Rajasthan State Information
Capital : Jaipur
Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi
Introduction to Rajasthan
Rajasthan ( Land of Kings) is a place of camels plodding over soft sand dunes of the Thar Desert. It is a state of men with proud mustaches and women with twinkling anklets in colorful swirling ghagras. The landscape is dotted with island palaces shimmering on idyllic blue lakes; temples and fortresses situated on hilltops of the rugged and rocky Aravalli; exquisite palaces built during the reign of some of its many erstwhile Rajput dynasties; and well laid out gardens with pavilions and kiosks, all of which add to the splendor and whimsical charm of this majestic land. However, Rajasthan is not only fort, palaces, and culture. The state is also one place in India, which has marched ahead with its development programs. Problems of the people have remained as the central idea and governance has been put in the hands of the villagers itself. Surely, this state is one destination in India, from where no one can return empty handed.
Geography of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is located in northwest India, Rajasthan borders Punjab in the north, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the northeast, Madhya Pradesh in the east and Gujarat in the south. On the western side it shares a long stretch of border with the neighboring country Pakistan. Situated on the Thar Desert, Rajasthan protects the western border of the country standing as the sentinel who never tires. Rajasthan is diagonally divided into the hilly and rugged southeastern region and the barren Thar Desert, which extends across the border into Pakistan. Within these divisions however, it is a storehouse of varied physical feature or topographical diversity. The arid Thar also boasts of Mount Abu the only hill station in the state famous for its flora and fauna. While the Aravali hills provide the much-needed relief to this arid land, the wide spread sand dunes of the desert and arid region make it one of the toughest terrains in the world. Jodhpur (the second biggest city of the state) is the edge of the dry and shifting desert land from where on the not so arid but cultivable land starts. Moreover, the rocky range of Amber, hilly range of Mewar, river basin of Bharatpur and fertile Aravali range gives the topography of the state a unique look.
Brief History of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is home of the valiant Rajputs known for their bravery and chivalry, Rajasthan is said to have been a region where human settlement dated back to the early historical period. Archaeological excavations establish a connection with the Harappan culture, which dates to about 1000BC. In the period from 3000-500BC this region formed a part of the river valley inhabitation. The relics of Virat also speaks of the area being inhabited by the Pre-Aryan people of the oldest called Push Karara Nanya (modern Pushkar in Ajmer).
The first Aryan settlement here was at Dundhmer in modern Dundhar. The influence of Jainism and Buddhism, also spread to this region. It witnessed the rule of the Magadha, Kushanas and the Guptas, during which it was divided into Mahajanapadas and Janapadas. Rajasthan formed part of the Mauryan Empire in about 130-150AD and the Guptas ruled it in the 4th century. From about 640AD the Gujars, Pratiharas, Chauhans, Gahlots etc established their independent Kingdoms.
Internal rivalry between the Rajput Kingdoms led to the establishment of many strong Rajput Kingdoms, which resisted the supreme domination of the Mughals. The Mughal rule declined by about 1707AD and gave way to the Marathas. The Marathas were subdued by the British who disintegrated many of its areas. After Independence Rajasthan was organised into a state in 1956.
Districts of Rajasthan
Rajasthan has 32 districts: Ajmer, Alwar, Banswara, Baran, Barmer, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Bharatpur, Bundi, Chittorgarh, Churu, Dausa, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Jhalawar, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur, Karauli, Kota, Nagaur, Pali, Rajsamand, Sawai Madhopur, Sikar, Sirohi, Tonk and Udaipur.
Economy of Rajasthan
In Rajasthan, there are large number of small scale industrial units, which have sprung up all over the state. There are large deposits of zinc and copper and these are being exploited for the development of industries dependant on these metals. It has large deposits of gypsum and lignite and mica. It has a large production of cotton and the textile industries has been coming up in several places in Rajasthan. Among the other private sector industries are cement, ball bearings, sugar, caustic soda and other chemicals.
There are mainly two crop seasons. The major crops sown during the months of June-July and harvested in Sep-Oct are bajra, Jowar, Pulses, maize and ground nut. Main Rabi crops for which sowing operations start during Oct-Nov and harvested in March-April include wheat, barley, pulses, gram and oil seeds. Among oil seeds, rape and mustard is the most important. Fruits and vegetables are also sown throughout the state where soil especially suits this type of cultivation. Fruit trees grown include orange, lemon, pomegranate, guava and mango. The main source of irrigation is wells and tanks.
Rajasthan Travel Information
Rajasthan is a classic blend of beauty and historicity. Indeed, the State has so much going for it that it's difficult to decide where to start. The very images that it conjures up are steeped in romance and beauty. A line of supercilious camels silhouetted against a magnificent desert sunset. A blur of swirling color as a Rajasthani belle dances to hypnotic music. The handsome, hawk-like face of a Rajput man, fiercely mustachioed, regally turbaned, reflecting an arrogance and power that can be traced several centuries back. It is the unyielding facade of a splendid fort or the delicate kiosks and balconies embellishing a palace wall. The bold, colorful sweep of a phat painting, depicting sword-bearing chieftains going off to battle, rainbow-hued dupattas, ghagras and cholis, twinkling with the light of a hundred tiny glinting mirrors. All of which add to attractions of this wonderland we call-Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is famous for the majestic forts, intricately carved temples and decorated havelis. Jantar Mantar, Dilwara Temples, Chittorgarh Fort, Lake Palace Hotel, City Palaces, Jaisalmer Havelis are true architectural heritage. Jaipur, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue. There are many destinations i.e. Ajmer, Alwar, Badnore, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Bikaner, Bundi, Chittorgarh, Deeg, Dundlod, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Khimsar, Kota, Kumbhalgarh, Mandawa, Mount Abu, Nawalgarh, Pushkar, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Ranakpur, Samode, Sariska National Park, Sambhar Lake, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Ghanerao, Kanak Valley, Sariska, Sardar Samand and Maharani.
Rivers of Rajasthan
Main Rivers in Rajasthan are Ahar River, Banas River, Berach River, Chambal River, Gambhir River, Ghaggar-Hakra River, Gomati River, Kali Sindh River, Lavanavari, Luni River, Mahi River, Parbati River, Sarasvati River, Sukri and West Banas River,
Education in Rajasthan
The education scenario of the state is changing rapidly by the initiatives taken by the Government as well as by the involvement of other organizations. Various plans and projects have been implemented that focus on improving the delivery of educational services, and in particular on promoting equitable access, enrolment and retention of children in schools, reducing gender disparities, promoting skill development and enhancing learning levels. The primary education in the state is free and compulsory for all children irrespective of castes and creed. The main universities / educational institutions in the state are Jai Narain Vyas University; Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur; Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilan; Banasthali Vidyapith; Mayo College of Technology & Engineering, Udaipur; MBM Engineering College; National Law University, Jodhpur; International Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship, Jaipur.
Food of Rajasthan
The land of Rajasthan is broadly divided into the Western desert regions and the Eastern and Southern parts, which are water rich regions and hence more fertile as far as agriculture is concerned. Therefore people in these regions have more choices with agricultural produces in their meals. The meals in this region mainly revolve around millet being the basic cereal, which grows well in the arid conditions and cow's milk. Scarcity of water, fresh green vegetables have had their effect on cooking, to the extent that in some regions milk, buttermilk and clarified butter have replaced the water in cooking. Due to the conditions of the desert land the people use either creepers, bushes or any other plant as vegetables, which the environment has to offer. Other vegetables grown in plenty are the melons and the cucumbers.
The Rajasthani cuisine is particularly colorful with the use of spices like yellow turmeric and red chilli making up for the drab monochromatic landscape of the desert. The bati was a popular dish used by the Rajputs during battles where the part cooked batis were buried in spots of the desert to be retrieved in times of long marches. The hot sand would act like an oven and bake these. They were broken and eaten with pouring ghee over them. The popular dals in the region are ahar (tur) dal, moong dal and panchmel (combinations of 5 dals).
Arts & Culture of Rajasthan
Every region has its very own dialect of music and dance. The Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Rajasthan culture. Songs are used to tell the legendary battles of Rajputs. Folk songs are commonly ballads, which relate heroic deeds, love stories, and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis and often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak, sitar, sarangi etc. Rajasthan is known for its traditional and colorful art. The block prints, tie and die prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, Zari embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. Handicraft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, blue potteries are some of the things you will find here. Rajasthan is also famous for textile, semi-precious stones and Handicraft.
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