Deserts of Pakistan: Thar Desert
The deserts of Pakistan are the Monsoon Deserts. Monsoon is an Arabic word which refers to a wind system with seasonal reversal. The temperature variations between the continents and oceans cause these Monsoons. The winds of Indian Ocean from southeast provide heavy rains in summers in India and it loses moisture on the eastern Aravalli range of mountains when they enter Pakistan. Thar Desert of Pakistan is part of the Monsoon Desert region.
This seventh largest desert in the world also known as the ‘Great Indian Desert’ is located in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Most of its area is in the Rajasthan, India. It covers an area of about 2,00,000 sq. kilometers. The name was derived for ‘thul’ referring to the sand ridges. It is divided into three parts in Pakistan. Northern part is in South end of Punjab where the desert is called ‘Cholistan’. The second part is in Sukkur, Umar Kot(the largest town in the desert) and Khairpur and the third part is in the district of Tharparkar where it is called Tharparkar Desert.
The origin of this desert is stated to around 10,000 years old by most of the people. The huge expanse of hot sand with endless area is what you see in Thar. Most of the desert has weathered rocks, salty marshlands and sand dunes changing places with winds. The land beyond Mirpukhas is hit badly by salinity. Despite endless burning sand Thar is not a wasteland and is called the ‘Friendly Desert’. One can make an interesting four day trip to Karachi.
The population of this desert is around half a million, mostly being Hindus. Women wear traditional clothes mostly in red or orange with embroidered head scarves. The married women wear plastic or bone bangles from their wrists to shoulders and the unmarried wear them only round their wrists. The huts are made of mud and grass surrounded by thick hedges of thorns. Rainfall is very low and people have to collect water.
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