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Definition: Rajasthan from Philip's Encyclopedia

State in NW India, on the border with Pakistan; the capital is Jaipur. Other major cities include Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer. Rajasthan was the homeland of the Rajputs. The state formed in 1950, and enlarged in 1966. Pastoral nomads inhabit the Thar Desert in the W. The E is part of the Deccan plateau, where wheat, millet, and cotton grow with the aid of irrigation. There are coal, marble, mica, and gypsum mines. Industries: handicrafts, cotton milling. Area: 342,266sq km (132,149sq mi). Pop. (2001) 56,473,122.

Summary Article: Rajasthan
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

State of northwest India; area 342,214 sq km/132,130 sq mi; population (2001 est) 56,473,100. The capital is Jaipur. Kota is the leading industrial centre, with nylon and precision-instrument factories, while other industries include textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, chemicals, and the mining of silver, lead, and zinc. Millet, wheat, and barley are grown; oilseed, cotton, and sugar are produced; and cattle, sheep, and camels are raised.

Features The state contains the larger part of the Thar Desert, where India's first nuclear test was carried out; Ranthambhor wildlife reserve, in the southwest, formerly the private hunting ground of the maharajahs of Jaipur, with tigers, deer, antelope, wild boar, crocodiles, and sloth bears; and the Aravalli hills. Towns include Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Ajmer, and Udaipur.

Economy There are textile, cement, glass, asbestos, and chemical industries. Minerals include coal (Bikaner), salt (Sambhar salt lake), limestone, mica, zinc (smelted at Udaipur), copper, gypsum, phosphate, silver, and marble. Produce includes millet, wheat, barley, oilseed, cotton, and sugar. Cattle, sheep, and camels are raised in the drier areas. Agriculture is dependant on irrigation schemes such as the Indira Gandhi and Chambal canals.

Language and religion Languages are Rajasthani and Hindi. Religions include Hindu (90%) and Muslim (3%); 12 % belong to tribal groups (mainly Bhils) and have a guaranteed representation in the legislative assembly.

History Harappan civilizations have been discovered dating from the 3rd millennium BC. The Rajput dynasties emerged in the 6th century AD; the succeeding Mogul ruler Emperor Akbar sought conciliation rather than repression; the feudal aristocracies of Udaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaipur, and other states continued to rule until the end of the British imperial period. After independence in 1948, the Rajput princely states (Rajputana) were absorbed into the states of the Union of India (see India of the Princes). In 1956 Ajmer and Abu Road were incorporated into the state.




Amber Fort

Amber Fort

camel fair

decorated elephant

Indian step well

Jain priests, Ranakpur Temple




Kumbhalgarh Fort



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