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Thar desert of Rajasthan (Page 1)

 The Thar Desert
  History and Geology
  Biodiversity
  Vegetation
  Agriculture
  Water Resources
  Forestry
  People
  Economy
  Important cities
  Desert Safari
  Efforts to check Desert
  Ancient Saraswati river
  References
  Thar Desert Map

  The Thar Desert

   The Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert, is in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent spread more than 200,000 sq. km.. It lies mostly in Rajasthan [राजस्थान]  and extends into the southern portion of Haryana and Punjab and into northern Gujarat. Some parts of the desert covers eastern Sind and south-east Punjab province of Pakistan.

  The Thar Desert is bounded on the northwest by the Sutlej River, on the east by the Aravalli hills Range , on the south by the Rann of Kutch  and on the west by the Indus River.

   It is characterized by its massive rolling sand dunes, excessive heat (50 degrees centigrade in May and June, with sand temperatures rising to 70 degrees), dust storms and dust-raising winds, often blowing winds with velocities of 140-150 Km/hr.



  History and Geology

   It is the found that Jaisalmer ( स्वर्ण नगरी जैसलमेर)  in the Thar Desert about 180 million years ago, bordered the sea is testified by a petrified wood in Akal Fossil Wood Park. The igneous suite marks the last phase of igneous activity of pre-Cambrian age in the Indian subcontinent is about 700 million years old. Sandra granite, a plutonic igneous rock is about 900 million years old found The Great Indian Desert is also have a details in Vedas. The Holy River Sarswati was flowing through this Thar desert. Studies share the opinion that the river Sarasvati coincide with the bed of present day river Ghaggar and  the Sutlej along with the Yamuna (यमुना) once flowed into the present Ghaggar riverbed.

  The Thar Desert is a desolate region where sand is piled up into huge wind blown dunes. The soils of the Desert are generally sandy to sandy-loam in texture. The low-lying loams  have a hard pan of clay, calcium carbonate, silica  and gypsum.. Several Minerals in Rajasthan including iron ore and petroleum also found below the ground level of the the Desert.

   The Thar Desert

  The Thar Desert 

  Biodiversity

   Due to the diversified habitat, the wildlife in this arid region is very rich. Several rare species  are found here and several of them are endemic to the region.  Some wildlife species, which are fast vanishing in other parts of India, are found in the desert in large numbers such as the Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), the Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii),  the Indian Wild Ass and the Neelgai. They have evolved excellent survival strategies.

  The Desert National Park, Jaisalmer, spread over an area of 3162 km?, is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert, and its diverse fauna. Great Indian Bustard, Blackbuck, chinkara, desert fox, Bengal fox, wolf, desert cat etc. can be easily seen here. Seashells and massive fossilized tree trunks in this park record the geological history of the desert. It is an ideal place for migratory and resident birds of the desert. One can see many eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards, kestrel, vultures and  Peacock (Peafowl) . In Thar desert, the   Desert Ship is Camel.

   Many types of Eagles,  Laggar Falcons (Falco jugger) and kestrels are found in Wildlife Sanctuaries Talchaper   in Churu District,   This sanctuary is home to a large population of graceful Blackbuck. Desert Fox and desert cat can also be spotted along with typical avifauna such as partridge and sand grouse

  Vegetation

   The plants in the desert have adopted  various strategies to endure the intense heat, bitter cold and long dry spells. To reduce the water by evaporation the leaves of these plants are reduced in size, as is the case of khejri (Prosopis cinerara).  Khejri (Prosopis cineraria)  is the  natural vegetation in  Northern Desert. Other natural trees found in Thar Desert are Acacia jacquemontii, Acacia leucophloea, Acacia senegal, Anogeissus rotundifolia, Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides, Tecomella undulata etc.  Some species like kair (Cappairs dedicua) and phog (Calligonum polkygonides) do away with the leaves to minimize evaporation,

  Small trees and shrubs found in Thar Desert are Calligonum polygonoides, Acacia jacquemontii, Balanites roxburghii, Ziziphus zizyphus, Ziziphus nummularia, Calotropis procera, Suaeda fruticosa, Crotalaria burhia, Aerva tomentosa, Clerodendrum multiflorum, Leptadenia pyrotechnica, Lycium barbarum, Grewia populifolia, Commiphora mukul, Euphorbia neriifolia, Cordia rothii, Maytenus emarginata, Capparis decidua

  The Israel babul (akesia tortlis) planted in Rajasthan to check the expansion of desert produces same disaster  effect like Vilayati babul(prosopis juliflora). It is found most harmful for the growth of local plants and grass. The better substitutes are the trees like  Khejri (Prosopis cineraria) , Neem , Rohira, Peepal Tree ,Sisam, Karonda (Carissa carandas) , Jojoba Plant ,  Jatropha curcas Plant   etc trees who are most suitable for Rajsthan's  climate, soil and eco-system.

  Agriculture

   The Thar Desert region characterized by extremes of climate, erratic rainfall, and high evapotranspiration and is subject to recurring droughts. The agriculture is mostly depend on the low rainfall. Only 24% of the cropped area is under irrigation by Indira Gandhi Cannel project and only half of the irrigation potential is being used.

   The main crop of this region is Bajara, Moth, Mung, Guar, Till. In the area under irrigation wheat, Barley, Gram, Macca etc are produced, Currently, the Thar desert area of Rajasthan is the main producers of Guar or cluster bean accounting 80% production of the total world. The desert area of Rajasthan occupies the largest area (82.1%) under guar cultivation in the country. The most important growing area are desert areas as  Jodhpur , Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Sekhawat (Churu, Sikar , Jhunjunu), Nagoor. Now the most valuable crop in this area is Guar and Guar Gum

  Now Farmers are also farming Jojoba Plant in the desert area,

   Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra

  Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra)

 ASI unearths Artefacts dating to the Harappan era  in desert Rajasthan in August 2013 in Indus (Sindhu) River

 Rajasthan desert has taken centre stage on TV
The Rajasthan desert has taken centre stage on TV with several serials based and shot in the picturesque region.

From the captivating sand dunes to the magnificent havelis, the bright and colourful costumes to the beautiful jewellery, the intricate art to the rich culture, Rajasthan is being presented in all its glory on the small screen. The states tourism department, "Rajasthan comes alive with us" could very well be adapted by the TV producers.

 Over half a dozen serials have either been shot in this exotic region or have stories based there. Be it the top-rated family dramas "Balika Vadhu", Diya Aur Baati Hum ,Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai ), the historical - Jodha Akbar , the life story of Maharana Pratap or the new launches - Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se , Rangrasiya and Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya the desert state has taken centre stage.

  Water Resources

  The rains play a vital role in the life of all parts of Thar as the water deposits in johads or tobas (small ponds) are used for drinking, washing and other purposes. The Thar Desert zone people depend on ground water and rain. But the underground water is rarely found in Thar desert. Sometimes after digging a very deep well, water  comes out quite sour and undrinkable. Only in in some places sweet water comes out of a very deeply dug well. Only 24% area is getting drinking water and irrigation from Indira Gandhi canel Rajasthan Project.

   Water scarcity is now the single biggest threat to food production, as falling groundwater levels make less water available for agriculture.  The only river that crosses these sands is the Luni, which joins the Arabian Sea through the Rann of Kutch

  Traditionally rain water is stored in Kunds made in farms or homes for drinking purpose. Some big tanks or Talabs are constructed in villages to store rain water. for bathing, animals and also for drinking water. Indira Gandhi Cannel covers some parts of desert area.

  Forestry

   The forest area  in the Thar Desert is very low. The forest is insufficient to fulfill the need of firewood and fodder for animals. This decrease in agricultural  production of the area, The scientists of Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), have successfully developed and improved dozens of traditional and non-traditional crops and fruits, such as Ber trees  that produce much larger fruits than before and can thrive with minimal rainfall. These trees have become a profitable option for farmers.

   The most important tree species, in Agro-forestry , providing livelihood support in Thar desert is Khejari (Prosopis cineraria). Khejri tree provides  fodder for animals, fuel wood for villagers, provides wood for  construction of  doors, buildings and fruits

  People

   The Thar Desert is one of the most populous deserts of the world. The main occupation of the people in desert is agriculture and animal husbandry. A large irrigation and power project has reclaimed areas of the northern and western desert for agriculture. The Indian Desert is mainly inhabited by Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. A large number of families in villages still live in jhugis or huts which are housing units formed with straws and thin wood-sticks.   A colorful culture rich in tradition prevails in the desert. The people have a great passion for music and poetry folk dance and lok geets (folk music). Several Colorful Festivals of Rajasthan as  Gangoor Pujan , Holi ,  Blaji Dham yatra,  Baba Ramdeoji Yatra,  Gogaji,  Bhopaji Puja etc. are the main attraction here.

  The main language of this region is Rajasthani. Several great Rajasthani poets enriched the Rajasthani literature. The followers of  Lord Jhambheshwar are Bishnois ,  a great environmentalist community of Thar Desert.

   Khejri

  Khejri (Prosopis cineraria)  is the  natural vegetation in Northern Desert.

  Camel is called Desert Ship.

   Camel

   Rajasthan moves to save the camel

   Rajasthan news...

  

   
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