Rajasthan is situated in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. It is confined on the west and northwest by Pakistan, on the north and northeast by the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, on the east and southeast by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and on the southwest by the state of Gujarat. The Tropic of Cancer passes through its southern tip in the Banswara district. Area of the state is 132,140 square miles (342,239 square kilometres). The capital of Rajasthan is Jaipur.
Rajasthan is relatively dry and infertile in the west. This western area includes some of the Thar Desert which is also known as the Great Indian Desert. Land is wetter, hilly, and more fertile in the southwestern part of the state.
The climatic conditions-
The climatic conditions varies throughout Rajasthan. The average winter temperatures range from 8° to 28° C (46° to 82° F) and summer temperatures range from 25° to 46° C (77° to 115° F). Average rainfall also varies in Rajasthn. The western deserts has about 100 mm (about 4 in) annually, while the southeastern part of the state receives annually 650 mm (26 in), most of which falls from July through September during the monsoon season.
Legislative Political situation-
Rajasthan has a single house legislative assembly with 200 seats. The state sends 35 members to the Indian national parliament out of which 10 seats to the RajyaSabha (Upper House) and 25 seats to the LokSabha (Lower House) of Indian Parliament.
Districts of Rajasthan-
Local government comprises of 33 administrative districts. These 33 districts are: Ajmer, Alwar, Banswara, Baran, Barmer, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Bharatpur, Bundi, Chittorgarh, Churu, Dausa, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Jhalawar, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur, Karauli, Kota, Nagaur, Pali, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Sawai Madhopur, Sikar, Sirohi, Tonk, and Udaipur.
Rajasthan has varying topographic features though a major part of the state is dominated by arid and dry region. The extensive topography includes rocky terrain, rolling sand dunes, wetlands, barren tracts or land filled with thorny scrubs, river-drained plains, plateaus, ravines and wooded regions. In a more broad way the topography of Rajasthan can be classified in the following regions-
The Aravalli or the Hilly regions
The Thar and the other arid regions
The Plateaus including Vindhaya and the Malwa
The Fertile plains including the Mewar
The Forest Regions and
The Waterbodies including Rivers and Salt Lakes.
The Thar Desert-
The huge portion of the state of Rajasthan is desiccated (driage) and consists the biggest desert of India- the Thar Desert known as the 'Maru-kantar'. The Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert encompasses about 61% 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. 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. Vegetation consists of thorny bushes, shrubs and xerophilious grass. Various species of lizards and snakes are found here.
Highlights of Thar Desert-
Countries: India, Pakistan
States in which Thar Desert extends in India: Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat
States in which Thar Desert extends in Pakistan: Sindh, Punjab
Thar Desert extends from Sutlej River, bounded by Aravalli Ranges on the Eastern part, on the Southern part by the Great Rann of Kutch and on the Western side by the Indus River.
Interesting facts about the Thar Desert-
It is the world's 18th largest subtropical desert.
The Thar Desert is the most densely populated desert in the world, with a population density of 83 people per square km.
India exploded its first nuclear bomb in the Thar Desert on May, 1974.
It is the biggest wool-producing area in India.
There are ten times more animals per person in Rajasthan than the national average.