The founder of the present ruling family was Anand Rao Punwar, a descendant of the great Paramara clan of Rajputs who from the 9th to the 13th century, when they were driven out by the Mahommedans, had ruled over Malwa from their capital at Dhar.
In 1742 Anand Rao received Dhar as a fief from Bail Rao, the peshwa, the victory of the Mahrattas thus restoring the sovereign power to the family which seven centuries before had been expelled from this very city and country.
The state was confiscated for rebellion in 1857, but in 1860 was restored to Raja Anand Rao Punwar, then a minor, with the exception of the detached district of Bairusia, which was granted to the begum of Bhopal.
Anand Rao, who received the personal title Maharaja and the K.C.S.I.
Debendra Nath Tagore sought refuge from the difficulty by becoming an ascetic. The "Brahma Samaj of India," as Chunder Sen's party styled itself, made considerable progress extensively and intensively until 1878, when a number of the most prominent adherents, led by Anand Mohan Bose, took umbrage at Chunder Sen's despotic rule and at his disregard of the society's regulations concerning child marriage.