The second postcard received in 2017 comes from the largest state area in India, Rajahstan.
|Maps of India. Rajashtan|
WHERE IS RAJASHTAN?
|Location of Rajashtan in India. Wikipedia|
Rajashtan is located on the western side of India, where it comprises most of the wide Thar Desert (also known as the "Rajasthan Desert" and "Great Indian Desert") and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by the other Indian states: Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; and Gujarat to the southwest.
RAJASHTAN IS FAMOUS FOR…
…its historical ruins: The Ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization at Kalibanga; the Dilwara Temples, a Jain pilgrimage site at Rajasthan's only hill station, Mount Abu, in the ancient Aravalli mountain range.
…its natural parks: he Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site is very well known for its bird life. Rajasthan is also home to two national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar.
|Ranthambore Natural Park in Rajashtan|
…its capital city: Jaipur, also known as Pink City, located on the state's eastern side. With a population of 3.1 million Jaipur is the tenth most populous city in India. Other important cities in Rajashtan are Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Kota and Ajmer.
PLACES TO VISIT
Hawal Mahal (in English “Palace of Winds" or "Palace of the Breeze") is a palace in Jaipur so named because it was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, and extends to the zenana, or women's chambers.
Amer Palace and Fort
Amer Palace and Fort are located in Amer, a town located 11 kilometres from Jaipur. Constructed of red sandstone and marble up on a hill, this opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. The Fort built to protect the palace is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake, the main source of water for the Amer Palace.
Birla Mandir is a Hindu temple located in Jaipur and is part of one of the several Birla mandirs located all around India. The grand temple is located on an elevated ground at the base of Moti Dungari hill.
Mount Abu is a popular hill station in the Aravalli Range near the border with Gujarat. The mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m and is often referred to as “an oasis in the desert” as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests.
Udaipur or “The Venice of India”
This city has been acclaimed as the most romantic city in the world. It is built around and on the Aravalli hills. Many lakes of the city add to the beauty of the historical city.
Rajasthan is culturally rich and has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. There is rich and varied folk culture from villages which are often depicted and is symbolic of the state. Highly cultivated classical music and dance with its own distinct style is part of the cultural tradition of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is known for its traditional, colourful art. The block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, and Zari embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. Handicraft items like wooden furniture and crafts, carpets, and blue pottery are commonly found here. Shopping reflects the colourful culture, Rajasthani clothes have a lot of mirror work and embroidery.
The main religious festivals are Deepawali, Holi, Gangaur, Teej, Gogaji, Shri Devnarayan Jayanti, Makar Sankranti and Janmashtami, as the main religion is Hinduism. Rajasthan's desert festival is held once a year during winter. Dressed in costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing ballads. There are fairs with snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels play a role in this festival.
To get a taste of Rajashtan's dream-like festivals, watch the video below: