Historically, Tonk was founded in 1818 by an Afghan military leader who was granted land by the ruler of Indore. During the regime of Nawabs, the natives were invited to an Islamic function of Milad-du-nabi without regard to caste, color or creed. It was organized by the ruling Nawabs for a period of seven days in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. The founding ruler of Tonk was Nawab Mohammed Amir Khan (1769-1834). Tonk was known as Samwad Lakshya in the Mahabharat period. In the Mauryas regime, it was under the Mauryas and then it was merged into Malvas. Most of the period was under the king Harshvardhan. In the regime of the Rajputs, this state was under Chavras, Solankis, Kachvahs, Sisodiyas and Chouhans. Later, it was under the regime of King Holkar and Sindhia. In 1806, Amir Khan took it from Balvant Rao Holkar. After that British government captured the place and under the treaty of 1817, the British government returned it to Amir Khan. The place of Tonk was set up in the year 1818 by an Afghan military leader who was granted land by the ruler of Indore.
Karpoor Chandra Kulish (1926-2006) is a well known personality from Tonk. He was the founder of Rajasthan Patrika, a Hindi language newspaper of Rajasthan, India. He was born in Soda village in Malpura tehsil in Tonk district. In 1990, he got the B.D. Goenka Foundation award for "Outstanding Contribution in the Indian Language Newspaper" category for the year 1987. In 1991, the Prime Minister of India, Chandra Shekhar, felicitated him for his contributions at the golden jubilee of the All India Editors’ Conference. A postal stamp was issued on May 16th, 2012 by the Indian Postal Department.
Geographically, the district extends to a geographical area of 7,194 sq km. and occupies rank 18th in the State and 125th in India on basis of this size. As per data recorded in the year 2019, the forest covers 2.29% of the total geographical area of the district. It lies at 26017'N latitude, 75078'E longitude and 289 m altitude. It is bounded with by Jaipur district on the North, by Sawai Madhopur district on the East, by Kota district on the Southeast, by Bundi district on the South, by Bhilwara district on the southwest, and by Ajmer district on the west. It is situated on the National Highway 12. The climate of the Tonk district is mostly dry in short south-west monsoon season. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 515.9 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administratively, the district is divided into 7 sub-districts namely Deoli, Malpura, Newai, Todaraisingh, Tonk, Uniara and Peeplu. Moreover, it has 8 towns and 1,183 villages. Hindi is its administrative language. The district of Tonk came into existence in the state of Rajasthan with an allotted district code of 120. Its district Headquarter is at Tonk which is located at a distance of 106 km. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district has a total population of 14,21,326 including 7,28,136 are males and 6,93,190 are females which led it to ranks of 23rd in the state and 347 in India. The population growth rate during the period 2001-2011 was 17.30 % out of which 16.23% are males and 18.45% are females. The density of population of the district is 198 persons per sq km. The sex ratio is pegged at 952 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 892 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census, the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region are Hindu and Muslim with 87.49% and 10.77% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 95.82%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 31,622 including 16,605 were males and 15,013 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 8,416 including 5,167 were males and 3,247 were females.
Economically, agriculture is the main source of the income in the region. It is the one of the districts which is receiving ‘Backward Region Grant Fund’ (BRGF). The Gross Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 13,28,498 lakh at current price and Rs. 9,61,543 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 12,14,868 lakh at current price and Rs. 8,73,718 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during 2016-17 was Rs. 78,900 lakh at current price and Rs. 56,744 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012.
Educationally, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 61.58% including 77.12% are males and 45.45% are females. The total literate population of the district is 7,49,659 comprise 4,78,329 are males and 2,71,330 are females. There are a number of institutes which are imparting education in the district Such as Government PG College (Tonk), Government College ( Malpura), Government College (Deoli) and Dr. K.N.Modi University (Niwai, Tonk).
Prabhu Lal Saini is a key personality in politics of Rajasthan. He was born in village Anwa, which is situated nearly 45 km. to district headquarter Tonk. He belongs to Bharatiya Janata Party. He is present cabinet minister (Minister of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry) in the government of Rajasthan led by Vasundhara Raje. He is elected to Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from Tonk district. He was also agriculture Minister of Rajasthan from 2003-2008, in last BJP Govt. He won Legislative Assembly election continuously, three times.
The district has various famous historical and religious places which attract tourists from worldwide. These places are Raja Mahal, Jama Masjid, Sunehri Kothi, Nagar Fort, Hathi Bhata, Kalp Vriksh, Shivaji Garden, Historical Ghanta Ghar, Rasiya Ke Tekri, Mandakala, Toda Rai Singh Town, Jaldevi Mandir and Raja Rai Singh Mahal etc.