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Monday, April 30, 2007

Rajasthan


Capital : Jaipur
Principal Languages : Hindi and Rajasthani

Geography :

With Punjab and Haryana to the northeast, Uttar Pradesh to the east, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, and Gujarat to the southwest, Rajasthan shares a long border with its western neighbor of Pakistan. The harsh, unforgiving, arid Thar Desert takes up a large portion of Rajasthan and stretches into Pakistan. Much of what is not desert in Rajasthan is hilly. Across the state, one also witnesses the change from desert to wet, fertile land.

Important Cities - Towns and Religious - Tourist Place :

Ajmer (Dargah of Khwaja Moinn-ud-Din Chishti, Mayo college, Pushkar ), Alwar (Sariska Tiger Sanctuary), Banswara, Barmer, Bharatpur (historic fort, Keoladeo Ghana Bird sanctuary) Bhilwara, Bikaner (a desert city), Known for 16th century Lalgarh Palace built by Raja Rai Singh), Bundi, Chittorgarh (founded by great Rajput resistance hero, Bappa Rawal in 734 AD was centre of Rajput resistance against Mughal rule, Famous for Chittor Fort, Kirti Stambha [Tower of Fame ], Jai Stambha [Tower of Victory] Meena Temple, Rana Kumbba Palace), Churu, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Ganganagar, Jaipur (pink rose capital city of the State, known for Maharaja Palace, Hawa Mahal [Palace of Winds], Jantar Mantra Observatory, Museum and Ram Niwas Garden; the 17th century old Palace of Amber is located 11 km from here), Jaisalmer, Jalor, Jhalawar, Jhunjhunu, Jodhur ( a city of seven gates, Guland Sagar Lake, Hall of Heros), Kota, Mount Abu ( bill resort, Known for Dilwara Temples ( sacred to Jains), Nagaur, Nathdwara (12th century temple dedicated to Lord Krishna ), Pali, Sariska (wildlife sanctuary), Sawai Madhopur , Sikar, Sirohi, Tonk, Udaipur (founded by King of Mewar Maharana Udai Singh , it is known as "City of Sunrise " and Venice of the East ", Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Picchola, Raj Mahal, Jag Mandir Palace, Jag Nivas Palace ).

Climate :

Though the southwest portion of Rajasthan receives a healthy amount of rainfall, the state is one of driest regions in India. Southwestern Rajasthan, with its tropical climate, receives about 26 inches (65 cm) of rainfall each year, but arid western Rajasthan only receives about 4 inches (10 cm) annually. Whether desert or fertile, all of Rajasthan shares one common trait: heat. Rajasthan's summer keeps temperatures anywhere between 77 F and 115 F (25 C-46 C). The winter only pushes temperatures down to the 46 F - 82 F (8 C - 28 C) range, certainly a relief but hardly a chill.

Location :

Located in north - west India, Rajasthasn is bounded north by Punjab, north -east by haryana and Uttar Pradesh, east by Madhya pradesh, south by Gujarat and west by Pakistan. Rajasthan is the largest State of the Indian union in terms of its size.

Culture :

Rajasthan contains a wide variety of peoples, each with their own traditions. The Rajputs have a proud warlike ancestry; the Bejaras live as traveling tradesmen and artisans; the Gadia Lohars customarily produce farming and household tools; the Bhilis are recognized as being highly skilled archers; the Rabaris traditionally live as cattle breeders. Like cattle breeding or archery, artistic customs have become trademarks of certain peoples of Rajasthan. The Bhopas are a group of singing priests, and the Bhat are well known as puppeteers. The Kalbelias and Kanjars pursue musical callings and have helped to create art that is now considered truly Rajasthani. Classical music forms like khayal and dhrupad are common, but the unique, semi-classical singing form known as maand is also a mainstay of Rajasthani music. The state's Hindu heritage has made religious festivals the major celebrations of the year, but areas of Rajasthan have their own special celebrations that help weave the rich tapestry of culture. Every January, the people of Bikaner celebrate the Camel Festival. Jaipur sees the celebration of the Elephant Festival. In February, one can go to Jaisalmer and witness the festivities of the Desert Festival. As unified statesmen, all the peoples of Rajasthan rejoice in March's Gangaur Festival.

History :

Rajasthan was preciously known as Rajputana the land of Raiputs whose history goes back to the pre - historic times. The Indus Valley Civilisation also flourished here and many ruins of Harappan age have been located in the State. The legendary heroes of medieval ages like Rana Sanga and Maharana Pratap always inspire us with feelings of patriotism but during the 19th century, all Rajput States accepted the suzerainty of the British. After Independence, as a result of the implementation of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the erstwhile state of Ajmer, Abu Taluka of Bombay State and the Sunel Tappa enclave of the former State of Madhya Bharat were transferred to the State of Rajasthan on November 1, 1956, whereas the Sironj sub - division of Rajasthan was transferred to the state of Madhya Pradesh. The State now comprises of 32 districts.

Economy :

Naturally, the state has many mineral based industries as well as textile production and chemical processing. As with all Indian states, Rajasthan also has intense activity in agriculture, particularly the growing of rice, barley, corn, wheat, cotton, and tobacco.

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