Jhalawar is the 'land of the Jhalas' - a clan of brave Chauhan Rajput warriors. It has a valiant past, and the unexplored treasures of history in this region are a great attraction for the adventure and scholar of history.
The city of Jhalawar (once known as Brijnagar) was founded by Jhala Zalim Singh (First), who was the then Dewan of Kota state (1791 A.D.). He established this township, then known as Chaoni Umedpura, as a cantonment. The township was surrounded with dense green forests and wild animals
Jhala Zalim Singh often came here for hunting and he liked the place so much that he wanted to develop it as a township. The objective to develop this place as a military cantonment was due to the fact that Maratha invaders passed through this central place from Malwa towards Kota to capture Hadoti states.
Legendary Jhala Zalim Singh recognized the importance of this place and started to develop it as a military cantonment and township, so that he could use this place to attack and stop Maratha invaders before they can reach to Kota state.
Chaoni Umedpura got developed as a cantonment and township around 1803-04 A.D. Colonel Todd, who visited the region in December, 1821 described this area as the cantonment established by Jhala Zalim Singh plus a well-established township with large houses, havelis, and surrounding walls.
In 1838 A.D., English rulers seperated Jhalawar state from Kota state and gave it to Jhala Madan Singh, the grandson of Jhala Zalim Singh. He developed his administration services to develop the state of Jhalawar. He resided in Jhalara Patan for a long time and started to build The Garh Palace (1840 - 1845 A.D.). He was the first ruler of Jhalawar state and made his great contribution in the history of Jhalawar.
Jhala Madan Singh ruled Jhalawar from 1838 to 1845. After his death, Jhala Prithvi Singh became the ruler of Jhalawar, and ruled for around 30 years.
Rana Bhawani Singh Ji, who ruled Jhalawar state from 1899 to 1929 A.D., did remarkable work in the development of Jhalawar state. His active involvement was in the fields of social activities, public works (construction), education, administration, etc. During his time, a number of genius personalities of Jhalawar gave their active hand in these activities.
The 19th century kingdom of Jhalawar (south of Kota) is placed in one of the most picturesque and unexplored part of Rajasthan. In 1838, the state of Kota was converted into a new pricipality of Jhalawar by the British for descendants of Zalim Singh. Madan Singh, who acknowledged British supremacy, became the first ruler of this new principality and was vested with the title of Maharaj Rana.
Successors for Maharana of Jhalawar State:
- HH Maharaj Rana Shri Madan Singhji (1838-1845)
- HH Maharaj Rana Shri Pirthvi Singhji (1845-1875)
- HH Maharaj Rana Sh. Bakht or Zalim Singhji (1876-1896)
- HH Maharaj Rana Sh. Bhawani Singhji (1899-1929)
- HH Maharaj Rana Sh. Rajendra Singhji (1929-1943)
- HH Maharaj Rana Sh. Harish Chandraji (1943-1967)
- HH Maharaj Rana Shri Indrajit Singhji (1967-2004)
- HH Maharaj Rana Shri Chandrajit Singhji (2004 -present)
The 13-gun salute is accorded to the Maharaja Rana Jhalawar.
Jhalawar is better known as a temple town because of Jhalrapatan in its suburbs. Many of these temples date back several centuries.