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Rajasthan is the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area but encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert) which has an edge that parallels the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan. The region borders 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.


The state capital is Jaipur. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River near the archeological ruins at Kalibanga, which are the oldest in the subcontinent discovered so far.

One of the world's oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range, cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, and its world famous Dilwara Temples. Eastern Rajasthan has two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska, as well as Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, famous for its bird life.

Rajasthan was formed on 30th March 1949, when all erstwhile princely states merged into India. The only difference between erstwhile Rajputana and Rajasthan is that certain portions governed directly by the British Government Ajmer-Merwara were included and portions lying geographically out of Rajputana and belonging to Tonk state were given to Madhya Pradesh.

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