general info.

Rajasthan is the Indian state which borders Pakistan on the western side of the country. The name means "Land of the Kings" and the Rajputs who lived here for over a thousand years are known for their code of chivalry and honor. The people of Rajasthan are perhaps the most colorful in a land of color -- their history, religion, music and dance, arts and crafts remain vibrantly alive and active -- and are presented here in all their variety and ways. Perhaps the most lasting impression that visitors take away with them after travelling through this state is that of color. Geographically Rajasthan is divided by the Aravali range running southwest to northeast.

Art & Architecture : Rajasthan has various schools of miniature painting, largely derived from the mughal style but with some clear differences - in particular, the palace and haunting scenes are complemented by religious themes, particularly relating to the Krishna legends. There are many buildings dating from the 10th to 15th centuries, including the superb Jain temples at Ranakpur and Mount Abu.

Money :
Most major towns change money, but it's a good idea to carry adequate rupees with you to smaller places, such as to the villages of Shekhawati. Banks are open Monday to Friday 10 am to 2 pm, and 10 am to noon on Saturday.

Special Events :
Rajasthan has all the usual Hindu and Muslim festivals, some celebrated with special local fervour, as well as a number of festivals of its own. Rajasthan is perhaps best known for the flamboyant Pushkar Camel fair, held annually in October/November.Exclusive to Rajasthan is the Ganguar fair, which celebrates the love between Shiva and Parvati.Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nathwara and Jaisalmer all celebrate colourful fairs of Gangaur.

Main cities to visit :
Jaipur - Capital of Rajasthan, known as Pink City and famous for historical monuments.
Jaisalmer - Stunning medieval fort rising from a stark desert landscape.
Pushkar - Beautiful temple town around a lake, home to the Camel fair.
Udaipur - Whitewashed temples and grand palaces surround a lake and the gorgeous Lake Palace.
Shekhawati - Rajasthan's 'open-air gallery' with scores of ornately painted havelis or mansions.
Mount Abu - Holy spot of Hindu and Jain, mainly famous for Dilwara temple.
Bharatpur - Renowned for its World Heritage-Listed bird sanctuary.
Alwar - Located almost midway between Rajasthan and Delhi, mainly famous for Sariska wildlife and govt. museum.
Ajmer - It is just over 130 kms. south-west of Jaipur and a major centre for Muslim pilgrims.
Bundi - Known for its excellent paintings and has a lot of interesting historic sites.
Ranakpur - It is one of the largest and most important Jain temples in India.
Jodhpur - The edge of the Thar desert and the largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur.
Bikaner - Has a superb fort, camel safaris, and 30 km to the south is the extraordinary Karni Mata temple where thousands of holy rats are worshipped.
Kota - It was a separate state until independence when it was integrated in Rajasthan.
Chittorgarh - The romantic city was a doomed ideal of Rajput chivalry.
Area : 342,239 sq. km.
Population : 49.7 Million
Capital : Jaipur
Main Languages : Rajasthani, Hindi
Best time to visit : October to March