CULTURE OF RAJASTHAN- THE HEART OF ROYAL INDIA

“Padharo Mhare Desh”aren’t just lyrics or a random folk song, it is a commotion that resonates with every Rajasthani heart.

Where there is ghee on every dish, colourful veil on faces and melodious raga in the air, that’s where the opulent culture of Rajasthan resides. From the puppet sellers on the streets to Kundan Meena Jewellery in high-end showrooms, the spectrum of the culture here in Rajasthan sees no boundaries.

You may have heard about its beauteous forts and palaces until now, but we guarantee you, after tasting Rajasthan’s cultural feast, you will never want to look back.

The culture of this amazing travel destination of India needs no introduction. It just needs a little depth and context to better understand the cultural dynamics of this state. So, let’s give you what you came for. Happy reading!

SAY “KHAMBA GHANI” TO RAJASTHAN’S RICH LANGUAGE

toys

If you are a culture buff, you know what is the most important aspect of it. Language of course! Because what is a better way of saying, “ We respect you and your heritage” than saying it in a dialect they understand.

Fortunately, Rajasthan brims with regional dialects. And, do you know what are the most prominent languages here? Hindi and Rajasthani! Out of which, there are four very popular dialects in Rajasthani language. And, among them Marwari and Dhundhari are the most famous. Furthermore, there are many other regional languages, but they won’t be of any use to you in your Rajasthan India tour. Also, they are very cose to the popular languages, so, dont bother.

Are you wondering why such diversity in dialects? Well, that’s because, in the past, the state was amalgamated with many small princely kingdoms that had their own languages. So, its makes absolute sense for these languages to be celeberated in high spirits.

if you dont have the knack for languages then believe uss it wont be a hurdle in your trip as even English is also widely spoken in this region. Still, we will love if you learn a few important phrases in Rajasthani before embarking upon your Rajasthan adventure.

Some common phrases that will help you ace your cultural journey here are:

  1. Khamba Ghani- Hello!
  2. Ghani Khamba- Good-Bye
  3. Thane English avae hai? – Do you know English?
  4. Theek -Yes of course!
  5. Na/Koni – No
  6. Kitra paisa? – How much money?
  7. Aur kitto dur jano hain? – How much distance to go?
  8. Tu kaun se raste se aayo? – Which way did you come from?
  9. Manneh tiras lagi hai- I am thirsty

REGIONAL FOLK MUSIC- The heartbeat of rajasthan

rajesthan culture

Before we start pinning down the highlights of the folk music of Rajasthan, let’s make it very clear that it is as vivid as the topography of the estate itself.

Rajasthani folk music is a global phenomenon. And, it has taken the world by storm. So much so, that even western music styles are incorporating Rajasthani instruments. And frankly, the credit for its popularity cannot go to a single person, but to all the artists from every part of this princely province.

The music here in Rajasthan isn’t any leisure activity; it is a legacy that is passed on for generations. The musicians here belong to various houses, which excel in a certain kind of music or instrument.

The most popular houses among them are:

  1. Mirasis and Jogis of Mewat
  2. Manganiyars and Langas
  3. Kanjars
  4. Banjaras
  5. Dholies

If you have seen Rajasthani musicians on your tele with traditional attires and vibrant turbans, chances are you’ve already seen the most popular house, the Manganiyars.

 

 

rajesthan culture

By Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Manganiyars and Langas are musicians who sing a particular Rajasthani folk song at a particular time of the day, season or occasion. Be that as it may, the most enticing sight still is to see the Manganiyar house perform with their youngest prodigy (5-6 years of age) acing every note.

Do you know that these Rajasthani musicians are also masters of the art of devotional folk music? Yes, they are, and you should see them perform the compositions of famous philosophers. That’s music to the ears!

COLOURFUL ATTIRES OF RANGEELO RAJASTHAN

Rajasthan is beauty. Rajasthan is grace.

But, it is no brainer that much of its beauty comes from the vibrant colours its locals are dressed in.

Rajasthani people are the most colourful folks you’ll ever meet on your cultural trip to India and we mean it.

Holy Moly! Every street here looks like an avalanche of color and we are not complaining.

Even, the big silver jewellery trend that lasted for a hot minute in the fashion industry does find its origins from the chunky silver jewellery of the Banjaras of Rajasthan.

Do you know that these tribal women wear heavy jewellery that is as heavy as their weight (or almost up to five kgs) without much discomfort almost all the time?

 

Rajesthan culture

Spotting a traditional Rajasthani local is no big deal if you know the basics. Like the staple attire for men in this area is dun-coloured kurtas, known as ‘Angrakhas’. They elegantly pair it with either dhotis or pajamas and vibrantly coloured pagris (turbans). 

Fun fact: Even these Pagris have two types here one Jodhpuri Safa and the other Jaipuri Pagri. And, these men also wear ornaments in the form of chokers and earrings. 

For women, it’s a whole new world, literally!

 

dancing girls

By marc valdener

Long veils, ankle-length skirts, golden jewellery, and waistbands are the pride of the women in the desert. Their dresses come in the colours of rainbow either hand-dyed or ornamented with golden ribbons called “Gota Patti”.

The distinct craftsmanship of Rajasthan cultural dress and it’s over-the-top entourage will make you march to the market and get one for yourself. Count us on that!

If you are thinking of buying it then, with your budget the quality of the material will vary. Yes, you can buy all these things from Jaipur if you are in a hurry or on the golden triangle trip. Don’t know where to shop? Then, our take on Shopping in Jaipur will help you big time.

GROOVING IN SYNC WITH THE FOLK DANCE OF RAJASTHAN

Rajasthan cultural dance
Dancing is a joy to the heart and a treat for the senses. And, if this treat is enjoyed amid ancient palaces watching performers in blingy attire, then its fervour increases. So, why not experience it at one of the top cultural destinations: Rajasthan?

The culture of Rajasthan is incomplete without its super-long folk dance list that reverberates with every culture-loving soul. It is home to many different folk-and-tribal dance forms that include a name that is even considered an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. Yes, you guessed it right it’s Kalbelia Dance form.

 

rajasthan dance

Famous around the globe as the mode of expression for traditional gypsies, snake charmers and street musicians, Kalbelia or Kalbeliya dance is the most popular asset of Rajasthan. What a delight it is to watch these women perform sinuously in black coloured angrakhas, swirling skirts and veils. And, if you have a Rajasthan trip upcoming, then missing this would be a disgrace. Just saying!

But, do you know what the most quintessential dance form of Rajasthan is? It is Ghoomar. Introduced by Bhil tribe and adopted by the royal house, Ghoomar dance of Rajasthan marks the onset of every merry occasion in a traditional Rajasthani household. Women decked up in traditional attires, face-covering veils, taking synchronized turns and singing pretty much describes this folk dance in a nutshell.

 

Rajasthan culture

By marc valdener

Then there is Bhavai which is a ritual dance, where a woman balance eight to nine brass pitchers or earthen pots on her head while rotating and dancing on a brass plate or a glass. After which, comes Kacchi Ghodi a traditional dance form performed with a dummy horse and illustrating the stories of the courage of Rajputana.

There are other names on the list, out of which, the most popular ones are:

  1. Gair
  2. Chari
  3. Kathputli Dance (Puppet Dance)
  4. Chang

FROM THE TREASURE TROVE OF RAJASTHAN’S UNIQUE ARTS AND CRAFTS

painting

Rajasthani people are known for their top-notch creativity and artistic skill. Just look at their architectural finesse, you will agree that it is a whole saga on its own.

Fortunately enough, the artists here have extended their creative boundaries. And, they’ve succeeded in showing the world that even stones, clay, leather, wood, and ivory, can be crafted to perfection.

Who in the right mind would want to miss that?

Art became a big part of Rajasthan’s tradition in the 2nd and 1st century. Each period of history added its flavour to this artistic concoction. So much so, that the art here today is one of the most revered in the world.

The zeal of the Rajasthani people to beautify their surroundings evolved their art.  From tie and dye fabrics to huts painted with flowers and birds, and from paintings to Jaipur Meenakari, the art and crafts of Rajasthan created no boundaries. As a result, today, the art of this plush estate blesses you with many pieces of fine craftsmanship.

This includes a bizarre item like fine ivory bangles and miniature paintings on ivory.

toys

They also made carved sandalwood and wood as the most famous and inexpensive must –buy the item for tourists. Out of which, Puppets or “Kathputlis” became an integral part of Rajasthan’s folk culture. Mind it! They aren’t just decorative items. Furthermore, these puppets that are gorgeously designed in traditional Rajasthani attires to put forward shows in village fairs to discuss topic ranging from historical legends to modern-day issues.

Rajasthan has its usual Indian festivals but the ones to

tourists

By Navil Zaveri

Do you know at which place you shouldn’t stop yourself from splurging on home décor? Rajasthan of course! Man oh, man! You should see the variety of goods here. Furthermore, it is the best place to buy gifts and souvenirs as items like blue pottery, hand block printing, tie and dye, terracotta sculptures, carpets, durries, inlay work on brass and wood. So, prepare to take your shopping spree to the high road here.

THE FINGER-LICKING– Good cuisine of rajasthan

cuisine
The way to one’s heart goes through the stomach.

Well, maybe that is why Rajasthan is a heartthrob for every gastronome.

This cuisine here is a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours that will leave your mouth drooling and your mind confused. Although there are a variety of spices used in creating these traditional assortments, the dishes do feel light and are very appetizing.

The cuisine in this state is imbued with the war-like lifestyle and limited availability of ingredients. So, what you get mostly are delicacies that last long, can be prepared with little ingredients and sometimes without water. And with the majority of population preaching Hinduism, the traditional food in a local household will always be vegetarian. But if you are assuming that it will be any less on flavour, you are mistaken, my dear friend.

 

stone

By Mike Prince

Oh! You are more of a dip/chutney. Well, then you’ve hit the jackpot! As Rajasthan is home to a variety of chutneys that you can take back home if you want. The remembrance of garlic, mint, and coriander chutney is already getting us all slobbery!

Fortunately, the royal house too contributes to the cuisine of this beautiful kingdom. We know you were missing proteins in this section. So, why not add the heavenly laal-maas and safed- maas of the royal platter to the list for tantalizing your taste buds.

More of a sweet tooth? Well, then, Rajasthan is your paradise as it has a long list of sweet dishes. Moreover, you wouldn’t even have heard of these names, we can guarantee. Like, have you ever heard of Balushahi, Besan Chakki, SutarFeni, etc? No, right? But believe us; they taste like little drops from heaven.

 

pakora

By Scott Dexter

Coming to the end of the list, do you know that Rajasthan is equally famous for its lip-smacking, eat anytime snacks?  These snacks are a crucial part of Rajasthan’s food culture and can last days or even months. So, the next time you come across Bikaneri Bhujia, Mirchi Bada and Pyaaj Kachori, do buy them to pay homage to this top tourist place in India.

In case you are wondering about the 5 famous food of Rajasthan, they are:

  1. Daal Baati Churma
  2. Laal Maas
  3. Gatte ki sabzi
  4. Panchkuta/Ker Sangri
  5. Kabuli- Veg layered Pulao

HYMNS OF HAPPINESS- Festivals of rajasthan

festival

What do you think is the best way to experience all the pillars of the culture of Rajasthan? Festivals, any day!

This royal estate of India shines with more vibrancy during the time of its revered fairs and festivals.

Rajasthan celebrates every religious occasion change of season and even harvest, with its genius arts and crafts kept on display.

Here, people find reasons to celebrate life. That’s why religious and traditional festivals here are celebrated all year long.

Are you interested in international fairs? Then, believe us; you have a plethora of options to explore. And, the best part is that they occur at the most pleasant time of the year.

 

field

By Y’amal

Festivals of Rajasthan bring a sense of community to the inhabitants of this arid region. It brings them joy, peace, hope, and business, and makes life in the desert a little easier.

The top festivals of Rajasthan are listed below:

  1. Teej Festival, Rajasthan
  2. Rajasthan International Folk Festival
  3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar
  4. Desert Festival, Rajasthan
  5. Nagaur Fair, Rajasthan
  6. Summer and Winter Festival, Rajasthan
  7. Kite Festival, Rajasthan
  8. Mewar Festival, Rajasthan
  9. Brij Holi, Rajasthan

Do you wish to learn about these festivals in detail? Then, follow our top international festival and India festival guide for the same.

No culture can be confined in one single write-up, especially not that of Rajasthan. We have tried our level best to jot down its culture.

Cheers to this myriad of colours and traditions!


An engineer by education and writer by choice. She is a globetrotter with a pure desi heart. Her notion spree runs faster than a jet when she entangles herself with the thread of any culture. Her zeal for writing originates from her love for reading and trust us! She is a complete Potterhead.


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