A Journey Through Culture of Rajasthan, Its Cusine, Fair & Festivals
Rajasthan means Land of Kingdoms, and most of the people there are called Rajput, meaning Son of a King.
Deserts and forts are common in Rajasthan. In general, the northwestern part of Rajasthan is sandy and dry. Most of this area is in the Thar Desert, also called the “Great Indian Desert” and the “Rajasthan Desert.”
Rajasthan culture shows off its culture and traditional past, which isn’t what you’d expect from a place called “the land of Kings” or “the country of Rajputs.” Rajasthan’s culture contains delicious foods, beautiful dances, and hypnotic music.
Rajasthan is known for its royal grandeur and royalties, and its varied folk culture from towns is often shown as a symbol of the state. This attracts tourists from all over the world. It also has a lot of plants and animals, and some of the most well-known wildlife preserves and national parks are there.
History of Rajasthan
Rajasthan, which means “land of kings,” has a royal grandeur and a glorious past. It is a charming and captivating state in India. It is known for its many brave kings, their actions, and their interest in art and building. “The land of the rajas” is what its name means. It was also known as Rajputana, which means “the country of the Rajputs.” Their rules of honour shaped social norms, and their often bitter and long-lasting feuds shaped politics.
The word Rajasthan was first used in the writings of George Thomas and James Tod. But western Rajasthan and eastern Gujarat were once part of “Gurjaratra” or “Gurjarabhumi,” which means “the land of the Gurjars.” Local languages at the time used the word Rjwr, which means “the place or land of kings.” Later, the British messed up the word and called it Rajputana instead.
Rajasthan’s history goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization. The Western Middle Kingdoms, such as the Western Kshatrapas, were the successors of the Indo-Scythians who invaded the area of Ujjain and started the Saka era, which is when the Rajasthani people began to form.
The Saka calendar is used by people in Rajasthan and nearby places like Punjab and Haryana. It is also the national calendar of India. Over time, their social systems got stronger and changed, leading to the birth of several martial sub-ethnic groups. This used to be called a martial race, but that term is no longer used. In medieval India, Rajasthanis became some of the most important traders. Rajasthan was one of the most important places for trade with Rome, the eastern Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia.
Tradition & Culture of Rajasthan
Rajasthan has cultural practices that show how people used to live in India in the past. Most people in Rajasthan are Hindu, but there are also large groups of Muslims and Jains. Most Jats are Hindus or Sikhs. Meenas in Rajasthan still strongly follow Vedic culture, which usually includes worshipping Bhainroon (Shiva), Krishna, and Durga.
Rajasthani wedding traditions have their unique ways of doing things. Marriage is one of the most important things that can happen to a person. The traditional dance, music, beautiful wedding clothes and jewellery, and wedding traditions are mesmerizing. Marwari is their native language, so most people from Rajasthan know it.
Men usually wear dhotis, kurtas, anger has, and beggars or safes, like turbans worn on the head. The traditional Chudidar pyjama is worn instead of the dhoti in many places. The ghagra is a long skirt, and the kimchi is a top. But the length and width of Rajasthan change the way people dress. In the areas of Marwar (Jodhpur), Shekhawati (Jaipur), and Hadoti (Bundi), the dhoti is worn in different ways. Even though both the pagri and the safa are Rajasthani headwear, they are not the same. Mewar has the pagan tradition, while Marwar has the safa custom.
Rajasthan is also known for making beautiful jewellery. People in Rajasthan have worn jewellery of different metals and materials since ancient times. In the past, women wore gold and silver jewellery with gems set in them. In the past, silver or gold ornaments were used to decorate the inside of homes by being stitched onto curtains, seat pillows, crafts, etc. Rich Rajasthanis used gold and silver with gems set into them to make swords, shields, knives, guns, cannons, doors, thrones, and other things. This shows how important jewelry was to Rajasthan.
Cuisine of Rajasthan
Rajasthani food was affected by the fact that most of its people lived in a state of war and that ingredients were easy to find in this dry area. People liked food that could last a few days and didn’t need to be heated. Cooking has changed because there isn’t enough water and fresh green food.
Dal-Bati-Churma, Bikaneri Bhuji, bajre ki roti (millet bread) and lash ki chutney (hot garlic paste), mawa kachori Mirchi Bada, Pyaaj Kachori and ghevar from Jodhpur, Alwar ka Mawa (Milk Cake), malpais from Pushkar, and rasgullas from Bikaner.
Rajasthani Folk Music and Dance, Festival
The Ghoomar dance from Jodhpur Marwar and the Kalbeliya dance form from Jaisalmer is known worldwide. Rajasthan folk music is an important part of life in Rajasthan. Traditional Rajasthani culture can be seen in Kathputli, Bhopa, Chang, Teratali, Ghindr, Kachchhighori, and Tejaji, among other places.
The Ghoomer folk dance is done at fairs, holidays, and other happy events. It gets its name, “Ghoomer,” from how the Rajasthani women’s long skirts flow, or “ghoomna.” The skirts slowly move with amazing grace as the women spin around in circles with their faces hidden by veils. In the Ghoomar dance, the dancers move their colourful ghagras, which have a lot of needlework and mirror work. They wear native ghagra, choli, and chairs. They wear metal jewellery and glass bangles that have been around for a long time. The Ghoomar is played at events for women, such as the haldi ceremony at a wedding or to entertain a queen in her private rooms.
Rajasthani music is often ballads about heroic acts and love stories. Other songs, called bhajans and banis, are religious or devotional songs often backed by instruments like the dholak, sitar, and sarangi.
Handicrafts Made in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is also famous for its colourful folk art. The main things that Rajasthan sells abroad are block prints, tie-and-dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, and Zari needlework. People often make wooden furniture and crafts, rugs, and blue pottery. Rajasthani clothes have a lot of mirror work and embroidery, which shows how colourful the society is.
The traditional dress for women in Rajasthan is a lehenga or chaniya choli, a skirt that comes to the ankles and a short top. People cover their heads with a piece of cloth, both to keep cool and to keep their modesty. Dresses from Rajasthan are often made with bright colours like blue, yellow, and orange.
Popular places to visit
Rajasthan is one of the most visited places in India because of its rich culture, historical forts, castles, art and handicrafts. Many Indian and foreign tourists love to visit Jaipur’s castles, Udaipur’s lakes, Jain Temples and the desert forts of Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Jaisalmer.
At the state’s fairs and festivals, especially the Desert Festivals (Jan-Feb), the Pushkar Fair (Oct-Nov), the Marwar Festival (Sept-Oct), and the Camel Festival (Jan-Feb), you can get the best taste of this rich artistic ability.