Rajasthan is a land of great beauty and diversity. From the Thar Desert in the west to the fertile southeastern plains, Rajasthan's topography too shares in this diversity. The state, home of brave Rajput warriors, is popular for its culture, from the lively folk dances to the many schools of Indian classical music.
The topography ranges from the Thar Desert in the west and south west, to the less harsh green plains to the east and southeast. The Chambal river runs through rocky terrain, giving rise to gullies and canyons. The Aravalli Hill range neatly divided the state in half, with Thar desert to the left of it. The Aravallis are an old range, with the Gurushikar point, at 1800 meters above sea level, being the highest point in Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is famous for its many festivals and fairs. The Pushkar Fair near Ajmer attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is held to facilitate the sale and purchase of animals by cattle traders and farmers. Teej, welcoming the onset of monsoons, is chiefly celebrated by women who dress up and go on excursions with their friends. Holi is celebrated with people throwing colors on each other, and elephant processions accompanied by dancers.
The jewelry of Rajasthan is made of lac, gold and colored stones. The fine craftsmanship of these jewels makes them a favorite with tourists. The miniature paintings of Rajasthan are a collector's item, with different styles of painting like the Mughal inspired Jaipur style and the Kota style where special dyes are used for painting. Rajasthan is also famous for its block printed and tie and dye fabrics. The terracotta figurines, painstakingly crafted by potters over a heavy wheel, are now found in homes all over India.
Rajasthan's forts and palaces, with most of them in a state of near total preservation, are a must on a sightseers's itinerary. The Jaipur Fort, built by Maharaja Jai Singh, is an example of mathematical precision and royal opulence. The Jaisalmer Fort towers above the desert below and looks like a golden palace. The Udaipur Fort, beside the Lake Pichola, adds to the charm of the city known as the Venice of the East.
Rajasthan has something for everyone, whether sightseers, students of history and culture, honeymooners or shoppers. Visiting the Desert state, with its varied, rich culture, buildings, handicrafts, textiles and above all, a warm, hospitable people, is an unforgettable experience.