Rajasthan

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Map of Rajasthan (Source: India-WRISWater Resources Information System of India)

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Contents

History

Rajasthan's history is very old and goes back to 3000 B.C. Rajasthan has always been known as the land of chivalry and the brave deeds of its warriors heroes, like Maharana Pratap are part of our historical and semi-historical collection of stories. The Chauhan dynasty dominated Rajput affairs from seventh century onwards and they became the rulers of the state from 12th century B.C. After Chauhans, the Guhilots of Mewar controlled the destiny. Besides Mewar, the other historically prominent states were Marwar, Jaipur, Bundi, Kota, Bharatpur and Alwar. All these state accepted the British Treaty of Subordinate Alliance in 1818 protecting the interest of princes. After the revolt of 1857, the people united themselves under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to contribute to the freedom movement. With the introduction of provincial autonomy in 1935 in British India, agitation for civil liberties and political rights become stronger in Rajasthan. Soon after independence, Sardar Patel began the great merger movement and in quick succession a number of unions of states, with their Rajpramukhs, were formed here. First came the Matsya Union located in Bharatpur region (1948) consisting a fraction of the states. Slowly and gradually the other states had joined the Indian Union and in 1958 the present State of Rajasthan formally came into being.

Geography

Rajasthan is the second largest state in India in terms area, after Madhya Pradesh. The state is bounded on north by the States of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on its north, northeast and southeast, by Gujarat on its southwest and by Pakistan on its west. The Great Indian desert, the Thar gives the state a distinguishing character. The state has many hilly areas. Apart from Aravalli hills there are also some other hills going down from Delhi in a south-westerly direction. Mount Abu in the Sirohi district is the highest mountain in Rajasthan and its tallest peak of Gurusikhar is 1717 meters high. The Aravalli range of hills and mountains, divides the state into two major parts, southeast and northwest. The northwest consists of a series of sand dunes covers nearly two-thirds of the area. Physiographically this state can be divided into six major units - Western arid region, Semi-arid region, Aravalli region, Eastern region, South-eastern region and Chambal ravines. The climate of the Rajasthan is characterised by extremely high range of temperatures and aridity although sharing the characteristic monsoonal variations through the year. It is the hottest region of India. The rainfall is scanty here and highly erratic. The underground water level is deep going down to 60 or 90 meters and in some cases 300 meters. The main rivers of the state are Loni from Nag hills near Ajmer, the Ghagar flows from Haryana, Chambal on the eastern side of the state and the tributaries of Chambal like Kali Sindh, Banas and Parwati. Mahi and Banganga are the other rivers of the state.The Sambhar lake is the largest natural salt lake in Rajasthan. There are few other salt lakes in Jodhpur area (Deedwana Pachpadra) and Jaipur area.

Introduction

The State is bounded by Punjab and Haryana in the north, Uttar Pradesh in the east, Madhya Pradesh in the south-east and Gujarat in the south-west. Jaipur is the state capital

Climate

The annual rainfall varies significantly. There is very rapid and marked decrease in rainfall in the west of the Aravalli range. The average annual rainfall in this part ranges from less than 100 mm to 300 mm in Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner and Barmer districts, 300-400 mm in Nagaur, Jodhpur, Churu and Jalor districts and more than 400 mm in Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Pali districts. On the eastern side of the Aravalli, the rainfall ranges from 550 mm in Ajmer to 1020 mm in Jhalawar. In plains Banswara, and Jhalawar districts receive the maximum rainfall. Marked variations in diurnal and seasonal range of temperatures occur at all places in the state, exhibiting the most characteristic phenomenon of the warm-dry continental climate.

Water Resources

The State of Rajasthan is one of the driest states of the country and the total surface water resources in the state are only about 1% of the total surface water resources of the country. The surface water resources in the state are mainly confined to south and south-eastern parts of the State.

Economy

Agriculture

Major crops of Rajasthan are rice, barley, jowar, millet, maize, gram, wheat, oilseeds, pulses, cotton and tobacco. Other crops are red chillies, mustard, cumin seeds, methi and hing. Cultivation of vegetable and citrus fruits such as orange and malta has also picked up over the last few years. other crops are red chillies, mustard, communised, methi and hing.

Industry

Major industry of the state are textiles and woolens, sugar, cement, glass, sodium plants, oxygen, vegetable dyes, pesticides, zinc, fertiliser, railway wagons, ball bearings, water and electricity meters, sulphuric acid, television sets, synthetic yarn, polished and unpolished precious and precious stones and insulating bricks etc. Besides these caustic soda, nylon and tyre cords are also produced. There are important Central Undertakings like zinc smelter plant in Dehari, copper plant at Khetri-Jhunjhunu and precision factory at Kota. The first Export Promotion Industrial Park of the country has been established in this state at Sitapura (Jaipur) area.

Mines & Minerals

This state has rich mineral deposit. Major minerals are zinc concentrates, emerald, garnet, gypsum, silver ore, asbestos, felspar and mica. Zinc concentrates, gypsum, silver ore, asbestos and felspar accounts the major share of country's total production. The state has also rich deposits of salt, rock, phosphate, marble and red-stone.

Infrastructure

Transport

Railways

The state is well connected by railway network with other part of the country. Major railway junctions of this state are Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Kota, Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur.

Aviation

The main airports of Rajasthan are Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. These airports are connected with Delhi and Mumbai by regular air services. There are other airports connected via Vayudoot service are Bikaner, Jaisalmer, and Kota.

Tourism

The sculpture and archaeological palaces of Rajput kings at several places of Rajasthan attracts large numbers of tourists to this state every year. Jaipur (Hawa Mahal, Chandra Mahal), Jodhpur, Udaipur (Mansun Palace), Jaisalmer (Quilla), Chittorgarh (Rani Padmavati's Mahal, Rana Kumbha's Fort), Ajmer (Qutub-ud-Din Aibak's Jhopra), Alwar, Pali, Bikaner (Junagarh Fort) etc. are some of the old historical places. Important pilgrimage centres are Ajmer (Khaja Main-ud-Din Chisti's Makwara, Dargah), Jodhpur (Santishimata Temple), Bikaner (Bhandaswar Temple, Devi Kund), Jaisalmer (Hindu & Jain Temple), Mount Abu (Adhra Devi's Temple) etc. Important places of natural beauties are Mount Abu, Ambaji Tirth, Udaipur etc. National Park at Bharatpur (Bird sanctuary), Sariska Tiger Sanctuary in Alwar are important tourist centre.

Water Resources Projects

Major Medium Projects Dams

(Data Source: IndiaStat Website)

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