Meaning of RAJASTHAN in English

state of India. It is located in the northwestern part of the subcontinent. It is bounded on the west and northwest by Pakistan, on the north and northeast by the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, on the east and southeast by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and on the southwest by the state of Gujarat. The Tropic of Cancer passes through its southern tip in the Banswara district. The state has an area of 132,140 square miles (342,239 square kilometres). The capital city is Jaipur. Rajasthan, meaning The Abode of the Rajas, was formerly called Rajputana, The Country of the Rajputs (sons of rajas). Before 1947, when India achieved independence from British rule, it comprised 18 princely states, two chiefships, the small British-administered province of Ajmer-Merwara, and a few pockets of territory outside the main boundaries. After 1947 the princely states and chiefships were integrated into India in stages, and the state took the name of Rajasthan. It assumed its present form on Nov. 1, 1956, when the States Reorganization Act came into force. constituent state of India, located in the northwestern portion of the country. It is bounded on the west and northwest by Pakistan, on the north and northeast by the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, on the east and southeast by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and on the southwest by Gujarat. The capital is Jaipur. Rajasthan means the abode of the rajas, and it was formerly known as Rajputana, the country of the Rajputs, or sons of rajas. Archaeological and historical evidence shows a continuous human habitation of the area dating back 100,000 years. Between the 7th and the 11th century AD, several Rajput dynasties arose, with Rajput strength reaching its peak at the beginning of the 16th century. The emperor Akbar brought the Rajput states into the Mughal empire, but by the beginning of the 19th century they were tributaries of the Marathas. Later, the British defeated the Marathas and established paramountcy in the region. Rajasthan soon emerged as a centre of Indian nationalism and political activism. When the new constitution of India went into effect in 1950, Rajasthan became an integral part of India, the Rajput princes surrendering their powers to the central government. The topography of Rajasthan is dominated by the Aravalli Hills, which form a line across the state, running roughly from Guru Peak (Mount Abu) at 5,650 feet (1,722 m) in the southwest to the town of Khetri in the northeast. The three-fifths of the state northwest of this line contains the Great Indian, or Thar, Desert and is mostly a sandy and unproductive region. The southeastern portion is higher in elevation, more fertile, and more diversified, containing hills, tableland, and the flat alluvial basin of the Yamuna River. The Chambal is the only large and perennial river. Sambhar is the largest salt lake in India. There is a wide range of climate, varying from extremely arid to humid. Except in the hills, the heat in summer is great everywhere, with a mean daytime maximum temperature hovering at about 110 F (43 C) in many locations. Winter temperatures vary from 68 to 76 F (20 to 24 C). Hot winds and dust storms occur, especially in the desert tract, where rainfall averages 4 inches (100 mm) annually. In the southwest, rainfall is higher, in part owing to the summer monsoon winds off the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Numerous aboriginal tribal groups make up the Rajasthan population, including the Minas, the Meos, the Banjaras, and the Bhils (one of the oldest tribes in India). Others include the Gadia Lohars, the Grasias, and the Kathodis. Rajputs form a small percentage of the population, but they are the most prominent and take pride in their warlike reputation and ancestry. The principal language of the state is Rajasthani, comprising a group of Indo-Aryan dialects derived from Dingal. The use of Rajasthani is declining, however, being replaced by Hindi. Hinduism is the dominant religion, although Jainism is also important, and there are Muslim, Christian, and Sikh minorities in the state. Rajasthan is sparsely populated and essentially rural in character, although its urban population, and the city of Jaipur in particular, has grown rapidly in recent years. Rajasthan is predominantly an agricultural and pastoral state where food production has been increasing since the 1950s with the increased use of irrigation. The state is one of the largest wool producers in India, and crops include millet, corn (maize), wheat, barley, edible seeds, rice, and oilseeds. Cotton is an important cash crop. The state's industries produce textiles, chemicals, nylon, precision instruments, calcium carbide, and caustic soda. Handicrafts earn foreign exchange. Oil has been found in Rajasthan, and other mineral deposits include gypsum, silver ore, asbestos, copper, zinc, limestone, salt, and marble. Rajasthan produces nearly all of India's output of lead and zinc concentrates, emeralds, and garnets and about nine-tenths of its gypsum and silver ore. Most supplies of electricity are obtained from neighbouring states, but a nuclear-energy plant is in operation at Rawatbhata near Kota. Road building has also increased, and there are air connections between Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur, New Delhi, Bombay, and Agra. Hardly a month passes in Rajasthan without a religious festival, the Hindus and Muslims joining in each others' festivals. The most remarkable one is called Gangor, during which women worship clay images of Mahadevi and Parvati (representing the benevolent aspects of the Hindu mother goddess) for 15 days. Another important festival is held at Pushkar (near Ajmer), taking the form of a mixed religious celebration and livestock fair. It is visited by farmers from all over the state (bringing their camels and cattle) and by pilgrims seeking a religious experience. The typical folk dance of Rajasthan is the ghoomar, performed only by women. The geer dance (performed by both sexes), the panihari (a graceful dance for women), and the kacchi ghori (in which male dancers ride dummy horses) are also popular. The most famous song is the Kurja, which tells the story of a woman who wishes to send a message by the kurja (a bird), which is promised a priceless reward for his service. Rajasthan has a rich literary tradition, especially of bardic poetry, and the state abounds in objects of antiquarian interestJain temples, mosques, and tombs. Indeed, Rajasthan (together with Agra, just across the border in Uttar Pradesh) is India's most popular area for foreign tourists. There are universities at Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, and Kota; and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science is at Pilani. Area 132,139 square miles (342,239 square km). Pop. (1991 prelim.) 43,880,640. Additional reading General works include Sylvia A. Matheson and Roloff Beny, Rajasthan, Land of Kings (1984); and Raghubir Singh, Rajasthan: India's Enchanted Land (1981). Physical and human geography are examined in V.C. Misra, Geography of Rajasthan (1967); Rajkumar Gupta and Ishwar Prakash (eds.), Environmental Analysis of the Thar Desert (1975); Sukhvir Singh Gahlot and Banshi Dhar, Castes and Tribes of Rajasthan (1989); Jagdish Singh Gahlot, Rajasthan: A Socio-economic Study (1981); Sukhvir Singh Gahlot, Rural Life in Rajasthan (1982); Kalyan Kumar Ganguli, Cultural History of Rajasthan (1983); and Aman Nath and Francis Wacziarg, Arts and Crafts of Rajasthan (1987). Archaeology and past environments of Rajasthan are discussed in H.D. Sankalia, Archaeology in Rajasthan (1988). Works on history include James Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han, 2 vol. (182932, reissued 1972); G.N. Sharma, Social Life in Medieval Rajasthan, 15001800 A.D. (1968); Ramdev P. Kathuria, Life in the Courts of Rajasthan, During the 18th Century (1987); and Suzanne Hoeber Rudolph and Lloyd I. Rudolph, Essays on Rajputana (1984), examining aspects of Rajput states in the 19th and 20th centuries. Deryck O. Lodrick History Archaeological evidence indicates that early humans lived along the banks of the Banas and its tributaries some 100,000 years ago. Harappan (Indus) and post-Harappan culture (3rd2nd millennium BC) is traceable at Kalibangan, Ahar, and Gilund. Pottery fragments at Kalibangan are carbon-dated to 2700 BC. The discovery near Bairat of two rock inscriptions (c. 250 BC) of the emperor Asoka seems to show that his rule extended westward to this part of the state. Later rulers of the whole or parts of the state were the Bactrian Greeks (2nd century BC), the Scythians (Sakas; 2nd to 4th centuries AD), the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries), the Huns (6th century), and Harsavardhana, a Rajput ruler (early 7th century). Arising between the 7th and 11th centuries were several Rajput dynasties, including that of the Gurjara-Pratiharas, who kept the Arab invaders of Sindh at bay. Under Bhoja I (836885), the territory of the Gurjara-Pratiharas stretched from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Narmada River and from the lower Ganges Valley to Sindh. With the disintegration of this empire by the late 10th century, several rival Rajput clans rose to power in Rajasthan. The Guhilas, feudatories of the Pratiharas, asserted their independence in AD 940 and established control of the region around Mewar (modern Udaipur). By the 11th century the Cauhans (Cahamanas), with their capital at Ajmer and later Delhi, had emerged as the major power in eastern areas of the state. In the following centuries other clans, such as the Kachwahas, Bhattis, and Rathors, succeeded in establishing independent kingdoms in the region. The second battle of Tarain, fought near Delhi in 1192, initiated a new period in Rajasthan's history. Muhammad Ghuri's victory over a Rajput army under Prthviraja III not only led to the destruction of Rajput power in the Gangetic plain but also firmly established the Muslim presence in northern India. As Muslim forces pushed south and then west along the traditional routes to Gujarat, the Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan were encircled. The next four centuries saw repeated, though unsuccessful, attempts by the central power based in Delhi to subdue the Rajput states of the region. The Rajputs, however, despite common historical and cultural traditions, were never able to unite to inflict a decisive defeat on their opponents. Rajput strength reached its zenith at the beginning of the 16th century under Rana Sangram Singh (Sanga) of Mewar, but he was defeated in a fierce battle by the Mughal invader Babur, and the brief splendour of a united Rajput polity waned rapidly. It is largely from this period of Rajasthan's history that the romantic view of the Rajput as a valiant warriordefending family, honour, and religion against the invading Muslimsis derived. Toward the end of the 16th century the Mughal emperor Akbar was able to achieve, through diplomacy and military action, what his predecessors had been unable to accomplish by force alone. Military campaigns were still undertaken by imperial Mughal forces, and Rajput strongholds, such as Ranthambhor and Chitor, were besieged and destroyed (156768), but Akbar also entered into a series of alliances with numerous Rajput ruling houses in Rajasthan, arranging marriages with Rajput princesses for himself and for his heirs. Mughal-Rajput marriages continued until the early 18th century, and it is noteworthy that the emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan were both born of Rajput mothers. Thus, many Rajput states of Rajasthan (along with their not insubstantial military resources) were brought into the imperial fold without costly military subjugation. Furthermore, some Rajput rulers, such as Man Singh of Amber (Jaipur) and Jaswant Singh of Marwar (Jodhpur), served with loyalty and distinction in the imperial Mughal forces. Under Akbar the Rajput states of the region were grouped together under the Suba of Ajmer, an administrative unit of the Mughal Empire. After the death (1707) of the emperor Aurangzeb, the Rajput state of Bharatpur was developed by a Jat conqueror, but by 1803 most of the rest of Rajasthan paid tribute to the Maratha dynasties of west-central India. Later in the 19th century, the British subdued the Marathas and, having established paramountcy in the region, organized the Rajput states into Rajputana province. The government of India was represented in Rajputana by a political officer, with the title of agent to the governor general, who was also chief commissioner of the small British province of Ajmer-Merwara. Under him were residents and political agents who were accredited to the various states. During this period the idea of Indian nationalism was born. Maharishi Dayanand wrote at Udaipur his Satyarath Prakash, intended to restore Hinduism to its pristine purity, which created a ferment in Rajputana. Important movements of thought also occurred among the Jaina sadhus (holy men) and scholars. Ajmer was the centre of political activity, and nationalist leaders included Arjun Lal Sethi, Manik Lal Varma, Gopal Singh, and Jai Narain Vyas. After India became independent in 1947, the princely states and chiefships of Rajputana were integrated by stages into a single entity. They were first grouped into small unions, such as the Matsya Union and the Rajasthan Union, which were merged with the remaining states to create Greater Rajasthan in 1949. When the new constitution of India came into force in 1950, Rajasthan became an integral part of India. The Rajput princesthough retaining a recognition of their original title, some special privileges, and a privy pursesurrendered their political powers to the central government. The privileged status given to rulers of the former princely states was discontinued in 1970. Indra Pal Deryck O. Lodrick

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