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Rajasthan is India’s largest state by area (342,239 square kilometres (132,139 sq mi) or 10.4% of India’s total area). It is located on the western side of the country, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert (also known as the “Rajasthan Desert” and “Great Indian Desert”) and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by the other Indian states: Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; and Gujarat to the southwest. Its features include the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization at Kalibanga; the Dilwara Temples, a Jain pilgrimage site at Rajasthan’s only hill station, Mount Abu, in the ancient Aravalli mountain range; and, in eastern Rajasthan, the Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site] known for its bird life. Rajasthan is also home to two national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar.

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Parts of what is now Rajasthan were part of the Indus Valley Civilization. Kalibangan, in Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization,.It is believed that Western Kshatrapas (405–35 BC) were Saka rulers of the western part of India (Saurashtra and Malwa: modern Gujarat, Southern Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan). They were successors to the Indo-Scythians and were contemporaneous with the Kushans, who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and established the Saka era (with their calendar), marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state.Matsya, a state of the Vedic civilisation of India, is said to roughly corresponded to the former state of Jaipur in Rajasthan and included the whole of Alwar with portions of Bharatpur.The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagar (modern Bairat), which is said to have been named after its founder king Virata.Traditionally the Rajputs, Jats, Meenas, Gurjars, Bhils, Rajpurohit, Charans, Yadavs, Bishnois, Sermals, PhulMali (Saini) and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting their culture and the land. Millions of them were killed trying to protect their land. A number of Gurjars had been exterminated in Bhinmal and Ajmer areas fighting with the invaders. Bhils once ruled Kota. Meenas were rulers of Bundi and the Dhundhar region.Maharana Pratap of Mewar resisted Akbar in the famous Battle of Haldighati (1576) and later operated from hilly areas of his kingdom. The Bhils were Maharana’s main allies during these wars. Most of these attacks were repulsed even though the Mughal forces outnumbered Mewar Rajputs in all the wars fought between them. The Haldighati war was fought between 10,000 Mewaris and a 100,000-strong Mughal force (including many Rajputs like Kachwahas from Dhundhar).Jat king Maharaja Suraj Mal (February 1707 – 25 December 1765) or Sujan Singh was ruler of Bharatpur in Rajasthan. A contemporary historian has described him as “the Plato of the Jat people” and by a modern writer as the “Jat Odysseus”, because of his political sagacity, steady intellect, and clear vision.Gurjars ruled for many dynasties in this part of the country, a region Gujrat that was long known as Gurjaratra.Up to the tenth century almost the whole of North India, excepting Bengal, acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars with their seat of power at Kannauj.The Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century. The chief accomplishment of the Gurjara Pratihara empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Historian R. C. Majumdar says that this was openly acknowledged by the Arab writers. He further notes that historians of India have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India, as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now there seems little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that effectively barred the progress of the Arabs beyond the confines of Sindh, their first conquest for nearly 300 years.Modern Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana, which comprises the erstwhile nineteen princely states, two chiefships, and the British district of Ajmer-Merwara.Marwar (Jodhpur), Bikaner, Mewar (Chittorgarh), Alwar and Dhundhar (Jaipur) were some of the main Rajput princely states. Bharatpur and Dholpur were Jat princely states whereas Tonk was a princely state under a Muslim Nawab. Rajput families rose to prominence in the 6th century CE. The Rajputs put up a valiant resistance to the Islamic invasions and protected this land with their warfare and chivalry for more than 500 years. They also resisted Mughal incursions into India and thus contributed to their slower-than-anticipated access to the Indian subcontinent. Later, the Mughals, through skilled warfare, were able to get a firm grip on northern India, including Rajasthan. Mewar led other kingdoms in its resistance to outside rule. Most notably, Rana Sanga fought the Battle of Khanua against Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire.Hemu, the Hindu Emperor, was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District in 1501. He won 22 battles against Afghans, from Punjab to Bengal and defeated Akbar’s forces twice at Agra and Delhi in 1556,before acceding to the throne of Delhi and establishing the “Hindu Raj” in North India, albeit for a short duration, from Purana Quila in Delhi. He was killed in the Second Battle of Panipat.Over the years, the Mughals began to have internal disputes which greatly distracted them at times. The Mughal Empire continued to weaken, and with the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, Rajputana came under the suzerainty of the Marathas. The Marathas, who were Hindus from the state of what is now Maharashtra, ruled Rajputana for most of the eighteenth century. The Maratha Empire, which had replaced the Mughal Empire as the overlord of the subcontinent, was finally replaced by the British Empire in 1818.

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Camel

A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as “humps” on its back. The two surviving species of camel are the dromedary, or one-humped camel (C. dromedarius), which inhabits the Middle East and the Horn of Africa; and the bactrian, or two-humped camel (C. bactrianus), which inhabits Central Asia. Both species have been domesticated; they provide milk, meat, hair for textiles or goods such as felted pouches, and are working animals with tasks ranging from human transport to bearing loads.

Great Indian bustard

The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) or Indian bustard is a bustard found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan. A large bird with a horizontal body and long bare legs, giving it an ostrich like appearance, this bird is among the heaviest of the flying birds. Once common on the dry plains of the Indian subcontinent, as few as 250 individuals were estimated in 2011 to survive and the species is critically endangered by hunting and loss of its habitat, which consists of large expanses of dry grassland and scrub. These birds are often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck.

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Prosopis cineraria

Prosopis cineraria is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is native to arid portions of Western Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, including Afghanistan, Iran, India, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It is an established introduced species in parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.Common names include Ghaf (Arabic); Khejri or “Loong Tree”(Rajasthan); Janty(जांटी) (Bishnois); Jund (Punjabi); Kahoor (Balochi); Kandi (Sindhi); Banni / Shami (Kannada);Gandasein(Burmese); Vanni (Tamil); Jammi (Telugu); Chaunkra, Jant/Janti, Khar, Khejri/Khejra, Sami, Shami (Marathi)and (Hindi); Khijdo (Gujarat); Vanni-andara, Katu andara, Kalapu andara, Lunu andara (Sinhala).It is the state tree of Rajasthan and Telangana (India. A large and well known example of the species is the Tree of Life in Bahrain – approximately 400 years old and growing in a desert devoid of any obvious sources of water.

Rohira

Tecomella undulata or Rohira flower is a state flower of Rajasthan state, India. It is a mid-sized tree and belonging to tree species. It is mostly found in Thar Desert areas of Pakistan and India.It is especially known for its excellent quality timber. It is an evergreen or deciduous tree. It occurs usually on flat as well as undulating locations such gentle mountain slopes and often in ravines. Moreover, it is greatly adapted to sandy soil to drain loamy. However, the species grow on sand dunes areas which face extremely changeable climate conditions. Mostly it grows in locations of scanty rainfall areas only 150 to 500 mm per year. Apart from that it can also stand with changeable climate conditions that could be down in temperature to subzero degree and rise to 48 to 50 degree Celsius. However, during the flowering period that comes in the month of December to February, it produces various attractive showy flowers. The flowers could be orange, yellow and red in colours.

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Rajasthan is connected by many national highways. Most renowned being NH 8, which is India’s first 4–8 lane highway.Rajasthan also has an inter-city surface transport system both in terms of railways and bus network. All chief cities are connected by air, rail and road.

There are three main airports at Rajasthan- Jaipur International Airport, Jodhpur Airport and Udaipur Airport. These airports connect Rajasthan with the major cities of India such as Delhi and Mumbai. There are three other airports in Kota, Jaisalmer and NAL(Bikaner) but are not open for commercial/civilian flights yet. One more airport at Kishangarh, Ajmer .i.e. Kishangarh Airport is being constructed by the Airport Authority of India.Rajasthan is connected with the main cities of India by rail.Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Alwar, Abu Road and Udaipur are the principal railway stations in Rajasthan. Kota City is the only Electrified Section served by three Rajdhani Expresses and trains to all major cities of India. There is also an international railway, the Thar Express from Jodhpur (India) to Karachi (Pakistan). However, this is not open to foreign nationals.Rajasthan is well connected to the main cities of the country including Delhi, Ahmedabad and Indore by State and National Highways and served by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) and Private operators.

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Cuisine

Rajasthani cuisine was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region.Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. Scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables have all had their effect on the cooking. It is also known for its snacks like Bikaneri Bhujia, Mirchi Bada and Pyaaj Kachori. Other famous dishes include Bajre ki roti (millet bread) and Lashun ki chutney (hot garlic paste), Mawa Kachori from jodhpur, Alwar ka mawa, Malpauas from pushkar and Rassgollas from Bikaner, “paniya”and “gheriya” from Mewar.Originating for the Marwar region of the state is the concept Marwari Bhojnalaya, or vegetarian restaurants, today found in many part of India, which offer vegetarian food of the Marwari people.To decrease the use of water in this desert state they use a lot of milk and milk products to cook.

Music and Dance

Highly cultivated classical music and dance with its own distinct style is part of the cultural tradition of Rajasthan. The music is uncomplicated and songs depict day-to-day relationships and chores, more often focused around fetching water from wells or ponds.The Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have gained international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Rajasthani culture. Kathputali, Bhopa, Chang, Teratali, Ghindar, Kachchhighori, Tejaji,parth dance etc. are the examples of the traditional Rajasthani culture. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories; and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis (often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak, sitar, sarangi etc.) are also sung.Kanhaiya Geet also sung in major areas of east rajasthani belt in the collectiong manner as a best source of entertainment in the rural areas.

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Arts and crafts

Rajasthan is famous for textiles, semi-precious stones and handicrafts, and for its traditional and colorful art. Rajasthani furniture has intricate carvings and bright colours. Block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints and Zari embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. The blue pottery of Jaipur is particularly noted.

Attire

Reflecting the colorful Rajasthani culture, Rajasthani clothes have a lot of mirror-work and embroidery. A Rajasthani traditional dress for females comprises an ankle length skirt and a short top, also known as a lehenga or a chaniya choli. A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both for protection from heat and maintenance of modesty called chunari. While Rajasthani women cover their faces with chunari, this practice is called Ghunghat. Rajasthani dresses are usually designed in bright colours like blue, yellow and orange.Their traditional dresses are entirely different from other states traditional dresses. Rajasthani dresses add colour to the culture of rajasthan. The traditional clothing for men includes the angarkha.

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Architecture

Rajasthan is famous for the majestic forts, intricately carved temples and decorated havelis, which were built by kings in previous ages. Jantar Mantar, Dilwara Temples, Mirpur Jain Temple, Chittorgarh Fort, Lake Palace Hotel, City Palaces, Jaisalmer Havelis are part of the architectural heritage of India. Jaipur, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue. At Ajmer, the white marble Bara-dari on the Anasagar lake is exquisite. Jain temples dot Rajasthan from north to south and east to west. Dilwara temples of Mount Abu, Mirpur Jain Temple of Mirpur, Ranakpur Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath near Udaipur, Jain temples in the fort complexes of Chittor, Jaisalmer and Kumbhalgarh, Lodarva (Lodhruva) Jain temples and Bhandasar Temple of Bikaner are some of the best examples.