Oct 14, 2004

Thar Desert in Pakistan and India

Stretched at an area of more than 200,000 square kilometers this dessert is the 18th largest subtropical desert in the world of which 50,000 square KM falls into Pakistan covering the districts: Tharparkar, Mirpur Khas, Umerkot, Khairpur, Sukkur and Gotki in Sindh Province and some areas of Bahawalpur of Punjab Province.
In India, the territories which fall in this desert are the state of Rajasthan, covering the districts of JaisalmerBarmerBikaner and Jodhpur, and some region of the states of PunjabHaryana, and Gujarat.

The origin of the Thar Desert is a controversial subject. Some consider it to be 4000 to 10,000 years old, whereas others state that aridity started in this region much earlier.
Another theory states that area turned to desert relatively recently: perhaps around 2000 - 1500 BC. Around this time the 
Ghaggar-Hakra ceased to be a major river. It now terminates in the desert but at one time was a water source for the Indus Valley Civilization center of Mohenjo-Daro.
Stretches of sand in the desert are interspersed by hillocks and sandy and gravel plains. Due to the diversified habitat and ecosystem, the vegetation, human culture and animal life in this arid region are very rich in contrast to the other deserts of the world. About 23 species of lizard and 25 species of snakes are found here and several of them are endemic to the region.


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