Rājasthān (राजस्थान, ) is
the largest state of
the Republic of
India in terms of area. It encompasses most of
the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert), which
has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley
along its border with Pakistan. The state borders
Pakistan to the west,
Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the
northeast and Punjab to the
Rajasthan covers an area of 132,150 sq mi
or 342,269 km².
capital is Jaipur.
Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and
the termination of the Ghaggar River
near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga, which are the oldest in the subcontinent
discovered so far.
One of the
world's oldest mountain ranges, the
Range, cradles the only hill
station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, and its world-famous Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern Rajasthan has two national tiger
reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska, as well as
National Park near Bharatpur, once famous for its bird life.
Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when all erstwhile princely
states ruled by Rajputs
, known as Rajputana
, merged into the Dominion of India
. The only difference
between erstwhile Rajputana and Rajasthan is that certain portions
of what had been British India
, in the
former province of Ajmer-Merwara
included. Portions lying geographically outside of Rajputana such
as the Sumel-Tappa area were given to Madhya Pradesh.
The Indus Valley
, one of the world's first and oldest
civilizations, was located in part of what is now Rajasthan.
Kalibangan in Hanumangarh
district, Rajasthan was a major provincial capital of the Indus
Traditionally the Bishnoi Rajputs
and other tribes made a great contribution in
building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great
difficulties to protect their culture and the land. Millions of
them were martyred for this land. ‘The Hinduan Suraj’ title to Udaipur was only due
to Sisodia Rajputs. Gujjars had been
exterminated in Bhinmal and Ajmer areas fighting with the invaders.
Bhils once ruled Kota and Bundi. Bargurjars
were sardars in Alwar, Jodhpur and Ajmer areas. Bargurjars and Meenas were ruler of Dhundhar region, Bundi.
The earlier contributions of warriors and protectors of the land
, Jats, Bhils, Gujjars
and Meenas — were neglected and lost in
history.Rajasthan means the Land of the Kings.
Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana,
which comprises mainly the erstwhile Rajput
kingdoms as well as two Jat kingdoms and a
Muslim kingdom.Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, and Jaipur were some of
the main Rajput states. The Jats were rulers
in Bharatpur and Dholpur. Tonk
was ruled by a
families rose to prominence in the 6th century CE. The Rajputs put
a very valiant resistance to the Islamic invasions and protected
this land with their warfare and chivalry for more than 500 years.
They also resisted Mughal
into India, but contributed to the slower than anticipated access
to the Indian Subcontinent
Later The Mughals, with a technique based on the combination of
treachery and skilled warfare were able to set firm grip on
northern India. The fighter spirit and valour of Rajputs impressed
the Mughals to such an extent that they started treating their
Rajput aides as the backbone of their Kingdom.Even after defeating,
held Rajput valour and value in
led others in resistance to Muslim rule:
fought the Battle of Khanua
, the founder of the Mughal empire; and Maharana Pratap Singh
, the Bhils were
Rana's main allies. Most of these attacks were evenly met as the
outnumbered Rajputs in great numbers
in all the wars fought between them. The Haldighati war was fought
between 10,000 Rajputs and 1,00,000 Mughal force. Over the years
began to have internal disputes
which took their concentration away at times. They also had to
fight off Pathan warriors from neighbouring
Afganistan and the newer enemy, the British Empire which consisted of large
numbers of natives whilst engaging against various other regional
powers such as the Persians.
The Mughal Empire
eventually weakened to which
several groups across their kingdom (including Sikhs) saw
opportunities to establish their power whilst the army was fighting
somewhere else. The Rajputs saw this as an opportunity to reassert
their independence. With the decline of the Mughal Empire in the
18th century, Rajputana
came under attack
by the Marathas
, and the Maratha general Scindia
captured Ajmer. The Rajput kings following a
rapid defeat, concluded treaties with the British in the early 19th
century, accepting British sovereignty in return for local
autonomy. Following the Mughal tradition as well as
its strategic location Ajmer became a
province of British India, while the autonomous Rajput states, the
Muslim state Tonk, and the Jat
states (Bharatpur and Dholpur) were organized into the Rajputana Agency.
(people from Marwar
) and Rajasthan's formerly independent kingdoms
created a rich architectural
heritage, seen today in their
numerous forts and palaces (Mahals
) which are enriched by features of
and Jain architecture
. The development of the frescos
in Rajasthan is linked with the history of
, who have also played a
crucial role in the economic development of the region. Most of the
wealthiest families throughout Indian
have links to Marwar. These families include the
geographic features of Rajasthan are the Thar Desert and the Aravalli Range, which runs through the state from southwest to
northeast, almost from one end to the other, for more than
850 km. Mount
Abu is at the southwestern end of the range, separated
from the main ranges by the West Banas
River, although a series of broken ridges continues into
Haryana in the
direction of Delhi where it can
be seen as outcrops in the form of the Raisina Hill and the ridges farther north.
three-fifths of Rajasthan lies northwest of the Aravallis, leaving
two-fifths on the east and south.
The northwestern portion of Rajasthan is generally sandy and dry.
Most of the region is covered by the Thar
, which extends into adjoining portions of Pakistan.
Aravalli Range does not intercept the moisture-giving southwest
monsoon winds off the Arabian Sea,as it lies in a direction parallel to that of the
coming monsoon winds, leaving the northwestern region in a rain shadow. The Thar Desert is
thinly populated; the town of Bikaner is the largest city in the desert.
lie in a band around the Thar Desert, between the
desert and the Aravallis. This region receives less than
400 mm of rain
in an average year. Summer
temperatures can exceed 45 °C in the summer months and drop below
freezing in the winter. The Godwar, Marwar, and Shekhawati
regions lie in the thorn
scrub forest zone, along with the city of Jodhpur. The Luni River and its tributaries are the major river system of
Godwar and Marwar regions, draining the western slopes of the
Aravallis and emptying southwest into the great Rann of Kutch wetland in neighboring Gujarat.
river is saline in the lower reaches and remains potable only up to
Balotara in Barmer district. The Ghaggar
River, which originates in Haryana, is an
intermittent stream that disappears into the sands of the Thar
Desert in the northern corner of the state and is seen as a remnant
of the primitive Saraswati
The Aravalli Range and the lands to the east and southeast of the
range are generally more fertile and better watered. This region is
home to the Kathiarbar-Gir dry
ecoregion, with tropical dry
that include teak
, and other trees.
Vagad region lies in southernmost Rajasthan,
on the border with Gujarat.
the exception of Mount Abu, Vagad is the wettest region in
Rajasthan, and the most heavily forested. North of Vagad lies
the Mewar region, home to the cities of
Udaipur and Chittaurgarh.
lies to the southeast, on the border with Madhya Pradesh.
Hadoti and Mewar is the Dhundhar region,
home to the state capital of Jaipur.
Mewat, the easternmost region of Rajasthan, borders
Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Eastern and southeastern Rajasthan is
drained by the Banas and Chambal rivers, tributaries of the Ganges.
Aravali Range runs across the state from the southwest peak
Guru Shikhar (Mount Abu), which is
1,722 m in height, to Khetri in the
This divides the state into 60% in the northwest
of the range and 40% in the southeast. The northwest tract is sandy
and unproductive with little water but improves gradually from
desert land in the far west and northwest to comparatively fertile
and habitable land towards the east. The area includes the Thar
Desert. The south-eastern area, higher in elevation (100 to 350 m
above sea level) and more fertile, has a very diversified
topography. in the south lies the hilly tract of Mewar
. In the southeast, a large area within the
districts of Kota and Bundi forms a
tableland. To the northeast of these districts is a
rugged region (badlands) following the line of the Chambal River.
Farther north the country levels out; the
flat plains of the northeastern Bharatpur district
are part of an
Industrial plant near Jodhpur,
is primarily agricultural
are cultivated over large areas, as are
, and oilseeds
cash crops. Rajasthan is among the largest producers of edible oils
in India and the second largest
producer of oilseeds
. Rajasthan is also the
-producing state in India and the
main opium producer and consumer. There are mainly two crop
seasons. The water for irrigation comes from wells and tanks. The
Indira Gandhi Canal
The main industries are mineral
agriculture based, and textiles
is the second largest producer of polyester
fibre in India. The Bhilwara District produces more cloth than
Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. Several prominent chemical and engineering
companies are located in the town of Kota, in western
Rajasthan. Rajasthan is pre-eminent in quarrying and mining in
India. the Taj
Mahal was built from the white marble which was mined
from a town called Makrana.
The state is the second largest source of
in India. It has rich salt deposits at Sambhar, copper mines at Khetri and
zinc mines at Dariba, Zawar mines at Zawarmala
for zinc, rampura aghucha (opencast) near
Dimensional stone mining is also undertaken
in Rajasthan: Jodhpur sandstone
used in monuments, important buildings, residential buildings, etc.
This stone is termed "chittar patthar".
is now the preferred destination for IT companies and North India's
largest integrated IT park is located in Jaipur and is named
as Mahindra World City Jaipur covering
nearly of land.
Some of the companies operating in Rajasthan
Bank, NEI, MICO, Honda Siel Cars, Coca Cola and Procter &
Endowed with natural beauty and a great history, tourism is a
flourishing industry in Rajasthan. The palaces of Jaipur, lakes of
Udaipur, and desert forts of Jodhpur, Bikaner & Jaisalmer are
among the most preferred destination of many tourists, Indian and
foreign. Tourism accounts for eight percent of the state's domestic
product. Many old and neglected palaces and forts have been
converted into heritage hotels. Tourism has increased employment in
the hospitality sector.
Rajasthan is famous for the majestic forts, intricately carved
temples and decorated havelis
, which were
built by Rajput kings in previous ages, they were the soul of
pre-Muslim era Rajasthan. Jantar Mantar, Dilwara
Temples, Chittorgarh Fort, Lake
Palace, City Palaces, Jaisalmer Havelis are part of the true
architectural heritage of India. Jaipur, the Pink
City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone
dominated by a pink hue.
At Ajmer, the white marble
Bara-dari on the Anasagar lake is exquisite. Jain Temples
dot Rajasthan from north to south
and east to west. Dilwara Temples of Mount
Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath near Udaipur, Jain temples in the fort complexes of Chittor, Jaisalmer and Kumbhalgarh, Lodarva Jain temples, Bhandasar Temple of Bikaner are some of the best examples.
Rajasthan is often called a shopper's paradise. Rajasthan is famous
for textiles, semi-precious stones and handicrafts. The attractive
designs of jewellery and clothes are eye-catching and invite
shoppers. Rajasthani furniture has intricate carvings and bright
colours. Rajasthani handicrafts are in demand due to the intricate
work on them. Above all, Rajasthan's shopping appeals to
both tourists and people from other parts of India due to its
cheap prices for quality goods.
Camel ride in the Thar desert near
Rajasthan is culturally rich and has artistic and cultural
traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. There is
rich and varied folk culture
villages which is often depicted symbolic of the state. Highly
cultivated classical music and dance with its own distinct style is
part of the cultural tradition of Rajasthan. The music is
uncomplicated and songs depict day-to-day relationships and chores,
more often focused around fetching water from wells or ponds.
Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have gained international recognition.
music is a vital part of Rajasthani culture. Kathputali, Bhopa
, Teratali, Ghindar,
etc. are the examples
of the traditional Rajasthani culture. Folk songs are commonly
ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories; and religious
or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis (often accompanied
by musical instruments like dholak
etc.) are also
Rajasthan is known for its traditional, colorful art. The block
prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints,
embroidery are major export products from
Rajasthan. Handicraft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts,
carpets, blue pottery are some of the things commonly found here.
Rajasthan is a shoppers' paradise, with beautiful goods found at
low prices. Reflecting the colorful Rajasthani culture, Rajasthani
clothes have a lot of mirror-work and embroidery. A Rajasthani
traditional dress for females comprises an ankle length skirt and a
short top, also known as a lehenga
or a chaniya
. A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both for
protection from heat and maintenance of modesty. Rajasthani dresses
are usually designed in bright colours like blue, yellow and
The main religious festivals are Deepawali
, as the
main religion is Hinduism
is celebrated with
great zest and zeal. This festival is held once a year during
winters. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the
desert dance and sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and
tragedy. There are fairs with snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats
and folk performers. Camels, of course, play a stellar role in this
The current government in Rajasthan is that of Indian National Congress
. The Chief
Minister is Ashok Gehlot
Politics of Rajasthan is dominated by two parties Bharatiya Janata Party
Locals performing traditional folk
dance in Jaisalmer.
Rajasthan has a mainly Rajasthani population. Hindus
account for 88.8% of the population. Muslims
make up 8.5%, Sikhs
1.4% and Jains
1.2% of the population.
of Rajasthan is also populated by Sindhis, who came to Rajasthan from Sindh
province (now in
Pakistan) during the India-Pakistan separation in
The mother tongue of the majority of people in Rajasthan is
. Rajasthani and
are the most widely used languages in
Rajasthan. After independence, Rajasthani was used as a medium of
instruction, along with Hindi and English, in some schools. Some
other languages used in Rajasthan are Gujarati
Flora and fauna
Though a large percentage of the total area is desert, and even
though there is little forest cover, Rajasthan has a rich and
varied flora and fauna. The natural vegetation is classed as
Northern Desert Thorn Forest (Champion 1936). These occur in small
clumps scattered in a more or less open forms. Density and size of
patches increase from west to east following the increase in
wildlife species, which are fast vanishing
in other parts of India, are found
in the desert in large numbers such as the Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis
nigriceps), the Blackbuck
(Antilope cervicapra), the Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii)
and the Indian Wild
Desert National Park, Jaisalmer, spread over an area of 3162 km², is an
excellent example of the ecosystem of the
Thar Desert, and its diverse fauna.
Great Indian Bustard,
Blackbuck, chinkara, desert fox, Bengal fox, wolf, desert cat etc.
can be easily seen here. Seashells and massive fossilized
tree trunks in this park record the
geological history of the desert. The region is a haven for
and resident birds of the
desert. One can see many eagles
. Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus
, Tawny Eagles (Aquila
, Spotted Eagles
Falcons (Falco jugger)
and kestrels are the commonest
National Park located in Sawai Madhopur, is one of the finest Tiger Reserves in the Country
which became a part of Project Tiger
Sariska Tiger Reserve located
in Alwar district,
200 km from Delhi and
107 km from Jaipur
covers an area of approximately
.The area was declared a National Park in
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary is a very small
sanctuary in Sujangarh , Churu District,
210 km from Jaipur, in the
is home to a large population of graceful Blackbuck. Desert Fox
and desert cat can also be spotted
along with typical avifauna
Rajasthan is also noted for National Parks and Wildlife
Sanctuaries. There are four
national park and wildlife sanctuaries named the Sariska Wildlife
Sanctuary, Ranthambore National Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and Desert
Ranthambore National Park and Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary both are
known worldwide for their tiger population and considered by both
wild lovers and photographers as the best places in India to spot
tigers. Besides, it houses several small wildlife sanctuaries and
eco-tourism parks . Prominent among them are Mount Abu Sanctuary,
Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary, Darrah
, Jaisamand Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, and
Jawahar Sagar sanctuary.
There are a variety of wildlife species in Rajasthan, notably
including the apex predator Caracal
Rajasthan is connected by many national highways. Most renowned
being NH 8
, which is India's first 4-8 lane
highway. Rajasthan also has an inter-city surface transport system
both in terms of railways and bus network. All chief cities are
connected by air, rail and road.
There are three main airports at
Rajasthan- Jaipur airport, Udaipur airport and Jodhpur airport.
These airports connect Rajasthan with the major cities of India
such as Delhi and Mumbai.
Rajasthan is connected with the main
cities of India by rail. Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur are the
principal railway stations in Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is well connected to the main
cities of the country by State and National Highways.
Rajasthan is divided into 33 districts and seven divisions:
- Ajmer Division: Ajmer, Bhilwara, Nagaur, Tonk,Beawer.
- Bharatpur Division: Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur.
- Bikaner Division: Bikaner,
Churu, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh.
- Jaipur Division: Jaipur,
Alwar, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Dausa.
- Jodhpur Division: Barmer,
Jaisalmer, Jalore, Jodhpur
District, Pali, Sirohi.
- Kota Division: Baran, Bundi, Jhalawar, Kota.
- Udaipur Division: Banswara District, Chittorgarh
District, Pratapgarh District, Dungarpur District, Udaipur, Rajsamand
Important cities and towns
Image:Nahaar Garh Fort.jpg|JaipurImage:Jaisalmer Fort.jpg|JaisalmerImage:Udaipur-citypalace.jpg|UdaipurImage:Jodhpur 5174663-66.jpg |JodhpurImage:Amber-fort.jpg|AmberImage:Alwar.JPG|AlwarImage:Pushkar_Lake.jpg|AjmerImage:Bikaner.gif|BikanerImage:kherla.mahalkherlaFile:Chittorgarh Fort.jpg|Chittorgarh
- Population: 56.47 million (2001 Census, estimated at more than
58 million now)
- Cities and Towns: 222
cities: Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Bikaner, Churu, Bharatpur, Bhilwara, Alwar, Sri
Ganganagar ,Pali,Makrana, Bundi,chittorgarh, Didwana, Sujangarh, Nagaur, Sikar, Balotra,Beawar,
- Roads: 61,520 km. ( 2,846 km National Highway)
- National highways crossing Rajasthan: Delhi-Ahmedabad,
Agra-Bikaner, Jaipur-Bhopal and Bhatinda-Kandla
- Climate: Generally dry with monsoon during July-August
- Districts: 33
- Languages: English and Hindi commonly used, as well as
- Literacy: 61.03%
Deshraj, Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha
Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, 2nd edition 1992 pp 587-588.
- Dr Natthan Singh, Jat-Itihas, (Jat History),
Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad, F-13,
Dr Rajendra Prasad Colony, Tansen marg, Gwalior, M.P, India 474 002
- C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Caracal: Caracal caracal,
GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
- Gahlot, Sukhvirsingh. 1992. RAJASTHAN: Historical &
Cultural. J. S. Gahlot Research Institute, Jodhpur.
- Somani, Ram Vallabh. 1993. History of Rajasthan. Jain
Pustak Mandir, Jaipur.
- Tod, James & Crooke, William. 1829. Annals &
Antiquities of 'Rajasthan or the Central and Western
Rajput States of India. 3
Vols. Reprint: Low Price Publications,
ISBN 81-85395-68-3 (set of 3 vols.)
- Mathur, P.C., 1995. Social and Economic Dynamics of
Rajasthan Politics (Jaipur, Aaalekh)