Rajasthan is a state in northern India. The state covers an area of 342,239 square kilometres or 10.4 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the seventh largest by population. Rajasthan is located on the northwestern side of India, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by five other Indian states: Punjab to the north. Major features include the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation at Balathal. Rajasthan is home to three national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar and Mukundra Hill Tiger Reserve in Kota; the state was formed on 30 March 1949 when Rajputana – the name adopted by the British Raj for its dependencies in the region – was merged into the Dominion of India. Its capital and largest city is Jaipur. Other important cities are Jodhpur, Bikaner and Udaipur.
Rajasthan means "Land of Kings" or "King's Abode". The oldest reference to Rajasthan is found in a stone inscription dated back to 625 A. D; the print mention of the name "Rajasthan" appears in the 1829 publication Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and Western Rajpoot States of India, while the earliest known record of "Rajputana" as a name for the region is in George Thomas's 1800 memoir Military Memories. John Keay, in his book India: A History, stated that "Rajputana" was coined by the British in 1829, John Briggs, translating Ferishta's history of early Islamic India, used the phrase "Rajpoot princes" rather than "Indian princes". Parts of what is now Rajasthan were part of the Vedic Civilisation and Indus Valley Civilization. Kalibangan, in Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization.. Another archeological excavation at Balathal site in Udaipur district shows a settlement contemporary with the Harrapan civilization dating back to 3000 - 1500 BC. Stone Age tools dating from 5,000 to 200,000 years were found in Bundi and Bhilwara districts of the state.
Matsya Kingdom of the Vedic civilisation of India, is said to corresponded to the former state of Jaipur in Rajasthan and included the whole of Alwar with portions of Bharatpur. The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagar, said to have been named after its founder king Virata. Bhargava identifies the two districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar and parts of Jaipur district along with Haryana districts of Mahendragarh and Rewari as part of Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Bhargava locates the present day Sahibi River as the Vedic Drishadwati River, which along with Saraswati River formed the borders of the Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Manu and Bhrigu narrated the Manusmriti to a congregation of seers in this area only. Ashrams of Vedic seers Bhrigu and his son Chayvan Rishi, for whom Chyawanprash was formulated, were near Dhosi Hill part of which lies in Dhosi village of Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan and part lies in Mahendragarh district of Haryana; the Western Kshatrapas, the Saka rulers of the western part of India, were successors to the Indo-Scythians, were contemporaneous with the Kushans, who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.
The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and established the Saka era, marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state. Gurjars ruled for many dynasties in this part of the country, the region was known as Gurjaratra. Up to the 10th century AD all of North India acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars, with their seat of power at Kannauj; the Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century. The chief accomplishment of the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Historian R. C. Majumdar says that this was acknowledged by the Arab writers, he further notes that historians of India have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India, as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now there seems little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that barred the progress of the Arabs beyond the confines of Sindh, their only conquest for nearly 300 years.
Traditionally the Rajputs, Jats, Bhils, Charans, Bishnois, Sermals, PhulMali and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting the land. Millions of them were killed trying to protect their land. Bhils once ruled Kota. Meenas were rulers of Bundi and the Dhundhar region. Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu Emperor, was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District in 1501, he won 22 battles against Afghans, from Punjab to Bengal including states of Ajmer and Alwar in Rajasthan, defeated Akbar's forces twice at Agra and Delhi in 1556 at Battle of Delhi before acceding to the throne of Delhi and establishing the "Hindu Raj" in North India, albeit for
Devnarayan was a Gurjar warrior from Rajasthan, who founded Baisla Clan. Mythology has it that he was an incarnation of Vishnu and he is worshipped as a folk deity in Rajasthan and north-western Madhya Pradesh. According to tradition, he was born to Sri Savai Bhoj and Sadu mata Gurjari on the seventh day of the bright half of the month of Maagh in the Hindu Calendar in Vikram Samvat 968. According to one view historical Devnarayan belonged to 10th century of Vikram Samvat, according another view, he lived in between 1200-1400. First view is endorsed by many scholars; the epic of Devnarayan is one of the longest and most popular religious oral narratives of Rajasthan. The epic of Devnarayan has been classified under the category of'martial epics; the oral epic of Devnarayan consists of a number of episodes related to the narrative of Devnarayan. This epic is sung by the Bhopas, the traditional priest-singers of Devnarayan during the nights of the months, November to July in the villages of Rajasthan and Malwa.
The narrative of Devnarayan begins with an invocation of a number of deities, whose images are depicted in the phads. The deities invoked are Sharada, Sarasvati, Kacchap, Narasimha, Parashuram and Krishna Avatars of Vishnu, Ramdev, Shani and Chandrama; the first part called the Bagaravat Bharat is about the heroic deeds of 24 Gurjar brothers, who are born as the sons of the man-lion, Baghji Gurjar. The 24 brothers die after a preordained period of 12 years in a battle against a chieftain of Ran city; the second part is about Bhagavan's incarnation as Devnarayan, the miracles he performs and the revenge he and his cousins take on the Ran city chieftain. Devnarayan's mother is Sadu Mata and his father Savai Bhoj, the most courageous of the 24 Bagaravats. Whereas the first part is said to be marked by suffering and death, the second is marked by the reunion and divine testimony; the second part, thus entails a reversal of the first part: death and defeat are followed by birth and creation resulting in the establishment of Devnarayan's cult amongst his followers.
The narrative begins with a prelude at a time, when Brahma was performing a Vedic sacrifice in Pushkar. Brahma invited all the Rsis to his sacrifice. Among them is a group of twenty-four Rsis living in the Nag Pahad, a mountain chain running parallel to Pushkar; the Rsis were disciples of Sankar. Sankar forbade them from attending the sacrifice, but they insisted on going because they had received invitations from Brahma. Sankar grew ravenously hungry; the Rsis suggested eating the fruits growing in the forest. But Sankar said, he wanted more than plain fruit. But nothing else was available in the forest. There was no grain either. So, he began consuming them one after another. After he had eaten them and satiated his hunger, he went to visit Brahma's sacrifice himself; the sacrifice came to a halt. He asks Brahma how he should atone for his sin, whereupon Brahma informed him that the only means would be to offer the Rsis his own body in a future existence, in which the Rsis are to be born as the twenty-four sons of a single father.
This prelude is spoken and not sung. The narrative shifts to a more historical time. During the reign of Vishal Dev Chauhan, the populace is being terrorized by a tiger that feeds on one individual every night. On one particular night, Hariram Gurjar offers to take the place of a boy whose turn it is to be eaten by the tiger, he beheads it. In order to wash the blood off his sword and to cleanse himself of the sin of slaughter, as it was a tradition among Gurjars, he goes to the holy lake of Pushkar carrying the lion's head on his shoulder, it is a full moon night. At the same time on the opposite bank of Pushkar Lake, daughter of Gurjar king Jagjan, Lila Sevri who has taken a vow never to see the face of a man is performing ablutions and bathing in the lake. While bathing, she sees the reflection of a man's body with the head of a tiger on the surface of the lake, conceive. Jagjan allowed both to marry and gifts half of his kingdom to Hariram Gurjar. After nine months their son is born, he is named Baghji.
Because of his unusual and fearsome appearance, no one is willing to marry his daughter to him. He lives alone in a garden attended by a Brahman cook. Once, on the day of the festival of savan tij, a number of young girls of various GurjarGotras come to the garden attracted by Baghji's silken swing; the Brahman allows them to use the swing on the condition. While they are doing this, the Brahman performs the necessary engagement rites. Unknowingly they are engaged to Baghji. Baghji Gurjar marries twelve of them namely Kanta Kalas, Ganiyanvanti Kalas, Lakmade Rathod, Jyanta Saradana, Lali Saradana, Balma Saradana, Barnavanti Chad, Bindka Chad, Dhanvantari Chechi, Gauri Chechi, Rama Awana and Bindra Awana. Kalas, Saradana, Chad and Awana all are Gurjar Clans; each of his wives gives birth to two sons. According to written literature by anandaram phagna Baghji belonged to Chhatrapatti Chauhan gotra of Gurjars. Savai Bhoj is the most courageous of the twenty-four Bagaravats; each day Savai Bhoj takes the Bagaravats cattle herds to graze on the slopes of Nag Pahad.
One of the cows leaves the herd and returns on its own in
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
Vikram Samvat. It uses solar sidereal years; the Vikram Samvat is notable because many medieval era inscriptions use it. It is said to be named after the legendary king Vikramaditya, but the term "Vikrama Samvat" does not appear in the historical records before the 9th century, rather the same calendaring system is found by other names such as Krita and Malava. In the colonial era scholarship, the era was believed to be based on the commemoration of King Vikramaditya expelling the Sakas from Ujjain; however epigraphical evidence and scholarship suggest that this theory has no historical basis and likely was an error. Starting in the 9th century and thereafter, epigraphical artwork uses Vikrama-Samvat, suggesting that sometime around the 9th-century, the Hindu calendar era, in use became popular as Vikram Samvat, while Buddhist and Jain epigraphy continued to use an era based on the Buddha or the Mahavira. According to popular tradition, the legendary king Vikramaditya of Ujjain established the Vikrama Samvat era after defeating the Śakas.
Kalakacharya Kathanaka by the Jain sage Mahesarasuri gives the following account: Gandharvasena, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati, the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought the help of the Śaka ruler King Sahi in Sistan. Despite heavy odds but aided by miracles, the Śaka king defeated Gandharvasena and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated; the defeated king retired to the forest. His son, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana. On, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away from the Śakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the "Vikrama era"; the Ujjain calendar started around 58–56 BCE, the subsequent Shaka era calendar was started in 78 CE at Pratishthana. The association of the era beginning in 57 BCE with Vikramaditya is not found in any source before the 9th century CE; the earlier sources call this era by various names, including Kṛṭa, the era of the Malava tribe, or Samvat. The earliest known inscription that calls the era "Vikrama" is from 842 CE.
This inscription of Chauhana ruler Chandamahasena was found at Dholpur, is dated Vikrama Samvat 898, Vaishakha Shukla 2, Chanda. The earliest known inscription that associates this era with a king called Vikramaditya is dated 971 CE; the earliest literary work that connects the era to Vikramaditya is Subhashita-Ratna-Sandoha by the Jain author Amitagati. For this reason, multiple authors believe that the Vikram Samvat was not started by Vikramaditya, who might be a purely legendary king or the title adopted by a king who renamed the era after himself. V. A. Smith and D. R. Bhandarkar believed that Chandragupta II adopted the title Vikramaditya, changed the name of the era to "Vikrama Samvat". According to Rudolf Hoernlé, the king responsible for this change was Yashodharman: Hoernlé believed that he conquered Kashmir, is the same person as the "Harsha Vikramaditya" mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangini. Earlier, some scholars believed that the Vikrama Samavat corresponded to the Azes era of the Indo-Scythian king King Azes.
However, this was disputed by Robert Bracey following the discovery of an inscription of Vijayamitra, dated in two eras. The theory seems to be now discredited by Falk and Bennett, who place the inception of the Azes era in 47–46 BCE; the traditional New Year of Vikram Samvat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes, participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It occurs in mid-April each year, coincides with the traditional new year in Assam, Burma, Kerala, Manipur, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand. In addition to Nepal, the Vikram Samvat calendar is recognized in North and East India, in Gujarat among Hindus. Hindu religious festivals are based on a Luni-Solar calendar, not Solar calendar, based on Vikram Samvat. In North India, the new year in Vikram Samvat starts from the first day of Chaitra Skukla paksha. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Buddha's Birthday, it commemorates the birth and passing of Gautama Buddha on the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June.
Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays fall in the same month of the Bengali and Theravada Buddhist calendars, are related through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent. In Gujarat, the day after Diwali is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar, the first day of the month Kartik; the Vikrami era is an ancient calendar and has been used by Hindus and Sikhs. It is one of the several regional Hindu calendars that have been in use on the Indian subcontinent, it is based on twelve synodical lunar months and 365 solar days; the lunar new year starts on the new moon in the month of Chaitra. This day, known as Chaitra Sukhladi, is a restricted holiday in India; the Vikrami Samvat has been in use in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times, remains in use by the Hindus in north, w
Gurjar or Gujjar is an ethnic agricultural and pastoral community of India and Afghanistan. They were known as Gurjaras during the medieval times, a name, believed to have been an ethnonym in the beginning as well as a demonym on. Although traditionally they have been involved in agriculture, Gurjars are a large heterogeneous group, internally differentiated in terms of culture, religion and socio-economic status; the historical role of Gurjars has been quite diverse in society, at one end they are founders of several kingdoms, cities and villages, at the other end, they are nomads with no land of their own. The pivotal point in the history of Gurjar identity is traced back to the emergence of a Gurjara kingdom in present-day Rajasthan during medieval times, it is believed that the Gurjars migrated to different parts of the Indian Subcontinent from the Gurjara kingdom. It was believed that the Gurjars did an earlier migration from Central Asia as well, that view is considered to be speculative.
Historical references speak of Gurjara warriors and commoners in North India in the 7th century CE, mention several Gurjara kingdoms and dynasities. The Gurjaras started fading way from the forefront of history after 10th century CE. Thereafter, several Gurjar chieftans and upstart warriors are mentioned in history, who were rather petty rulers in contrast to their predecessors; the modern forms "Gurjar" and "Gujjar" were quite common during the Mughal era, documents dating from the period mention Gurjars as a "turbulent" people. The Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan were known as Gurjaradesa and Gurjaratra for centuries prior to the arrival of the British power; the Gujrat and Gujranwala districts of Pakistani Punjab have been associated with Gujjars from as early as the 8th century CE, when there existed a Gurjara kingdom in the same area. The Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh was known as Gujarat due to the presence of a large number of Gujjar zamindars, or land holding farmer class, in the area.
Gurjars are religiously diverse. Although they are able to speak the language of the region and country where they live, Gurjars have their own language, known as Gujari, they variously follow Hinduism and Sikhism. The Hindu Gurjars are found in Indian states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab Plains and Maharashtra, while the Muslim Gujjars are found in Pakistan and Indian Himalayan regions such as Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Garhwal and Kumaon divisions of Uttarakhand; the Gurjars are classified as Other Backward Class in some of UTs. Hindu Gurjars were assimilated into various varnas in the medieval period. Historians and anthropologists differ on the issue of Gurjar origin. According to one view, the ancient ancestors of Gurjars came from central Asia via Georgia from near the Caspian Sea. According to this view, between 1 BCE and 1 CE, the ancient ancestors of Gurjars came in multiple waves of migration and they were accorded status as high-caste warriors in the Hindu fold in the North-Western regions.
Aydogdy Kurbanov states that some Gurjars, along with people from northwestern India, merged with the Hephthalites to become the Rajput clan. According to scholars such as Baij Nath Puri, the Mount Abu region of present-day Rajasthan had been an abode of the Gurjars during the medieval period; the association of the Gurjars with the mountain is noticed in many inscriptions and epigraphs including Tilakamanjari of Dhanpala. These Gurjars migrated from the Arbuda mountain region and as early as in the 6th century A. D. they set up one or more principalities in Gujarat. The whole or a larger part of Rajasthan and Gujarat had been long known as Gurjaratra or Gurjarabhumi for centuries prior to the Mughal period. In Sanskrit texts, the ethnonym has sometimes been interpreted as "destroyer of the enemy": gur meaning "enemy" and ujjar meaning "destroyer"). In its survey of The People of India, the Anthropological Survey of India – a government-sponsored organisation – noted that The Gurjars/Gujjars were no doubt a remarkable people spread from Kashmir to Gujarat and Maharashtra, who gave an identity to Gujarat, established kingdoms, entered the Rajput groups as the dominant lineage of Badgujar, survive today as a pastoral and a tribal group with both Hindu and Muslim segments.
Irawati Karve, the Indologist and historian, believed that the Gurjars position in society and the caste system varied from one linguistic area of India to another. In Maharashtra, Karve thought that they were absorbed by the Rajputs and Marathas but retained some of their distinct identity, she based her theories on analysis of clan names and tradition, noting that while most Rajputs claim their origins to lie in the mythological Chandravansh or Suryavansh dynasties, at least two of the communities in the region claimed instead to be descended from the Agnivansh. A 2009 study conducted by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, under the supervision of Gurjar scholar Javaid Rahi, claimed that the word "Gojar" has a Central Asian Turkic origin, written in romanized Turkish as Göçer; the study claimed that according to the new research, the Gurjar race "remained one of the most vibrant identity of Central
Dev Dham Jodhpuriya
Dev Dham Jodhpuriya is a temple dedicated to Devnarayan. It is situated in Newai municipality of Rajasthan, it is 75 kilometres from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Kota national highway, near to Mashi dam, Manoharpura in Newai municipality of Tonk district. Devnarayan is worshiped as incarnation of Vishnu. Tradition is that he was incarnated in Vikram Samvat 968 as a son of a warrior, Sawai Bhoj Bagaravat, Saadu Maata Gurjari. There are two fairs organised each year at the temple in memory of Devnarayan. During these, bhopas of Devnarayan make figures related to his birth and his brave deeds on a Thali while dancing. Bhadra Saptami Shukla Paksha Every Year and Secound Festival in the month of Magha Saptami Krishna Paksha in Every Year The temple is decorated with various statues; these include statues representing the cousins of Devnarayan and Mehandu, along with their half-sister, Taradey Panwar. Other statues commemorate, Sawai Bhoj, Devnarayan as a child sitting in lap of Saadu Maata Gurjari, Devnarayan's birthplace and Devnarayan drinking milk of lioness.
Aarati of Devnarayan takes place three times daily, at 11 am and 7 pm. Friday is the day when devotees from distant cities come to visit the temple. Night vigils are organised by many devotees on Fridays and daily in the summer season; the following quote can be observed on every image of Devnarayan: "Samvat 968 ke aansh, janam liya Gurjar ke vansh Sadhu sati ke vachno dwara,kamal phool Dev liya avatar." This can be translated as saying that he was incarnated in the Gurjar dynasty in Vikram Samvat 968 to fulfill the promise he gave to Saadu Maata Gurjari. Www.devdham.org devdham.org/
Thali is the Indian name for a round platter used to serve food. Thali is used to refer to an Indian-style meal made up of a selection of various dishes which are served on a platter. The'thali' style meal serving is popular in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore; as noted by INTACH, the earliest evidence of use of continuity in cooking and food habits of India can be established by the existence of tandoor, thali and chakla-belan for making chapatis found in excavations at Indus Valley Civilization site of Kalibangan. Thali refers to the metal plate. Thali is popular in Punjab The idea behind a Thali is to offer all the 6 different flavors of sweet, bitter, sour and spicy on one single plate. According to Indian food custom, a proper meal should be a perfect balance of all these 6 flavors. Restaurants offer a choice of vegetarian or meat-based thalis. Vegetarian thalis are typical and commonplace in Tamil Nadu canteens, are a popular lunch choice. Dishes served in a Thali vary from region to region in South Asia and are served in small bowls, called katori in India.
These'katoris' are placed along the edge of the round tray – the actual thali: sometimes a steel tray with multiple compartments is used. Typical dishes include rice, vegetables, papad, small amounts of chutney or pickle, a sweet dish to top it off. Rice or Roti is the usual main dish which occupies the central portion of the Thali, while the side dishes like vegetable curries and other aforementioned delicacies are lined circularly along the round Thali. Depending on the restaurant or the region, the thali consists of delicacies native to that region. In general, a thali begins with different types of breads such as puris or chapatis and different vegetarian specialities. However, in South India, rice is the only staple served with thalis. Thalis are sometimes referred to by the regional characteristic of the dishes they contain. For example, one may encounter Nepalese thali, Rajasthani thali, Gujarati thali and Maharashtrian thali. In many parts of India and Nepal, the bread and the rice portions are not served together in the thali.
The bread is offered first with rice being served afterwards in a separate bowl or dish. Unlimited thalis are those. Kunal Vijaykar considers an unlimited thali as quintessentially Indian, not just for variety or limitlessness, but because it is true to Indian tradition. Setalvad, Naini, "The scientific Indian thali", Deccan Chronicle. Setalvad, Naini, "Indian thali", North Indian Thali