Rajasthan

Overview

For many, Rajasthan represents India in the most wholesome manner. Tales of valiant Rajput Kings, architectural grandeur, vibrant colours and charming chaos hang heavy in the air. It is certainly recommended to visit Rajasthan, even if you need to give some other destinations a miss. The four main cities of one of the largest states of India have a distinct colour to them. If you stand atop the fort of that city, you can see that Jaipur is entirely pink, Jaisalmer brown, Jodhpur blue and Udaipur white. This is going to be a total immersion in forts and palaces, so see if you have someone to guide you well and tell you the little anecdotal information and legendary stories. Spoil yourself with lots of shopping in Jaipur for silver jewellery, tie and dye fabric and local morjari slippers. It is certainly a haven for women. The number of festivals and fairs in Rajasthan is what draws a plethora of travellers to visit here. Each month sees celebrations in some part of the state, which can give you reason enough to visit it.

Location

The state is located in Eastern India. Its capital is Jaipur. Important distances from Jaipur are: Ajmer ¬Ė 135 kms Udaipur - 406 km Delhi - 260 kms

History

Rajasthan has an extremely rich history which dates back as it was inhabited long before 2500 BC. Foundation of the Indus Valley Civilisation also lie north Rajasthan. The earliest inhabitants of Rajasthan were the Bhil and Mina tribes. In 1400 BC the Aryans came to the state pushing out the original inhabitants. They were later followed by the Afghans, Turks, Persians and Mughals. From 7 AD onwards the state was fragmented into many kingdoms who constantly at loggerheads. It’s possible that during this time Rajput influence grew. They even disagreed with each other in how to deal with the British threat. Many chose to align with them while other fought valiantly in the mutiny of 1857. The spirit of heroic Rajputs is pervasive throughout the state. After Indian independence, 23 princely states were combined to form what currently exists as the state of Rajasthan.

Festivals

People come from all over the world just to see Rajasthan’s Holi. The festival falls in March every year and the elephant festival coincides with Holi celebrations. 14 January, the day of Makar Sankranti, is the official date of the Kite festival. To see the India glitterati at its finest one must find a way to attend a polo match in Jodhpur. The Polo season starts in December. Another important festival falls in October, which is the culmination of the Marwar Festival. It celebrated with a beautiful fire dance on the sand dunes.

Cuisine

Due to Rajasthan’s arid climate the food is usually laced with a lot of butter and ghee. Cold beverages are integral to staying hydrated. The famous makhania lassi, pyaaz kachori and dal-baati-choorma are the state’s specialties.

Language

Rajasthani is the local language which is very similar to hindi. But English is commonly spoken by people particularly those associated with the tourism industry. Read more
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