RAJASTHAN
Area: 3.5 lakh sq. kms.
Capital: Jaipur
Language: Rajasthani, Hindi
Crops: Rice, Barley, Gram, Wheat, Oilseeds, Pulses, Cotton, Tobacco,
Red chillies, Mustard, Cumin seeds, Fenugreek seeds and Asafoetida.
Minerals: Zinc and Copper
Places of interest in Rajasthan

Rajasthan, the land of the Rajputs, the great warrior clan is a colourful place, charming in all seasons. This is the second largest state. This land of deserts and rocks also boasts of placid lakes and dense forests teeming with wild life. The Rajputs were not only warriors, but also great lovers and patrons of arts. The numerous forts, palaces and temples with their exquisite carvings, miniature paintings, painted walls & ceilings all stand testimony to this. The bright and colourful clothing - the women in their smashing swirling skirts complemented by the chunky silver jewellery and the men in their huge colourful turbans, all add to the enchantment of this land. This love for beauty & art is expressed to date by the people of Rajasthan through the many fairs and festivals that are organised throughout the year for every season. Camels were used as the only means of transport in the desert, though today modern transport has taken over. Camel rides however are still very much enjoyed by the tourists. A great variety of artefacts are available to the shopper.

The state that is today known as Rajasthan was originally a group of princely states. Several tribes of nomads survived in the desert under a chieftain. These tribal groups were at war with each other & hence in defence a number of forts came up. In course of time, they grew into powerful forces & developed into flourishing kingdoms. The princely states were collectively known as Rajputana (the land of princes & kings). The brave, chivalrous Rajputs ruled the land for over 1000 years until the entry of Moghuls into the region. The Moghuls added their stamp on the land, many palaces & forts reflecting exquisite Moghul style & craftmanship were built.With the fall of the Moghuls the Rajputs came back to power, but soon most of them fell to the British forces. Most kingdoms were forced into an alliance with the British, subject to certain economic & political constraints. Though they were great warriors, lack of unity & acceptance amongst them made it easy for their enemies to repeatedly bring them down. After Independence, the Rajput royalty were allowed to hold on to their titles, but this was abolished in 1970. Today, many palaces have been converted into museums & hotels, but most of them find it hard to maintain the massive buildings.

The Rajputs were Hindus offering worship to Siva, Vishnu, Kali. With the advent of the Moghuls, Islam also spread in the region & today the two religions co-exist. Jainism had also spread to a great extent. Serpent worship is also common. The Shila Devi temple, Jagat Shiromani temple in Amber, Lakshmi Narain temple, Karni Devi temple in Bikaner, temple for Brahma in Pushkar, Harihara temples, Surya & Mahishasuramardhini temples, Temple for the Sun God, Mahavira temple, Sachiya Mata temple in Jodhpur, Jagdish temple, Srinathji temple, Eklingji temple, temple of Jagat in Udaipur are some of the Hindu temples. Nassain temple in Ajmer, Osian temples, Mahavira temple in Jodhpur, Chaumukha temple, Parashwanath temple in Ranakpur, Adinath temple, Neminath temple in Mount Abu are some of the Jain temples. Dargah Khwaja Sahib, the tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer is one of the main Muslim pilgrimage centres.
 
Places of interest in Rajasthan


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