|Area||3,42,239 sq. km|
|Principal Languages||Hindi and Rajasthani|
History and Geography
Rajasthan, the largest State in India in terms of area, prior to independence, was known as Rajputana or the home of Rajputs – a martial community who ruled over this area for centuries.
The history of Rajasthan dates back to the pre-historic times. Around 3,000 and 1,000 B.C., it had a culture akin to that of the Indus Valley Civilisation. It was the Chauhans who dominated Rajput affairs from seventh century and by 12th century, they had become an imperial power. After the Chauhans, it was the Guhilots of Mewar who controlled the destiny of the warring tribes. Besides Mewar, the other historically prominent states were Marwar, Jaipur, Bundi, Kota, Bharatpur and Alwar, while the other states were only offshoots of these. All these states accepted the British Treaty of Subordinate Alliance in 1818, protecting the interest of the princes. This naturally left the people discontented.
After the revolt of 1857, the people united themselves under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to contribute to the freedom movement. With the introduction of provincial autonomy in1935 in British India, agitation for civil liberties and political rights became stronger in Rajasthan. The process of uniting the scattered states commenced from 1948 to 1956, when the States Reorganisation Act was promulgated. First came Matsya Union (1948), consisting of a fraction of states. Slowly and gradually, other states merged with this Union. By 1949, major states like Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaislmer joined this Union, making it the United State of Greater Rajasthan. Ultimately in 1958, the present state of Rajasthan formally came into being, with Ajmer state, the Abu Road Taluka, and Sunel Tappa joining it.
The entire western flank of the state borders with Pakistan, while Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh bind Rajasthan in north, north-east, south-east and Gujarat in south-west.
Total cultivable area in the State is 217 lakh hectares (2006-2007). The estimated food grain production is 155.10 lakh tonnes (2007-08). Principal crops cultivated in the State are rice, barley, jowar, millet, maize, gram, wheat, oilseeds, pulses, cotton and tobacco. Cultivation of vegetable and citrus fruits such as orange and malta has also picked up over last few years. Other crops are red chillies, mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek methi and asafoetida hing.
Industry and Minerals
Endowed with a rich culture, Rajasthan is also rich in minerals and is fast emerging on the industrial scenario of the country. Some of the important Central undertakings are Zinc Smelter Plant at Devari (Udaipur), Copper Plant at Khetri Nagar (Jhunjhunu) and Precision Instrument Factory at Kota. Major industries are textiles and woollens, sugar, cement, glass, sodium plants, oxygen, vegetable dyes, pesticides, zinc, fertilizers, railway wagons, ball bearings, water and electricity metres, sulphuric acid, television sets, synthetic yarn and insulating bricks. Besides precious and semi-precious stones, caustic soda, calcium carbide, nylon and tyres, etc., are other important industrial units.
Rajasthan has rich deposits of zinc concentrates, emerald, garnet, gypsum, silver ore, asbestos, felspar and mica. The State also abounds in salt, rock phosphate, marble and red stone deposits. The first Export Promotion Industrial Park of the country has been established and made operational at Sitapura (Jaipur).
Irrigation and Power
By the end of March 2007 irrigation potential of 34.85 lakh hectares was created in the state through various major, medium and minor irrigation projects (2007-08) and additional irrigation potential of 92,200 hectares ( excluding IGNP & CAD) had been created upto March 2007. The installed power capacity in the State has become 6335.33Mw upto December 2007 of which 4000 Mw is produced from State- owned projects, 521.85 Mw from collaboration projects and 1813.18 Mw from the allocation from Central power generating stations.
Roads: The total length of roads in the State is around 1,58,250 km.
Railways: Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Kota, Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur are some of the main railway junctions.
Aviation: Regular air services connect Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur with Delhi and Mumbai.
Rajasthan is a land of festivals and fairs. Besides the national festivals of Holi, Deepawali, Vijayadashmi, Christmas, etc. birth anniversaries of Gods and Goddesses, saintly figures, folk heroes and heroines are celebrated. Important fairs are Teej, Gangaur (Jaipur), annual Urs of Ajmer Sherif and Galiakot, tribal Kumbh of Beneshwar (Dungarpur), Mahaveer fair at Shri Mahavirji in Swai Madhopur, Ramdeora (Jaisalmer), Janbheshwari Fair (Mukam-Bikaner), Kartik Poornima and Cattle Fair (Pushkar-Ajmer) and Shyamji Fair (Sikar), etc.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Deserts of Jaisalmer
Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Mount Abu, Sariska Tiger Sanctuary in Alwar, Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Pali and Chittorgarh are important places of tourist interest in the state.
Source: India 2010 – A Reference Annual
To Know more about Rajasthan, Please see the official website of Rajasthan