Alwar is both the oldest and the most recent of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan. It traces its history back to the realms of Viratnagar that flourished here around 1500 BC. It is also known as Matsya Desh, where the Pandavas, the mighty heroes of the Mahabharata, spent the last years of their 13 years of exile. Today, Alwar is surrounded by lush green Aravali hills and presents a breathtaking natural environment. Forests and lakes form the backdrop to this beautiful place. The region is also dotted with architectural splendor, surrounded by harsh mountains. The deep valleys and thick forest cover are a haven for many species of birds and animals. The grandeur, beauty and delicacy of the design of innumerable palaces and forts in the region combined with tranquil lakes, majestic hunting lodges, sites of archaeological importance, thick forests, a large variety of birds and animals mixed with an equally diverse socio - cultural configuration have made this region a traveler's delight.