During the Mahabharata period in ancient India, a king named Rewat had a daughter named Rewati. The father used to call her Rewa, and founded a city "Rewa Wadi" named after her. Wadi and wada mean a neighbourhood (small and big, respectively) in Hindi and many other Indian languages. When Rewa married Balram, elder brother of Krishna, the king donated the city “Rewa-Wadi” to his daughter. In the course of time, the name Rewa-Wadi became Rewari.
According to the folklore Rewari was founded by the King Rewat, who had a daughter named Rewa (meaning star), when she was married to Balarama (brother of Lord Krishna), the King Rewat gave way the city of “Rewa Wadi” as dowry, which in due time became known as Rewari.
Rewari has Indus Valley Civilization sites and mines.
Hem Chandra Vikramaditya was educated and brought up in what is now Rewari. Hem Chandra had developed a cannon foundry in Rewari, laying the foundation of a metalwork industry in brass, copper sheets. He had supplied cannons and Gunpowder to Sher Shah Suri from 1535 onwards and was an adviser to the last ruler of Sur dynasty till 1553, Adil Shah Suri, when he became Prime Minister and Chief of Army. Hem Chandra had won 22 battles from Punjab to Delhi during 1553-56. He defeated Mughal king Akbar's forces at Agra and Delhi. Hem Chandra was coronated as a Vikramaditya king at Purana Quila in Delhi on 7 October 1556, reigned as king of Delhi for one month but lost to Akbar on 5 November 1556 at Panipat where he died. His haveli (house) still stands in the Qutubpur area of the city, which in his day was a village in its own right. His two-story haveli, with carved sandstone doorway, is made of local stone from Aravalli range, brunt-mud lakhori bricks and lime mortar. Walls are plastered with lime and painted with limewash. Roof has lakhouri bricks and stone slabs rested on timer beams. Doors and niches have stone lintels or brick arches in the local regional architecture. Over-hanging roof chhajja has stone brackets to anchor the stones.
Akbar made Rewari a sarkar under Delhi Subah. Aurangzeb attacked and recovered it from the rebels. it came under the control of Maratha Empire in 19th century before passing on to East India Company and later British Raj.
Mughhals granted the local rule to Nand Ram, Ahir leader of Bolni village in 17th century which lasted up to 19th century. A small Ahir principality was established there in the early century and ruled over the surrounding Ahirwal area.
Rao Tula Ram, the ruler of Rewari, played a significant role in India's First War of Independence in 1857. His estate was confiscated by the British Raj and made a part of Gurgaon district of Punjab. It remained a part of Gurgaon district until reorganisation in 1972 saw it transferred to Mahendragarh district. Further changes, in 1989, led to the creation of the eponymous Rewari district.
Rewari is well known for the high proportion of soldiers and officers it contributes to the Indian army and other armed forces of India.
Rezang La near Chushul in Ladakh was the site of the last stand of the 13 Kumaon, an all-Ahir company, during the Sino-Indian War on 18 November 1962. The company led by Major Shaitan Singh, who won a posthumous Param Vir Chakra for his actions.
In this action 118 men of the Ahir rifle company fought until their bullets finished and then fought hand-to-hand. Only four men returned alive. Almost all of the 118 were from Rewari. A memorial was constructed in Rewari city for them.
The soul-stirring inscription on the War Memorial at Chushul, Ladakh raised by Indian Army in the memory of the fallen brave Ahirs in the Battle of Rezang La reads:
How can a man die better,
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And temples of his gods.
A stadium is also built in Surehli village and is named as Rezang La Khel Stadium.
Rewari is adjacent to Rajasthan and, therefore, has dust storms in summer. Rugged hilly terrain of Aravali ranges as well as sandy dunes in the district affect the city's climate. Rewari forms a part of the National Capital Region.
Rewari is located at 28.18°N 76.62°E / 28.18; 76.62. It has an average elevation of 245 metres (803 feet).
Rewari has a dry, semi-arid climate. The mean minimum and maximum temperature range from 0 °C to 46 °C during January (winter) and May–June (summer) respectively. The summer temperature can go up to 46 °C from May to July. Winter is from November to February and the temperature can fall to 2 °C in December and January. The temperature was recorded as 0 °C on 12 January 2012 and 31 January 2012.
Rain falls from July to September. A little rain is experienced during winter also. Average annual rainfall in Rewari city is 553 millimetres (21.8 in). Rain-fed Sahibi River that originates in Rajasthan passes through Rewari and falls in Najafgarh lake in Delhi. Extremely heavy rains in 1978 flooded Sahibi (and Rewari) which in turn flooded Delhi. A barrage was then constructed at Masani village on junction of NH8 and NH71B to impound the water coming from Rajasthan. However, the barrage has hardly collected any water as the rains have not been heavy for the last 30 years and Rajasthan has built check-dams upstream on Sahibi. A canal has been constructed in 2009 to carry excess rain water to the barrage to recharge the ground drinking water for Rewari town. The canal takes off from the existing canal near the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Rewari.
As of 2011, Rewari city had a population of 140,864 (compared to 100,946 in 2001 and 75,342 in 1991) showing 40% growth in 2001-11 decade against 34% growth in 1991-2001 decade. Males constituted 53% and females 47% of the population. The overall sex ratio (female:male) was 886 compared to national average 940, and in the 0 to 6 year age group was 785 compared to national average 918. Rewari had an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 64.3% for entire population and 74.0% for population excluding 0 to 6 year age group in 2011. Male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 73% (compared to 79% and 67% respectively in 2001). In Rewari, 11.3% of the population is under six years of age.
Most of the population is Yaduvanshi Ahir. Yadavs of Rewari and remaining Ahirwal are mainly landowning farmers. Hindi and its dialects Ahirawati and Haryanavi are spoken in Rewari.
The nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport at Palam, New Delhi, 75 km away, for all domestic and international flights.
Rewari was first connected by a railway line in 1873 when the first metre gauge railway track in India became operational. This track was laid between Delhi and Ajmer. The gauge was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge in 1995 for one of the tracks. This allowed metre gauge trains from Rajasthan to continue up to Delhi Sarai Rohilla on the remaining track. The second track from Rewari to Delhi was converted to broad gauge in 2007 as all the metre gauge tracks from Rewari to cities in Rajasthan had been converted to broad gauge by then. Thus all the railway tracks from Rewari have been converted to broad gauge obviating the need for change of trains at gauge-change stations such as Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Rewari is a major junction on the Indian railway network and is connected to the major cities of India by direct trains. Six railway lines branch out from it to Delhi, Ajmer via Narnaul and Ringas, Ajmer via Alwar, Loharu, Hisar and Jhajjar-Rohtak. The latest sixth line to Jhajjar and Rohtak was constructed in 2008-12 and commissioned in January 2013. A seventh line was planned from Khori near Rewari to Asaoti near Palwal for facilitating carriage of goods on Western Dedicated Freight Corridor but the plan was abandoned as the farmers resisted acquisition of their land. This dedicated freight railway line is now being laid from Alwar to Asaoti near Palwal.
Rewari railway station has electrified tracks as the Alwar-Rewari-Hisar railway track has been electrified. Rewari-Delhi and Rewari-Ringas-Ajmer railway tracks are being electrified. These tracks have a high catenary with 7.45 m high OHE for double-stack containers. The electrical locomotives on these tracks will have a special pantograph for the high catenary.
Rewari is connected by three national highways: NH 48 (former name NH 8) (Delhi-Jaipur-Mumbai), NH 352 (former name NH 71) (Narwana-Jind-Rohtak-Jhajjar-Rewari) and NH 919 (former name NH 71B) (Rewari-Dharuhera-Sohna-Palwal). State highways connect Rewari to all major towns in Haryana and adjacent districts of Rajasthan.SH-24 Rewari-Dahina-Kanina-Mahendragarh-Satnali-Loharu 92 km.
SH-26 Gurgaon-Pataudi-Rewari-Narnaul-Singhana 120 km.
SH-15 Shahjahanpur-Rewari 21 km.
There are frequent bus services between Rewari and Delhi, as well as other towns of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.
Rewari Heritage Steam Locomotive Museum is the only surviving steam loco shed in India and houses some of India's last surviving steam locomotives. Built in 1893, it was the only loco shed in North India for a long time and a part of the track connecting Delhi with Peshawar. After steam engines were phased out by 1990, the loco shed remained in neglect for many years before it was decided by Indian Railways in December 2002 to revive it as a heritage museum. The shed was refurbished as a heritage tourism destination, its heritage edifice was restored and a museum exhibiting Victorian-era artefacts used on the Indian rail network, along with the old signalling system, gramophones and seats was added. The refurbished heritage museum was opened in October 2010. The engines are also available for live demonstrations.
Rewari has one university, ten degree colleges, two B.Ed. colleges, 110 secondary / higher secondary schools, one industrial training institute and one footwear training institute. Government Higher Secondary School was started in the year 1887. Hindu High School was started by the Bhargava community in 1890 in the building now known as Bhargava Boarding House located near Bhadawas Gate. The nearest college was in the nearby princely state of Alwar until independence. Ahir College was set up in 1945 by Rao Balbir Singh, a descendant of Rao Tularam. Kishanlal Public College is another educational institute. Shishu Shala was the first English school, established in 1950 in Model Town.
A Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) has existed in Rewari since 1980. A Sainik School was started in the year 2009, temporarily housed in Rewari city awaiting completion of construction of its permanent campus at village Pali-Gothra, west of the city.
The Meerpur centre of Rohtak University was upgraded to a separate university in September
Several private colleges have been set up around Rewari in the last decade to teach engineering, management, law, and nursing though the quality of education in some of them is low as in the rest of the country.
Rewari city has a civil hospital run by the civil administration. It has fifty beds and the capacity has been planned to increase to one hundred beds. It also has a trauma centre for attending to accidents on highways. Indian Railways has a hospital with 20 beds near Rewari railway station. Rewari also has a number of private hospitals and nursing homes.
Rewari has a variety of industries, from cottage industries to small-scale integrated units and automobiles and auto ancillary industries. The traditional industries are brass metalwork and ornamental shoes (Tilledar Jooti) Rewari has kept the traditional art of Tilledar Jooti alive and is famous for such ornamental local shoes. Various automobiles and auto ancillary industries in Dharuhera and Bawal industrial areas such as Harley Davison (assembling unit), Hero Moto Corp. United Breweries and many more. World's largest production of motor cycles is in Hero Moto Corp. Dharuhera plant
Rewari is famous for its traditional metalwork, particularly brass work. The brass industry began around 1535, with the help of Portuguese. During the time of Hemu, cannons were cast in Rewari for the army of Sher Shah Suri.Pran Sukh Yadav (1802–1888), a strong military commander, a revolutionary of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and a close friend of Hari Singh Nalwa
Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, who claimed the throne of Delhi defeating the Mughal army of Akbar in 1556
Rao Tula Ram, leader of the Indian Rebellion of 1857
Rao Gopal Dev, leader of the Indian Rebellion of 1857
Rao Birender Singh, former Chief Minister of Haryana
Dr. B.K. Rao, first recipient of Padma Bhushan award in Rewari.
Santosh Yadav, first female Mountaineer in India to climb Mount Everest twice.
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project is a mega infra-structural project of USD 90 billion with the financial and technical aids from Japan, covering an overall length of 1,483 km between the political capital and the business capital of India, i.e., Delhi and Mumbai. It will initially link Rewari to Mumbai. Furtherance of the project led to violent incidents in July 2012 when farmers protested against the land acquisition process. In consequence, the government of Haryana instituted a judicial probe into the events and placed a moratorium on the process.