In the administrative organisation of Akbar, Dhar was the Chief town of a Mahal in Mandu Sarkar of the Subah of Malwa. Akbar stayed at Dhar for seven days, while directing the invasion of the Deccan. He also visited Mandu a number of times. Mandu was also a favourite resort of Emperor Jahangir, who stayed here for over six months in 1616 A.D. In his memoirs, Jahangir has payed glowing tributes to the pleasant climate and prety scenery at Mandu Noorjahan shot four tigers with six bullets, from the back of an elephant, near Mandu.
When Baji Rao Peshwa divided Malwa among Sindhia, Holkar and the three Pawar Chief, in 1832 A.D. Dhar was bestwed on Anand Rao Pawar. The rulers of Dhar held away over this area till 1948, except for a brief period of three years, following the grat Revolt of 1857.
Dhar was an important centre of Revolt, during the First War of Independence in 1857. Freedom fighters captured the Fort of Dhar which remained in their possession from July to October, 1857. The Bhils also took active part in the Revolt. The rebels paralysed the authority of the State and opposed the British. Consequently, a large force marched against Dhar under Colonel Durand, and captured the town. Just because three or four rounds we
re fired on the British troops by rebels, the British soldiers took a tribal revenge on the local people. They dragged civilians from their houses, killed them and looted their property ladies were dishonoured. The rebels defended the fort, till 31st October, 1857 when breach was caused. They, therefore, escaped through an underground passage.
As an aftermath of the Revolt, Dhar State was annexed to the British terriory. The British Government however, changed the decision of Government of India, and restored Dhar to Anand Rao III, on the 1st may 1860.
Mandu, clothed in green, with turbulent brooks and torrents rushing down into the encircling ravines, presents a magnificent spectacle. Thousands of tourists are drawn to Mandu, to have a glimpse of the splendid movements there.
Another place of great national importance is Bagh, where the caves have been excavated on the rockface of a lofty hill, on he bank of the Bagh river. The paintings at Bagh date back to a period between the 5th and the 7th centuries A.D., the Golden Age of Indian Art. Together with the Ajanta paintings, the Bagh paintings represent the finest traditions of Indian Art, which had a far-reaching influence on the Buddhist Art, not only in India, but on the entire Buddhist Art in Asia.
The majority of the population in Dhar District belongs to the Scheduled Tribes. The main tribes in the District are Bhils and Bhilalas. Their highest concentration is in Kukshi Tahsil.