the largest state of the republic of india by area. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (thar desert), which has an edge paralleling the satluj-indus river valley along its border with pakistan. The state is bordered by Pakistan to the west, Gujrat to the southwest,madhaya paradesh to the southeast, uttar pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers an area of 132,150 sq. m or 342,239 km². The proportion of the state's total area to the total area of the country is 10.41 per cent.
The first mention of word Rajasthan comes from the work of James Tod ( Annals ) in 1829 A.D.  Rajasthan literally means a Land of Kingdoms .George Thomas ( Military Memories ) was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana .  John Keay in his book, India: A History stated that the Rajputana name was coined by the British, but that the word even achieved a retrospective authenticity: in an 1829 translation of Ferishta's history of early Islamic India, John Briggs discarded the phrase Indian princes, as rendered in Dow's earlier version, and substituted Rajpoot princes.  Rajasthan was essentially the country of the Gurjars .  R. C. Majumdar explained that the region was long known as Gurjaratra that is Country protected or ruled by the Gurjars, early form of Gujarat, before it came to be called Rajputana. 
The Indus Valley Civilization , one of the world's first and oldest civilizations, was located in parts of what is now Rajas than. Kalibangan in Hanumangarh district , Rajas than was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization.  It is believed that Western Kshatrapas (35–405 BC) were Saka rulers of the western part of India (Saurashtra and Malwa: modern Gujarat, Southern Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan). They were successors to the Indo-Scythians , and were contemporaneous with the Kushans who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and establish the Saka era (with Saka calendar ), marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state. 
The main geographic features of Rajasthan are the Thar Desert and the Aravalli Range , which runs through the state from southwest to northeast, almost from one end to the other, for more than 850 km. Mount Abu is at the southwestern end of the range, separated from the main ranges by the West Banas River , although a series of broken ridges continues into Haryana in the direction of Delhi where it can be seen as outcrops in the form of the Raisina Hill and the ridges farther north. About three-fifths of Rajasthan lies northwest of the Aravallis, leaving two-fifths on the east and south.
Rajasthan's economy is primarily agricultural and pastoral . Wheat and barley are cultivated over large areas, as are pulses , sugarcane , and oilseeds . Cotton and tobacco are the state's cash crops. Rajasthan is among the largest producers of edible oils in India and the second largest producer of oilseeds . Rajasthan is also the biggest wool -producing state in India and the main opium producer and consumer. There are mainly two crop seasons. The water for irrigation comes from wells and tanks. The Indira Gandhi Canal irrigates northwestern Rajasthan.
EDUCATION During recent years, Rajasthan has made significant progress in the area of education. The state government has been making sustained efforts to improve the educational standard. In recent decades, the literacy rate of Rajasthan has increased significantly. In 1991, the state's literacy rate was only 38.55% (54.99% male and 20.44% female). In 2001, the literacy rate increased to 60.41% (75.70% male and 43.85% female). This was the highest leap in the percentage of literacy recorded in India (the rise in female literacy being 23%).  At the Census 2011, Rajasthan had a literacy rate of 67.06% (80.51% male and 52.66% female). Although Rajasthan's literacy rate is below the national average of 74.04% and although its female literacy rate is the lowest in the country (closely followed by Bihar at 53.33%), the state has been praised for its efforts and achievements in raising both male and female literacy rates.  
FLORA AND FAUNA
Though a large percentage of the total area is desert, and even though there is little forest cover, Rajasthan has a rich and varied flora and fauna. The natural vegetation is classed as Northern Desert Thorn Forest (Champion 1936). These occur in small clumps scattered in a more or less open forms. Density and size of patches increase from west to east following the increase in rainfall.
Some wildlife species, which are fast vanishing in other parts of India, are found in the desert in large numbers such as the Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) , the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) , the Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii) and the Indian Wild Ass .
Rajasthan is also noted for National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. There are four national park and wildlife sanctuaries named the Keoladeo National Park of Bharatpur , Sariska Tiger Reserve of Alwar, Ranthambore National Park of Sawai Madhopur, and Desert National Park of Jaisalmer.Ranthambore National Park and Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary are both known worldwide for their tiger population and considered by both wilderness lovers and photographers as the best places in India to spot tigers. At one point, due to poaching and negligence, tigers became extinct here, but recently 5 tigers have been shifted here [ citation needed ] . Prominent among the wildlife sanctuaries are Mount Abu Sanctuary, Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary, Darrah Sanctuary , Jaisamand Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary , Jawahar Sagar sanctuary and Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary.