Introduction:Geography of Rajasthan

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General Introduction

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 is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. They also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way those locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there and how they develop and change over the time.

The natural resources of a country are of primary importance for the economic development. As a matter of fact, natural resources determine the economic life of a nation.

Man may grow rich in knowledge and intelligence, however much he may have overcome nature but ultimately he will have to depend on the materials supplied by Mother Nature for the development of his economic life.

The physical factors like topography, soils, geologic formation, climate and the available flora and fauna are the basic influences which lead to differences in land-use, cropping pattern, settlement and density of population and occurrence of minerals, water and power resources in different parts of the country.

Geography also became an important part of other academic disciplines, such as chemistry, economics and philosophy. In fact every academic subject has some geographic connection and the study where certain chemical elements such as gold or silver can be found. Economists examine which nations trade with other nations and what resources are exchanged.

Some people have trouble to understanding the complete scope of the discipline of geography because unlike most other disciplines, geography is not defined by one particular topic. The geography is concerned with many different topics—people, culture, politics, settlements, plants, land forms and much more.

What distinguishes geography is that, it approaches the study of diverse topics in a particular way. Geography asks spatial questions—how and why things are distributed or arranged in particular ways on Earth’s surface. It looks at these different distributions and arrangements at many different scales. It also asks questions about how the interaction of different human and natural activities on earth’s surface shape the characteristics of the world in which we live.

Geography seeks to understand where things are found and why they are present in those places; how things that are located in the same or distant places influence one another over time; and why places and the people who live in them develop and change in particular ways. Raising these questions is at the heart of the “geographical perspective.”

The study of geography is so broad; the discipline is typically divided into specialties. At the broadest level, geography is divided into physical geography, human geography, geographic techniques and regional geography.

The natural environment is the primary concern of physical geographers, although many physical geographers also look at how humans have altered natural systems. Physical geographers study Earth’s seasons, climate, atmosphere, soil, streams, landforms and oceans. Some disciplines within physical geography include geomorphology, glaciology, Pedology, hydrology, climatology, biogeography and oceanography.

Geomorphology is the study of landforms and the processes that shape them. Geomorphologists investigate the nature and impact of wind, ice, rivers, erosion, earthquakes, volcanoes, living things, and other forces that shape and change the surface of the Earth.

Glaciologists focus on the Earth’s ice fields and their impact on the planet’s climate. Glaciologists document the properties and distribution of glaciers and icebergs. Data collected by glaciologists has demonstrated the retreat of Arctic and Antarctic ice in the past century.

Pedologists study soil and how it is created, changed and classified. Soil studies are used by a variety of professions from farmers analyzing field fertility to engineers investigating the suitability of different areas for building heavy structures.

Hydrology is the study of Earth’s water: its properties, distribution and effects. Hydrologists are especially concerned with the movement of water as it cycles from the ocean to the atmosphere then back to Earth’s surface. Hydrologists study the water cycle through rainfall into streams, lakes, the soil and underground aquifers.

Climatologists study Earth’s climate system and its impact on Earth’s surface. For example: climatologists make predictions about El Nino- a cyclical weather phenomenon of warm surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. They analyze the dramatic worldwide climate changes caused by El Nino, such as flooding in Peru, drought in Australia and in the United States, the oddities of heavy Texas rains or an unseasonably warm Minnesota winter.

Biogeographers study the impact of the environment on the distribution of plants and animals. For example: a biogeographer might document all the places in the world inhabited by a certain spider species and what those places have in common.     

Oceanography is a related discipline of physical geography, focuses on the creatures and environments of the world’s oceans. The discovery and tracking of the Gulf Stream helped communications and travel between Europe and the Americas.

Human geography is concerned with the distribution and networks of people and cultures on Earth’s surface. A human geographer might investigate the local, regional and global impact of rising economic powers China and India, which represent 37 percent of the world’s people. They also might look at how consumers in China and India adjust to new technology and markets and how markets respond to such a huge consumer base.

Human geographers also study how people use and alter their environments. When people allow their animals to overgraze a region, the soil erodes and grassland is transformed into desert. The impact of overgrazing on the landscape as well as agricultural production is an area of study for human geographers.

The Republic of India is a vast country. It lies entirely in the northern hemisphere. The mainland of the country extends between latitudes 8°4′ and 37°6′ north, longitude 68°7′ and 97°25′ east.

Why everyone should read Geography?

  1. To understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life.
  2. To learn the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics of those places.
  3. To develop a mental map of your community, province or territory, country and the world so that you can understand the “where” of places and events.
  4. To explain how the processes of human and physical systems have arranged and sometimes changed the surface of the Earth.
  5. To understand the spatial organization of society, people and places.
  6. To understand the geography of past times and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and our environments.
  7. To recognize spatial distributions at all scales- local and worldwide -the complex connectivity of people and land places.
  8. To be able to make sensible judgements about matters involving relationships between the physical environment and our society.
  9. To appreciate Earth as the homeland of humankind and provide insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used.
  10. To understand global interdependence and to become a better global citizen.
  11. To understand earth-sun relationships, water cycles and wind and ocean currents).
  12. To understand the rich natural resources and how peoples are depend on our environment and ecology.

Geography is a focus within the curriculum for understanding and resolving issues about the environment and sustainable development. It is also an important link between the natural and social sciences. As students study geography, they encounter different societies and cultures.

Introduction of Rajasthan

The Rajasthan state was earlier known as Rajputana came into existence on March 30, 1949.

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

It gives me immense pleasure in presenting the Geography of Rajasthan book, useful for the students of Graduate and the candidates appearing in Rajasthan Competitive Examinations conducted by RPSC and Rajasthan Subordinate Board, Universities and Government Departments.

This book deals with the relevant features and topics of geographical landscape of Rajasthan in a systematic and comprehensive manner by the use of simple and concise language for easy and quick understanding. Varied topics covered are Physiography, climate, soil, livestock, minerals, Agriculture, transportation, Census, wildlife, drainage and other important topics by latest available data/diagrams. I hope that the readers will find this book user friendly and helpful in preparation of their examinations. I look forwarded to have the views, comment, suggestions and criticism from readers which would definitely help in further improvement of the Book.

Wish you happy reading and best wishes for the examinations.

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 BengalChambal 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 RiversInland 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 LakesSambhar 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 TractPlain 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 IntensityArid 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 RegionCwg Climatic RegionRainfall Distribution, IMD forecast methodWater 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) breedsDraught breedsDual 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

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