Rajasthan

Rajasthan is the largest state of India, and is known as ‘ Land Of Maharajas’ covering an area of about 342,239 sq. km. Jaipur is the capital and largest city of Rajasthan. It shares its international border with Pakistan to its northwest and to the west with Sindh. To its north it has Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to its northeast; to its southeast it has Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to its southwest.   The state is famous for its majestic palaces, forts and monuments. The vibrant culture and rich heritage attracts a large number of tourists from around the world. Its major attractions include the ruins of Indus Valley Civilization, the oldest mountain range- Aravalli, a Jain pilgrimage site known as Dilwara Temples, Karni Mata Mandir, the only hill station of Rajasthan- Mount Abu, Keoladeo National Park (formerly known as Bharatpur National Park, the Ranthambore National Park and the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Some of its major architectural wonders include Chittorgarh fort, it is the largest fort in Asia, Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur, Jaipur “The Pink City” houses a number of well known tourists spots which include Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Lake Palace, City Palace, Amber Palace, Jantar Mantar, Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer Fort in Jaisalmer and many more.

Tradition and Culture of Rajasthan:

Rajasthan has a rich traditional and cultural heritage which is reflected by the fairs and festivals which are organized here. The major religion followed here is Hinduism followed by Islam and Sikhism also. Most of the people speak Hindi and Marwari. The main festivals celebrated here are Holi, Dusshera, Diwali, Teej and Gangaur. The cuisine of Rajasthan is similar to that of other parts of North India, but most of the people prefer Marwari food among which Dal, Baati and churma is the most popular.

Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan:

The fairs and festivals in Rajasthan is a mirror of the lifestyle of the people of Rajasthan. These fairs and festivals attract a large number of visitors from all over the world throughout the year. Some of the major fairs and festivals of Rajasthan are:

  • Desert Festival: Vibrant desert festival in Jaisalmer is a wonderful opportunity to experience the sandstones and magical castles. The festival lasts for 3 days- one can experience fancy camel ride, participate in camel races, polo matches, turban tying competitions and various other things. The best part about the festival is the folk dance performance on the last day of the event. The major attractions of the desert festival of Jaisalmer include snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers, fire dancers and various other things that will capture your heart.
  • Bikaner Camel Festival: Join this festival and witness some of the best camel performances. Bikaner camel festival showcases the creative side of the people as they perform various activities like camel decoration, camel hair cutting, camel milking and camel dancing. Beside this, there is an enlightening celebration organized by the end of the day. Every year this fest is organized by Department of Tourism, Art and Culture, of Bikaner, Government of Rajasthan. Euphoric performances keep on entertaining visitors. On the final day of fest, there is a magnificent firework which lights up the entire city of Bikaner.
  • Nagaur Fair: Nagaur Fair is the 2nd largest cattle feast in India. This carnival provides the largest platform for trading cattle, cows, bullocks, oxen, camel and horses. People are seen wearing vibrant dresses and long moustaches. Visited by many tourists every year, Nagaur Fair captures the essence of Rajasthan and will blend you with their beautiful culture. Folk and cultural competition keeps on happening side by side. Various games like tug-of-war, camel races, cock fights etc are organized for the entertainment of tourists.
  • Pushkar Fair: Every year in the month of Kartik, Pushkar Mela is celebrated. Drawing in 50,000 camels and 200,000 people, this fair is considered as the largest platform to buy and sell camels, cattle and horses - most of the trading, however, is completed in the days leading up to the fair. This carnival gathers camel traders and associates from all the parts of the world.
  • Elephant Festival: Here comes Holi and the best manner to celebrate it in Rajasthan is by being a part of the Elephant festival. This parade is considered as a symbol of Rajasthan royalty. This event begins with a huge procession of large and beautiful elephants. For this special day, elephants are groomed, painted, dressed and embodied with heavy ornaments like gold. All the participants of this festival are female elephants and they take part in race, tug of war and polo. The festival pulls huge crowd and is loved by all. Beside this, there are live musical and dance performance too.
  • Mewar Festival: During this festival, women carry the statues of Isar and Gangaur towards Lake Pichola. The whole city of Udaipur is decorated beautifully in colourful streamers and one can feel that a grand celebration is round the corner. The Mewar festival is one of the most important celebrations of Udaipur and the rich culture of Rajasthan is at its all time best.
  • Mount Abu Winter Festival: During the last weekend of December, a cultural festival is organized in Mount Abu. Warm hospitality, folk dance performances, ceremonial processions and colourful culture make this festival an unforgettable experience.
  • Mahashivratri: Mahashivratri is considered as the most auspicious festival and celebrated all over India. Lots of mythological beliefs are associated with this festival. Lord Shiva is facilitated with honey, flowers and bel leaves. Most of the women keep a vigilant fast on this day. Celebrations take place throughout the night, and people keep on chanting devotional songs; devotees also take a dive dip in the holy River ‘Ganga’
  • Holi: The colourful state of Rajasthan celebrates Holi much the same way as Mathura. Crowds of people come together before the full moon night and light huge bonfires to burn the residual dried leaves of the winter. On the second day, people throw coloured water and powders (gulal and kumkum) at each other and make merry. Singing, dancing and the traditional beats of dhol add to the gaiety of the occasion.
  • Gangaur Festival: Soon after Holi, the people of Rajasthan celebrate the festival of Gangaur. It commences on the day right after Holi and lasts for 18 days. The festival is celebrated by the womenfolk with great enthusiasm and devotion for Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva. While married women worship Gauri, unmarried women worship the Goddess to get blessed with good husbands. All the female members gather to dress the image of Isar and Gangaur and then carry them in a ceremonial procession through different parts of the city. This is the time of year when all the women put their best foot forward and look like a diva.
  • Mount Abu: Summer Festival: To celebrate the exuberance and spirit of this small hill station, every year Mount Abu organizes a 3 days cultural festival on Buddh Purnima. This carnival starts with a procession, live dance programme on the first day, followed by sports activities like skating race, horse race, boat race and various other on the 2nd and the 3rd day. The festival comes to an end with an electrifying fire work and a road show by the CRPF band.
  • Urs Fair: During this festival thousands of pilgrims, Sufis and tourists head to Ajmer in Northern Rajasthan to celebrate the festival of Urs, to commemorate the death anniversary of Moinuddin Chisti. Music in the form of quawwalis is constantly performed both in the dargah compound as well as outside its gates. The entire city is decorated with lights and frills.
  • Guru Purnima: This is the day when you can thank everyone who has taught you spiritual lessons in life. It is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Ashad.
  • Teej: To improve the marital status of their lives, women in Rajasthan fast on the day of Teej for marital bliss. Teej plays a very significant role in the life of women as they celebrate this festival in the honour of Parvati, who is also known as 'Teej Mata’. Other than this, it is a very colourful festival where all the ladies enjoy swing, sing, apply heena and adorn themselves with all the jewellery. A special sweet called “ghewar” is prepared specially for this day and also served as Prasad. Teej provides an opportunity to renew family bonds.
  • Raksha Bandhan: Rakhi reflects the sweet relationship of a brother and a sister. All the girls tie a thread on their brother’s wrist and in-return all brothers give a promise to their sisters that they will protect them always. This is a special day to celebrate the emotional bonding of siblings. The ritual is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan
  • Marwar Festival: This lively festival is celebrated for two days during the full moon of Sharad Purnima. The carnival displays the traditional dance and music of Marwar region bringing to life the heroes of Rajasthan. Various other competitions are organized on this day including the regal games of horse and polo.
  • Navratri: Considered as the most auspicious 9 days of the Hindu calendar, Navratri is celebrate with great fervour and verve all across Rajasthan. Worship and fasting takes place during the day time while the nights are reserved for feasting and dancing.
  • Ashwa Poojan: On the 9th day of Navratri, a regal festival for the worship of horse is organized in Udaipur. This one of its kind festival acknowledges the special relationship between honour and horse. During this festival, the horse is worshiped by the eldest member of the house; the religious ceremony is followed by a mouth-watering Rajasthani cuisine treat.
  • Dussehra: To celebrate the victory of good over evil, Dusshera is celebrated all over Rajasthan. This day also symbolizes triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. Huge and colourful processions of Lord Rama is organized everywhere. To celebrate the victory of Lord Rama, paper statues of Ravana along with Meghnath and Kumbhkaran are set on fire; this is followed by a huge carnival where people can enjoy sweets, food, rides, dance and musical performances.
  • Diwali: Considered as the festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated as the homecoming of Lord Rama. This 5 day long carnival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Houses and shops are given a rigorous spring clean before being lovingly decorated with fairy lights, patterned lanterns and colourful rangolis/kolams. Puja is organized in the evening to seek the blessings of Devi Lakshmi. After the religious ceremony, people share sweets with family and neighbours, followed by splendid fireworks. People exchange gifts and enjoy them as much possible. These 5 days are considered very auspicious as people purchase utensils and cloths, some even start new business during this time.
     

Must Visiting Places In Rajasthan:

  • Kumbhalgarh Fort: One of the most important fort next to Chittorgarh Fort built by Rana Kumbha of Kumbhalgarh.
  • Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a famous tourist attraction for the people visiting Kumbhalgarh. It is home of many animals like chausinghas ( forur horned antelopes ), leopards, panthers and sloth bears.
  • Mammadev Temple: Situatedjust below the Kumbhalgarh fort it had huge slabs with inscriptions on it, but it has been transferred to Udaipur museum now.
  • Taragarh Fort: Situated at a distance of 3km it is one is one of the most beautiful tourist attraction of Bundi and is famous for its architecture and art gallery which include Bundi style of painting.
  • Moti Mahal: Situated at a distance of 2km it is another famous tourist attraction of Bundi built by Maharao Raja Bhao Singh Ji in the year 1645.
  • Garh Palace: Situated at a distance of 2km it is another famous tourist attraction of Bundi. It has many small palaces built by various rulers encircling the main palace.
  • Nagaur Fort: A famous fort built by the Nagavanshis in the 2th century is one of the major attractions of Nagaur. It was rebuilt in 12th century by Mohammed Bahlin, the governor of Ghaznivites.
  • Amber Fort: It is one of the major tourist destinations not just in Jaipur City but the whole of Rajasthan. It is also known as Amer Fort. One can enjoy a elephant ride over here to view this magnificent fort. Amer and the Jaigarh Fort are considered as a single fort and a subterranean passage connects the two forts. It is believed that the passage was used to escape at times of war or enemy attacks.
  • Chittorgarh Fort: The  Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort of India and is also a  UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was the capital of Mewar and is today situated in the Chittorgarh town. 
  • Mehrangarh Fort: It is located in Jodhpur and is one the most famous tourist attraction of Not only Rajasthan but in India as well. One can have a look at the largest tank which is kept in this fort.
  • Ranthambore National Park: Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest National Parks of India in Sawai Madhopur District of Rajasthan state. It is famous for the tiger and large number of other species of animals.
  • Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: Now known as Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the famous National Park of India famous for different type og migratory birds who comes every year during the winter. 
  • Sariska National Park: Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park and tiger reserve located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan, India. The topography of the protected area comprises scrub-thorn arid forests, rocky landscapes, dry deciduous forests, rocks, grasses and hilly cliffs. 
  • City Palace: It is one of the famous monuments of the Pink City Jaipur, where the Maharaja reigned from. This palace also includes the famous 'Chandra Mahal' and 'Mubarak Mahal', and other buildings which form a part of the palace complex. 
  • Dilwara Jain Temples: Dilwara Jain Temples is located in Mt. Abu only hill station of Rajasthan only and is believed to be the finest Jain temple famous for its extraordinary architecture and marvelous marble stone carvings all over the world. Even some experts believe that it’s architecture is superior to the Taj Mahal. 
  • Jal Mahal: As the name depicts this Palace or Mahal is situated in middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur, hence got the name Jal Mahal. It is one of the most amazing architectural monuments in Jaipur.
  • Jaisalmer Fort:  Jaisalmer fort is one monument cum princely bastion that has always been the pride of the city. Owing to the yellow impression of the walls, the fort is also known as the Golden Fort or Sonar Quila.  A world heritage site, Jaisalmer fort was built in the 12th century by Raja Jaiswal.
  • Junagarh Fort:  Junagarh Fort islocated in the city of Bikaner, also known as “Chintamani Mahal”.  Until the 20th century, it was subject to repeated invasions in the past, but remained unconquered over time. 
  • Birla Temple: Birla temple is a religious site in Jaipur built with white marble that is highly praised by pilgrims as well as archaeology lovers. It is one of the famous attraction of Jaipur and is also known as Laxmi Narayan temple and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi.

Cuisines of Rajasthan:

Famous dishes of Rajasthan are 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. It is also known for its snacks like Bikaneri Bhujia, Mirchi Bada and Pyaaj KachoriMore than 70% of Rajasthan is vegetarian, which makes it the most vegetarian state in India. But Rajasthani cuisine is also influenced by the Rajputs, who are predominantly non-vegetarians. Their diet consisted of game meat and dishes like laal maas, safed maas, khad khargosh and jungli maas. The natives of the Rajput areas have a wide variety of chutneys made of turmeric, garlic, mint and coriander.

All Destinations in Rajasthan