Rajasthan is situated in the north-western part of India. The State's scorching and dry summers and its parched landscape are 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 south-west.
The climate of Rajasthan touches 49 degrees centigrade at some places during summer and drops below freezing point during winter.
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.
Camel FestivalThe camel festival is organised by the Department of Tourism of the Rajasthan Government in January every year in Bikaner. The festival begins with a colourful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh fort. The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the directions of their trainers. bridal bridles, bejeweled necks, jingling anklets and camel shadows, cast a spell on the audience. In the evenings, is held a traditional rendezvous of renowned artistes and folk performers of Rajasthan.
Nagaur FairThe fair is held every year in January-February in Nagaur, is a trading fair for cattle and camels and gives one an opportunity to catch up with rural life as owners from all over the state camp on the outskirts of the town while they buy and sell animals.The hides of the animals, cut into wonderful patterns, are particularly attractive.
Mewar FestivalThis 18-day festival is celebrated to welcome the advent of spring and coincides with the festival of Gangaur in Udaipur. It is significant for the women of the state as it is time for them to dress in their best. The women gather to dress the images of Issar and Gangaur and then carry them in a ceremonial procession through different parts of the city. The procession ends up at Pichhola Lake where the images are transferred to special boats amidst singing and festivity. Cu1tura events are held at the end of the festivities and they include songs, dances and a display of fireworks.
Summer FestivalThe three-day festival is held at Mount Abu in June every year and is a feast of folk and classical music and window to the tribal life and culture of Rajasthan. The festival begins with the singing of a ballad which is followed by Gai Ghoomar and Dhap folk dances. Boat races and qawwalis are also organised.
Pushkar FairEasily the most identifiable of all the fairs of the state, the Pushkar fair is held in November in Pushkar in Ajmer, where an eighth century temple of Brabma, draws the faithful. The place has about 400 shrines and temples around the lake. Legend has it that Lord Brahma, in search of a place to hold his yagna(religious ritual), dropped the lotus from his hand and the three spots touched by the flower were turned into lakes. These are today known as the Jyeshtha Pushkar, Madhyam Pushkar and Kanishtha Pushkar. Pilgrims bathe at the ghats and pray at the temple. Traders strike deals at the worlds largest camel fair, although horses are also sold. People gather together to camp in the desert and entertain each other with songs and dances and cook meals over camp fires. The camel, horse and donkey races are also popular and draw huge attendance. Rajasthan Tourism puts up a tourist village.