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RAJASTHAN

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Rajasthan is a state located in the middle of India. The capital of the state - the city of Jaipur is included in the route of the best-selling tour - "Golden Triangle".

However, not only Jaipur deserves the attention of tourists. Rajasthan is, above all, a huge number of stunning castles and palaces, some of which are now turned into hotels. This is the edge of Maharajas with a unique and rich history and culture.
Rajasthan resembles a kaleidoscope of incredibly large dimensions, the mosaic in which does not repeat once, how many do not twist. The state's area is larger than the territory of New Zealand and Ireland combined, and by the number of historical attractions with it there is no Indian state, thanks to the Great Mughals and Rajputs. In India, many cities: large and tiny, modern and lost in the Middle Ages, but only Rajasthan is famous for its colorful cities. Above the yellow desert of Thar lie the impregnable fortresses on the hills of honey color, and the palaces of the Maharajas are girded with colorful residential blocks - pink in Jaipur, blue Jodhpur and the white cities of Udaipur.
The state of Rajasthan is India's largest state and occupies one-tenth of its territory. The name does not accidentally conjure associations with oriental tales: it means "a country of rajas", which Europeans often translate as "land of kings". It is a region with an interesting history, formed as a historical region by the 13th century. In the period from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries there were about 20 principalities on the lands of the state. They were ruled mainly by representatives of the Rajput dynasties - the tops of the tribes, which appeared in the north of India in the V-VI centuries, and by VIII already took the dominant position. The Sanskrit designation of the ethnosocial group "Raja Putra" means that a person - "Son of the king" or "Son of the Raja" - belongs to the varna, that is, the kshatriya estate (soldiers and rulers). Representatives of Varna still live on these lands.
History
The ancient city of Pushkar in Ajmer district is one of the sacred places of pilgrimage of adherents of Hinduism. It is believed that the god of the creation of Brahma 60,000 years was indulged in asceticism here. This is how traditional costumes of women come to the annual fair of camels.
Rajasthan designated this vast area in 1829 by an English diplomat and Indologist James Tod (1782-1835). When the region consisting of "native kingdoms" was annexed to the colony of British India, it was renamed Rajputana province. In 1950, the principalities were united by the constitution of independent India to Rajasthan, and in 1956 the possessions of neighboring Ajmer were added to the state.
The state in the north-west of India is so vast that it captures completely different geographically and geologically areas. The northern part of Rajasthan is located in the Indo-Gangetic Plain - the center of the formation of one of the oldest world civilizations. The plain is a Piedmont trough, which for a century "leveled" the products that filled it, the destruction of the slopes of the adjacent The Himalayas. In the south of the state lies the Deccan plateau - part of the Precambrian (up to 500 million years ago) Indian tectonic platform. North-west occupies the site of the Great Indian Thar Desert, which stretches along the valley of the River Sutlage - the left and largest of the tributaries of the Indus River, at the border with Pakistan. Here the possessions of the state are sandy ridges and solonchaks. The desert is the visible trace of man's irrational economic activity in the Indus Valley for millennia (about 3,300-1,300 BC). There are in Rajasthan and its mountains - it is the ridge of Aravali (height - up to 1722 m), which crosses the state from the south-west to the northeast. A variety of geographical landscapes completes the basalt-lava plateau of Malwa in the southeast.
After the division of British India, Rajasthan, whose rajas traditionally profess Hinduism, turned out to be a border state: in the west - Islamic Pakistan. And on the other sides - Indian states: Gujarat in the southwest, Madhya Pradesh in the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the north-east and Punjab state in the north.
The largest Indian state feeds the country with agricultural products, exports cotton products and gives visitors an unforgettable impression of meeting with majestic monuments (palaces, temples, fortresses) and familiarizing themselves with ancient Indian culture.
Rajasthan (Rajputana) is an ancient historical region of India. The history of the region dates back thousands of years, and it was on the territory of the present Rajasthan that the ancient civilization developed in the Indus Valley. Several ethnic groups lived there (Jats, Bhils, etc.) and various dynasties of rajas, who in different epochs confronted several waves of invasions, were replaced.
Approximately from the XIII century. this historical region separated from the neighboring lands, but the rajas of its principalities were often in vassal dependence on the more powerful rulers of this or that period. At first, it was the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526), later - the Mogul Empire (1526-1857) and the Maratha Confederation (1674-1820 gg.), Replaced by English colonial domination (1818 - 1947). The structure of Rajputana included "native principalities": Marvar, Mewar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and others.
Outstanding rulers of the past, who left the brightest trace in the history of the region, were Chandragupta II (ruled around 380 - about 415 AD), nicknamed Vikramaditya ("son of valor"), whose reign was the heyday of the Gupt state (IV-VI centuries) and the "golden age" of India, and later - Maharana Pratap (1540-1597 gg.), whose activities contributed to undermining the forces of the Empire of the Great Moguls. In the XIX century. the kings of Rajputana concluded an agreement with the British - in exchange for local autonomy. So this region became a province of British India. Most of the lands of Rajputana entered the domain of Rajasthan.
The state is desperately struggling with illiteracy: in 1991 only 38.6% of the population was literate in its territory, and by now this indicator has increased by more than 25%. But all these figures are even lower than the national average. A larger number of literate people account for the male population.
Rajasthan has traditionally been an agricultural area: wheat, barley, legumes, sugarcane, cotton, tobacco are grown (residents also grow opium raw materials, with which the government is trying to fight). Oilseeds occupy a special place, making the staff one of the largest oil producers in the country. Dairy cattle breeding is also developed here (in India no one will allow the sacrificial animal - a cow) to be slaughtered. The staff is famous for the production of woolen products. In the industry, such industries as the production of polyester fiber and textiles are leading: it is from here that Indian cotton products are exported.
One of the main income items of the "country of rajas" remains tourism: it gives an average of about 14% of the total number of tourists in India. Capital Jaipur, nicknamed for the color of buildings "pink city", famous for the chambers of the Maharaja and the largest medieval observatory, a palace complex led by the Palace of the Winds (1799) and the pilgrimage center of Galtaji. "Blue City" Jodhpur strikes blue-painted houses of the Brahmanas and one of the most beautiful palaces in India, Umaid-Bhavan (1929-1943, still in private possession). "Golden City" Jaisalmer - the ancient center of the intersection of caravan routes - is surrounded by the sands of the Thar desert.
Tourists like not only to visit palaces but also to live in them: many ancient buildings are turned into luxury hotels. Servicing the tourism sector allows you to create such valuable jobs.
The northern part of the state of Rajasthan within the Indo-Gangetic plain is a sandy, arid region with a thin, xerosrite (able to withstand prolonged drought) vegetation (about 60% of the state), most of which is sandy ridges and salt marshes of the sparsely populated Thar Desert in the northwest. The Aravali Range (up to 1722 m high) stretches in the center from the south-west to the north - east, separating 40% of more suitable for living and farming land with significant summer precipitation in the southeast (chernozems on the basalts of the lava plateau of Malva).
There are four reserves in the state that are engaged in the restoration of endangered species: the tigers, which suffered from poaching, and in the desert lands of Rajasthan, the Indian Great Bustards, Hurra, Indian gazelle, Indian kulan and others have disappeared in other parts of India.
An important component of the original culture of Rajasthan is music and dance: even such an everyday action as an outlet to the well for water can be turned into a dance composition; in folk songs are glorified heroic deeds and love stories. Also, religious hymns are performed.
Craft work is flourishing in Rajasthan, so finding an original handmade carpet on the local market, a product made of ceramics, stone, ivory, lacquer, oriental mirrors or embroidery will not be difficult.
In large cities, there are colorful festivals and festivals, sometimes very unusual: for example, Bikaner with his competition of camel hairstyles.

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