About Rajasthan

Rajasthan

Rajasthan maps

Rajasthan is a beautiful amalgamation of the old and new; the ancient and the modern. Rajasthan, or the Land of Kings, is true to its name with lavish forts and majestic palaces that are apt reminders of a rich, romantic past that speaks of heroism, honor and chivalry. Amidst a stark desert and surrounded by the Aravallis, India’s oldest mountain range, the State stands out like a beacon, attracting travelers with its rich art and culture. There are so many vibrant and colourful festivals held across the state that give visitors to Rajasthan a reason to celebrate almost throughout the year. A glittering jewel of India, Rajasthan has something for everyone so whether you are planning an adventurous holiday hoping for a rendezvous with tigers or a quiet sojourn gazing at the beauty of the golden sand-dunes; or to experience the many nuances of royalty - Rajasthan is the place for you. The fast-expanding cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur are a confluence of culture and modernity and despite the fact that the state has progressed steadily since Independence the people have still held on to their roots as is evident by their simple, warm nature and hospitality. No wonder, Rajasthan is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations and just about has it all; it is brimming with varied, amazing and incredible attractions.

Rajasthan:

is the Land of Kings
is about the story of Warriors
and their chivalry, romance, glory
and tragedy in fairy tale proportions…

Jantar Mantar

Statistics:

Area: 342,236 km² (132,138 sq mi)
Capital: Jaipur
Largest city: Jaipur
Districts: 32
Population: approximately 58 million
Language(s): Hindi, Rajasthani, Gujarati is also spoken

HISTORY

Rajasthan played an important role in the making of India’s history, its civilization and its culture. Rajasthan's impressive saga has a heroic past. The imposing grand forts perched on rocky hills still tell tales of the bravery of its men and the silent sacrifices of its women. Its extravagant splashes of bright hues juxtapose against the desert landscape and the rustic elegance of its small villages and rich folk customs keep centuries of deep rooted tradition alive.

Jaigarh Fort

Rajasthan was a collection of several princely states that were collectively known as Rajputana. Ruled by the brave warriors the Rajputs came into greater prominence in the political life of India during the period of decline and disintegration of the Gupta Empire.

The Rajputs claim to be descendents of the Kshatriyas of the Vedic period of India and there were several clans like the Sisodias of Mewar, the Kachhwahas of Amber, the Rathores of Marwar, the Hadas of Kota and Bundi, Jhalas of Jhalawar, the Bhatis of Jaisalmer, the Shekhawats of Shekhawati and the Chauhans of Ajmer. Around 12th century AD the Rajputs occupied vast territories in and around present day Rajasthan and even, at one time, Delhi.

These Rajput kingdoms come into conflict with Muslim invaders at different stages of their evolution some of them lost their independence while others held against the enemies. The Muslim invaders as also those who established their rule in India realized that the Rajputs, universally known for their valor, courage and martial spirit would not easily be subdued by military might alone.

maharaja ajit singh

The Rajputs were passionately attached to their land family and honor and were known for their indomitable courage, chivalry and utmost regard for truth. The Rajput history is replete with instances of heroism and self sacrifice both by the princes and the peasantry. There are innumerable heroes that stand out like the legendary Prithvi Raj Chauhan who succeeded to the kingdom of Delhi and Ajmer. He was attacked by Muhammad Ghori who commanded a large and powerful army. Both the armies met at the battle of Tarain in 1191 AD. Muhammad Ghori was serious wounded and carried off the battle field for safety of his life. Muhammed Ghori attacked again in 1192 AD at the same place, with a much larger force and the Rajputs were outmaneuvered by the superior tactics of the Muslims invaders and lost the battle. Prithvi Raj Chauhan died following his defeat.

Another shining example is of Rana Pratap of Mewar, an embodiment of courage, bravery and fortitude, who endeavored ceaselessly to redeem the honor of his race and defied the mighty Mughal Emperor Akbar who was militarily the strongest and the richest ruler of his time. Akbar could not afford to ignore the brave Rajputs and engineered matrimonial alliances with them in order to accomplish his objective of expanding and consolidating the empire.

Following the decline of the Mughal Empire towards the 18th century the British made their presence felt and many princely states continued to maintain their autonomy despite allegiance to a central authority at Delhi even during the British rule. At the time of Independence on 15th August 1947, Rajputana (region of Rajputs) comprised of 18 princely States, two chieftains and a British administered province of Ajmer-Merwara besides a few pockets and territories outside its main boundaries.

The merger of the states happened in stages but by 1950, 18 states of united Rajasthan merged with Sirohi to form the State. The Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Man Singh II, was made the Rajpramukh of the State and Jaipur became its capital. The princes of the former kingdoms were constitutionally granted handsome remuneration in the form of privy purses and privileges to assist them in the discharge of their financial obligations. In 1971, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, abolished the privy purses. A golden era ended when their privy purses were abolished but the contribution of the Maharajas in various fields’ lives on to this day. Erstwhile rulers built some of the most amazing forts and palaces, promoted arts and crafts and were great patrons of other art forms as well.

Rambagh

Today, Rajasthan has 33 districts that cover an area of 342,239 sq.km and is acknowledged as a major tourist destination known the world over for its vibrant colours, its crafts and its interesting landscape. While Rajasthan has kept pace with the changing times what makes it special is the fact that the spirit of the bygone era continues to live on to this day - and you don’t have to look very hard to discover  reminders of Rajasthan glorious past – they’re scattered all over.

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