Religion in Rajasthan

Jain Dilwara Temple Rajasthan
Jain Dilwara Temple, Mount Abu, Rajasthan/Source: Wikimedia
Hinduism is the predominant religion in Rajasthan with 88.46 per cent of total population following the faith. Islam with 9.07 per cent comes at the second place, Sikhism with 1.00 per cent comes at third and Jainism with 0.90 per cent is the fourth largest followed faith in Rajasthan. Having said that, regardless of their faiths, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, and Sikh rajasthani mingle with each other on social ocassions.

Hindus of Rajasthan are either vaishnavas or shakti followers. There are also Sun and Shiva worshipping communities. Moreover, there are some local dieties like Goggaji, Ramdev, Kaila Devi and so on.

Most of the Vaishnava followers follow Krishna cult. They either follow Bal Gopal form of Krishna or youthful Kanha form of Krihsna. A part of Bharatpur (An Eastern Rajasthan District) comes under the Braj region, associated with childhood and adolscent days of Krishna. The Krishna cult got emboldned by the efforts of Rajasthan Bhakti Movement pioneers like Meerabai.

Among Devi (Shakti) cult, Rajasthani follow Kailadevi, Heelmata, Peelmata, Karnimata, Kalikamata, Ambadevi, Brahmanidevi, Hingulajmata, Harshatmata and Sitalamata. Some of these Devis, Kailadevi, Heelmata and Peelmata are local dieties which are appropriated with larger Devi cult and now considered as the avatar of Devi (Shakti).

Most of Shiva followers follows Bhairon (Bhairava). He is considered to be tantaric, fierce and destructive form of Shiva. Bhairon is usually worshipped along Devi. However, he is also worhsipped in his own right.

There is a very small and significant community of sun worshippers. Sun is worshipped by both Hindus and Jains.

Islam came to Rajasthan in the 11th century with the arrival of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti. The early adopters of Islam were mostly tribal people of Rajasthan. However, there were forced conversion during Mughal era, especially during Aurangzeb reign. Most of the Rajasthani muslims follow Sunni Islam. On other side, most of Rajasthani muslim communities still follow their pre-islamic faiths and caste-creed system along with Islam.

There was a small community in Rajasthan but it has grown significantly in last few decades. Rajasthan proximity with Punjab, the hub of Sikh community, could be a major region for this.

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Although, Jains is a very small community by today's standards, but at times, it had strong foothold in Rajasthan. The Jains had huge impact on the development of art and architectural styles of Rajasthan. Lastly, one can found small communities of Christians and Buddhist in Rajasthan. Most of the Buddhist are either Dalit converts or Tibetan refugees.