidoscopic handicrafts at the street bazaars is a great experience. Don’t forget to have you fill of creamy kalakand (milk cake), a popular local delicacy.