Rajasthan - Background
Rajasthan, the Land of Kings is synonymous to heroism, royalty and honour. Historic tales of battles fought and romance of the riches adorn the walls of the state. Established in the era marked with wartime ballads yet living in the modern period, this beautiful region is a travellers' destination.
Rajasthan state is certainly the most colorful state in the country. Rajasthan has an exclusive architecture and is well-known for its architecture all over the nation. Rajasthan's architecture is chiefly based on Rajput school of architecture which was an assortment of the Mughal and the Hindu structural plan. The astonishing forts, the beautifully engraved temples and the splendid Havelies of the Rajasthan state are essential parts of Rajasthan's architectural heritage. The Rajputs were productive designers and builders. Some impressive and splendid palaces and forts in the world mark the parched Aravalli milieu and tell the anecdotes of their magnificent bequest. The assortment and vividness of the architectural heritage of Rajasthan can stun a sightseer.
Rajasthan’s historical forts, palaces, art and culture attract millions of national and international tourists every year. Endowed with natural beauty and a great history, Rajasthan has a flourishing tourism industry. The palaces of Jaipur, lakes of Udaipur, and desert forts of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer are among the most preferred destinations of many tourists, Indian and foreign. As a matter of fact, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur and the hill forts of Rajasthan which include Chittorgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort, Jaisalmer Fort and Amber Fort have recently been declared world heritage sites by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation. Tourism accounts for eight percent of the state's domestic product. Many old and neglected palaces and forts have been converted into heritage hotels. Tourism has increased employment in the hospitality sector.
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.
Rajasthani literature is mostly heroic mentioning of the great kings and fighters of the Rajasthan. In words of Ravindra Nath Tagore once, "The heroic sentiment which is the essence of every song and couplet of a Rajasthani is peculiar emotion of its own of which, however, the whole country may be proud".
Earliest references of Rajasthani literature is found in the works of Surajmal Misrana. The most important works are the "Vansa Bhaskara" and "Veer Satsai". "Vansh Bhaskar" has accounts of the Rajput princes who ruled in what was then Rajputana, during the lifetime of the poet (1872–1952). "Veer Satsai" is a collection of hundreds of couplets. After that Rajasthani literature was mostly contributed by Jain saints. Rajasthani language was known as "Maru Gurjar" or "Dingal", which was close to Gujarati.
Rajasthani literature has its main contribution from regional language like "Dingal", "Heroic poetry" and "Sufism"."CharanBhats" were the traditional court poets for presenting "Veerkavya" to the citizen. "Pabuji Radoha", "Pabuji Ra Chand" and "PabujikoYashVarnan" are the main manuscripts of the time.
Women of Rajasthan wear a long skirt called "Ghaghra", "Choli" or "Kurti" (blouses and tops) with an "Odhini". The "Ghaghrais" of anklelength with a narrow waist increasing the flared and width to the base. "Ghaghra" is commonly unfolded from the lower end such as usual skirts. The pleats and width are the symbol of health of females. "Ghaghra" can be found in diverse styles and colors. They are very famous among women in Rajasthan, mostly made of cotton, colored and designed with "Laharia", "Chunari" and "Mothra" prints.
A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both for protection from heat and maintenance of modesty called "Chunari" or "Odhni". The one corner of "Odhni" is properly tucked inside the skirt and the other end is worn over the right shoulder or the head. Special motifs and colors are used to indicate choice of community, occasion and geographical area.
Pagri (turban) is an important part of men's costume in Rajasthan. The turban is a symbol of the region and caste from where the individual belongs. Turbans can be found in different colors, shapes and sizes. Additionally, special types of Pagris are designed during big events and festivals. People living in Udaipur are habitual of tiring a flat Pagri over their head, while people of Jaipur prefer an angular Pagri. Jodhpur men like to wear "Safa" having curved bands. More than 1000 types of Pagris are worn by men in Rajasthan. A normal Pagari is commonly eight inches wide and many feet long. Most of the common men in Rajasthan wear only one color of Pagri, whereas rich men wear colorful and designer turbans.
"Pyjamas" or "Dhotis" are used for covering the lower part of the men's body. It is a piece of cloth that needs a little practice to wear it in an appropriate way. Dhoti is worn as regular dress which commonly has white color. During some special events, men wear Zari border and Silk Dhotis.
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