For about 400 years from the 9th to the 13th centuries, the Paramaras ruled over a vast territory around Malwa. The most famous rulers of this dynasty were Vakpati Munja and Bhojadeva. Munja was a great general, a poet of repute and a great patron of art and literature. His court was bejeweled by poets like Dhananjaya, Halayudha, Dhanika, Padmagupta (the author of Navasahasankacharita, Amitagati) etc. He built beautiful temples at a number of places and also excavated the Munja Sagar at Dhar and Mandu.
Bhojadeva was one of the greatest kings of ancient India. He was the most illustrious of the Parmaras. His name became a household word in India not only as a soldier but also as a builder, a scholar and a writer. He also wrote a large number of books on a variety of subjects like grammar, astronomy, poetics, architecture and asceticism. He shifted his capital from Ujjain to Dhar. There he established a university for Sanskrit studies, known as the Bhoja Shala in which was enshrined the image of Goddess Saraswati. He created a large lake near Bhojapur and also rebuilt temples including the magnificent temple at Bhojapur.
The entire Malwa was passed into the hands of Al-ud-din Khalji in the year 1305 A.D.; it was then when Dhar and Mandu were also captured. Dhar continued to be under Delhi Sultans until the reign of Mohammed II. At that time, Dilawar Khan Ghuri was the Governor of Malwa. He assumed royalty and established an independent Kingdom of Malwa, with his capital at Dhar in 1401 A.D. His son and successor, Hoshang Shah moved the capital to Mandu. In 1435 A.D., Hoshang Shah died and was entombed in the splendid mausoleum which still exists at Mandu. On Hoshang's death his son, Ghazni Khan, succeeded him. He ordered his capital Mandu to be called "Shadiabad (the City of Joy). He was poisoned to death by Mahmud Khilji in 1436 A.D. Mahmud Khan ascended the throne and inaugurated the reign of the Khilji Sultans in Malwa. Khilji Sultans continued to rule Malwa till 1531 A.D.
Later, Sher Shah captured Malwa and placed it under the charge of Shujat Khan. Shujat Khan was succeeded by his son Baz Bahadur. Mandu and its surrounding area reverberated with the stories of romance of Rupmati and Baz Bahadur. When Baz Bahadur was defeated and put to fight by the Mughal army, his beloved Rupmati, to escape dishonour, took poison to end her life.
During the First War of Independence in 1857, Dhar was an important centre of Revolt. The Fort of Dhar was captured by freedom fighters which remained in their possession from July to October, 1857. The Bhils also took active part in the Revolt. The rebels paralyzed the authority of the state and opposed the British. Colonel Durand with a large force marched against Dhar and consequently captured the town. Just because three or four rounds were 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 and also dishonored ladies. The rebels defended the fort, till 31st October, 1857 when breach was caused. They, therefore, escaped through an underground passage.
As a repercussion of the Revolt, Dhar State was taken over by the British territory. On 1st May 1860, the British Government however changed the decision of Government of India, and returned Dhar to Anand Rao III.
The Paramaras, The Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, Peshwas and The British were the rulers.
During the 11th century, Dhār became famous throughout India as a centre of culture and learning, especially under King Bhoja. The wealth and splendor of Dhar also drew attention of competing dynasties.
Famous personalities- Baji Rao II, Vakpati Munja, Bhojadeva Munja, Dhananjaya, Halayudha, Dhanika, Padmagupta, Al-ud-din Khalji, Dilawar Khan Ghuri, Ghazni Khan, Mahmud Khan, Shujat Khan, Hoshang Shah, Baz Bahadur, Colonel Durand, Maharaja Anand Rao Puar, etc..