Fairs & Festivals
Art & Culture
Music & Dance
Palace on Wheels
City Guide & Map
Sam Sand Dunes
Temples - Holy Places
The Royal Orient
The Fairy Queen
various tribes of Rajasthan are:
Bhils The bow men of Rajasthan
Minas The militant defenders
Lohars The nomadic blacksmiths
Garasias The fallen Rajputs
Sahariyas The jungle dwellers
population includes many tribals, who today constitute 12% of the state
population, nearly double the national average. The main tribes of Rajasthan
are the Bhils and the Minas that were the original inhabitants of the area
now called Rajasthan. But they were forced into the Aravalli Range by the
Aryan invasion. Smaller tribes include the Sahariyas, Garasias and the
The tribes share common traits, which seem to link their past together but
it is the differences in their costumes and jewellery, fair and festivals
that set them apart from one another.
The Bhils compromise 39% of Rajasthan's tribal population. Their stronghold
is Banswara. The generic term derives from Bhils, which describe their
original talent and strength. The Bhils maintained their numbers by mingling
with rebellious outcaste Rajputs. According to legends, the Bhils were fine
archers. Bhil bowmen are mentioned in both the Mahabarata and Ramayan. They
were highly regarded as warriors and the Rajput rulers relied on them.
Although originally food gatherers, the Bhils these days have taken up
small-scale agriculture, city residence and employment.
The Baneshwar fair is a Bhil
festival held near Dungarpur in January/February each year and large number
of Bhils gather for several days for singing, dancing and worshipping. Holi
is another important time for Bhils. Witchcraft magic and superstition are
deeply rooted aspects of the Bhil culture.
The Minas are the second largest tribal group in the state after the Bhils
and are the most widely spread. They may have been original inhabitants of
the Indus Valley civilization. The Vedas and the Mahabharta mention them,
and it was the Kachhawah Rajputs who finally dispersed them and forced them
into the Aravallis. The Minas have a tall, athletic build with sharp
features, large eyes, thick lips and a light brown complexion.
They live in the regions of Shekhawati and eastern Rajasthan. The name Minas
is derived from 'men fish'. Originally they were a ruling tribe, but their
slow downfall began with the Rajputs, and was completed when the British
Government declared them a 'Criminal tribe' in 1924, mainly to stop them
from trying to regain their territory from the Rajputs.
Just like the Bhils, the literacy rate among the Minas was very low, but is
improving. Marriage, arranged by the parents is generally within the tribe
and most marriages take place when the children are quite young.
The Gaduliya Lohars, named after their beautiful bullock carts ('gadis'),
were originally a martial Rajput tribe, but nowadays they are nomadic
blacksmiths. They are said to have wandered from their homeland of Mewar
because of their promise to their 'lord' Maharana Pratap who was ousted from
Chittaurgarh by Akbar. This clan of warring Rajputs vowed to re-enter the
city only after the victory of Maharana Pratap who was, however,
unfortunately killed in the battlefield.
They are a small Rajput tribe found along the Abu Road area of Southern
Rajasthan. The Garasias have an interesting custom of marriage through
elopement, which usually takes place at the annual Gaur Fair held during the
full moon in March. After the elopement, which can be spontaneous or
pre-arranged, a bride price is paid to the bride's father.
They are thought to be of Bhil origin and are found in the areas of Kota,
Dungarpur and Sawai Madhopur in the south- east of the state. The Sahariyas
are jungle dwellers, their name possibly deriving from the Persian 'Sehr'.
The Sahariyas are regarded as the most backward tribe in Rajasthan and make
out a living as shifting cultivators and by hunting and fishing.
The small tribal community of Damors probably migrated from their original
home in Gujarat to settle in Dungarpur and Udaipur districts. They are
mainly cultivators and manual labourers
Thar Desert Rajasthan
immense climatic diversity and topographical varieties. Deserts form the
backdrop of many a legend in India, and in the present times, are touted as
tourist interest destinations.
Thar or Great Indian Desert is an arid region 800 km long and 400 km wide,
in North West of India and East of Pakistan, between the Indus and Sutlej
river valleys on the west and the Aravali Range on the east. Largely a
desolate region of shifting sand dunes, broken rocks, and scrub vegetation,
it receives an annual average rainfall of less than 25 cm.
Nothing can prepare the visitor for the sheer magic and brilliance of the
desert cities of Rajasthan. The camel rides on the sand dunes are an
unforgettable experience as are the sunsets. These places boast of some very
fine reminders of the glorious past - palaces, forts, temples and other
elegant monuments of architectural and historical value and unforgettable
treat for any visitor.
Explore the enigmatic desert of India that will mystify your mind with its
beauty and vastness. The gateway to the great Indian Thar desert through
Jodhpur will take enchant you with a vast waste dotted with shifting sand
dunes and sparse hamlets with cenotaphs called 'Chattris'.