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Heritage of Rajasthan
Hawamahal JaipurRajput clans emerged and held their sway over different parts of Rajasthan from about 700 AD. Before that, Rajasthan was a part of several republics. It was a part of the Mauryan Empire. Other major republics that dominated this region include the Malavas, Arjunyas, Yaudhyas, Kushans, Saka Satraps, Guptas and Hunas.

The Rajput clans ascendancy in Indian history was during the period from the eighth to the twelfth century AD. The Pratihars ruled Rajasthan and most of northern India during 750-1000 AD. Between 1000-1200 AD, Rajasthan witnessed the struggle for supremacy between Chalukyas, Parmars and Chauhans
Medieval Period, 1201 - 1707
Around 1200 AD a part of Rajasthan came under Muslim rulers. The principal centers of their powers were Nagaur and Ajmer. Ranthanbhor was also under their suzerainty. At the beginning of the 13th century AD, the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan was Mewar.
Modern Period, 1707 - 1947
Rajasthan had never been united politically until its domination by Mughal Emperor - Akbar. Akbar created a unified province of Rajasthan. Mughal power started to decline after 1707. The political disintegration of Rajasthan was caused by the dismemberment of the Mughal Empire. The Marathas penetrated Rajasthan upon the decline of the Mughal Empire. In 1755 they occupied Ajmer. The beginning of the 19th Century was marked by the onslaught of the Pindaris.

In 1817-18 the British Government concluded treaties of alliance with almost all the states of Rajputana. Thus began the British rule over Rajasthan, then called Rajputana.
Post Independence

The erstwhile Rajputana comprised 19 princely states and two chiefships of Lava and Kushalgarh and a British administered territory of Ajmer-Merwara. Rajasthan State was heterogeneous conglomeration of separate political entities with different administrative systems prevailing in different places. The present State of Rajasthan was formed after a long process of integration which began on March 17, 1948 and ended on November 1, 1956. Before integration it was called Rajputana; after integration it came to be known as Rajasthan. At present there are 33 districts (including the new district of Pratapgarh) in the State. Architecture of Rajasthan mainly encompasses the Rajput school of architecture which was a blend of the Hindu and the Mughal structural design. Rajasthan is the store house of some of the magnificent forts and palaces of the worlds. The splendid forts, intricately carved temples and ornamented havelis are part of the architectural heritage of Rajasthan. The Rajputs were creative builders and the major architectural creations are positioned in the cities like Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Jaipur. The renowned architectural specimens of Rajasthan include Dilwara Temples, Jantar Mantar, Lake Palace Hotel, Chittorgarh Fort, City Palaces, and Jaisalmer Havelis.

Rajasthan, the largest state in India is renowned for its historical monuments. Rajasthan was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Traditionally the Rajputs, Bhils, Jats, Yadavs, Gujjars and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. It was formerly known as Rajputana and was a princely state ruled by the Rajputs. Modern Rajasthan comprises a number of Rajput kingdoms, Jat kingdoms and a Mughal kingdom. The forts and palaces of Rajasthan are enriched by Muslim and Jain architecture. The structural design of Rajasthan is basically secular and draws a lot of motivation from the Mughals, while the later day architecture also embraces European interiors.

Taj Mahal
TajmahalThe Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore called the Taj Mahal a "teardrop on the cheek of time." It remains a testament to the grief—and power—of an emperor.
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Shah Jahan, who ruled the Mughal Empire (with its capital in Agra) for 30 years, had the mausoleum constructed to honor his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after her death in 1631.
The main mausoleum of the Taj Mahal took more than 15 years to complete. (The site also includes a mosque and assembly hall (not visible in this beautiful photograph) and elaborate gardens.) The white marble dome soars 171 meters (561 feet) above a pink sandstone base. Fourminarets frame the main mausoleum complex.
The finial atop the dome is uniquely Indian, recognizing the region's religious diversity. The finial incorporates a crescent moon, the symbol of Islam (the religion of both Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal). But by placing the moon with its horns (points) pointing to the heavens in a U-shape, the moon and finial resemble a trident—a traditional symbol of the powerful Hindu god Shiva.
Legend has it that Shah Jahan intended to have a "Black Taj" constructed as his own mausoleum. Conflict within the empire prevented any plans or construction of the Black Taj. Both Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are buried beneath the dome of the Taj.
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