The Land of Great Kingdoms, Rajasthan is India’s largest sate by the area. It is also one of the most popular state for travel destination. The state is located on the extreme north side of the country. The state contains one of the widest and forbidding desert which is Thar Desert, also known as The Great Indian Desert, it also shares the border of Pakistan and river Sutlej and Indus. It is surrounded by the Aravalis which is known as one of the oldest mountain range.
The history of the state is very vast, one of the world's first and oldest civilisation Indus Valley civilisation was the part of Rajasthan, one of the major destination during the period was Kalibangan, which was the part of Rajasthan now this place comes under Hanumangarh district. This region was long known as Rajputana, early in the Muslim period.
It is the home of two tiger reserves, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar and Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur. Apart from this it is also known for Keoladeo National Park in Bharatput, which is World Heritage Site. It has only hill station Mount Abu located at Aravalli mountain range.
Jaipur, the largest city in Rajasthan is the capital of the state.
Rajasthan Fairs and Festivals
Although all the major festivals of India are celebrated in the Rajasthan but some of the significant traditional festivals are such as:-
Pushkar Fair, Pushkar (November):-
It is one of the most popular festival of Rajasthan, held every year in November at Pushkar. Pushlar is one of the pilgrimage for Hindus. The main highlights of the event is music, dance, bazaars and local spots.
Desert Festival, Jaisalmer (January-February):-
It is another most famous festivals of Rajasthan. The festival take place every year during the January- February at Jaishalmer desert. The festival is the showcase of the true beauty of the desert along with tradition and culture of Rajasthan. The main highlights are such as sound and light spectacle on a moonlit night, camel dances, camel races, camel polo and camel acrobatics. Along with some competitions are also held during the festival like tug-of-war between musclemen, decorated camel and turban tying competition etc.
Elephant Festival, Jaipur (March):-
This festival held in Jaipur every year in March during the time of Holi. You can see the vibrant colours along with lots of elephant sports. A show is organised with the elephants turning out in their best finery.
Gangaur Festival (March-April):-
This festival is devoted to Goddess Parvati. It is 18 day festival with various activities and culminates in a grand procession marking the arrival of Shiva to escort his bride home.
Marwar Festival, Jodhpur (October):-
This is the festival of dance and music of the Marwah region. The festival held at Jodhpur in the month of October. During the festival you can enjoy the folk dances and music along with tradition and culture of the region. The festival is also known as Maand Festival which is classical style of folk music cantered on the romantic life style of the rulers of the Rajasthan. This festival is organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan.
Camel Festival, Bikaner (January):-
It is also one of the most popular festival of Rajasthan, which is held in in Bikaner during the month of January. Some unique highlights of the festival are such as camel race, camel dance, folk dance and music performances etc.
Nagaur Fair, Nagaur (January-February):-
This is another most impotent fair of Rajasthan which held in Nagaur located half way between Bikaner and Jodhpur. It is animal fair, highlights of the fair are such as Games, camel races, tug-of-war contests etc.
Mewar Festival, Udaipur (March-April):-
It is also one of the popular festival of Rajasthan. During the festival there are folk performances held apart from this processions, devotional music and fireworks also organised.
Urs Ajmer Sharif, Ajmer (According to Lunar Calendar):-
It is one of the most important festival of Rajasthan. The fair is held in the memory of the revered Sufi Saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti. It is an occasion for thousands of believers to congregate at the shrine and offer their prayers. All of Ajmer seems to take on a festive air and several programmes are organised to mark the festival.
Summer Festival, Mount Abu (June):-
The festival held in Mount Abu every year in the month of Jun. Folk dances and cultural performances are organised during the festival.
Cuisines of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is also known for its rich variety of the traditional cuisine. Rajasthani food is well known for its spicy curries and delicious sweets.The tradition of cooking of Rajasthan food is based on its natural climatic conditions of this desert land. There is short of water and fresh green veggies in the state of Rajasthan, which has an adverse impact on its cooking.Most of the Rajasthani food is prepared with butter milk, milk and butter or ghee in larger quantities to minimize the amount of water.
The some of the famous dishes are such as Dal-Bati, Churma, Dhungari Hui Chaach, Ghevar, Beans ki sabji, Khaddi , Mirchi Bada, Pyaaj Kachori , Laal maans etc.
Traditions and Culture of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is also known as the land of culture and traditions, its heartfelt songs and the sprightly dances, the ancient folk traditions and rich handicrafts. You can feel the real rhythm of life with full of traditions and culture while you enter the state.
The culture of Rajasthan reflects the ancient Indian way of life. There is a vast heritage of folk culture from villages which is often depicted symbolic of the state.
Rajasthan has the unique tradition of folk dances and songs such as Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer and Ghoomar from Udaipur, Bhopa, Kathputali, Chang, Ghindar, Kachchhighori,
Rajasthan is also known for handicraft, cloths and semi-precious stones, and also its traditional arts and embroidery such as Block prints,Zari embroidery, Sanganer prints, Bagaru prints, blue pottery of Jaipur.
The attire of the state reflects the true tradition of Rajasthani Culture, with lots of embroidery and mirror work.
Their language the state is a part of the western group of Indo-Aryan languages that is called Rajasthani, apart from this Hindi is the official language of the state.