The Thar desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is a large expanse of rolling sand dunes in eastern Pakistan. It also extends into northwestern India, including the states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Gujarat. The name ‘Thar’ comes from the word t’hul, meaning ridges of sand. This area is bordered by the Indus plain and the Aravalli Mountain Range.
The Thar desert in Rajasthan is home to approximately 40% of the state’s population. The main occupations are agriculture and animal husbandry. Many residents enjoy folk music and poetry. Three of the largest cities are located in this area: Bikaner, Jaisalmer, and Jodhpur. While most of the country’s highways have been constructed elsewhere, there are few or no roads that cross the Thar.
The sand ridges in this ecosystem are home to various species of wildlife. The Indian gazelle, also known as chinkara, is one of six antelope species in India. Its highest population density is found in the Thar Desert. Scientists conducted a study to find out how many chinkara lived in this region. This study provided valuable information on the local wildlife, which is in decline.
Although the Thar Desert is known as the “land of death,” it is a diverse ecosystem that contains various animals, plants, and trees. This desert has been colonized for thousands of years, but it has not escaped human interference. Human exploitation and development have exacerbated the region’s fragile ecology. However, despite the challenges, the Thar desert has many advantages. With so many people and resources, it is a prime candidate for economic development.
In addition to water, the Thar Desert receives very little rainfall. In summer, temperatures range from 75-79 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures dip to the low teens during the winter. In winter, temperatures drop to four to 10 degrees Celsius. Because of the climate, there is little water to irrigate the land. However, this is an excellent option for agriculture in the area. With irrigation, the population density will go down as well.
The Thar desert has a climate that is remarkably dry, with only a few inches of rainfall per year. Since there are no major rivers or riverine channels, rainfall is infrequent. The desert also experiences summer monsoon floods, adding to its extreme environmental vulnerability. While seasonal rains are rare, they do exist. Some areas of the desert receive enough rain to sustain agriculture, while others are inundated throughout the year.
The arid region in the west is interrupted by hills and sandy plains. There are many species of plants and animals that call the Thar desert home, including a subspecies of red fox. Some of the 141 species of desert birds found in the Thar Desert are kestrels, buzzards, and vultures. The Indian peafowl is a resident breeder in the Thar region. The peacock, the national bird of India and the provincial bird of Punjab, is common to the region, and can be seen in villages and on pipal and khejri trees in Deblina.
The abundant prehistoric sites in the Thar desert provide evidence of human adaptation to the environment. Archaeological remains provide testimony to the evolutionary symbiotic relationship between humans and the desert. The sedimentary-matrix-free gravelly surfaces are evidence of recent and past aeolian processes. The presence of buried prehistoric localities, abandoned historical settlements, and wind-sorted sand gravelly beds are further evidence of past and present desertification.
The Thar desert is unique in that it is surrounded by high mountains and plains. This arid climate absorbs monsoon rains before they reach the Thar. The Thar experience no wet season, but is characterized by perpetual motion. This is one of the reasons why the Thar Sand Dunes are so unique. The shifting sand is not only beautiful, but also functional. The wind erosion created by the wind is a real threat for agricultural development.
The dominant dune fields in the western part of the Thar desert are sand dunes. These are of three different types: longitudinal, linear, and parabolic dunes. Sam, located 45 km west of Jaisalmer, has a chain of prominent barchans. Wind-deflation depressions highlight the vigor of aeolian processes and the transport of sand over hundreds of km.
Salt water lakes
The Thar Desert contains many salt water lakes that are not suitable for human consumption. Though they provide vital shelter and viable farmland, these bodies of water are not sufficient for human consumption. The region receives only four to 20 inches of rainfall yearly, which varies widely depending on the time of year. The most frequent rainfall period is during the monsoon season. But this does not mean that there is no water to drink.
There are several salt water lakes in the Thar Desert, including Sambhar, Pachpadra, and Tal Chhapar. The latter two are seasonal lakes, producing between 100 and 500 mm of salt per year. They are located in Gujarat and Rajasthan respectively and are home to some of the world’s largest salt lakes. Didwana and Kuchaman lakes are particularly impressive because they are the only inland salt lakes in India.
The lakes in the Thar desert have a variety of different species, including lizards, snakes, and fish. There are also numerous endemic species. Some of the more common ones are nocturnal, while others are ectothermic. Regardless of the species, the lakes are important habitats for animals. If you’re looking for some wildlife, the Thar is a great place to visit.
Many of the people who live near the lakes rely on this profession. The people who make this livelihood are poor and live in deplorable conditions. Moreover, most workers don’t wear safety kits. The three salt lakes near Khipro and Hathongo are home to over one thousand people, including 50 women. Jamuna Bai, who lives in a village adjacent to the lake, is among the female workers and washes the salt with the lake water.
The Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s largest inland salt lake. It is located on the border between the Jaipur and Nagur districts and touches Ajmer district. The evaporation of water in the area and the annual river flooding have deposited the soluble sodium compounds in the lake’s silt. The salt sheets that cover the lake’s bed usually make it a dry place during the hotter months of the year.
The Indian gazelle, also known as chinkara, is a native of the Thar desert. This mammal stands over 2 feet tall and weighs about 50 pounds. It has a buff-colored coat with dark stripes from eye to muzzle. Its horns can grow to a foot long. The desert gazelle avoids human settlements and feeds on dew and plant fluids.
The climate in the Thar Desert is harsh, with temperatures dipping to freezing in the winter and soaring to over 50 degrees Celsius during the summer. There is little rain in the Thar Desert and temperatures fluctuate wildly from day to night. However, the Southwest monsoon, which occurs from July to September, can bring as much as 100 millimeters of rainfall per year. That’s not much.
The Thar Desert is home to two dozen native lizard species. It also has a large number of species of birds and mammals, some of which have moved from the Rann of Kutch. Some species, such as the blackbuck and chinkara, are native to the Thar Desert, while some have adapted to live in the arid climate. Peafowls are native to the Thar Desert, and the national bird of India and Punjab.
The main resources found in the Thar Desert are grasses, which provide nutritive pasturage and oils used in soap and medicines. Cattle breeds in the Thar include the Tharparkar breed, the Kankre breed, and the Burhia breed. Camels are also common in the Thar, and they are used in farming and transport. These animals are known for their high calorific value.
The sand dune-covered eastern part of the Great Indian Desert lies north of the Luni River. This region covers more than 24,000 square miles or 62,000 square kilometers, and is the ninth largest desert in the world. Most of the people in the Thar Desert are rural and practice both Hinduism and Islam. Thar is divided into various socio-economic groups. In the southwest, Sindhi is spoken and Lahnda is spoken in the northwest.