Amazing legends of heroism and romance still resound from its equally amazing architecture, that still stands to narrate its tale of a bygone era. The magic of Rajasthan is unequalled in the world for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes and lush green forests with its wildlife. Rajasthan is often expressed as huge open-air museum with relic so well preserved for the travellers and the curious of the day.
It is action-packed with outdoors too; take a safari on horses, camels, elephants or even jeeps with the Aravalis - India's oldest mountain range in the backdrop, or caress your eyes on the sloppy sand dunes, or trail a tiger or just watch birds on wetland. Or you can choose to pamper yourself in the lavish heritage properties. Rajasthan has something for everyone, just choose your activity.
The history of India dates back almost five thousand years, and Rajasthan plays a crucial and unique role, especially with regard to the development of Indian culture. Its impressive story reaches through a heroic past. Its extravagant splashes of bright hues against the desert landscape and the purity of its dry and sandy reaches, the miniature elegance of its small villages and impeccably maintained forts brings alive the story of the yore.
The appearance of its grand forts perched on rocky hills still tell the story of the bravery of its men and the stoic sacrifice of its women, and the chivalrous old world manners of all.
The Rajputs rose to prominence in the 9th and 10th centuries, and were a major force to reckon with medieval India. Passionately attached to their land, family and honour, the Rajputs treated war as a sport, and followed a strong chivalric code of conduct. Myths and legends of their valour, gallantry, sacrifice and courage are legion. There are many heroes among the Rajputs, such as Prithviraj Chauhan, who fought successfully against the invader Muhammad Ghori in the battle of Tarain (1191), although he died on the same battlefield in the following year.
Or the great Rana Pratap of Mewar, who defiantly withstood the might of the Mughal, and continued to raid on them even after his defeat. He died in 1597, and his son, Ambar Singh, took over the mantle of opposition to Mughal rule. Rana Pratap was the lone exception, as most of the leading Rajput clans finally married into Mughal royalty and nobility, and went into direct State service of the Mughal Empire.
This was chiefly at the behest of the wise and farsighted Mughal emperor, Akbar, who was able to consolidate and expand his empire because of his close ties with the proud Rajputs, the men who made formidable enemies and also steadfast and loyal friends.
Rajasthan is a vibrant state where tradition and history blend with contemporary life styles. People are proud of their heritage and yet open to change western values. Modern Rajasthan is bringing in amenities like elsewhere in the world. It has remarkable roads and transport systems.
Its roads are trafficked by some of latest cars and buses, rickshaws, camel carts and horse drawn tongas as well as improvised tempos. The markets are lined with a shopping extravaganza with some of its store being very posh.
Rajasthan offers wide ranging accommodations that can match constraint from single bed dormitories costing $ 1 per night to some of the most elite and luxurious 5 star deluxe hotels in the world. Most of these five-starred deluxe hotels are properties converted from former palaces and forts and they offer a superlative and fulsome life style for experience. The state owned RTDC runs a chain of hotels invariably available at every destination, these are also known as Tourist Bungalows.
The chain provides reasonable priced accommodations in dormitory, single room, air cooled rooms and air-conditioned rooms. Each hotel has a restaurant and some even have a bar. Normally a Tourists Reception Centre is also located on the same premises and is handy for any information.
International food chains like Mc Donald, Pizza Hut, Dominos etc exist along with international beverages like Coco Cola, Pepsi or Nescafe. Rajasthan is the largest state in the Republic of India and has vibrant trade and industry.
It is rich in mineral resources and a recent exploration also found large deposits of oil. Modern Rajasthan has some of best banking service and is well serviced by ATM honouring all international credit and debit cards.
As the state of Rajasthan was found by merging the princely states, it has many dialects.
The four main dialects are Marwari (in western Rajasthan), Jaipuri or Dhundhari (in the east and southeast), Malvi (Malwi; in the southeast), and, in Alwar, Mewati is spoken, which shades off into Braj Bhasa in Bharatpur district.
The main language written and spoken is Hindi.English is also commonly understood, except at the grass root levels. However, tourist guides and translators are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
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