Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area 342,236 km² (132,138 sq mi)
Largest city Jaipur
• Density 56,473,122 (8th)
• 165/km² (427/sq mi)
Language(s) Hindi, Rajasthani
Gujarati is also spoken
Governor Shilendra Kumar Singh
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje
Legislature (seats) Unicameral (200)
Rajasthan is situated in the north-western part of
India. It covers 342,239 square kilometres (132,139
square miles). Rajasthan lies between latitudes 23
degree 3'and 30 degree 12', north and longitudes 69
degree 30' and 78 degree 17', east. Compared to many
countries that are located in a similar latitudinal
belt, such as in northern Arabia, Rajasthan has a less
harsh climate. The State's scorching and dry summers and
its parched landscape is undergoing significant changes
because of the developmental effort that have led to the
spread of the Indira Gandhi Nahar.
The southern part of Rajasthan is about 225 km from the
Gulf of Kutch and about 400 km from the Arabian Sea.
Rajasthan is bounded by Pakistan in the west and
north-west; by the State of Punjab in the north; by Haryana in the north-east; by Uttar Pradesh in the east,
by Madhya Pradesh in the south-east and Gujarat in the
The Aravali mountain ranges that run from Delhi to
Gujarat cut through the State almost vertically. The
Aravali ranges divide the State through south-east and
north-west. The north-west region covering two-thirds of
the state consist mostly of a series of sand dunes.
Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and part of the Jhunjhunu
districts form part of this region. The eastern region
has large fertile tracts.
The climate of Rajasthan varies from semi arid to arid.
The mercury touches 49 degrees centigrade at some places
during summer and drops below freezing point during
Though the average annual rainfall ranges between
200-400 mm, it is as low as 150 mm in extreme arid zones
and as high as 1000 mm in the south eastern part of the
State. Most of the rainfall (60-80%) is received with
the South west monsoon in the period from July to
September. The average number of rainy days vary from 6
to 42 depending on the aridity of the area.
People and Administration
The people of Rajasthan are famously called the Marwaris.
The term Marwari has come to mean a canny businessman
from the State of Rajasthan. The Birlas, Goenkas, Ruias,
Singhanias, are among the top business groups of India.
They are the famous marwaris from Rajasthan. The people
of Rajasthan are of course, a lot more than the popular
marwari. The term marwari is used rather sweepingly over
a diverse set of people.
Equally famous are the Rajput chieftans of Rajasthan.
These are the ones who built the grand forts, palaces
and havelis of Rajasthan. History is replete with
legends of their bravery, their romantic forays and
their adventures. Local ballads sing songs of their
valour and their sacrifices.
Rajasthan comes alive with exuberant folk dances,
melodious music and spectacular festivities. Typically,
men still wear twirling moustaches and women adorn
themselves in multihued costumes. The people speak local
dialects, and an old saying explains that the dialect
and the men's turban change every 24 miles. The group of
dialects spoken in Rajasthan is called Rajasthani.
Traditional Rajasthani music is very typical. The folk
music has a very melodious and typically local flavour.
Bards sing ballads of local heroes in this musical
style. This has also attracted the attention of modern
day music composers. Music also received the patronage
of the kingdoms of Rajasthan till recently. This led to
the development of classical Hindustani music in the
courts of the Palaces.
Rajasthan has a fair for every religious occasion, for
every change of season and for every harvest. The people
of Rajasthan work hard, are peaceful and law abiding and
enjoy their culture, their music, festivals and fairs.
The 2001 Census of India enumerated 56.5 million people
in Rajasthan. About 70 per cent of these live in eastern
and south-eastern regions of the State. Hindi is the
predominant language spoken. Besides, Rajasthan and
several dialects of Hindi are widely spoken. Business is
conducted in Hindi and English. Literacy is 61 per cent.
The prominent religions practised are Hinduism, Islam,
Jainism and Sikhism.
There are 32 administrative units, Districts, in
Rajasthan. Jaipur is the Capital of the State. The
Congress party has been elected to power.