Geologists trace the existence of Pali to pre-historic age and maintain that it has emerged from the vast western sea spread over a large part of the present day Rajasthan. In the Vedic age Maharsi Javali stayed in this area for meditation and interpretation of Vedas. The Pandavas in the Mahabharata age also have made this area (near Bali) their resting place during the exile. As a part of ancient Arbuda Province, this area was known as Balla-Desh.
Historical relics depict the existence of this area during the Kushana Age, when King Kannishka had conquered Rohat and Jaitaran area, parts of today's Pali district, in 120 AD. Till the end of seventh century A. D. this area was reigned by the Chalukya King Harshavardhana who also conquered Bhinmal and most of the present area of Rajasthan.
After the Arab invasions of India this area was concentrated by Rajput rulers from all over India. During the period from 10th to 15th century, boundaries of Pali extended to adjoining Mewar, Godwad and Marwar. All Rajput rulers resisted the foreign invaders but individually fought for each other's land and leadership.
After the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chouhan, the great warrior against Mohd. Gauri, the Rajput power of the area was disintegrated and Mewar and Godwad area of Pali become the subjects of then ruler of Mewar, Maharana Kumbha. But Pali city which was ruled by Brahmin rulers with the patronage of neighboring Rajput rulers, remained peaceful and progressive.
16th and 17th century saw a number of battles in the surrounding areas of Pali. Shershah suri was defeated by Rajput rulers in the battle of Gini, Mughal emperor Akbar's army had constant battles with Maharana Pratap in Godwad area. Again after the Mughals had conquered almost all of Rajputana, Veer Durga Das Rathore of Marwar made organized efforts to redeem the Marwar area from Aurangzeb, the last Mughal emperor. By then Pali had become subservient to Rathores of Marwar state. Pali was rehabilitated by Maharaja Vijay Singh and soon it became an important commercial center.
Role in struggle for freedom: Under British rule Pali played an important role by pioneering the freedom struggle in Marwar. Various Thakurs of Pali under the stewardship of Thakur of Auwa, who was the most powerful of all, confronted with the British rule. Auwa fort was surrounded by the British army and then conflicts lasted by 05 days, when at last the fort was possessed by the British army. But this heroic action of Auwa paved the way for continued and organized struggle for freedom.