Geography

The term “Geography” comes from the ancient Greeks. In Greek, Geo means earth and graphy means to write. Greeks developed an understanding of where their homeland was located in relation to other places and how people and environments were distributed by using geography.

Geography of Rajasthan

1. Introduction of Rajasthan                                                                       

2. Broad Physical Features 

  1. Mountains, Peaks, Aravalli Ranges                                          
  2. Plateaus, Major Plateaus in Rajasthan                        
  3. Plains, Eastern, Banas, Chappan Plain                                   
  4. River system of Rajasthan                                                        

(1)Rivers that drain in the Bay of Bengal: Chambal River, Parwati- Kalisindh-Chambal link, Banas River, Banas River Basin, Kali Sindh River, Parvati River, Berach River, Mez River, Vapani (Bahyani) River, Gambhiri River, Banganga River (2) Rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea: Luni River, Mahi River, Sabarmati River (3) Inland Rivers: Inland River/Drainage, Kantali River, Sota Sabi River, Kakani or Kakneya River, Ghaghar River (4)Other Rivers: Khari River, Dai River, Dheel River, Morel River, Kalisil River, Sarasvati and Drishadvati: Ancient Indian River

(v)Lakes in Rajasthan                                                                                              

(1) Salt Water Lakes: Sambhar Lake, Didwana, Pachpadra, Lunkaransar Lake (2)Fresh (Sweet) Water Lake: Jaisamand , Rajsamand , Pichhola, Fateh Sagar , Anasagar , Pushkar Lake, Siliserh Lake, NLCP in Rajasthan     

(vi)Thar Desert                                                                                                       

3. Major Physiographic regions                                                      

(1) Aravalli Range and Hilly Region: Aravalli Range and Bhorat Plateau, Northeastern Hilly Region (2) Western Sandy Plains: Sandy Arid Plains- Marusthali, Dune Free Tract (3) Semi-Arid Transitional Plains or Rajasthan Bagar: Luni Basin or Godwar Tract, Plain of Interior Drainage or Sekhawati Tract

4. Natural Vegetation and Climate                                                             

Reserved, Protected, Unclassified, Dhol Forests, Kattha, Salar, Dhak, Bamboo, Teak, Mixed Miscellaneous Forests, Sub-Tropical Evergreen, Thorn Forests, District-wise forest cover – Rajasthan, 1. Climatic Regions of Rajasthan based on Rainfall Intensity: Arid Region, Semi-arid Region, Sub-humid Region, Humid Region, Very Humid Region 2. Koeppen’s Classification of climatic regions of Rajasthan: Aw or Tropical Humid Region, Bshw Climatic Region, Bwhw Climatic Region, Cwg Climatic Region, Rainfall Distribution, IMD forecast method, Water Policy 2010, Major Dam-Rajasthan, Humidity, Absolute, Relative, Specific Humidity, Air temperature and relative humidity conditions, Temperature Variation, Various factors affecting the climate of Rajasthan, Weather Seasons of Rajasthan

5. Livestock, wildlife and its Conservation                                    

National Livestock Mission (NLM), Dairy (Milch) breeds, Draught breeds, Dual Breeds, Cattle and Buffalo Breeds: Gir, Sahiwal, Tharparkar, Hariana, Kankrej, Rathi, Malvi, Nagauri, Murrah, Surti, Breeds of Cow,  Goat, Sheep, Camel Breeds, Livestock Census, Wildlife Sanctuary, Biosphere Reserves, National Park in Rajasthan

6. Agriculture – Major Crops                                                                  

Major Irrigation Projects: Chambal Project, Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project, Bhakra Nangal Canal Project, Narmada Project, Bilasalpur Project (1986-87), Indira Gandhi Canal Project, Irrigation system of Rajasthan, Sources of Irrigation: Wells and Tube wells, Tank Irrigation, Canal Irrigation, electric pumps, Persian Wheel

Rajasthan crop seasons-Rabi, Kharif, Pearl millet, technological interventions, Chickpea, Guar, Rapeseed-mustard, Groundnut, Fodder, Aonla, Ber

7. Mineral resources                                                                      

(1) Metallic Minerals – Types, Distribution and Industrial uses and their Conservation

(2) Non-Metallic Minerals – Types, Distribution and Industrial uses and their Conservation (3) Other Minerals

8. Energy Resources                                                                                    

Classification of Power Resources, Conventional: Thermal (Coal, Oil & Gas), Hydro, Atomic, Non-Conventional: Solar, Wind, Biogas, Biomass, Tidal, Geo-thermal, Distribution of major power resources of Rajasthan, Hydrocarbon Basin, power plants and major projects, schemes, Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy.

9. Population and Tribes                                                           

Rajasthan Population -2011, Religious Data, Urban Population, Metropolitan/City Population, Population density, District-wise Population Data, Scheduled Caste population by sex and residence, Sex Ratio among Scheduled Castes, Percentage of Scheduled Castes, Tribe population, Percentage of Scheduled Tribes, Population Glossary, Tribes in Rajasthan: Bhil, Bheel, Garasia, Dholi Bhil, Dungri Bhil, Dungri Garasia, Mewasi Bhil, Rawal Bhil, Tadvi Bhil, Bhagalia, Bhilala, Pawra, Vasava, Vasave, Mina, Meena, Bhil Mina, Customs and ornaments, Food of Bhils, Social life and tradition, Art and culture, Garasia tribe, Customs and ornaments, Social life and tradition, Meena/Mina Tribes, Sahariya tribes, Programmes for development of Tribes, Manikya lal verma Research institute, Banvasi Kalyan Parishad, Tribal Sub-Plan Area Scheme, IRDP, Modified Area Development Programme, Some other Programmes for tribe’s development:

10. Miscellaneous                                                                    

11. Practice MCQ                       

Geography of Rajasthan

Rajasthan, situated at the northwestern part of India is the biggest state in the country of India and lies between 23°30′ and 30° 11′ North latitude and 69° 29′ and 78° 17′ East longitude. The state shares its north-western and western boundary with the Indo-Pakistan international border that extends about 1,070 km and touches the major districts Barmer, Bikaner, Sriganganagar and Jaisalmer. It is bounded on the west and northwest by Pakistan, on the north and northeast by Haryana &Uttar Pradesh, on the south-southeast and southwest by Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat States respectively. The huge portion of the state of Rajasthan is desiccated and houses the biggest Indian desert- the Thar Desert known as the ‘Maru-kantar’. The oldest chain of fold mountains- the Aravali range splits the state into two geographical zones- desert at one side and forest belt on the other. Only 10% of the total geographical region lies under forest vegetation. The Mount abu is the only hill station of the state and houses the Guru Shikhar Peak that is the highest peak of the Aravali range with an elevation of 1,722 m. The area to the east of the hills is covered by the eastern plains and the Vindhyan plateau.

The north-western state of Rajasthan is the largest Indian state with an area of 3, 42,239sq.km comprising of the 10.74% of the total geographical area of the country. This state has a type of rhomboid shape and stretches lengthwise 869 km. from west to east and 826 km. from north to south. The Tropic of Cancer passes through its south tip in its Banswara district.

The Aravalli ranges are India’s oldest fold mountains. The north end of the Aravalli range continues as secluded hills and rocky ridges into Haryana and ending in Delhi.

The Aravalli Range and the lands to the east and southeast of the range are generally more fertile and better watered. This region is home to the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests eco-region with tropical dry broadleaf forests that include teak, Acacia and other trees. The hilly Vagad region lies in southernmost Rajasthan on the border with Gujarat. With the exception of Mount Abu, Vagad is the wettest region in Rajasthan and the most heavily forested. North of Vagad lays the mewar region home to the cities of Udaipur and Chittaurgarh in Rajasthan. The Hadoti region lies to the southeast on the border with Madhya Pradesh. The dhundhar region is located in the north of Hadoti and mewar is also known as home to the state capital of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Mewat, the easternmost region of Rajasthan borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Eastern and southeastern Rajasthan is drained by the Banas and Chambal rivers, tributaries of the Ganges.

The Aravalli outline most important divisions of Rajasthan. The Chambal River which is the only large and perennial 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. Farther in north the Banganga after rising near Jaipur in Rajasthan flow east-wards before disappearing. The Luni is the only significant river located in 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 tract, is an area of internal drainage characterized by salt lakes, the largest of which is Sambhar Salt Lake.
Rajasthan has varying topographic features though a major part of the state is dominated by parched and dry region. The extensive topography includes rocky terrain, rolling sand dunes, wetlands and barren tracts of land filled with thorny scrubs, river-drained plains, plateaus, ravines and wooded regions.

Rajasthan has its important role in drainage system and some very useful rivers flow /originates through rajasthan. Chambal, Banas, Sabarmati, Mithari, Parbati, Berach, Saraswati, Jawai and Luni Rivers are important.

The soil and vegetation of Rajasthan alters with its wide-ranging topography of the state and the availability of water. The varied kind of soils available in Rajasthan are mostly sandy, saline, alkaline and chalky (calcareous). Clay, loamy, black lava soil and nitrogenous soils are also found.

The seasonal vegetation such as a few grass species, shrubs and dwarf trees can be found owing to the limited rainfall. However food crops are grown in the plains that are drained by the rivers and streamlets owing to the alluvial and clay soil deposits. The hilly tracts of the Aravali are characterized by the black, lava soils that sustain the growth of cotton and sugarcane.

The Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert encompasses about 70% of total landmass of Rajasthan and hence it is identified as the “Desert State of India”. The Rajasthan desert which forms a major portion of the Thar Desert is the biggest desert in India and encompasses the districts of Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur. In fact the Rajasthan desert comprises the desert triangle of three cities – Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur. Thar Desert extends from Sutlej River bounded by aravali ranges on the eastern part and on the southern part by the Great Rann of Kutch and on the western side by the Indus River.

The desert becomes very hot during the summer and it experiences extreme climate with an average annual rainfall less than 25 cm. Days are hot and the nights are cold here. The Vegetation consists of thorny bushes, shrubs and xerophilious grass. Various species of lizards and snakes are found here.

Rajasthan has varying climate like its varying topography. The weather and climate of the Rajasthan can be broadly classified into four distinct seasons. They are – Pre-monsoon, which is the hot season preceding the monsoon and extends from April to June, the Monsoon that occurs in the month of June in the eastern region and mid- July in the western arid regions.  The Post-monsoon that commences from mid-September and continues till November and the winter that extends from December to March while January being the coldest month of the year. The average temperature in winter ranges from 8° to 28° C and in summer the average temperature range from 25° to 46° C.

Different Regions of Rajasthan:

1. Ahirwal- This include some part of Haryana too along with Rajasthan. Alwar and Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Mahendragarh and Gurgaon in Haryana are part of this region.

2. Bagar tract- This include regions of Fatehabad and Sirsa (Haryana); Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar (Rajasthan).

3. Dhundhar- “Jaipur region” include districts – Jaipur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk and northern part of Karauli.

4. Gorwar- South-western part of Rajasthan; having historical capitals- Nadol, Chandrawati and Sirohi. It covers region of Jalore, Sirohi and southern portion of Pali.

5. Hadoti- districts like Bundi, Baran, Jhalawar and Kota are part of this region.

6. Marwar- “Jodhpur region” includes district of Barmer, Jodhpur, Jalore, Nagaur and Pali.

7.  Mewar- South- central region of Rajasthan: In this region the districts covered are- Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Pirawa tehsil of Jhalawar (Rajasthan), Neemuch and Mandsaur of M.P. and some parts of Gujarat.

8. Mewat- In this region area covered is the Hathin tehsil and Nuh district of Haryana; Tijara, Kishangarh Bas, Ramgarh and Laxmangarh tehsil. Aravalli range in Alwar district, Pahari, Nagaur, Kaman tehsils in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan and some part of Mathura district of U.P.

9. Shekhawati- district like Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Churu and a part of Nagaur and Jaipur.

10. Vagad- region in south-eastern Rajasthan. Boundaries roughly defined by districts of Dungarpur and Banswara.

Rajasthan: Important Facts

Area 342,239 km2  (Biggest state of India in terms of land)
Population 6.85 cr (2011 census)
Language Official language (Hindi), Additional official language (English) and Rajasthani (Devanagari is a language of the Indo-Aryan languages family.
Climate Rajasthan has a tropical desert climate. It is extremely cold from October to February while the scorching sun tortures the land from March to September.
Capital  Jaipur
Election Seats    25 Seats in General Election (Lok Sabha) and 200 Seats in Legislative Assembley (Vidhan Sabha) Elections.
Legislature Unicameral
Major Cities (population) Jaipur (3,073,349), Jodhpur(1,138,300), Kota(1,001,365), Bikaner(647,804), Ajmer(551,101), Udaipur(474,531) and Bhilwara(360,009)
Famous Lakes Rajsamand Lake, Sambhar lake, Udai Sagar Lake, Nakki Lake, Kaylana Lake, Raj Bagh Talao, Malik Talao, Lake Fateh Sagar, Gadsisar Lake, Lake Pichhola, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar Lake, Raj Bagh Talao etc.
Average annual rainfall (mm) 313-675
The Thar Desert Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur (The Thar desert or the Great Indian desert encompasses about 70% of total landmass of Rajasthan and hence it is identified as the “Desert State of India”.)
Literacy 66.11 %
Districts 33
Sex Ratio (as per 2011 census) 928 per Thousand male
Child sex Ratio 888 (census 2011)
Famous Folk Dances Bhavai Dance, Chari Dance, Drum Dance, Fire Dance, Gair Dance, Ghoomar Dance ( by Bhil tribe),Kachhi Ghodi dance, Kalbelia Dance(‘Sapera Dance or Snake Charmer),Kathak Dance, Kathputli Dance.
Fair and Festivals Desert Festival-Jaisalmer, Nagaur Fair-Nagaur, Pushkar Fair- Pushkar, Summer Festival-Mt. Abu, Marwar Festival-Jodhpur, Camel Race Festival-Bikaner, Gangaur Festival-Jaipur, Teej Festival-Jaipur, Mewar Festival-Udaipur, Urs Festival-Ajmer, Kaila Devi Fair-Karauli, Summer Festival-Mount Abu, Dusshera –Kota
World Heritage Sites   The six forts — Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisalmer, Ranthambhore (Sawai Madhopur), Gagaron (Jhalawar) and Amber (Jaipur) were recognised as serial World Heritage Sites in the 37th session of the world heritage committee (WHC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia .
Principal Crops Barley, Wheat, Gram, Pulses, Oil Seeds, Bajra, Pulses, Jowar, Maize,  Ground Nuts, fruits and vegetables and spices.etc.
Principal Minerals Wollastonite (100%), Jasper(100%), Zinc concentrate (99%), Fluorite(96%), Gypsum(93%),Marble(90%), Asbestos(89%), Calcite(70%), Phosphate rock(75%), Mica, Copper, Silver and Natural Gas & Petroleum

District-wise Population-List (As per census – 2011)

District Population Area (km2) Po. Density Sex-ratio
Jaipur 66,26,178 11,143 595 910
Jodhpur 36,87,165 22,850 161 916
Alwar 36,74,179 8,380 438 895
Nagaur 33,07,743 17,718 187 950
Udaipur 30,68,420 11,724 262 958
Sikar 26,77,333 7,732 346 947
Barmer 26,03,751 28,387 92 902
Ajmer 25,83,052 8,481 305 951
Bharatpur 25,48,462 5,066 503 880
Bhilwara 24,08,523 10,455 230 973
Bikaner 23,63,937 30,239 78 905
Jhunjhunun 21,37,045 5,928 361 950
Churu 20,39,547 13,835 147 940
Pali 20,37,573 12,387 164 987
Ganganagar 19,69,168 10,978 179 887
Kota 19,51,014 5,217 374 911
Jalore 18,28,730 10,640 172 952
Banswara 17,97,485 4,522 397 980
Hanumangarh 17,74,692 9,656 184 906
Dausa 16,34,409 3,432 476 905
Chittaurgarh 15,44,338 7,822 197 972
Karauli 14,58,248 5,524 264 861
Tonk 14,21,326 7,194 198 952
Jhalawar 14,11,129 6,219 227 946
Dungarpur 13,88,552 3,770 368 994
SawaiMadhopur 13,35,551 4,498 297 897
Baran 12,22,755 6,992 175 929
Dhaulpur 12,06,516 3,033 398 846
Rajsamand 11,56,597 4,655 248 990
Bundi 11,10,906 5,776 192 925
Sirohi 10,36,346 5,136 202 940
Pratapgarh 8,67,848 4,449 195 983
Jaisalmer 6,69,919 38,401 17 852

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