Rajasthan the land of Rajasthanis, the land of kings or the land of colours is the largest state of the Republic of India by 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 state is bordered by 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 132,150 sq mi or 342,239 km². The proportion of the state''s total area to the total area of the country is 10.41 percent.
Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga of the Indus Valley Civilization, which are the oldest in the Indian subcontinent discovered so far.
One of the world''s oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range, cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, famous for Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern Rajasthan has the world famous Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, famous for its bird life and is a World Heritage Site and two famous national reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska Reserve. Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when all erstwhile princely states ruled by Rajputs, known as Rajputana, merged into the Dominion of India.
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