Deserts of Pakistan: Thar Desert

by on January 17, 2011
in Deserts of Pakistan

Thar Desert of Pakistan

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.

Agricultural products of Sindh

by on October 31, 2009
in Agriculture in Pakistan

Agriculture in SindhPakistan depends largely on agriculture for its economic development. A contribution of 30% to the GDP (Gross Domestic Production) makes Sindh the 2nd largest supplier of agricultural products. In the province of Sindh only 40% of the land can be cultivated. The rest comprises of the rugged and barren Kirthar Range and the sandy Thar Desert.

The climate of Sindh is sub-tropical. It experiences long summer spells with temperature shooting up to more than 45oC during May to August. Winters are cold with a minimum of 2oC during January- December. Rainfall is unpredictable and occurs mostly during July and August. With erratic rainfalls the only reliable source of water is the River Indus. Three barrages namely Guddu, Sukkur and Kotri are constructed over the Indus to supply water for irrigation.

Major areas where crops are cultivated are Khairpur, Nausharo Faroz, Nawabshah, Mirpur Khas, Larkana and Sukkur.

The fertile lands of the Lower Indus Plains along with the temperature are ideally suited for crops like wheat, rice, cotton and sugar cane. Sindh produces 35% of rice, 28% of sugar cane, 20% of cotton and 12% of wheat of the total production. Apart from these cash crops, fruits are also grown in the orchards of Sindh. Mangoes, bananas, dates, guavas and citrus fruit trees are grown here.

Sindh is especially known for its Sindhri Mangoes which are exported abroad as well. Sindh is also the largest chilies producer of the country. The red hot variety grown here is very much in demand across the globe.

A variety of flowers are grown for commercial scale for extracting essential oils and for oil-seeds.

The government of Pakistan has set up the Sindh Agricultural Department which provides assistance and guidance to the farmers.

Provinces of Pakistan – Sindh

by on October 7, 2009
in Provinces

Pakistani province Sindh's map

Sindh is an important province of Pakistan. Its significance can be judged from the fact that Sindh is known as Bab ul Islam (Gateway of Islam) as the Arab conqueror Mohammad Bin Qasim entered the Sub Continent through the shores of Sindh. Although devoid of any classically beautiful physical features, Sindh has its own charm. The upper Sindh has rich fertile soil and is covered with green fields. It is rich in mineral resources and deposits of coal, natural gas and crude oil are found here.

Some part of the great Thar Desert lies in the eastern Sindh. Thar has a beauty of its own. There are many lakes in Sindh with Manchar Lake, Karli Lake, Haleji Lake and Keenjhar Lake being most important. Manchar Lake has the distinction of being the largest fresh water lake in the Pakistan while Haleji Lake is the largest water fowl sanctuary of Asia.

Sindh can also boast of a rich history. The ruins of Moen Jo Daro dating back to 2600 BC and one of the earliest settlements are found here. Other historical buildings include the Pucca Qila, Rani Kot fort, Graveyards of Makli and Chaukhandi and the Shah Jehan Mosque.

Sindh is also famous for its handicrafts. The most famous being the Ralli (also called Rilli) quilts. Ralli is a hand made specimen of human intelligence, creativity and hard work. Multi coloured pieces of cloths are stitched together in different patterns to produce a ralli. It is an essential part of a girl’s dowry and she starts weaving it from an early age assisted by her mother. Ralli is much more than a quilt/ bed linen, it is a young girl’s dreams and hopes and her mother’s prayers for a happy future.

Ajrak a block printed cotton shawl is the trademark of Sindh. It is made from vegetable dyes with maroon as the predominant color. Ajrak is held in high esteem all over Sindh. Usually guests are presented with ajraks to show respect.

Skull caps, jackets, cushion covers, tunics, table mats all embroidered with delicate mirror work are also made in Sindh. Ethnic silver jewelry is another item very much in demand.

Sindhi people are intelligent, sensitive and liberal minded. Sindh has given many seasoned politicians to Pakistan.