Rajasthan - The Royal State of India
Walking in Rajasthan is like a trip to a golden page in history. Rajasthan is the largest state in India by area and Jaipur is the capital city of the state. The vibrant cities endowed with royal history and natural beauty offers a delightful experience in the deserted landscape. Yes, Rajasthan is synonymous with the desert which also embraces the Great Indian Desert known as ‘Thar.’ The Aravalli Range is the only hill located in Rajasthan that includes Mount Abu and the world-famous Dilwara Temple. East Rajasthan has two tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska, plus one national park that is Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, built for bird protection. Rajasthan is located in the western part of India, which has been famous since ancient times. Pakistan surrounds the state in the west, Madhya Pradesh in the southeast, Punjab in the north, Gujarat in the south-west, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the north-east.
The history of Rajasthan begins from prehistoric times. The culture of the state was similar to the Indus Valley Civilization between 3000 and 1000 BC. Gujjars, also known as Gurjar, Goojar, or Gojar, ruled most of Rajasthan until the 12th century. Most parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan were known as 'Gurjatra,' i.e., 'Gujjar-protected areas.' Gurjara-Pratiharas had saved entire northern India from Arab invasions for 300 years. Later, Rajputs took suzerainty over various parts of this state, and those areas known as 'Rajputana,' i.e., 'place of Rajputs' in the British period. Rajasthan was ruled by many great Rajput rulers such as Bappa Rawal, Rana Kumbha, Rana Sanga, and Rana Pratap. Mewar was the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan in the medieval period.
Geography and Climate
West Rajasthan is relatively dry and barren, with some parts of the Thar desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert. The land in the southwestern part of the state is moist, hilly, and more fertile. India's only saline river ‘Luni River’ flows in Rajasthan. The state of Rajasthan has a total of 33 districts and categorized into seven divisions. Some of the main districts are Ajmer, Alwar, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur, Karauli, Nagaur, Sirohi, and Udaipur. The total area of Rajasthan is 186.4 sq km. On the contrary, the population of Rajasthan is 6.89 crores, with a population density of 200 per sq km.
The average of Rajasthan in summers varies from 25°C to 46°C and 8°C to 28°C in winters. The average rainfall also varies from the western desert to the southeast part of the state which is about 100 mm and 650 mm annually. Most of the rain falls during the monsoon from July to September.
Government and Politics of Rajasthan
Rajasthan has a single-chamber legislative assembly with 200 seats. There are 35 members in the Indian Parliament from the state, out of which ten members belong to the Rajya Sabha, i.e., the Upper House and 25 to the Lok Sabha. Local government is based on 30 administrative districts, where two political parties dominate Rajasthan, i.e., The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Indian National Congress. Ashok Gehlot has been the chief minister of Rajasthan since 2018.
Capital of the State
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, was established by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in the year 1727.
Rajasthan is primarily an agricultural and animal husbandry state, and it exports grains and vegetables to other states and countries. Most of the area is arid or semi-arid, yet Rajasthan has a large number of domesticated animals, and the state is the largest wool-producer. Tourism is also a considerable part of the state's economy.
Rajasthan's economy is particularly agrarian, and millet, wheat, maize, and cotton are grown. Rajasthan has 27,465 thousand hectares of total cultivable land, with the sowing area of 20,167 thousand hectares. The state has a good stock of mineral resources. The major industries are textiles, carpets, woolen goods, vegetable oils, and dyes.
Having several acres of dry land, Rajasthan requires a lot of irrigation. It receives water from rivers of Punjab, western Yamuna of Haryana, Agra canal of Uttar Pradesh, Sabarmati, and Narmada Sagar projects of the south. Thousands of villages have ponds or lakes in Rajasthan, but most of them suffer drought or silt. Bhakra Nangal Project and Chambal Valley Project are the two projects that are implemented in Rajasthan for irritation and drinking. Rajasthan shares the Chambal Valley Project with Madhya Pradesh and the Bhakra Nangal Project with Punjab. In 1984, the name of the Rajasthan Canal was changed to Indira Gandhi Canal. This canal irrigates the desert land of about 400 miles of northwestern and western Rajasthan by carrying water from the Beas and Sutlej rivers.
In the last few years, Rajasthan has made a lot of progress in terms of education. Rajasthan has a literacy rate of 66.11%, with the male and female literacy rate of 79.19 and 52.12, respectively. School-level education in the state is either affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education or Central Board of Secondary Education. The state government spends heavily on education, maternity, child welfare, rural and urban water supply, and welfare works of backward. Govind Singh Dotasara is the current Minister of State for primary and secondary education. Along with it, Govind Singh Dotasra is also a Minister for Tourism and Devasthan in the Government of Rajasthan.
Transportation in Rajasthan
The state is connected to several national highways, the most important among them is NH 8. Rajasthan has three major airports that connect the state to other important cities of the country. Most of the cities of the state are connected by railways.
There are three major airports in the state - Jaipur International Airport, Maharana Pratap Airport (Udaipur), and Jodhpur Airport.
All major government and private airlines operate regular flights from these places to important cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, etc.
Rajasthan has an excellent railway network. "Palace on Wheels" is the best way to reach and experience Rajasthan. It is a luxury tourist train, which gives astonishing majestic grandeur. "Royal Rajasthan on Wheels" is another tourist train, which has recently started by the Indian Railways. It covers a large circuit while showing a glimpse of the royal heritage. Major railway stations of the state include:
- Udaipur railway station
- Jaipur Junction railway station
- Jodhpur Junction
- Ajmer Junction
There is a wide range of national and state highways, which cover Rajasthan with other parts of the country. A five-hour journey via road can reach Jaipur. Roads are excellent and most of the tourists plan to go to Rajasthan via roadways.
Society and Culture of Rajasthan
The cultural history of Rajasthan is famous all over the world. The state is known for its traditional and colorful art, and Rajasthan has a rich folk culture, which is often considered a symbol of the state. Ghoomar and Kalbelia are the traditional folk dances of Rajasthan and have gained international recognition. Apart from Ghoomar and Kalbelia, Kathputli, Chang, Gair dance, and Kachchi Ghori dance are also quite popular in Rajasthan.
Traditional Rajasthani clothes for women are quite decent, beautiful and comfortable. The women wear traditional ghagra, choli, and odhani (dupatta), where men use to wear dhoti kurta or kurta pajamas with a Rajasthani turban. Rajasthan is very famous for its art. Rajasthani people make a lot of beautiful things by hand. Leatherwork, jewelry, painting, pottery, hand-printed textiles, furniture, woodblock printing, tie and dye print, bagru print, Sanganer print, and zari kadai are exported from Rajasthan as major products.
Rajputs are a small but essential part of the population of Rajasthan. Jat and Gujjar are considered among the most significant agricultural communities in the north and west. 'Bhils', the Indo-Aryan speaking ethnic group of India, are famous for their archery skills who live in Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Udaipur, and Sirohi districts.
Festivals of Rajasthan
Rajasthan has special significance in different regions of India. Rajasthan is the land of fairs and festivals. Numerous traditional characteristics are visible in the life of Rajasthan. Important fairs of the state are the Urs Mela, Jaipur Gangaur festival, Ajmer Sharif and Baneshwar Fair – The Maha Kumbh Of Tribals, Jambheshwar Ji Mela (Mukam-Bikaner), and Pushkar Cattle Fair. Naga Panchami, Rakshabandhan, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Dussehra, Karva Chauth, Govardhan Puja, Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, Ramnavami are the major festivals of Rajasthan, which are also celebrated in the other parts of the country. Some festivals have special significance in the state of Rajasthan, which are as follows:
- Gangaur is one of the most important festivals of the state, which marks the beginning of spring. This festival is celebrated in late March or early April.
- Teej is the most loved festival of women in Rajasthan, which is celebrated two times in a year. In Rajasthan, the celebrations of the festival begin with the Shravani Teej, which goes on till Gangaur. Due to which, Shravani Teej is very important in Rajasthan.
- Hariyali Amavasya is celebrated on Shravan Amavasya. On this day, it is a tradition to feed Brahmins and worship the sacred Fig (peepal) and Holy Basil Tree (Tulsi).
- The Hindola festival is celebrated in the month of Shravan and Bhadon. The festival of Hindola is celebrated with huge devotion and grandeur.
Language of Rajasthan
The main languages of Rajasthan are Rajasthani, Hindi, and Marwari. Apart from these, people also use Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Sanskrit, and Gujarati languages. The Marwari dialect is also the official language of Rajasthan.
Best time to visit Rajasthan
From November to March is considered the best time to visit Rajasthan, due to its pleasant temperature during these months. Travelers can enjoy the views without being irritated by the heat. Summers are not comfortable to visit the state.
Famous Food in Rajasthan
While visiting the Royal state of India, not only the historical fort but also the royal dishes are very famous. The flavor of Rajasthani food has a unique blend of several spices, which is loved by everyone. Whether you like spicy food or fond of sweets, all the options are available with ample varieties.
Bajra Roti with Garlic Chutney
Bajra Roti is a major food of Rajasthan, which is served with garlic and onion chutney. This traditional food of Rajasthan is loved by travelers.
Dal Baati Churma
Baati is made by mixing flour, semolina, milk, salt, and ghee. Deep fry baati is served with spicy lentils and sweet Churma. This blend of spicy and sweet in a single dish is a must-try cuisine of Rajasthan.
Made from chili and potato stuffing, Mirchi Bada is a spicy dish. Have it with kadhi or red-green chutney, and this mouth-watering dish can be listed in of the best memories of one’s traveling to Rajasthan.
There are different types of Kachori in Rajasthan. In addition to Dal Kachori in Namkeen, onion kachori and garlic chutney are quite popular. Mawa Kachori of Jodhpur is known for its sweetness. This shortbread is sweet in taste and reduces the craving for sweet food.
Apart from these Mohanthal, Laal Maas, Mirchi Bada, Mohan Maas, Mawa Kachori, Firni, Kalakand, Gatte ki Sabzi, Bajra Ki Raab, Malpua, Moong Ki Daal Ka Halwa, Ghevar, Balushahi, are the lip-smacking food of the state, where Jaljeera and Masala Chaas are the much-loved beverages.
Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is an incredibly beautiful state to visit, situated in the northwest part of India. Rajasthan, the Royal State of India, is a living example of timeless wonder in itself. The marvel of Ancient architecture makes Rajasthan even more royal and astonishing. A connoisseur of travel must visit Rajasthan to taste the culture and ethics of the country and explore the admirable places. The state is a living example of the prosperity of ancient royals of Rajasthan.
- Jaipur - The Pink City of India
- Jaisalmer - The Golden City
- Jodhpur - The Sun City
- Mount Abu - A Hill Station of Rajasthan
- Bikaner - The Royal City of Rajasthan
- Udaipur - The City of Lakes
- Sawai Madhopur - The Beautiful City in Rajasthan
- Ajmer - An Important Tourist and Pilgrimage Destination
- Chittorgarh - The Capital of the Sisodia Dynasty of Mewar.
The Royal State of India, Rajasthan, is the largest state of India, which was formerly known as the land of Kings. Rajasthan is an extraordinary tourist state of India which attracts tourists from all over the world due to its attractive tourist spots and warm hospitality, every year.