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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Deserts of Pakistan (Detail)

List of deserts of Pakistan 

Pakistan hosts five major deserts which were historic forests.
  • 1 Cholistan Desert
  • 2 Indus Valley Desert
  • 3 Kharan Desert
  • 4 Thal Desert
  • 5 Thar Desert

The Thar Desert

A NASA satellite image of the Thar Desert, with the India-Pakistan border superimposed . The desert is at the center left of the image; the Indus River and its tributaries are to the left side of the desert, and thedark green line at the bottom center of the image is the Aravalli Range.
The Thar Desert: The origin of the Thar desert is a controversial subject. Some consider it to be only 4000 to 10,000 years old, whereas others state that aridity started in this region much earlier. Also known as The Great Indian Desert, the huge unending expanse of burning hot sand is spread over four states in India, namely Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, and two states in Pakistan and covers an area of about 446,000 square kilometres. Deriving its name from 'thul' denoting the sand ridges of the region. Presently the portion of Thar Desert in Pakistan falls in the Sindh province and sharing the rest of it with Rajasthan in India. Beyond Mirpurkhas land has been badly hit by the salinity and rise of water table hence the desert starts right after Mirpurkhas after 45 minute you start seeing the straw / Cone hoses of the desert dwellers. Until you reach Umerkot which is the largest town in Thar desert. The Thar Desert, however, is not an inhospitable, empty wasteland, but is often called, with good reason, the `Friendly Desert'. It is accessible, not too hot, and colourful, and makes a perfect four-day trip from Karachi. More than half a million people, 70 percent of whom are Hindu, live in the desert, spread out over 13,000 square kilometers (5,000 square miles). The women wear long, full, red or orange skirts and cover their heads with embroidered or tie-dyed shawls. Married women encase their arms in bone or plastic bangles from wrist to shoulder (widows wear bangles above the elbows only; single girls wear them only round the wrist). The people live in round mud-walled huts thatched with grass and surrounded with thick thorn hedges. These are clustered round the more reliable wells or along the tops of ridges.
Mithi, with a population of 20,000, is the biggest town in the desert and a famous centre for Thari handicrafts, appliqued bedspreads,

The Cholistan Desert

Cholistan Desert, Punjab, Pakistan - March 2008 

The Cholistan DesertThe fascinating barren landscapes of the Cholistan (locally known as Rohi) starts some 30 kilometres from Bahawalpur and is spread over an area of some 16,000 square kilometres and extends up to the Thar desert in the Sindh province.The Word Cholistan is derived from 'Cholna' which means moving. The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals. Drawar Fort is the major landmark of Cholistan Desert, located 48 kilometres from Dera Nawab Sahib (once headquarters and the seats of the rulers of Bahawalpur state). The area was once well watered by the river Ghaggar now called the Hakra in Pakistan and known in Vedic times as the Sarasvati. All along the 500-km of dried up river are over 400 archaeological sites, which date back to the Indus civilization 4500 years ago and are clustered around Drawar Fort. The desert has an average rainfall of 5 inches a year and there is very little cultivation...

The Kharan Desert (Balochistan)

                            stattelite Image of Kharan Desert

The Kharan Desert, also known locally as the "Sandy Desert", is located in northwest Balochistan. The Kharan Basin is known as a closed basin because the entire basin's catchment water is used for agriculture and domestic requirements. The Kharan Desert area consists of shifting sand dunes with an underlying pebble-conglomerate floor. The moving dunes reach heights of between 15 and 30 meters. Level areas between the dunes are a hard-topped pan when dry and a treacherous, sandy-clay mush when wet. The barren wastes that occupy almost half of Iran, with its continuation into Kharan in Pakistan,

Indus Valley Desert

The Indus Valley Desert is located in the northern area of Pakistan. The desert spans an area of 19,500 square kilometers and is surrounded by northwestern scrub forests. The Indus Valley Desert lies between two major rivers in the region, the Chenab and the Indus.

Thal Desert

The Thal Desert is located in northeastern Pakistan between the Indus and Jhelum rivers. A large canal-building project is currently underway to irrigate the land. Irrigation will make most of the desert suitable for farming.

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