Alwar was once an important Rajput state. It emerged in the 18th century under Pratap Singh, who pushed back the rulers of Jaipur to the south and the Jats of Bharatpur to the east, and who successfully resisted the Marathas. It was one of the first Rajput states to ally itself with the fledgling British empire, although British interference in Alwar’s internal affairs meant that this partnership was not always amicable.
The Tourist Reception Centre (( 21868) is not far from the train station and is open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 1.30 pm and 2 to 5 pm. You can change foreign currency at the State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, near the bus stand.
This imposing fort, with its 5km of ramparts, stands 300m above the city. Predating the time of Pratap Singh, it’s one the few forts in Rajasthan built before the rise of the Mughals. Unfortunately, the fort now houses a radio transmitter station and the inside can only be visited with special permission from the superintendent of police.
Below the fort sprawls the huge city palace complex, its massive gates and tank lined by a beautifully symmetrical chain of ghats and pavilions. Today, most of the complex is occupied by government offices, but there’s an interesting government museum housed in the former City Palace. It’s open daily except Friday 10 am to 4.30 pm and entry is Rs 3 (free on Monday). Photography is prohibited. Some of the museum’s exhibits include stunning weapons, royal ivory slippers, and old musical instruments.