Atithi Devo Bravo
‘Atithi Devo behavior means to treat your guests like as you would treat God. This principle is a part of the Rajasthani Culture. They treat their guests well and make them want to visit again. Most of the people in Rajasthan are involved in tourism-related jobs and hence take this principle very seriously as they earn their revenue due to the tourists and have pledged to serve them. A popular folk song ‘Padharo Mhare Desh,’ means ‘Welcome to my country. Rajasthan Hospitality is famous all over the world.
- Folk Music And Dance
Since many rulers ruled Rajasthan, each region has its own folk culture. Rajasthan folk music and dance are similar due to their geographical confinement, but each differs in its unique style. Manganiyars and Langas are two prominent groups that contributed to Rajasthan folk music. They perform ‘ragas’ (songs) for different purposes. During the pre-monsoon time, they would perform ragas to call forth the rains. Other famous groups are Banjaras, Mirasis, Jogis, and much more.
They use many traditional instruments, including sarangi, kamayach, dhols, shanghai, and been. Folk songs were usually for particular purposes like weddings or birth or were passed to tell a story of bravery or a romantic tale. They were usually in the form of ballads. The dance is varied as well. Dance differed among different tribes, and it was mainly for the entertainment of the people and the king. Some of the dances include chang, groomer, Bhopal, Anjali, and kathipuli. Groomer dance, which originated in Udaipur, has gained international recognition and appreciation.
The architectural style in Rajasthan is as diverse as its people. You get to evidence some of the exemplary Islamic, Hindu, colonial, and even modern architecture sites. Rajasthan should be your next place to visit if you are a lover of architecture and appreciate monumental buildings, heritage sites, and different design styles. The Jain temple in Ranakpur was built in the 15th century. The type of architecture is Maru-Gurjara Architecture (techniques that include various structures and shapes). It is a western Indian architecture style with multiple domes and carvings on the pillars and the ceilings.
The Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur is an architecture of Beaux-Arts style and a blend of eastern and western architectural styles despite being built by Maharaja Jai sign II, a Hindu ruler. Jaisalmer Fort and Golden Fort were built in 1156 AD by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. The fort contains several gates, Jain temples, and Havelis and is included as a world heritage site by UNESCO. There are only a few examples of architectural sites that Rajasthan holds, and other areas include memorials, forts, heritage hotels, etc. The Pink City of Jaipur was named the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.
If you visit Rajasthan, be sure to reserve a few hours or even a day for shopping. You will find beautiful carpets, garments, jewelry, and more made by the local people. Any leather item is usually camel leather – they use it making journals, shoes, and bags. The carpets are made from hand-knitting techniques, and much like Persian carpets, they have a geometric design and borders. Many miniature items are made out of red sand or clay as toys for kids or decoration pieces with bells attached to them. You may also find Sarah or pagri (traditional headwear) in most shops that you may bring back as a memory from the place.
Shopping in Rajasthan is very reasonable and is an opportunity not to be missed. Antiques are a whole different thing. If you like to collect antiques, there are various sellers in Rajasthan. However, please do some research on which sellers are authorized to know where you can purchase them. Most antiques are things that were the possessions of the kings.
Do not worry if you love viewing different antiques, as you will not be disappointed. There are various museums in Rajasthan with an astounding collection of antiques.
- Camels and Camel Festivities
Camels are commonly found animals in Rajasthan. Camels are desert animals meant to survive scarcity of water, extreme winds, heat, and cold due to their biology. Most camps in Rajasthan will include camel rides, and you will get to experience how well the camels can travel in deserts due to their long-footed legs. Camel fairs occur every year in Bikaner, Pushkar, and other regions. It is a festival or celebration of sorts dedicated to the ship of the desert and their owners. Various events and competitions are carried out for fun, like camel races and camel dance. These festivals are usually held for two days.
- Birth & Death Customs
The people of Rajasthan celebrate ‘Samskaras.’ Samskaras are events that cause a turning point in one’s life. There total such 16 events that they observe. Garbandhan (conception), Pumsvan (ceremony performed by those who desire a male child), Seemantonayan (ceremony for the expecting mother to keep her spirits high), Jatakarma (the child is fed mother’s milk or the first time after birth), Namkaran (naming ceremony), Nishkraman (the infant sees the sun and the moon for the first time), Annaprashan (child is given solid food to eat for the first time), Chudakaran (a lock of hair is kept, and the remaining is shaved off), Karna-vedha (ears are pierced), Upanayana-Vedarambha (thread ceremony after which the child begins his studies), Keshanta (hair is cut, and guru Dakshina is given), Samavartan (Person returns home after studies are completed), Vivaha (marriage), Vanaprastha (retirement), Sanyas (shedding away all responsibilities and relationships) and Antyeshthi (rites did after death) are the 16 Samskaras. The birth of a child is an event of celebration in which copper plates are beaten together when the child is born, along with celebratory gunfire to announce the birth of the child. The child is named eleven days after he or she is born. This is called ‘Namkaran.’
Another attractive custom is ‘Mundan’, in which the child’s hair is shaved completely as it is believed that the hair carries negativity from the child’s past life.
- Traditional Dresses of Rajasthan
The women wear sarees with the ‘odhni’ covering their heads as a sign of respect. The men wear dhotis and kurtas with a headgear called pagri or safah.
The designs on their clothing are either embroidered or dotted. The material of the dress is usually cotton and even silk for women.