THE FOOD BASKET OF RAJASTHAN
The northern-most city of Rajasthan, Sri Ganganagar is located near the border of the state of Punjab and also the international border of the nation of Pakistan. It is often referred to as “the food basket of Rajasthan” due to its fertile plains similar to those one would find in Punjab. The area was once barren and dry but was converted to a green town thanks to Maharaja Ganga Singh who constructed the Gang Canal to carry excess water from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the town.
Today, Sri Ganganagar is famed for its produce of wheat, mustard, cotton, bajra, sugarcane and grams. Kinnow, a hybrid citrus fruit is a popular horticultural product that is grown here. Majority of the industries in the area are based on agriculture and it provides a livelihood to a majority of the residents of Sri Ganganagar.
In ancient times, two mighty rivers i.e. the Saraswati and the Drishadvati flowed through the area making it home to tribes similar to those belonging to Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. However, in due course the rivers started to dry up causing a natural calamity that wiped out the tribes and caused Sri Ganganagar to turn into a barren wasteland. During the 15th century, Rao Bika established Bikaner and the territory of Sri Ganganagar was part of the princely State of Bikaner. Finally in 1927, the overhaul of Sri Ganganagar was complete thanks to the Gang Canal constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh as the city was restored to its former glory.