Rajasthan is India’s largest state. It is bordered by Gujarat, Pakistan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and includes the great arid Thar Desert. Its capital city is Jaipur and it is the home of the Ghaggar River and the Kalibanga ruins.

Rajasthan’s known history goes back some five millennia. Several empires ruled over this part of the subcontinent, including the influential Mauryan Empire, the Rajput Dynasty, the powerful Mughals and, finally, the Marathas. Thereafter, Britain seized control of the area until 1947, when India achieved political independence.

The Thar Desert and the awesome Aravalli Mountain Range are just two of the many natural features that set this area apart in sheer breath-taking wonder. While the entire north-west area is generally characterised by sand and arid conditions, it remains intriguing and even beautiful in its own right. Scrub forests surround the desert and, as one moves further away from the dry conditions, the area becomes more fertile and densely vegetated. Although there is more desert than lush area in this state, many plant- and animal species thrive under these conditions, which make for excellent experiences and encounters for nature lovers. Some of the local fauna includes the Blackbuck, Indian Gazelle, Short-toed Eagle, tigers, the Bengal Fox, wolves, wild cats and the Great Indian Bustard. To protect these valuable treasures, many preserves and sanctuaries have been established throughout Rajasthan, including a number of tiger reserves.
Image of the historic Bundi Palace In Rajasthan, India Lit Up At Night
The Historic Bundi Palace In Rajasthan, India Lit Up At Night

Most of the locals survive (directly or indirectly) by means of the farming industry. Its main crops are wheat, tobacco, barley, oilseeds, pulses, sugar cane and cotton. This state is also responsible for much of the wool and polyester production in India. Mining is particularly lucrative here, and it produces copper, zinc, sandstone etc...

In addition to its financial and natural wealth, Rajasthan also exhibits a rich culture. Because of outside influences, individual tribes and migrants, it enjoys a multifaceted society with many different languages, religions, customs, values and ideals. As with most other Indian cultures, song and dance play an integral role in the celebrations and religious festivals of the Rajasthan population. Songs and poetry usually depict everyday chores and the lives of the local people, while the dances usually tell more romantic or heroic tales. There is also an abundance of arts and crafts, created by the locals and very popular amongst visitors, including ceramics, wooden pieces and carpets.

Visitors to Rajasthan are urged to witness at least some of the religious festivals and all the pomp and ceremony that accompany these. Most of these festivals are Hindu and include Deepawali, Holi, Teej, and Makar Sankranti. The Desert Festival is held in winter, when temperatures are more bearable, and present a kaleidoscope of colours, magicians, aromas, lights, animal performers and musical productions.

Rajasthan is famous for its beautiful palaces, forts and havelis, and tourists are urged to witness at least some of these masterpieces. Other attractions include:

• The many shops and markets offering excellent prices for authentic Indian products
• Udaipur (the magical "White City")
• Jaisalmer (home of the golden fort)

For more information, please view: http://www.rajasthantourism.gov.in/

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