Being the land of fantasy and historical wonders, Rajasthan has a vibrant culture and rich heritage. The very first visual of this grand state comes with the images of bright lights and a wide variety of energetic folk dances amid enthusiastic music. The state is also famous for its desert stretches and mighty warriors, as well as the royal robes of ‘maharajas’. Besides being the largest state of India, its glory is retained by its majestic architectural marvels, attracting innumerable tourists throughout the year from across the globe.

This land of royalty has been ruled by the Rajputs and other warrior tribes for many centuries. The name itself suggests that the state’s rulers dominated society in the past. A part of the prominent Indus Valley Civilisation, which is held in great esteem and acclaim, is located in Rajasthan as well.

The heart of the state lies in its prominent palaces, stupendous forts, historic havelis, astounding castles, well laid gardens and gorgeous temples. The grandeur of the Chittorgarh Fort — the largest fort in India and splendour of the golden Jaisalmer Fort bewilder every traveller. The Hawa Mahal (palace of winds) and the Water Palace located in the ‘pink city’ of India are carved with red and pink sandstones, making them a glorious example of the architectural brilliance of the Rajputs.

Rajasthan’s vast ocean of sand lies in stark contrast to the colourful and vibrant culture and tradition that it possesses. One is bound to agree that there is a perfect blend of people, attire, cuisines and traditions in the state. The traditional pagdi or turban worn by men and ghagra-choliworn by women add to the cultural ethnicity of the state. The sumptuous and mouthwatering dal bati churma is perhaps the most famous among Rajasthan’s vast array of indigenous food.

The folk music and dance adds glamour as well: the ‘ghoomar’ dance from Udaipur and ‘kalbeliya’ dance of Jaisalmer are world famous. The flavours of the hymns and prayers in praise of the rain God and stories of chivalry of their ancestors are well-known.

The extensive stretch of the Thar Desert along the western part of Rajasthan is a rich part of the state’s heritage. In fact, a camel ride in the desert is an experience that one simply cannot miss. Rajasthan is also famous for its exotic camel fairs and desert festivals like Teej and Pushkar. Besides these, a number of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks like the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and Ranthambore National Park. The great Indian bustard, wild ass and the blackbuck are common exotic animals found in the state as well. Thus, this land of exotic culture and varied topography is perhaps a blessing and a symbol of pride for the entire nation.

Coordinator, Class IX, Don Bosco Park Circus.