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State Info / Rajasthan
Rajasthan

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To the east of the Aravallis, Rajasthan is cotton country where peacocks dance in celebration of rain. Kipling must have been thinking of Rajasthan when he labelled India the land of camels and snakecharmers. Even today, the place retains its medieval charm with the sounds of desert music wafting from the distant sands and mounds of red chillies drying in courtyards ready to be pounded.Rajasthan is bounded on the west and northwest by Pakistan, on the north and northeast by Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, on the east and southeast by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and on the southwest by Gujarat. Each of its cities is a great tourist attractions with pride of place going to Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Ajmer.

History

Archaeological and historical evidence shows a continuous human habitation of the area dating back 100,000 years. Between the 7th and the 11th century AD, several dynasties arose, with Rajput strength reaching its peak at the beginning of the 16th c. Emperor Akbar brought the Rajput states into the Mughal empire; by early 19th century, they allied with the Marathas. Later, the British established paramountcy in the region. Raj- asthan soon emerged as a centre of Indian nationalism. When the new constitution went into effect in 1950, Rajput princes surrendered their powers to the Indian Union.

The People

There is majesty in every man of Rajasthan; these are after all the sons of kings. Rajasthan is a harsh, scorched land of savage summer heart but also full of the brightest colours. Countering the barren landscape with vibrant hues in their everyday wear and charming murals painted on their drab sepia-coloured mud homes, for the people, life is one big carnival. Even in the face of sure death. Here are many tales of desperate courage writ. Of men donning saffron robes and riding out to confront the enemy and womenfolk preferring death to dishonour. Even in everyday life today, the Rajput's sense of honour, family and tradition come foremost.

Culture

Rajasthan has made its contribution to Indian art; there is a rich literary tradition, especially of bardic poetry. Chand Bardai's poem Prithvi Raj Raso or Chand Raisa, the earliest manuscript of which dates to the 12th century, is particularly notable. A popular source of entertainment is the khyal, a dance drama composed in verse with festive, historical, or romantic themes. The typical folk dance of Rajasthan is the ghoomar, which is performed on festive occasions only by women. The geer dance (performed by men and women), the panihari (a graceful dance for women), and the kacchi ghori (in which male dancers ride dummy horses) are also popular.


Climate

There is a wide range of climate, varying from extremely arid to humid. Except in the hills, the heat in summer is great everywhere, with a mean daytime maximum temperature hovering at about 43 C in many locations. Winter temperatures vary from 20-24 C. Hot winds and dust storms occur, especially in the desert tract, where rainfall averages 4 inches annually. In the southwest, rainfall is higher, in part owing to the summer monsoon winds off the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. During the monsoons, Rajasthan is a delight.

Population 50 million.
Area ('000 sq. km): 342
Capital: Jaipur

The best time to visit is around Mid-October to Mid-March.

Transport : Excellent Air, Rail and Road links are available for travel within the state and around.

Language Spoken : Rajasthani , Hindi, English

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