Culture of Rajasthan

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The Thar desert near Jaisalmer.

Rajasthan has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. There is a rich and varied folk culture from villages which is often depicted symbolic of the state.

Rajasthan had a glorious history. It is known for many brave kings, their deeds; and their interest in art and architecture. Its name means “the land of the rajas”. It was also called Rajputana (the country of the Rajputs); whose codes of chivalry shaped social mores just as their often bitter and protected feuding dominated their politics.

Rajasthan, the land of Kings. Drenched into royal grandeur and soaked into glorious history, Rajasthan is one of the most charming and captivating states of India. It has been globally famous tourism destination with lots of tourist attractions and fabulous tourist facilities. This historical state of India attracts tourists and vacationers with its rich culture, tradition, heritage, and monuments. It is also rich in its flora and fauna with some of popular wildlife sanctuaries & national parks.

Music and Dance[edit]

A Rajasthani folk dance, Kalbeliya.

Highly cultivated classical music and dance with its own distinct style is part of the cultural tradition of Rajasthan. The music is uncomplicated and songs depict day-to-day relationships and chores, more often focused around fetching water from wells or ponds.

The Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have gained international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Rajasthani culture. Kathputali, Bhopa, Chang, Teratali, Ghindar, Kachchhighori, Tejaji,parth dance etc. are the examples of the traditional Rajasthani culture. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories; and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis (often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak, sitar, sarangi etc.) are also sung.

Kanhaiya Geet also sung in major areas of east rajasthani belt in the collectiong manner as a best source of entertainment in the rural areas.

Arts and crafts[edit]

A carpet seller in Jaipur

Rajasthan is famous for textiles, semi-precious stones and handicrafts, and for its traditional and colorful art. Rajasthani furniture has intricate carvings and bright colours. Block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints and Zari embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. The blue pottery of Jaipur is particularly noted.

Dresses[edit]

Women in traditional Rajasthani dress

Reflecting the colorful Rajasthani culture, Rajasthani clothes have a lot of mirror-work and embroidery. A Rajasthani traditional dress for females comprises an ankle length skirt and a short top, also known as a lehenga or a chaniya choli. A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both for protection from heat and maintenance of modesty called chunari. While Rajasthani women cover their faces with chunari, this practice is called Ghunghat. Rajasthani dresses are usually designed in bright colours like blue, yellow and orange.Their traditional dresses are entirely different from other states traditional dresses.

Architecture[edit]

Rajasthan is famous for the majestic forts, intricately carved temples and decorated havelis, which were built by kings in previous ages. Jantar Mantar, Dilwara Temples, Mirpur Jain Temple, Chittorgarh Fort, Lake Palace Hotel, City Palaces, Jaisalmer Havelis are part of the architectural heritage of India. Jaipur, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue. At Ajmer, the white marble Bara-dari on the Anasagar lake is exquisite. Jain temples dot Rajasthan from north to south and east to west. Dilwara temples of Mount Abu, Mirpur Jain Temple of Mirpur, Ranakpur Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath near Udaipur, Jain temples in the fort complexes of Chittor, Jaisalmer and Kumbhalgarh, Lodarva (Lodhruva) Jain temples and Bhandasar Temple of Bikaner are some of the best examples.

Religion[edit]

The main religious festivals are Deepawali, Holi, Gangaur, Teej, Gogaji, Makar Sankranti and Janmashtami, as the main religion is Hinduism. Rajasthan's desert festival is celebrated with great zest and zeal. This festival is held once a year during winters. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. There are fairs with snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels play a prominent role in this festival.

Hinduism[edit]

Rajasthan has several popular Hindu saints, many from the Bhakti era.

Rajasthani saints hail from all castes; Maharshi Naval Ram and Umaid Ram Maharaj were Bhangis, Karta Ram Maharaj was a Shudra, Sundardasa was a Vaish, and Meerabai and Ramdeoji were Rajputs. The backward caste Nayaks serve as the narrators or the devotional music (or "bhajan") for the Baba Ramdevji sect.

The most popular Hindu deities are Surya, Krishna and Rama.

Modern-day popular saints from Rajasthan have been Paramyogeshwar Sri Devpuriji of Kriya Yoga and Swami Satyananda the master of Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mantra Yoga and Laya yoga.

Religious syncretism[edit]

Rajasthan had a massive movement to unite the Hindus and Muslims to worship God together. Saint Baba Ramdevji was adored by Muslims, equally that he was to Hindus.

Mostly Rajasthani speaks Marwari language.It is their native language.

Saint Dadu Dayal was a popular figure who came from Gujarat to Rajasthan to preach the unity of Ram and Allah. Sant Rajjab was a saint born in Rajasthan who became a disciple of Dadu Dayal and spread the philosophy of unity amongst Hindu and Muslim worshipers of God.

Saint Kabir was another popular figure noted for bringing the Hindu and Muslim communities together, and stressing that God may have many forms (e.g., whether in the form or Rama or Allah.)

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