It is action packed with outdoors too; take a safari on horses, camels, elephants or even jeeps with the Aravalis - the oldest mountain range of India in the backdrop, or caress your eyes on the sloppy sand dunes, or trail a tiger or just watch birds on wetland. You can also choose to indulge yourself in the lavish heritage properties. Rajasthanhas something for everyone, just choose your activity.
The south-eastern area is comparatively more fertile than northwestern area. Southwest area has a much diversified topography. In the south lies the hilly area of Mewar. In the southeast a large area of the districts of Kota and Bundi forms a tableland, and to the northeast of these districts is a rugged region (badlands) following the line of the Chambal River. Further north the country levels out; the flat plains of the northeastern Bharatpur district are part of the alluvial basin of the Yamuna River.
The Aravali outlines the most important division of Rajasthan. The Chambal River, which is the only large and permanent river in the State, originates from its drainage to the east of this range and flows northeast. Its principal tributary, the Banas, rises in the Aravali near Kumbhalgarh and collects all the drainage of the Mewar plateau. Further north, the Banganga, after rising near Jaipur, flows to the east-wards before disappearing. The Luni is the only significant river west of the Aravali. It rises in the Pushkar valley of Ajmer and flows 320 km west-southwest into the Rann of Kachchh. Northeast of the Luni basin, in the Shekhawati territory, is an area of internal drainage characterized by salt lakes, the largest of which is Sambhar Salt Lake.
In the vast sandy north-western plain extending over the districts of Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalor, Sirohi, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Pali, and Nagaur, soils are mainly saline or alkaline. Water is scarce but is found at a depth of 30 to 61 m. The soil and sand are calcareous (chalky). Nitrates in the soil increase its fertility, and, as has been shown in the area of the Indira Gandhi (formerly Rajasthan) Canal, cultivation is often possible where adequate water supplies are made available.
The soils in the Ajmer district in central Rajasthan are sandy; clay content varies between 3 and 9 per cent. In the Jaipur and Alwar districts in the east, soils vary from sandy loam to loamy sand. In the Kota, Bundi, and Jhalawar territory, they are in general black and deep and are well drained. In Udaipur, Chittaurgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, and Bhilwara districts, eastern areas have mixed red and black and western areas red to yellow soils.
Languages of Rajasthan
Rajasthani language consists of five prime dialects i.e. Marwari, Dhundhari, Mewari, Mewati and Hadauti. It is derived from Apabhramsa, with all its linguistic and orthographical peculiarities. Rajasthani as a language of literature suffered a great set back during the British period. Today hundreds of poets and writers are writing in Rajasthani. Folk literature in Rajasthani is varied and rich and consists of songs, tales, sayings, riddles and folk-plays popularly known as khyals.
The Oswals hail from Osiyan near Jodhpur is successful traders and is predominately Jains. While the Mahajan (the trading class) is subdivided into a large number of groups, some of these groups are Jain, while others are Hindu. In the north and west, the Jat and Gujar are among the largest agricultural communities. The Gujars who are Hindus reside in eastern Rajasthan.
The nomadic Rabari or Raika are divided in two groups the Marus who breed camels and Chalkias who breed sheep and goats. The Muslims form less than 10% of the population and most of them are Sunnis. There is also a small but affluent community Shiaite Muslims known as Bhoras in southeastern Rajasthan. The Rajputs though represent only a small proportion of the populace are the most influential section of the people in Rajasthan. They are proud of their martial reputation and of their ancestry. The Bhils are one of the oldest peoples in India, inhabit the districts of Bhilwara, Chittaurgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Udaipur, and Sirohi and are famous for their skill in archery. The Grasia and nomadic Kathodi live in the Mewar region. Sahariyas are found in the Kota district, and the Rabaris of the Marwar region are cattle breeders.
A summer, which extends from April to June, is the hottest season, with temperatures ranging from 32 degree C to 45 degree C. In western Rajasthan the temp may rise to 48 degree C, particularly in May and June. At this time, Rajasthan's only hill station, Mt Abu registers the lowest temperatures. In the desert regions, the temperature drops at night. Prevailing winds are from the west and sometimes carry dust storms (we call them aandhi).
The second season Monsoon extends from July to September, temp drops, but humidity increases, even when there is slight drop in the temp (35 degree C to 40 degree C). 90% of rains occur during this period.
The Post-monsoon period is from October to November. The average maximum temperature is 33 degree C to 38 degree C, and the minimum is between 18 degree C and 20 degree C.
The fourth season is winter or the cold season, from December to March. There is a marked variation in maximum and minimum temperatures and regional variations across the state. January is the coolest month of the year. And temp may drop to 0 degree C in some cities of Rajasthan, like Churu. There is slight precipitation in the north and northeastern region of the state, and light winds, predominantly from the north and northeast. At this time, relative humidity ranges from 50% to 60% in the morning, and 25% to 35% in the afternoon.