22. RAJASTHAN has its entire western flank of the state bordering with Pakistan, while Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh bind Rajasthan in north, north-east, south-east respectively and Gujarat in south-west.Its total area is 3,42,239 sq km with a total population of 56,473,122 Jaipur is the capital city and Hindi and Rajasthani are the principal languages.
History and Geography
Rajasthan, the largest State in India in terms of area, prior to independence, was known as Rajputana or the home of Rajputs-a martial community who ruled over this area for centuries.Around 3,000 and 1,000 BC, it was a part of the Indus Valley Civilisation. It was the Chauhans who dominated Rajput affairs from seventh century and by 12th century, followed by the the Guhilots of Mewar who controlled the destiny of the warring tribes. Other historically prominent states were Marwar, Jaipur, Bundi, Kota, Bharatpur and Alwar, while the other states were only offshoots of these. All these states accepted the British Treaty of Subordinate Alliance in 1818, protecting the interest of the princes. During the National Movement the people united themselves under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to contribute to the freedom movement. With the introduction of provincial autonomy in1935 in British India, agitation for civil liberties and political rights became stronger in the Princely states of Rajasthan. The process of uniting the scattered states commenced from 1948 to 1956, when the States Reorganisation Act was promulgated. First came Matsya Union (1948), consisting of a fraction of states. Slowly and gradually, other states merged with this Union. By 1949, major states like Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaislmer joined this Union, making it the United State of Greater Rajasthan. Ultimately in 1958, the present state of Rajasthan formally came into being, with Ajmer state, the Abu Road Taluka, and Sunel Tappa joining it.
Total cultivable area in the State is 210.62 lakh hectares (2005-2006). The estimated food grain production is 118.26 lakh tonnes. Principal crops cultivated in the State are rice, barley, jowar, millet, maize ,gram, wheat, oilseeds, pulses, cotton and tobacco. Cultivation of vegetable and citrus fruits such as orange and malta has also picked up over last few years. Other crops are red chillies, mustard, cumin seeds, methi and hing.
Industry and Minerals
Rajasthan is rich in minerals and is fast emerging on the industrial scene of the country. Some of the important Central undertakings are Zinc Smelter Plant at Devari (Udaipur), Copper Plant at Khetri Nagar (Jhunjhunu) and Precision Instrument Factory at Kota. Major industries are textiles and woollens, sugar, cement, glass, sodium plants, oxygen, vegetable dyes, pesticides, zinc, fertilizers, railway wagons, ball bearings, water and electricity metres, sulphuric acid, television sets, synthetic yarn and insulating bricks. Besides precious and semi-precious stones, caustic soda, calcium carbide, nylon and tyres, etc., are other important industrial units. Rajasthan has rich deposits of zinc concentrates, emerald, garnet, gypsum, silver ore, asbestos, felspar and mica. The State also abounds in salt, rock phosphate, marble and red stone deposits. The first Export Promotion Industrial Park of the country has been established and made operational at Sitapura (Jaipur).
Irrigation and Power
By the end of March 2005 irrigation potential of 32.07 lakh hectares was created in the state through various major, medium and minor irrigation projects. during the year 2005-06 and additional irrigation potential of 69,673 hectares ( excluding IGNP & CAD)has been created upto December 2005. The installes power capacity in the State has become 5385Mw upto March 2006 of which 2885 Mw is produced from State own projects, 973 Mw from collaboration project and 1527 Mw from the allocation from Central power generating stations.
Rajasthan is a land of festivals and fairs. Besides the national festivals birth anniversaries of saintly figures, folk heroes and heroines are celebrated. Important fairs are Teej, Gangaur (Jaipur), annual Urs of Ajmer Sherif and Galiakot, tribal Kumbh of Beneshwar (Dungarpur), Mahaveer fair at Shri Mahavirji in Swai Madhopur, Ramdeora (Jaisalmer), Janbheshwari Fair (Mukam-Bikaner), Kartik Poornima and Cattle Fair (Pushkar-Ajmer) and Shyamji Fair (Sikar), etc. Tourist Centres include Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Mount Abu, Sariska Tiger Sanctuary in Alwar, Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Pali and Chittorgarh are important places of tourist interest in the state.