Rajasthan- The “Land of Kings” is India’s largest state by area (10.4% of India’s total area). It is placed on the north-western side of the country, where it covers most of the vast and inhospitable Thar Desert which is also known as the “Rajasthan Desert” and “Great Indian Desert”. It shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley.
The state was formed when Rajputana (the name adopted by the British Raj for its dependencies in the region- was merged into the Dominion of India) on March 30, 1949. The largest city and its capital is Jaipur which is also known as Pink City and is located on the state’s eastern side. Some of the other important cities are Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Kota, and Ajmer.
Some of the most interesting and lesser known facts about this “Land of Kings” are:
In this part of the country, Gurjars ruled for many dynasties. The region was known as Gurjaratra. Almost the whole of North India acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars with their seat of power at Kannauj up to the tenth century.
From the 8th to the 11th century, the Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as an obstacle for Arab invaders. The chief accomplishment of the Gurjara Pratihara Empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west. Historian R. C. Majumdar said that this was openly acknowledged by the Arab writers. He further noted, Indian Historians have wondered that the progress of Muslim invaders in India is slow as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now, there seems a little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army which effectively blocked the progress of the Arabs beyond the confines of Sindh, their first conquest for nearly 300 years.
3. Historical Tribes
Traditionally, the Rajputs, Jats, Meenas, Gurjars, Bhils, Rajpurohit, Charans, Yadavs, Bishnois, Sermals, PhulMali (Saini) and other tribes made a great contribution in building Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties in preserving their culture and the land. Millions of them were killed while trying to protect their land. A number of Gurjars had been wiped out in Bhinmal and Ajmer areas while fighting with the invaders. Bhils once ruled Kota. Meenas were rulers of Bundi and the Dhundhar region.
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