The land of Maharajas and Rajputs - Rajasthan is a state that has a rich history repleting with the timeless tales of Royal India. Also, known as the desert state, it is the biggest state in India that is located on the north-western side of the country. Famous for splendid palaces, fortifying forts, vibrant lifestyle - each alley of Rajasthan epitomizes the regal culture of the bygone era.
The history of Rajasthan has witnessed the power and downfall of Rajputs, Marathas, Chauhans, Mughals, and the British. Basking in the glory of prosperity, wealth, art, architecture, and literature - the state is indeed a mosaic of historical events. Various excavations conducted proclaimed the traces of Indus Valley Civilization in the Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts, and traces of the Harappan Civilization near Kalibanga. Rajasthan was a realm for Arjunyas, Kushans, Malavas, Sakas Satrapas, and Yaudheyas who ruled the region till 321 BCE after which the Gupta dynasty came to power. Later in the 7th century, the kingdom was followed by Gujara-Pratiharas. By the early 8th century, the Rajput dynasty rose to prominence in the Thar region, and in the 9th century, they were commanding over the entire state. The state was flourishing and became an attraction for foreign and Muslim invaders. In the 10th century, the Rajputs joined hands with Chauhans to fight against the invaders. Together they emerged victorious in most of the battles against the Muslim rulers.
The Battle of Tarain in 1191 marked the victory of Prithviraj Chauhan over Muhammad Ghori while in the following year, 1192, Muhammad Ghori defeated the Chauhan King and established the first Muslim empire in Rajasthan. Hem Chandra Vikramaditya defeated Ghori and hoisted his flag in Rajasthan in 1553 which didn't last for long as in the battle of Panipat in 1556, Hem Chandra was defeated by Akbar. Akbar extended hands for an alliance with the Rajput rulers and married Rajput princess, Jodha Bai. In the battle of Dewar in 1588, Rana Pratap defeated Akbar and the Mughal empire crumbled. Then in early 1700 came Holkars and Scindia rulers, who were aided by Maratha rulers. By the 19th century, East India Company established its base in Ajmer and gradually gained control over the entire region. Rajput rulers signed the treaty to form a single pact that was named as Rajasthan. Jaipur, Marwar, and many regions were established under British Raj. India gained independence in 1947 after which a political treaty was formed again wherein the Rajput rulers were asked to join independent India. Later, Indira Gandhi abolished the monarchy system from Rajasthan and thereafter it became a full-fledged part of India.
Known as the Cultural Capital of India, Rajasthan is a state in India that upholds the essence of royal grandeur of Kings and Rajputs and folk culture of many tribal communities. Rajasthan has marked its place as the Land of Maharajas on the tourist map and is listed amongst the most culturally rich, vibrant and alluring states in India. Replete with painted Havelis, rituals, folk traditions, music, songs, dance, festivals, and handicrafts - the culture of Rajasthan has always attracted tourists from all over the world making it a famous tourist destination in India. Cultures and traditions of Rajputs have an everlasting impact on the society of Rajasthan, however, tribal ethnicity and practices are major attractions of the state.
The culturally diverse society of Rajasthan is an amalgamation of Hindus with substantial minorities of Muslims and Jains. Some of the oldest tribes – Bhils, Minas, Meos, Banjaras, Gadia, and Lohars add to the cultural diversity of the state. Marwari is the native language, however, languages such as Malvi, Mewati, Dhundari are widely spoken. Folks of Rajasthan are famous for their hospitality and royal treatment that attracts travelers from all around the world. They treat their guests like God and amuse them with warmth. It has been a realm of many rulers and is blended with myriad cultures that epitomized Rajasthan to the fame of luxuriance and affluence.
Bewitching handicrafts and clinquant jewelry of Rajasthan has always caught the fancy of tourists from all over the world. Textiles, silver, semi-precious stonework, embroidery, zari work, mirror work, leather goods, metal string needlework are exquisite and hard to resist. The state is famous for its vivid printing techniques such as block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagru prints, Sanganeri prints that are exported to different parts of the world. The art of making puppets and their live displays in shows add to the charming handicraft culture of Rajasthan. Intricately carved wooden furniture, detailed carpets, and exquisite blueprint pottery of Rajasthan are immensely popular worldwide.
Each region in Rajasthan has a distinct folk culture making it a melting pot of distinct folk music and dance styles. Folk Singing is a profession of communities such as Fedalis, Patars, Kanchari, Nats, Hawais, Rawals while Manganiyars and Langas are the two most popular communities that represent Rajasthan folk music on global platforms. The famous dance forms - Kalbeliya from Jaisalmer and Ghoomar from Udaipur have gained popularity in many parts of the world. From subtle color palettes to vibrant layouts, Rajasthan showcases the wide range of timeless art forms that can be seen on the walls of monuments as well as on the fabrics of the state.
Regional cuisines of Indian states are as unique as the diversity. The distinct flavors of the Rajasthani kitchen are a blend of aromatic spices and unique ingredients of different regions. Rajasthan is known for royal traditions and rich culture that offers an array of delectable dishes that can tantalize your taste buds. Dal-Baati dunked in desi ghee with dainty churma is the hallmark dish of the state. Laal Mass is a signature dish that is a heavenly combination of mutton and spices. Famous Gatte ki sabzi is a fiery combination of curry and spices. Mirchi vadas and Mawa Kachoris of Jodhpur are simply mouth-watering.
The sweet-savory - milk cake of Alwar is absolutely delightful. Ghevar, Mohan thal, and Dil Khushal are some of the traditional sweet treats of Rajasthan. Pyaaz Kachori, Ker Sangri, Rajasthani Kadi, Ram Pulao, Methi Bajra Poori, Kalmi Vada, Aam ki Launji, Bikaneri Bhujia are some of the typical dishes of Rajasthani cuisine.
An icon of royalty, the city of kings and queens, Rajasthan is all about its rich heritage, lip-smacking food, incredible locales, and incredible attractions. The following are a few activities that can make your experience heartwarming certainly.
From splendid forts of Bikaner to pilgrimage site of Ajmer, from the city of Lakes - Udaipur to the golden city - Jaisalmer, from Baoris of Bundi to the golden sand of Pushkar, from verdant sanctuaries of Bharatpur to hilly terrain of Mount Abu, from the capital city of Jaipur to IIT coaching hub - Kota, Rajasthan is unbelievably diverse and breathtaking. Constant efforts of Rajasthan Tourism has helped in maintaining the ethnicity of Royal Culture of India. The Desert Capital, Rajasthan is one of the finest tourist destinations of India where vibrant folk culture oozes out from each grain of sand.