Colorful Rajasthan The Land of Rajputs Since 1949September 5, 2020
Rajasthan, meaning “The Abode of the Rajas,” was formerly called Rajputana, “The Country of the Rajputs” (sons of rajas [princes]). Before 1947, when India achieved independence from British rule, it comprised some two dozen princely states and chiefships, the small British-administered province of Ajmer-Merwara, and a few pockets of territory outside the main boundaries. After 1947 the princely states and chiefships were integrated into India in stages, and the state took the name Rajasthan. It assumed its present form on November 1, 1956, when the States Reorganization Act came into force. Area 132,139 square miles (342,239 square km). Pop. (2011) 68,621,012.
The geographic features of Rajasthan include the Aravalli Range and the Thar Desert. Most of the North-western part of Rajasthan is landscaped by the sandy and dry Great Indian Desert, also known as the Thar Desert. Jodhpur is the most extensive city in the desert.
The other prominent districts located in the desert are Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer and Nagour. A famous hill station, Mount Abu Is situated in the Aravalli Range. Guru Shikhar is the highest peak on the mountain with a height of 5,650 feet above sea level. The major river systems of the Marwar and the Godwar regions are the Luni River and its tributaries.
Rajasthan is the largest state of India as per Census 2011. A major portion of the state is covered with the Thar Desert which is also known as The Great Indian Desert. It is a land of sand dunes, desert and rocks. Jaipur is its Capital City. Jaipur is also the largest city of the state. Jaipur is also known as the “Pink City”. The State of Rajasthan is a land of wonderful palaces, forts, colours and festivals.
The state “Rajasthan” is also known as “The Land of Kings”. It was created on 30th March 1949. It is surrounded by Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
Facts of Rajasthan:
|Date of formation||01/11/56|
|Chief Minister||Ashok Gehlot|
|Tourist attractions||Mount Abu , Jaipur Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jaisalmer Fort, Ranthambore, Pushkar|
|Festivals||Teej, Gangaur festival, Bikaner festival, Marwar festival|
|Major dance and music forms||Ghoomar and Kalbeliya dances; Kathputali puppet theatre; Bhopa|
|Arts and crafts||Rajasthani miniature paintings such as Kangra, Jodhpur, Jaipur etc; Pichhvai paintings; hand-block printing; Panihari music.|
|Size||342,239 sq. km|
|Population (Census 2011)||68548437|
|Rivers||Luni, Banas, Kali Sindh, Chambal|
|Forests and wildlife sanctuaries||Sariska Tiger Reserve, Keoladeo Ghana NP, Ranthambore NP, Dhawa WS|
|State bird||Great Indian bustard|
|Major crops||Jowar, pulses, maize, gram|
|Factoids||Jaipur’s Elephant Festival has a tug-of war between humans and elephants.|
|Bikaner has a Karni Mata temple in which rats are worshipped.|
|No. of District||33|
The Thar Desert
The Great Indian Desert Thar lies mostly in the Royal Rajasthan states of India and extended into some portion of Haryana, Punjab and Rann of Kutch in Gujrat. Thar desert covers eastern Sindh province and some area of Pakistan Punjab as well. The maximum area is covered in Rajasthan, India and total covers area is 208,110 km. It is said to be “The Great Indian Desert” is extending towards UP and MP as well.
A camel safari into the Thar desert is an experience not to be missed for tourist. Best time to visit The Great Indian Desert is between Oct to March. The Desert National Park, Jaisalmer has a collection of fossils of animals and plants of 180 million years old. Some fossils of Dinosaurs of 6 million years old have also been found in the area
The Camel also knew as “Ship of the desert” is the best way to explore The Great Indian Desert. An evening of the state of maharajas, Rajasthan is most beautiful with an awesome scenic view. The people of Thar have a great passion for music and poetry. people get together to play soft music and dance. This event continues to till late nights.
Thar peoples travel miles of distance to get one potter of water. Woman’s of Thar Desert love to wear beautiful jewellery. Rajasthan desert festival is held once a year during winters. Camels play a very important role in the desert life as well as in the Desert Festival, Rajasthan folk and rich culture can be seen in this festival.
Economy of Rajasthan
The state economy is mainly agricultural and pastoral. Sugarcane, pulses, oilseeds, cotton and tobacco are the major crops of the region. Rajasthan is also the largest producer of marble and sandstone. These minerals are excavated at Makrana near Jodhpur.
Rajasthan has rich salt deposits at Sambhar and copper mines at Khetri and Dariba. The service sector comprises industries like tourism and real estate. Tourism is a prominent industry, and many old and neglected palaces and forts have been converted into heritage hotels.
Famous Places in Rajasthan
The “City of Lakes”, the “Venice of the East”, – Udaipur is known by several names. It is also known as the “Kashmir of Rajasthan”. Udaipur is regarded as one of the most romantic cities of the World. Places to visit in the city are Pichola Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jaisamand Lake, Udaisagar Lake, Lake Palace, City Palace, Sajjangarh Fort, Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ekling Ji Temple, Nathdwara Shri Nath Ji Temple, Jagmandir, Rishabhdeo Temple, Shilpgram etc.
Nagaur is famous for its Ahhichatragarh Fort. Also inside the walls of the fort are palaces, Mughal gardens, mosques, temples, reservoirs, water systems, fountains, open terraces, etc dating to the time of Mughals. Places to visit in the city are Magnificent Fort Gateways, Meera Bai Temple, Amar Singh Mahal (Palace), Nagaur Fort etc.
Mount Abu is the most famous “hill station” in India. It is in Sirohi district. Places to visit in the city are Nakki Lake, Delwara Jain Temples, Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University and Museum, Achalgarh Fort etc.
Kota lies along the banks of the Chambal river. The commanding fort stands to overlook the modern Chambal Valley Project with its many dams – Kota Barrage, Gandhi Sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar and Jawahar Sagar. Other noteworthy edifices of the bygone era are the Brij Raj Bhawan Palace, Jag Mandir-and island Palace, a splendid haveli (mansion) with beautiful frescoes and the royal cenotaphs. It also famous as an educational city in India because of so many educational institutes and training centres.
Jodhpur is known as the “Sun City” because of its bright and sunny weather throughout the year. It is divided into two parts – the old city and the new city. Jodhpur city has many beautiful palaces and forts such as Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhavan Palace and Rai ka Bag Palace. Other charms of Jodhpur include Government museum and it’s a beautiful Umed garden.
Jhalawar, also known as Patan or Jhalrapatan. It was the centre of trade for the eponymous princely state, the chief exports of the which were opium, oil-seeds and cotton. Places to visit in the city are Jhalawar Fort, Government Museum, Bhawani Natya Shala, Ren Basera, Gagron Fort, Atishay Jain Temple at Chandkheri etc.
Jaisalmer is also called the Golden city of India because the yellow and gives a yellowish-golden touch to the city and its surrounding area. It means “the Hill Fort of Jaisal”.The Jaisalmer city is known for its old mansions, better known as Havelis. Places to visit in the city are Jaisalmer Fort, Camel Safari, Desert National Park, Pokran, Desert Cultural Center, Patwon ki Haveli etc. To come to Jaisalmer and enjoy the traditional rhetoric of ‘padharomahare desh’ (welcome to our lands).
Jaipur is also popularly known as the “Pink City”, is the capital of the state. The Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar – the observatory, Hawa Mahal, Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh, the City Palace, Albert Hall, the Jal Mahal, the Amer Fort, B M Birla Planetarium, Galtaji, the Laxmi Narayan Temple, are some of the architectural splendours of Jaipur. Tourists stack their bags with wonderful Jaipuri textiles and artefacts as well.
Bikaner houses the celebrated Deshnokh Temple, the abode of the sacred white mouse, that ushers good fortune. It is dotted with relics of the glorious yesteryears and is also the seat of several holy shrines. The Junagarh Fort, the Raj Ratan Bihari and Rasik Shiromani Temple, the Laxminath Temple, the Bhandasar Jain Temple and the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, are among the famed tourist destinations.
Ajmer is most famous for Khwaja Mu’in-ud-Din Chisti Dargah. Other places are Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra, Lake Foy Sagar, Mayo College, Ana Sagar Lake, etc. Pushkar – Located at a distance of 14 kilometres from Ajmer, draws tourists in hordes during the famous Pushkar Fair. The Brahma Temple is yet another tourist haunt of Pushkar.
Rajasthan has a wide range of climate that varies from extremely arid to humid. The humid zone spans the southeast and east. Except in the hills, the heat during the summer is intense everywhere, with temperatures in June—the warmest month—typically rising from the mid-80s F (about 30 °C) to nearly 110 °F (low 40s C) daily. Hot winds and dust storms occur in the summer, especially in the desert tract.
In January—the coolest of the winter months—daily maximum temperatures range from the upper 60s to the mid-70s F (low to mid-20s C), while minimum temperatures are generally in the mid-40s F (about 7 °C). The western desert has little rain, averaging about 4 inches (100 mm) annually. In the southeast, however, some areas may receive almost 20 inches (500 mm). Southeastern Rajasthan benefits from both the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal branches of the southwest (summer) monsoon winds, which bring the bulk of the annual rainfall.
Hindi is the official language of Rajasthan. It is also the most widely spoken language in the state. The other languages spoken here are Bhili, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi and Gujarati.
The three prominent airports Jodhpur Airport, Jaipur International Airport and Udaipur Airport, connect Rajasthan to the other parts of the country. The state is well-connected by rail. Some of the important railway stations are Ajmer, Alwar, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota and Udaipur, to name a few. Bus service is provided by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation as well as private operators.