Religion of Rajasthan
Religion has always played a very important role in the lives of Indian people right from medieval times. Numerous religions practiced by Indians can sometimes bewilder the visitor but a general understanding and tolerance has always existed and accounted for the wonderful cultural unity that has kept the Indian spirit alive.
What is true for the rest of India is true for Rajasthan as well. Hinduism is followed by a majority of population, though religions like Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Jainism find due representation here.
Rajasthan also has its share of myths and folklore. Several folk heroes are worshipped and one can see hundreds of simple shrines in every village. Stones are painted and established in tiny temples under trees and near wells. Folk heroes like Pabuji, Gogaji, Baba Ramdeo, Harbhuji and Mehaji are revered. All forms of nature are worshipped and each area has its own local deity.
Some of the major temples and important religious centres like Pushkar, Nathdwara, Deshnok, Amer exist in this state.
Founded by Lord Rishabh and reorganised by Lord Mahavir, born in 599 BC, it is one of the oldest living religions of the world. Jains follow the teachings of Lord Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankara. Mahavir stressed on the practice of non-violence.
The Jains have built some of the most exquisite temples in Ranakpur, Mount Abu, Shri Mahavirji, Osian, Jaisalmer, Chittaurgarh and other parts of Rajasthan.
The largest minority in India, Muslims are followers of the prophet Mohammed who was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 570 AD. The world's greatest Sufi shrine, 'Dargah' of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti lies in Ajmer.
Over time, there has been a considerable increase in the number of followers of Sikh religion. The Sikhs believe in formless God and worship their holy book 'Guru Granth Sahib'.