State of northwest India; area 342,214 sq km/132,130 sq mi; population (2001 est) 56,473,100. The capital is Jaipur. Kota is the leading industrial centre, with nylon and precision-instrument factories, while other industries include textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, chemicals, and the mining of silver, lead, and zinc. Millet, wheat, and barley are grown; oilseed, cotton, and sugar are produced; and cattle, sheep, and camels are raised.
The state contains the larger part of the Thar Desert, where India's first nuclear test was carried out; Ranthambhor wildlife reserve, in the southwest, formerly the private hunting ground of the maharajahs of Jaipur, with tigers, deer, antelope, wild boar, crocodiles, and sloth bears; and the Aravalli hills. Towns include Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Ajmer, and Udaipur.
There are textile, cement, glass, asbestos, and chemical industries. Minerals include coal (Bikaner), salt (Sambhar salt lake), limestone, mica, zinc (smelted at Udaipur), copper, gypsum, phosphate, silver, and marble. Produce includes millet, wheat, barley, oilseed, cotton, and sugar. Cattle, sheep, and camels are raised in the drier areas. Agriculture is dependant on irrigation schemes such as the Indira Gandhi and Chambal canals.
Language and religion
Languages are Rajasthani and Hindi. Religions include Hindu (90%) and Muslim (3%); 12 % belong to tribal groups (mainly Bhils) and have a guaranteed representation in the legislative assembly.
Harappan civilizations have been discovered dating from the 3rd millennium BC. The Rajput dynasties emerged in the 6th century AD; the succeeding Mogul ruler Emperor Akbar sought conciliation rather than repression; the feudal aristocracies of Udaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaipur, and other states continued to rule until the end of the British imperial period. After independence in 1948, the Rajput princely states (Rajputana) were absorbed into the states of the Union of India (see India of the Princes). In 1956 Ajmer and Abu Road were incorporated into the state.
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