Essay On Cultural Heritage Of Rajasthan Board





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RAJASTHAN - CULTURE


CULTURE IS THE ART OF LIVING

The dominating population of Rajasthan are the Rajputs. The state is also popularly known as the 'Land Of Rajputs' which means the 'son of the king'. It is believed that the Rajputs are of Scythian origins who were originally the residents of Iran and Caucasia in central Europe. There are also other records which states that the Rajputs belong to the warrior clan or the descendants of the Ksatriyas of Vedic India. These Rajputs are classified into various castes and sub castes where the Gurjar Pratiharas are supposed to be the earliest of the Rajput clan. The culture of Rajasthan can be best expressed as comprising the following :

ORIGIN

Some of the other Rajput clan includes the Sisodias, Rathors, Chauhans, Kachawahas, Bhattis, Panwars and Solankis.The Rajputs are noted for their bravery who fought to protect their land from several Muslim invaders like Mohamed Ghori. The Rajputs are brave warriors and excellent rulers and administrators.Atleast 12% of the total population of Rajasthan is constituted by the tribal people. Some of the major tribes of Rajasthan are the Bhils, Minas, Lohars, Garasias and Sahariyas. Udaipur is mainly occupied by the Bhils tribal community and districts like Jaipur and Madhopur are inhabited by the Minas.Garasias and Sahrias tribes belong to the Sirohi and Kota district. The lohars are nomads who found their home in Udaipur. The Sahariyas inhabit the jungles of Shahbad, Jhalawar, Sawai Madhopur, Dungarpur and Udaipur.

CULTURE

The Rajasthani's own the pride of not only enriching the culture of Rajasthan but also the entire culture of India. The people of Rajasthan are known for their culture which is nearly 5000 years old and which is a blend of tradition and history with the present contemporary lifestyle. There are lot of customs and traditions followed by the diverse population of the state and it adds to the embellishment of the culture of the people. The cultural heritage of the Rajasthani's are influenced by various features like its folk music and dances, different languages and dialects, the majestic forts, palaces, mansions and divinely holy places of religious worship, its multihued fairs and festivals and its cuisine. Not only the people but also the commercial markets give a picture of the vibrant culture of the Rajasthani's. Various products of the people of Rajasthan which can reflect the culture of the state are tie and die textiles, intricately carved wooden furniture with alluring motifs, block print textiles, lavish Bandhej saris and kurtis, zari and embroidered saris, luxurious and royal hand knotted carpets and durries, astonishing blue pottery, captivating mojaris and jutis, and so on.


TRADITIONS

The customs and traditions followed by the people of Rajasthan are those that pertain to that of the Vedic rites and rituals. The people of Rajasthan very strictly adhere to these traditional customs which is very essential according to every man and woman of Rajasthan. Each and every custom and rituals from birth to death according to the Vedas is followed by the people with just slight variations based on their region and the numerous sub castes. These ceremonies which have to be done as a part of their customs are known as Samskaras which depict the three stages of life namely birth, marriage and death. There are nearly sixteen Samskaras. At the time of a girl's pregnancy charms are tied around the neck and waist and also to prevent the evil eye falling on her, a knife is put under her pillow every night and is not allowed to go under certain specific tree where the Rajasthani's believe that spirits reside on those trees. The girl who is pregnant for the first time has to come to her parents well in advance. Festivities start and women assemble to sing songs specially meant for such an occasion, some describing the changing behavior and liking of a pregnant woman.

COSTUMES

The Rajasthani men's style of dressing is very classical and is quite different. The turbans form the most traditional part of dressing of the male which differs according to the various regions the people belong to. The turban is commonly known as Pagri and these Pagris are known as Jodhpuri Safa and Jaipuriya Pagris.The Angarakha which can be said as the Protector of body which is normally made up by the cotton textile. The most common form of the Angarakha costume is the kamari angarakha which isa frock type and goes upto waist length. The men also wear Dhoti or pyjama. The traditional costume of the women of Rajasthan is mostly a long skirt with a narrow waist that looks like an umbrella at the base. These skirts along with the top are called as Ghaghara which comes in vibrant colors. Usually the length of the skirt stops much before the ankle so that the accessory worn in the leg is visible. These skirts and dupattas are dyed or printed with mothras and lehariya print. Jaipur the capital state is very famous across the globe for its jewelry. The ornaments worn by the women are either gold or silver studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. They have a liking for chunky silver ornaments and lac ornaments.

CUISINE

- In spite of continental and western cooking gaining importance linking with urbanization, the Rajasthani's still prefer their traditional food. Milk, buttermilk and clarified butter are used liberally in the cooking of the Rajasthani's. Gram flour is one main ingredient used by the people to make delicacies like 'khata', 'ghatta ki sabzi' and 'pakodi'. Papad forms a part of their daily meal and it is made of powdered lentils. The most commonly used grains are Bajra and corn with which they make rotis, 'rabdi' and 'kheechdi'. Jalebis and Fafda are usually taken along with a glass of milk in the morning.Soup also form a part of their daily lunch which is made of legumes and alternately flavored with red chili peppers, yoghurt or milk and sometimes a vegetable such as Okra, Jackfruit, Eggplant, Mustard or Fenugreek leaf. Chutneys made of spices like turmeric, coriander mint and garlic are prepared and are hot and spicy. Khud Khasrgosh (Hare or rabbit meat cooked in a pit) is a Rajput specialty during summer. Not a single meal of Rajasthani's will miss out on sweets for it is their favorite. The non-vegetarian dishes include 'soola' or barbecued meats, marinated with a local vegetable.

OCCUPATION

Farming is the major occupation followed by the people of Rajasthan and the most widely grown crops includes wheat, bajra, oil-seeds, jowar, pulses, and tobacco. Apart from farming they are also engaged in animal husbandry and activities like handicrafts in brass, silver, lacquer, pottery, wood, and leather.

FAMOUS PERSONALITIES

Bhairon Singh Shekhawat -former Vice-President of India. He served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan state three times, from 1977 to 1980, 1990 to 1992, and 1993 to 1998.

Jagjit Singh - famous ghazal singer from India.Recipient of Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian honours, from the Government of India.

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh - ruler of the kingdom of Amber (later called Jaipur).Jai Singh's greatest achievement was the construction of Jaipur city known as pink city.

Prithvi Raj Chauhan - second last Hindu king to sit upon the throne of Delhi.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - Indian shooter.He is a recipient of the Padma Shri, a civilian award from the Government of India.

Rajasthan is a big state with big interests. One can choose reasons to travel to Rajasthan as per their interest. Festivals of Rajasthan is one of them! We know that Rajasthan is known for its historical and cultural importance! Festivals in Rajasthan also represent the history and culture of Rajasthan. To showcase Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage, every year some major festivals take place across the state in different months on different themes. You could participate in these festivals to witness the vibrant history and culture of Rajasthan. Our guide is about some festival that is major as well as worldwide popular among history and cultural events lovers!

So read on and tell us when you are coming to experience these!

Pushkar Festival

The famed Pushkar fair is one of the largest camel fairs in the world. The fair takes place for five to fifteen days annually in the holy city of Pushkar on the banks of the Pushkar Lake. The main activity of this fair is the trading of livestock such as camels, horses and cattle.

Pushkar Fair has become one of the major tourist attractions of Rajasthan. Some of the enthralling competitions such as matka phod, longest moustache, turban tying and balancing on camel contests are part of the fair. During the Fair, the quaint village becomes an extraordinary place of color, music and movement.

Starting / Ending Dates

23th October – 4th November 2017

Kumbhalgarh Festival

Kumbhalgarh Festival celebrates the passion of Rajasthani culture. It is a coming together of India’s finest classical musician, artists and dancers. The festival honors the memory of Maharana Kumbha, Kumbhalgarh’s creator, a great advocate of Indian martial and fine arts, architecture and learning.

Kumbhalgarh festival has mainly two parts, one in the day time and other at evening. In the day, there are wonderful folk performances by the artists of Rajasthan. Evening is impressive as the cultural programs are added with the sounds, lights, colors and an element of enigma.

Highlights of the Festival

Folk culture of Rajasthan along the backdrop of the mighty Kumbhalgarh Fort.

Starting / Ending Date

1st December – 3rd December  2017

Winter Festival, Mount Abu

The Winter Festival in Mount Abu is held every year during the last week of December. The only hill station in Rajasthan is seen drenched in fun and festivities. This three- day colorful festival is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism and Municipal Board, Mt. Abu. The exotic location make this festival a never to be forgotten experience.

Attend the ceremonial procession, band show, and fireworks. The friendly competitions include Boat Race, Skating Race, Panihari Matka Race, Tug of War, Musical Chair Race, etc. Though quite a touristy affair, the culture of Rajasthan shines through the food, arts, crafts and folk performances.

Highlights of the Festival

A ceremonial procession from Nakki Lake declaring the start of the festival, Sufi Kathak, folk dances such as Daph, Ghoomar, Gair, etc. Hot air ballooning is the latest addition.

 Starting / Ending Date

29th – 31st December, 2017.

Camel Fair, Bikaner

The Camel Festival in Bikaner is a two -day celebration of rural Rajasthan. The highly popular festival of Rajasthan, Camel fair starts off with a colorful parade of beautifully adorned camels against the backdrop of majestic Junagarh Fort. Apart from colorful parade by camels, the festival witnesses best traditional Rajasthani folk dance performances and musics.

One of the best thing that should not be missed in Camel fair Bikaner is fascinating Fire Dance. It adds glamour to the festivities. The melodies of folk music are truly captivating. The puppet shows in Camel Fair, Bikaner are a rare art, where the colorful attired puppet dolls narrate intriguing local folklores. The spectacular firework display illuminates the skies of Bikaner and concludes the event.

Highlights of  the Festival

Fire Dance, Mystical walk on Fire, Folk performances and of course the huge population of camels.

Starting / Ending Dates

13th – 14th January, 2018

Kite Festival, Jaipur

Kite flying is a sport and Jaipur celebrates this passion as a festival. Come January and the skies are dotted with a profusion of different colors, shapes and sizes, fluttering and darting above the rooftops, triumphantly cutting another kite’s string, and soaring way up above the earth.

The Jaipur Tourism Development Corporation organizes the International Kite Festival at a local stadium, where kite enthusiasts from all across the globe show off their kite-flying skills. A kite market is also held, alongside which are food stalls, cultural performances and special kite displays at night, when illuminated kites known as Tukals are flown.

Highlights of the Festival

The high-power kite competition and the sky full of kites of all sizes, colors, shapes and designs.

Starting / Ending Dates

14th January -14th January, 2018

Jaipur Literature Festival

An annual literary fest, Jaipur Literature Festival is organized every year in the month of January in Jaipur. This festival is not only India’s biggest literature festival! But it is one of the grandest literary fests of the world. The Jaipur literature festival is organized at the Diggi Palace Hotel where people from all across the world come together to celebrate literature. This free festival is open to all and aims to bring in some of the greatest writers and thinkers of the world.

The discussions, readings and debates by Man Booker prize winners, local writers, Nobel Laureates and famous personalities are the delights of the festival. The rich heritage of knowledge truly makes it an event to definitely attend.

Highlights of the festival

The Jaipur Literary Festival turns 10, so a lot of events are on the calendar.

Starting / Ending Dates

19th – 23th January, 2018

Nagaur Fair

Nagaur Fair is the 2nd largest cattle fair in India. The 8-day festivities is a great time to witness the rustic appeal of Rajasthan. This carnival provides the largest platform for trading cattle, cows, bullocks, oxen, camel and horses. Visited by many tourists every year, Nagaur Fair captures the essence of Rajasthan. Folk and cultural competition keeps on happening side by side. Various games like tug-of-war, camel races, cock fights, etc. are organized for the entertainment of tourists.

People are seen wearing vibrant dresses and long moustaches. Folk artists, jugglers, puppeteers, storytellers, attend the festival to display their skills.

Highlights of the Festival

The sights of Methi & Mirch (chillies) along the huge populace of cattle.

Starting / Ending Dates

22th January – 25th January, 2018

Desert Festival, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Desert Festival celebrates the golden sands of the Thar Desert along with the rich cultural heritage under the moonlit sky. The Jaisalmer festival lasts for 3 days, where you can experience fancy camel ride, participate in camel races, polo matches, turban tying competitions and various other things. The folk dance performances in festival take you in a world of its own.

The major attractions of theThar desert festival include snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers, fire dancers and various other things that will capture your heart. One of the major cultural festivals of Rajasthan, Desert Festival introduces you to the wonderful desert history, culture and lifestyle.

Highlights of the Festival

Camping in the desert dunes in traditional campsites.

Starting / Ending Dates

29th-31th January, 2018

Udaipur World Musical Festival

A very first of its kind, Udaipur World Music festival in India celebrates world music. This music festival brings together global artists and bands from over 20 countries, including India, Italy, Iran, Spain, Egypt, Senegal, Macedonia, France, Portugal, amongst other nations. In accordance to how certain moods and music are associated with hours of the day, there are different performances organized during different times of the day.

The mornings start with romantic treat. During the sunny afternoons, hear soothing melodies. Evenings reverberate with high energy youthful concerts. If you have interest in music, this is your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Highlights of the Festival

Breaking the barriers of language, the sensibilities of music conquers all.

Starting / Ending Date

9th Feb – 11th February, 2018

Mewar Festival, Udaipur

To experience the color and joy that fills the people of Rajasthan, visiting Udaipur during the Mewar festival is a highly recommended experience. The festival is observed to welcome the arrival of spring. The whole of Udaipur gets drenched in vibrant colors. The festival is especially meant for women.

Women assemble to dress the images of Isar (Lord Shiva) and Gangaur (Goddess Parvati) and carry them in a procession through the city, finally immersing them in the waters of Pichola Lake. Dances, songs, cultural events and a firework display are some aspects of the festival.

Highlights of the Festival

The royal procession of Gods, Isar (Lord Shiva) and Gangaur (Goddess Parvati).

Starting / Ending Dates

20th March – 22th March, 2018

Abhaneri Festival, Dausa

Abahaneri Festival is an effort to promote rural tourism. The rural setup and the charm of the heritage is quite compelling to explore. The festival is a mixture of live cultural evening, nukkad performances and village safari on camel carts. The Chand Baori, step well is the venue for day long live cultural performances.

Shehnai Vaadan, puppet show, Behrupia, Raavanhatha, Mayur Dance, Langa singing, Kacchi Ghodi,  Bhawai Dance are some delights of the celebrations. Craftsmen and artisans come from all over the state to participate in the Art and Craft exhibition. Get the real taste of the cultural heritage of Rajasthan in this festival.

Highlights of the Festivals

Folk games in addition to folk, music, dance, arts and crafts.

Starting / Ending Dates

21st September – 22nd September, 2018

Ranakpur Mahotsav, Pali

The two-day Ranakpur Mahotsav is a celebration of mellifluous music, Indian classical and Rajasthani folk. The world-famous 15th century Ranakpur Jain temple comes to life with various performances by folk artisans. The main podium of the 13th century Sun temple of Ranakpur comes to life with Kathak, sufi, Rajasthani rap and other performances like Kalbeliya dance etc.

Yoga sessions are blended with musical notes, adventurous activities along with slew of performances by the Indian classical and folk performers of the state. The main attractions of the event are the event of floating lamps at the historic Nirvana Lake.

Highlights of the Festival

The highlight of the festival is the Horse show, where horses participated in various activities and the best performing horses.

Starting / Ending Dates

Dates to be announced!

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Debashree Chakraborty

A travel writer by profession and self-professed addict to literature, momos, dancing, music and travelling, Debasree Chakraborty has all interesting things to share. Go through her penned down travel experiences and collected intelligence in her write ups. Read on!

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