Rajasthan- The Land of Kings

Rajasthan- The Land of Kings

Rajasthan also known as the “Land of Colours” is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. The Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert) encapsulates most of the area of the large, which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan. With Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north, Rajasthan is bordered by all these majestic states. Rajasthan covers an area of 342,239 km². Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when Rajputana, merged into the Dominion of India. Jaipur is the capital as well as the largest city of the state. Rajasthan is known for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes, lush forests and wildlife.

History: One of the world’s first and oldest civilizations, The Indus Valley Civilization was located in Rajasthan. Rajasthan was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization.

During the 9 th and 10 th centuries, the Rajputs rose to prominence and were a ruling power in medieval India. Rajputs are known for their passionate attachment to their land, family and honour considered war as a sport, and followed a b chivalric code of conduct.

1911- Prithviraj Chauhan fought successfully against the invader Muhammad Ghori in the battle of Tarain. The great Rana Pratap of Mewar, defiantly withstood the might of the Mughal, and continued to raid on them even after his defeat. He died in 1597, and his son, Ambar Singh, took over the mantle of opposition to Mughal rule. Rana Pratap was the lone exception, as most of the leading Rajput clans finally married into Mughal royalty and nobility, and went into direct State service of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal emperor, Akbar, consolidated and expanded his empire because of his close ties with the proud Rajputs.

15th August 1947- Rajasthan was known as Rajputana (country of Rajputs) comprising of 18 Princely States, two chieftains and a British administered province of Ajmer-Merwara and few territories outside its main boundaries.

March 1948- The Matsya Union comprising of Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli was formed. Banswara, Bundi, Dungarpur, Jhalawar, Kishangarh, Kota, Pratapgarh, Shahpura and Tonk joined the Indian union and formed a part of Rajasthan.

April 1948- Udaipur joined the state and the Maharana of Udaipur was made Rajpramukh. Hence the merger of south and southeastern states was almost complete. Still retaining their independence from India were Jaipur and the desert kingdoms of Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. From a security point of view, it was vital to the new Indian Union to ensure that the desert kingdoms were integrated into the new nation.

March 1949- Instrument of Accession treaty was signed, and the kingdoms of Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur were merged. Man Singh II was made the Rajpramukh of the state and Jaipur became its capital. Later in 1949, the United State of Matsya, comprising the former kingdoms of Bharatpur, Alwar, Karauli and Dholpur, was incorporated into Rajasthan.

January 26th 1950- 18 states of united Rajasthan merged with Sirohi to join the state leaving Abu and Dilwara to remain a part of Greater Bombay and now Gujarat.

November 1956- State of Ajmer, Abu Road Taluka, former part of princely State Sirohi, State and Sunel Tappa region of the former Madhya Bharat was merged with Rajasthan and Sirohi sub district of Jhalawar was transferred to Madhya Pradesh.

1970- Indira Gandhi, who was then the Prime Minister of India, abolished all princely powers and privileges.

Culture: Rajasthan’s culture comprises of wide spectrum of fairs and festivals, folk music, cuisine and the arts and crafts. The natives are called Rajasthanis. Rajasthan soaked in rich artistic and cultural traditions truly reflects the ancient Indian way of life. There is rich and varied folk culture from villages which is often depicted and is symbolic of the state.

The Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have gained recognition on international platforms. Kathputli, Bhopa, Chang, Teratali, Ghindr, Kachchhighori, Tejaji etc. are the striking features of the traditional Rajasthani culture.

The traditional, colorful art like the block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, and Zari embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. Arts and craft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, and blue pottery are famous for their splendid mirror-work and embroidery. Rajasthan is also known for its quilting, jewellery, gems and stones, blue pottery, leather craft, woodcarving, and local painting traditions.

Rajasthan’s  desert festival is celebrated once a year during winter. People dress in brilliantly hued costumes, and sing ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. The snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers showcase their talents. Camels play a stellar role in this festival.

Topography and Weather:

Rajasthan’s striking geographical features like the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the Ghaggar River near the Kalibanga of the Indus Valley Civilization, are the oldest in the Indian subcontinent discovered so far. In the south of Rajasthan, River Luni and River Chambal and its tributaries form an alluvial basin in Kota.

Rajasthan has tropical desert climate. From October to February Rajasthan experiences cold weather, and January being the coldest month. The scorching temperature rises progressively from March to September. The onset of south-west monsoon is seen in the last week of June in the eastern parts and lasts till mid September. There are occasionally pre-monsoon showers in mid June while post-monsoon rains occur in October. Rajasthan receives most of its rainfall during July and August.

Places to Visit:

Ajmer
Alwar
Bharatpur
Bikaner
Bundi
Chittaurgarh
Dungarpur
Jaipur
Jodhpur
Jaisalmer
Jhalawar
Kota
Kumbhalgarh
Mount Abu
Nathdwara
Pushkar
Ranakpur
Rohet
Sariska
Ranthambore

National Parks:

Keoladeo National Park
Ranthambhore National Park
Desert National Park
Sariska National Park

Forts:

Mehrangarh Fort
Chittaurgarh Fort
Kumbhalgarh Fort
Jaisalmer Fort
Taragarh Fort
Amber & Jaigarh Fort
Dundlod Fort and Palace
Fort Rajwada

How to Reach:

Air: The main airports in Rajasthan are: Sanganer Airport at Jaipur, Kota Airport in Kota, Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur, and Jodhpur Airport in Jodhpur, Bikaner Domestic Airport also known as Nal Airport in Bikaner. Jaisalmer Domestic Airport in Jaisalmer is operational during the peak travel season, from 1st October to 31st March

Rail: Railways are very well connected with all major cities in India. Palace on Wheels, one of the most luxurious trains in the world, is the highpoint of any travel to Rajasthan.

Bus : The State and National Highways and served by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) and Private Operators.

Bus tickets are easily available online. One can plan trip and do bus booking online in advance. Online bus tickets booking is an easy process which can save your time and price.

Via.com offers cheap Air tickets, Cheap Air Fares, Online bus tickets booking, railway reservation; through IRCTC.

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