Rājasthān राजस्थान is the largest state of the Republic of India in
terms of area. It encompasses most of the area of the large,
inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert), which has an edge
paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with
Pakistan. The region borders Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the
southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers
an area of 342,239 km˛ (132,139 mi˛).
The state capital is Jaipur. Geographical features include the Thar
Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the
Ghaggar River near the archeological ruins at Kalibanga, which are
the oldest in the subcontinent discovered so far.
One of the world's oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range,
cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, and its
world-famous Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern
Rajasthan has two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska,
as well as Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, famous for its
Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when all erstwhile princely
states ruled by Rajputs, known as Rajputana, merged into the
Dominion of India. The only difference between erstwhile Rajputana
and Rajasthan is that certain portions governed directly by the
British Raj, in the former province of Ajmer-Merwara, were included.
Portions lying geographically outside of Rajputana such as the Tonk
state were given to Madhya Pradesh.