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State of India - Rajasthan
QUICK FACTS Climate (Degree C.): Summer - Max: 45, Min: 17, Winter - Max: 32, Min: 7 | Best Season: October - March |Languages Spoken: Rajasthani, Hindi and English | Capital: Jaipur


Rajasthan - the Land of great kings, palaces, and forts, though a desert state, is ironically one of the most colourful states of India. The magic of Rajasthan is unequalled in the world for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes and lush green forests with its wildlife. Rajasthan is one land that lures tourists from all over the world. The Palace on Wheels, the luxury train is another wonderful way of touring Rajasthan. The train takes you on a journey to popular tourist destinations in the state. Tour to Rajasthan will replete your memories with unusual mistiness about its people, culture, customs, costumes, cuisines, dialects and its folk music.

Geography of Rajasthan :
The huge portion of the state of Rajasthan is covered by the Thar Desert also known as "The Great Indian Desert". Aravalis - India's oldest mountain range splits the state into two different geographical zones - desert at one side and forests on the other. Rajasthan shares its north-western and western boundary with the Indo-Pakistan international border that extends about 1,070 km, the states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the north and northeast, the state of Madhya Pradesh lies in the southeast and Gujarat in the southwest.

History of Rajasthan :
The history of Rajasthan is about 5000 years old and the origin of this colossal land adverts to the famous myth of Ram, the seventh avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It was inhabited long before 2500 BC and the Indus Valley Civilisation had its foundation here in north Rajasthan itself. The Bhil and the Mina tribes were the earliest dwellers of this area. Around 1400 BC the Aryans paid a visit and settled here who were followed by Afghans, Turks and Persians. The first Mughal invasion took place in 1193 wherein Mohammed Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chouhan. Emperor Akbar too had ruled this region and seeing the courage and valor of the Rajputs, appointed many Rajputs in his royal court. Akbar even married Princess Jodha Bai after being charmed by her beauty and grace. During the British rule, Rajasthan was a conglomeration of princely states and each state was designated as Rajputana and was ruled by a Mahajaraja.Rajasthan is the famous land of the valiant Rajput warriors like Prithviraj Chauhan, Rana Kumbha, and Bhappa Rawal, continue to echo in the golden sands of Rajputana in the people's folklore, music and dance.

Tourist Places of Rajasthan:
While on a tour to Rajasthan you cant miss out the places like - City Palace & Lake Palace Udaipur; Umaid Bhavan Palace, Mehrangarh Fort & Jaswant Thada Memorial Jodhpur; Sam Sand Dunes Jaisalmer; City Palace, Hawa Mahal & Amber Fort Jaipur; the famous Chittourgarh Fort; Kumbhalgarh fort; Khimsar Fort; Lalgarh Palace of Bikaner. Religious Places such as Lord Brahma Temple at Pushkar, Dargah Sharief at Ajmer and Shrinath ji Temple at Nathdwara. Some of the most significant destinations of Rajasthan are Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur. Each of these destinations is a great insight into the colourful past of India still having its mesmerizing reflection ever standing monuments, rippling sand dunes and its culture.

Fairs & Festivals in Rajasthan:
The Rajasthani's love for colour, joyous celebrations and festivals makes it one of the most colourful deserts in the world. They have numerous fairs and festivals of the region. Folk music and dance is a feature of almost every festival in Rajasthan. In addition to the festivals celebrated by the Hindus, Muslims and others, there are also the traditional fairs. Some of popular one's include Teej Festival, Kota Dussehra, Nagaur Fair, Kite Festival, Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Marwar Festival and Camel Festival. The Brij Festival held a few days before the festival of colours; Holi, is one of the important festivals of Rajasthan. The main attraction of this festival is Raslila Dance, illustrating the eternal love story of Radha Krishna. Gangaur is a religious festival of Rajasthan which celebrated by married women and young girls. The Pushkar fair held in the month of November is an attractive and lively festival drawing huge devotees, saffron-robed and ash smeared Sadhus and thousands of richly decorated cattles such as bulls, cows, sheep, goats and camels.

Cuisine in Rajasthan:
Rajasthani cuisine is predominantly vegetarian and dazzling in its variety. The most famous dish would probably be dal-bati, which are spicy lentils with baked balls of wheat and lots of ghee. .Rajasthani's relish ghee which is an integral part of many of the preparations. Besan-chakki is very popular sweet dish made of gram flour. Sweet dishes are never referred to as 'dessert' in Rajasthan, because unlike desserts which are had after the meal, Rajasthani sweets are had before the meal, with the meal, and after the meal! Some Rajasthan specialties include Lapsi, Churma, Mawa Kachori, Ghevar, Mawa, Rasogullas, and Malpuas etc.

Shopping in Rajasthan:
Shopping in Rajasthan is a thrilling experience. Think Rajasthan and the image that comes to your mind are the big Bazaars spilled with products with intricate work carved on handicrafts or the wonders of gems and stones, colours dancing on the textiles and fabrics with silver or gold threads along with a wide variety of silk-threads, Beads, Zari, Zardosi, Banarasi made by the skilled artisans. Rajasthan is an ideal place to shop items like tie and dye fabrics, block prints, Bandhani work, lac jewellery, traditional Paintings, blue pottery, perfumes, leather items, Jaipuri Light Weight Quilts, sweets, metal ware, Carved White Marble It has it all and even more. It has something for almost every kind of traveller, which is a treat for the visuals and are ready to be picked.