Rajasthan (राजस्थान) is the geographically largest state in northwestern India. It borders Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers an area of 342,239 km² (132,139 sq mi; in India also expressed as 3.42 lakh sq km).
The state capital is Jaipur. Geographical features include the Thar Desert and the termination of the Ghaggar River. Also one of the oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range, which cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu and the world famous Dilwara Temples. In contrast to the vast Thar Desert it has two national tiger reserves, 'Ranthambhore' and 'Sariska' and 'Ghana Bird Sanctuary' at Bharatpur.
History of Rajasthan
Rajasthan was earlier called Rajputana (state of Rajputs) after the ruling class of Rajputs. Rajput which literally means 'son of rulers'. As there were always lots of small states having separate rulers, no invader of India was able to win Rajasthan, though many tried and failed and even lost their kingdoms (historians believe that one reason for Aurangzeb, the famous mughal ruler of Delhi, losing Delhi was his getting involved in fighting with Rajputs and Marathas).
Rajasthan is the only state of India which has never been directly ruled by any foreign invader or power, like the Mughals or the British. However, the British made treaties with rulers of different states of Rajasthan and were indirectly the rulers of Rajasthan during the days of the British Raj.
This long freedom and rule by different rulers was good to perserve freedom, culture and society, but, it also kept the state illiterate, backward and old fashioned, so it's still lagging behind in industrialisation, education, female rights, and equality.
Rajasthan is a state where one can see history as present, in its forts and palaces.
The history of Rajasthan is very long and dramatic filled with lots of heroic stories and instances where people have put their life and families at risk and kept the pride and values like loyalty, freedom, truth, shelter etc intact. This is list of famous people in the history of Rajasthan:
- Maharana Pratap
- Meera Bai
- Jaimal Rathore
- Veer Durgadas
- Panna Dhai
- Veer Teja
- Shekha Ji
- Population: 56.47 million (2001 Census, estimated at more than 58 million now)
- Cities and Towns: 222
- Major cities: Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Bikaner, Bhilwara, Alwar
- Roads: 61,520 km. ( 2,846 km National Highway)
- National highways crossing Rajasthan: Delhi-Ahmedabad, Agra-Bikaner, Jaipur-Bhopal and Bhatinda-Kandla
- Climate: Generally dry with monsoon during July-August
- Districts: 33
- Languages: English and Hindi commonly used, as well as indigenous Rajasthani languages
- Literacy: 61.03 %
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