Rajasthan is located in
northwest of India. Rajasthan protects the western border of the
country. Politically it is divided into six administrative zones: Mewat (Alwar region), Marwar (Jodhpur region), Mewar (Udaipur region),
Dhundhar (Jaipur region), Hadoti (Kota region) and Shekhawati (Sikar
region). Rajasthan is the second largest state of India and is one of
the few states that show a great contrast from one area to another.
This disparity is noticeable in respect of climate, soil, vegetation,
mineral resources etc. Rajasthan, the fairy land of Maharajas, Palaces
& Tigers. There are numerous forts, palaces, havellis, that lend a
distinct touch to Rajasthan. Rajasthan has a total area of 343,000 sq.
km and the most striking feature of this land is its division by the
majestic Aravalli range which runs from north east to south-west for
about 688 km. Northwest of the Aravallis are the Jodhpur, Jaisalmer,
Barmer and Bikaner regions, it is the home of arid plains and the
shifting sand dunes of the great Thar Desert. The other side of the
hills is a land of rich in vegetation - Aravalli. Rajasthan is an
exotic state where tradition and glory meet in beautiful colors
against the backdrop of sand and desert. Rajasthan is one of the
driest regions in India. The state of Rajasthan is a natural
storehouse of hard rocks that produce marbles, granites and slates.
Jaipur, the capital, is pretty in pink. Vegetable marts, jewellery
shops, camel-riding locals make it a busy and crowded metropolis. The
language spoken is mostly Rajasthani and Hindi. The cities of Jaipur
and Udaipur are in the well-irrigated valley of the Aravallis, with
long patches of thick forests and crop-laden fields. Rajasthan is one
of the most popular tourist spots in India - well it has so much to
offer. From the romantic forts and palaces of Jaipur and Jodhpur, the
lake cities of Udaipur and Pushkar, the painted town of Shekhawati,
the golden fort and sand dunes of Jaisalmer to the national parks of
Bharatpur and Sariska. And not to forget the camels, the widely
accepted representative of the state, threading their way through the
streets and bazaars, at the traffic signals or making a beautiful
silhouette against the sunset on the Sam sand dunes. In several
places, the Aravalli is over 750 m high above sea level and the
highest point in the range is known as Guru Shikhar (1721m). The
highest peak is the state's only hill station Mount Abu (1,200m),
along a wide plateau. This desert tract, nicknamed Marwar or
Marusthali - the Land of Death, lives up to its name with its
scorching heat, thorny cactus and scrub, and scanty water and
encompasses 68% of the state area and 61% of the desert area of India.
Rajasthan has such few rivers that one can count them on one's finger.
The terrain is sundered into two by the Aravallis and a different
river, waters each part. The Chambal and its tributaries cater to the
southeast, while the Luni borne of Lake Pushkar up north near Ajmer,
flows into the Arabian Sea.
The climate of Rajasthan can be neatly divided into three seasons:
Summer, Monsoon and Winter.
Summer season which extends from April to June, is the hottest season,
with temperatures ranging from 32 C to 45 C. Mt. Abu registers the
lowest temperature at this time. In the desert regions, the
temperature plummets as night falls.
The Monsoon is a welcome arrival in late June in the Eastern and South
eastern regions of the State, finally falling in mid-July in the
desert zones. Unless the rains are insubstantial, the monsoon is
accompanied by a decrease in temperatures, with average maximum
temperatures of between 29.5 C to 32.2 C in the south and South-East
of Rajasthan and an average of above 37.7 C in the North and
The third season is the Winter. In October the average maximum
temperature is 33 C to 38 C and the minimum is between 18 C to 20 C.
There is a marked variation in maximum and minimum temperature and
regional variations across the state. January is the coolest month of
Summer Period is from April
to September Winter Period is from October to March.
Rajasthan is a land where tradition has been imbibed into every aspect
of life. The paintings, handicrafts, jewellery and textiles of this
land reflect the distinctiveness of the region they belong to. For the
past few centuries, Jaipur's jewellers have specialised in enameling
and setting of precious stones in gold. Old silver jewellery, with its
old-world charm is popular in the desert cities. The textiles come in
a range of designs and colors-each piece is unique since it is hand
made.Many of the leading showrooms and emporia of Rajasthan have
artisans at work in-house, and one can take close look at the age-old
process of creating the product- be it a carpet or an enameled bangle
set with precious stones. Jaipur's bazaars are favoured by both-casual
buyers and connoisseurs of art. One can take a trip to the bustling
bazaars of Rajasthan and go for a shopping spree. The state has
something to offer for all. There are wooden handicrafts, marble
handicrafts, paintings, zardori work on textiles, etc.
Jaipur offers to its visitors traditional crafts like jewellery,
metalwork, enamelling, tie-and-dye, pottery, leatherwork, stone
carving and miniature painting. The laakh bangles, old silver & ivory
jewellery, Kundan & Meenakari work, precious and semi precious stones
like garnet, metal ware, marble statues, antiques and artefacts, blue
pottery and puppets are also special attractions.
Vibrant embroideries, woollen dhurries, and stone carvings Sadar Bazar
is where the action is.
Best for camel products that include leather footwear, and its
brilliant gesso work. Wool carpets and blankets , light cotton quilts,
and brilliantly dyed cotton fabrics can be tracked down in the maze of
tiny shops around Kote Gate, with KEM Road providing the shopping in
The local tradition of carving is best seen in little wooden boxes
that are intricately pierced in exciting patterns and motifs. Also
woollen and cotton rugs and blankets , embroidered fabrics, silver
jewellery and trinkets, available in shops that open off the cobbled
Once brides came here for their trousseau shopping because the dyes
and prints were resplendent, and the lame work brilliant. The same
fabrics can still be found in the bazaars, and you may want to try on
a sporty pair of Jodhpurs ( the riding breeches that originated in
this town ). Badalas or zinc alloy pitcher used to carry water,
covered with felted cloth, were an earlier version of today's water
flask. Also wooden toys, leather goods, paintings, juttees and silver
jewellery, all in the shops in the old city. Handsome pieces of old
furniture and artifacts can be found in the huddle of shops at the
base of Chhattar Hill.
Best known for it's small checked-weave cotton sarees called Kota
doriyas, in light floral prints.
During the November fair, the meal is a bewildering array of shops
with fabrics, embroideries, utensils, terracotta pots, trinkets,
silver jewellery, camel saddles, blankets, shawls, beads , bangles and
Associated with the low-legged Shekhawati chair , this region is known
for wood carving, metal utensils, made -as-old furniture, and tie-dye
One of the principal shopping zones outside Jaipur, here are a myriad
shops with paintings of the miniature and pichwai variety, as
terracotta tables and plaques. There are also locally dyed fabrics and
textiles , embroideries , wooden toys , white metal objects d'art ,
silver enamel artefacts, and image of Krishna in the Nathdwara style.
Main Cities of Rajasthan
Jaipur Capital of Rajasthan, known as Pink City and famous for
Jaisalmer Stunning medieval fort rising from a stark desert
Pushkar Beautiful temple town around a lake, home to the Camel
Udaipur Whitewashed temples and grand palaces surround a lake
and the gorgeous Lake Palace.
Shekhawati Rajasthan's 'open-air gallery' with scores of
ornately painted havelis or mansions.
Mount Abu Holy spot of Hindu and Jain, mainly famous for
Bharatpur Renowned for its World Heritage-Listed bird
Alwar Located almost midway between Rajasthan and Delhi, mainly
famous for Sariska wildlife and govt. museum.
Ajmer It is just over 130 kms. south-west of Jaipur and a major
centre for Muslim pilgrims.
Bundi Known for its excellent paintings and has a lot of
interesting historic sites.
Ranakpur It is one of the largest and most important Jain
temples in India.
Jodhpur The edge of the Thar desert and the largest city in
Rajasthan after Jaipur.
Bikaner Has a superb fort, camel safaris, and 30 km to the
south is the extraordinary Karni Mata temple where thousands of holy
rats are worshipped.
Kota It was a separate state until independence when it was
integrated in Rajasthan.
Chittorgarh The romantic city was a doomed ideal of Rajput