The History of Dholpur date back to the Buddha’s Period. During that period , Dholpur was included in Matsya Janpad. During Mauryan rule it was included in the Mauryan Empire. During time, it came under the rule of various rulers. . Around the 8th to 10th centuries, Chauhans ruled over it. In the year 1194 it remained under Mohammed Gauri.
It is believed that the city got its name Dhawalpuri (then Dholpur) after Raja Dholan Deo Tomar, the Tomar ruler who established the city in 700 AD.
During Buddha’s time there were sixteen Mahajanapadas in Bharatvarsh.Dholpur at that time was included in Matsya Janpad. During the Mauryan rule it was included in the Mauryan Empire. From Gupta period to the arrival of Chinese traveler Huansuang Bharatpur, Karauli and Dholpur were a part of Mathura Janpad. Around the 8th to 10th centuries, Chauhans ruled over it. In the year 1194 it remained under Mohammed Gauri.
Raja Dholan Deo Tomar was a ruler of Dholpur and most likely the name of city was changed to Dholpur after him. He resided 10 km south west of Dholpur at a place called Bilpur near chambal where a fort still exists.His descendants are still living in the area and till independence were rulers of many small chieftainships like Kayasthapad and many villages in Morena and Gwalior. He was ruler of country between Chambal and Banganga. The Dholeshwar Mahadev Temple built by this Raja was washed away in Chambal floods of 1868 AD. The Tomars lost sovereignty to Jadu’s of Karauli.Dholpur or Dhawalpuri was established in 700 AD by Raja Dholan Dev Tomar. His descendant Raja Dhawal Deo built the new town of Dholpur in 1050 AD.The Dholpur fort was built by Dharampal, Raja of Karauli in 1120 A.D. In the year 1489 Bahlol Lodi before fighting with Gwalior king, faced the forces of the ruler of Dholpur. During the year 1502 Sikandar Lodi had to fight with Dholpur King Vinayak Dev for about a year and then with great difficulty was successful in defeating him and capturing Dholpur. Thus Dholpur came into prominence and bore the brunt of all the invading forces of the North Realising the strategic and geographical importance. It was Sikandar Lodi who first thought of having a military cantonment at Agra which was a small village under Bayana and at Dholpur in the year 1504, so that he could successfully carry out military designs against Gwalior and Malwa region.