Rajasthan, with its ancient civilization and rich culture, is a land of everlasting charm. Its cultural fabric, resplendent with the warp and weft of majestic forts, romantic palaces, captivating music and Literature, the swirling elegance of dances, colorful vibrancy of dresses, iridescent plethora of festivals and much more, makes Rajasthan a dream destination. The present book opens up its cultural treasure chest to enchant the reader with its rich abundance.
Kanchan Mathur, a lover of the ait, literature, culture and traditions of Rajasthan taught at Loreto, Darjeeling and worked for The Statesman, Delhi, before settling down at Jaipur. She is the author of ‘The Musical Messiah’, a biography of Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt - a Grammy Award winner and the innovator of the Mohan Veena. She is also the author of ‘The Love Stories of Rajasthan’ a translation of Rani Lakshmi Kumari Chundawat’s ‘Rajasthani Prem Kathaen’.
Rajasthan, the land that beckons and enchants the peripatetic seeker, has a rich cultural heritage. It is a land which had faced several infiltrations, by races such as the Aryans, Scythians, Greek, Huns and the Mughals Often, the blood of the infiltrators blended with that of the aboriginals. There were interchanges and intermingling of ideologies and lifestyles. And out of this cultural symbiosis emerged an eclectic and unique Rajasthani culture, which was rich, powerful and colorful. The psyche that evolved was characterized by aan, baan, and shaan, (pride, dignity and grandeur).
Rajasthan’s colorful cultural fabric, embellished with literary jewels, is woven with the warp and weft of captivating music, rhythmic frenzy and swirling elegance of dances, colorful vibrancy of dresses and festivals replete with music and merriment. Its architecture is a spectacle of beauty and skill, with its forts and palaces echoing sagas of heroism and romance. For centuries, the lives of the Rajputs had been associated with battlefields. A predominantly military mindset is therefore reflected in their forms of amusements and entertainments. It is by sipping the sap of this ralture that the Rajasthani man learnt to lead a life of unrestrained cv. even in the face of adversity. It is this iridescent culture which has infused radiance into his life.
The present book, which attempts to glide over the cultural currents of the state, along their course, through time is a translation of the original work entitled ‘Sanskritic Rajasthan’, written in Hindi by Rani Lakshmi Kumari Chundawat. Raniji is a writer, whose contribution to the cultural and historical studies on Rajasthan won her numerous laurels and awards, including the Padma Shree, in 1984. A major portion of what is written in the book relates to Rajput royalty and Rajput society - the reason being that the author is herself a part of the royalty of the state. Being a part of that social milieu, she has related her personal perceptions of the culture of Rajasthan, through the pages of her book.
Even though the cultural heritage of Rajasthan is an ocean, Raniji has managed to paint, most vividly and comprehensively its seascape, over the wide canvas of her book. I am grateful to her for having trusted me to translate her work and for giving me her valuable time. Sitting and listening to this remarkable lady explain concepts and relate incidents from the past, was an unforgettable experience.
Last but not the least, I am grateful to my husband Shri Narendra Prakash Mathur and son Krishna, for their valued encouragement and support.
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