RAJASTHAN TOURISM GUIDE
Map: Rajasthan, India
Capital of Rajasthan: Jaipur
Must See: Hawa Mahal, Jaisalmer Fort
Best Time To Visit: October To March
Rajasthan, this wild desert land invites you to a memorable tryst with itself. Savor Rajasthan’s unique culture that is a blend of the ancient and the modern. Travel Rajasthan, check out must visit forts, palaces and monuments; enjoy a luxurious stay at famous heritage hotels of Rajasthan or take a heritage tour of distinct cultural heritage sites of Rajasthan.
To the east of the Aravallis, Rajasthan is Cotton Country where peacocks dance in celebration of rain. Kipling must have been thinking of Rajasthan when he labelled India the ‘land of camels and snakecharmers’. Even today, Rajasthan retains its medieval charm with the sounds of desert music wafting from the distant sands and mounds of red chillies drying in courtyards ready to be pounded.
Rajasthan is bound on the west and northwest by Pakistan, on the north and northeast by Punjab , Haryana , and Uttar Pradesh , on the east and southeast by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh , and on the southwest by Gujarat . Each of its cities is a great tourist attraction with pride of place going to Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Ajmer. Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Umaid Bhawan, Jantar Mantar, Pushkar, Ranthanbhore National Park are musts on every tourist’s itinerary.
CAPITAL OF RAJASTHAN
Jaipur, the capital, is pretty in pink. Vegetable marts, jewellery shops, camel-riding locals make it a busy and crowded metropolis. It sits on a dry lake bed in a somewhat arid landscape surrounded by barren hills surmounted by forts and crenellated walls. The language spoken is mostly Rajasthani and Hindi
History of Rajasthan
Archaeological and historical evidence shows a continuous human habitation of the area dating back 100,000 years. Between the 7th and the 11th century AD, several dynasties arose, with Rajput strength reaching its peak at the beginning of the 16th century. Emperor Akbar brought the Rajput states into the Mughal Empire; by early 19th century, they allied with the Marathas. Later, the British established supremacy in the region. Rajasthan soon emerged as a centre of Indian nationalism. When the new constitution went into effect in 1950, Rajput princes surrendered their powers to the Indian Union.
The Rajasthani People
There is majesty in every man of Rajasthan; they are afterall the sons of kings. Rajasthan is a harsh, scorched land of savage summer heat but also full of the brightest colours. Countering the barren landscape with vibrant hues in their everyday wear and charming murals painted on their drab sepia-coloured mud homes, for the people, life is one big carnival, even in the face of sure death. Here are many tales of desperate courage written of men donning saffron robes and riding out to confront the enemy and womenfolk preferring death to dishonour. Even in everyday life today, the Rajput’s sense of honour, family and tradition come foremost.
Culture in Rajasthan
Rajasthan has made its contribution to Indian art; there is a rich literary tradition, especially of bardic poetry. Chand Bardai’s poem on Prithvi Raj Raso or ‘Chand Raisa’, the earliest manuscript of which dates to the 12th century, is particularly notable. A popular source of entertainment is the ‘khyal’, a dance drama composed in verse with festive, historical, or romantic themes. The typical folk dance of Rajasthan is the ‘ghoomar’, which is performed on festive occasions only by women. The ‘geer’ dance (performed by men and women), the ‘panihari’ (a graceful dance for women), and the ‘kacchi ghori’ (in which male dancers ride dummy horses) are also popular.
Handicrafts of Rajasthan
Rajasthan, especially Jaipur, is one of the finest centres in the entire region for beautiful prints – specially on cotton fabrics and has perhaps India’s largest centre of semi-precious / precious gems and stones. Tie-and-die fabrics and sarees; Sanganer prints; brocades; marble statuettes, ivory carving; stone-set and semi precious jewellery; enamel work… there is no end to what Jaipur offers to shoppers.
CLIMATE OF RAJASTHAN
There is a wide range of climate, varying from extremely arid to humid. Except in the hills, the heat in summer is great everywhere, with a mean daytime maximum temperature hovering at about 43º C in many locations. Winter temperatures vary from 20º-24º C. Hot winds and dust storms occur, especially in the desert tract, where rainfall averages 4 inches annually. In the southwest, rainfall is higher, in part owing to the summer monsoon winds off the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.