The vivid art and crafts, enchanting music, exhilarating folk dances, palatable cuisine, and refined traditions all bespeak state’s story of glorious history.
No need to tell, it was in fact the glorious history of the state that gave birth to its splendid culture. The erstwhile rulers of Rajasthan, regardless of their races and dynasties, were all huge patrons of different kinds of art. They adopted best of the arts, brought in by the immigrants from across the globe, and imbibed the culture of Rajasthan with the exquisiteness of the global culture.
Arts like Blue Pottery, Fretwork, Koftgari, Meenakari, Tarkashi, and hand-knotted carpets, that have become an intrinsic part of Rajasthani culture, were actually originated in kingdoms like ancient Prussa, Persia and Mongolia. It was immigrants and missionaries from these kingdoms who introduced these art forms in Rajasthan and once the rulers of the state were sufficiently impressed with these arts they left no efforts undone in making the art an inseparable part of state’s culture. And now, when many of these arts have evaporated from the places of their origin, they still shine in all their glory in Rajasthan.
Though Rajasthan culture is infused with foreign arts, not all the beautiful parts of the state’s art and culture are imported. Crafts like Thewa, Bandhej, Pichhwai, and frescoes have all originated in Rajasthan. Same thing can be said for the musical part of the Rajasthan’s culture. Folk musical instruments like Kamaicha, Gharha, Iktara, Ravanhatha, Alghoza, Khartal are all products of cultural amalgamation that Rajasthan went through in the medieval period.
Folk dances too contribute significantly to the culture of the state. In fact, for many people when it comes to visualize Rajasthani culture, the first image to pop up in their mind is that of women clad in traditionally vibrant attire, pirouetting gracefully, performing the best known Rajasthani folk dance Ghoomar or performing incredible feats like balancing nine earthen pots on head while standing on the sharper edge of a sword- Bhavai. Dances like Kalbeliya, Khayal, Kachchi Ghodi, Maand, Jamra, Madal, Daph, Chari are the other gems of the cornucopia Rajasthan’s culture often represents.
Indeed, with so many aspects it is feat in itself to even imagine about Rajasthan’s culture in its whole immensity. But if one really wishes, one can experience in the exuberance of cultural festivals and fairs of the state its most striking cultural features. The cattle fair of Pushkar, Mewar Festival in Udaipur, Gangaur and Teej in Jaipur, summer and winter festival celebrations in Mount Abu, Marwar festival in Jodhpur, Kolayat fair in Bikaner, Beneshwar fair in Banswara, and Chandrabhaga of Jhalawar are few of the several options Rajasthan presents its visitors with, to touch all the varied aspects of its rich culture in minimal time.
In these fairs, one can see the lively performances of the state’s folk dancers, listen to the soul-stirring tunes of the folk instruments, taste the delectable cuisine of the state and most of all, and experience the pulsating soul of Rajasthan in its people, who at the end of the day are the real contributors of its celebrated culture.