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Introduction to the Great Indian Desert
The great Indian desert, also known as the Thar desert, is the seventh-largest desert in the world and the ninth-largest hot subtropical desert. The name Thar arrives from ‘Thul’ which means the general term for the region’s sand ridges, which is a large arid region located in northwestern India. The Thar desert has been shared between India and Pakistan. It is on the north side of India and the south side of Pakistan.
Know 25 Interesting Things About the Great Indian Desert
1. Origin of Thar Desert
There are many opinions about the origin of the Great Indian Desert. So it’s a controversial subject. As per some people, it’s 4000 to 10,000 years old and other people have mentioned that aridity started in this region much earlier. Thar desert wasn’t a desert before, it was discovered that tropical forests and a vast river /sea network were there around 55 million years ago. And it was said that the river Saraswati used to flow through the Thar desert.
Through the remote sensing method, it was observed that climate change has played an important role in modifying this desert.
The desert is located on the north side of India and the south side of Pakistan. The Thar desert area is around 77000 square miles of territory which are 200,000 square km. which makes it one of the largest deserts in the world.
85% of that desert is in country India and the rest 15% is in Pakistan. The desert covers around 4.56% of the total geographical area of India. In India, it is partly located in Rajasthan state and partly in Punjab which is the east side of desert & windy provinces, and another part in eastern Pakistan. it is also stretched to Gujarat.
Northern areas by the Aravalli hills and the southern part by the Rann of kutch form the natural boundary of the desert. Thar desert is the border between India and Pakistan.
Indian Desert is known for its hot, humid, and dry climate areas. The temperature varies from 48 to 6 degrees Celsius. The average temperature of thar desert in summer is 24 degrees C to 26 degrees C, and 4 degrees C to 10 degrees C in winter. The rainfall pattern is very less and makes up to only 250mm annually.
Winds are strong in the region with a speed of 100km/h. This leads to the rise of large sandstorms for many days. This also generates dunes of a certain mere height. There is heavy rain during monsoons in July and August. The dry river beds are also covered up with water and act as a source of Conserved water.
4. Human Habitation
The Thar desert has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. The great Indian desert is home to several different kinds of cultures and communities and tribes.
The total population of the desert is around 2.5 million. Humans of thar desert are rich in cultural heritage and have adapted to the harsh conditions of the desert. The people of the great Indian desert are known for their great passion for music and dance. They are very rich in cultural heritage and they are famous for their hospitality.
They are depended on agriculture and trade for their livelihood. Thar desert is one of the most populated deserts in the world. The main occupation of thar desert people is agriculture and animal husbandry.
Many people of thar desert are subsistence farmers. People in our desert live in mud houses, cause it reduces the temperature.
5. Problems Faced by the People Living in Thar Desert
It is simply too hot in thar desert, especially in the summer months. Temperature exceeds 50 C in the summer months, which is unbearable. It is hard to do farming, it is tough to work in mines, and of course hard to guide the tourist during such hot months. It has a bad impact on the development of thar desert.
Even the water supply is very limited and precious in thar desert. And water is the main element for every activity. Camels of thar desert face water issues as well.
Thar desert covers most of the area for animals, therefore overgrazing is another issue.
Even after a harsh climate, the Great Indian Desert is a popular tourist destination, and it attracts tourists for a variety of activities and attractions. One of the most famous activities is the camel safari. Camel safari is the best way to explore the desert and experience its beauty.
There are some more activities like desert camping, visiting the forts, jeep safari, and landscape. One more attraction to tourists is a number of fairs and desert festivals. Pushkar fair attracts tourists from all over the world. Festivals in the desert are full of culture and traditional activities.
There are many wildlife parks and sanctuaries in the Great Indian Desert. The desert national park is one of the most attractive of thar deserts. The deserts national park is home to more than 60 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, 142 species of fish, 35 species of reptiles, and hundreds of insects. Some of the rare animals like the Blackbuck, the Bengal desert fox, the Chousingha, the Chinaware, and the Asiatic wild cat, are also seen in the Thar desert.
Most tourists visit the Thar desert in winter time between October to February. January is the coldest month in thar desert.
7. Culture and Traditions of Thar Desert
The country of India is full of culture and traditions. The colorful culture of the Great Indian Desert is all about music and dance. Tribe of thar desert performs music and dance with traditional dresses and jewelry. The Rajasthan desert festival is the biggest festival in Rajasthan which is organized by the people of the desert every year.
The people of the desert have a good passion for folk poetry and folk music. Desert food, desert people, the language of desert people, and dunes are the major attraction of the region.
8. Conservation and Environmental Issues
The Thar Desert faces several environmental challenges like deforestation, overgrazing, and soil erosion, many steps have been taken to conserve the natural resources of the region and promote sustainable development. Thar desert is home to large numbers of threatened and endangered species. The region is also home to many other migrated birds.
Due to less supply of water, extreme temperatures, and inaccessibility in more remote regions people who live there in thar desert feel threatened. People have to collect water in tanks for drinking and other domestic purposes. Annual rainfall has been noticed to be 500-100 mm/year. people of thar desert have a low standard of living.
9. Biodiversity of The Great Indian Desert
The flora population in the Great Indian Desert is of varied types which include cacti, trees, and herbs. Plants like Bothnia are very commonly found in the region. Cactus require very less or no water and hence are perfectly suitable for desert areas that are water scarce. These plants store water and survive for long periods and thus help themselves sustain in the region.
The animal diversity in the area is well-classified. The desert fox, Camel, and wolf are Most commonly found. The Sand Boa and the scaled viper also make their place in the special mention of Deserts fauna.
The Great Indian Desert is also a place for various significant minerals. These include gypsum, used commonly in Cement manufacturing. This list also includes Limestone and sodium chloride. Thar region is also rich in historical places and forts. Temples and places also find their mention in the list of varied biodiversity and places.
10. Salient Features
The salient features of the Thar desert that is one of a Kind. The way the great Indian desert has evolved into the greatest and the biggest of all the deserts in the world has given it a special mention on the global map.
The Great Indian Desert is a natural habitat for a large variety of weak and stranded ecosystems. One of the most important ecosystems of this desert is sand dunes. Dunes are an economic booster as they support a large biodiversity of flora and fauna. Thar desert has very low rainfall which is 150 mm per year. that’s why it’s a very dry area. Streams can be seen during the rainy season.
The main feature is that thar desert is the most populated desert area on earth. There are around 83 people per square kilometer in thar desert. electricity in thar desert to be generated through wind power.
The Great Indian desert produces 40-50% of wool of India’s total wool production. which has become the biggest wool production place in India. Thar desert is known for its choral and Magra wool.
11. The Nuclear Explosion Tests
There were two nuclear explosion tests carried out in thar desert. The first one was on 18 May 1974 and the second one was in the year 1998, Which was done by the Indian army. the second one was carried out in a place called Pokhara which is located in the Great Indian desert. The code name of the first nuclear weapon explosion test was Smiling buddha and the code name of the second test was Operation shakti.
Finally, its conclusion is that The great Indian desert adds uniqueness to the country. it is one of the most precious natural treasures of India. it is a fascinating region of the world, which deserves to be explored and admired. The region is home to many human communities.
e having a lot of environmental issues and climate-changing problems, It can provide a lot of development opportunities. The great Indian desert is an incredible beauty that should be visited by everyone once in their lifetime. If you get a chance to visit the Great Indian desert then do visit it and experience one of the greatest beauties of India.