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The Indian Desert



The Thar Desert is a hot desert and forms a significant portion of western India. It spreads over four states namely - Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.

Area 208,110 sq. km.
Temperature Above 45 °C in summers to below freezing point in winters.
Rainfall Below 120 mm.
Position The desert lies in the rain shadow area of the Bay of Bengal arm of the southwest monsoon. The parallel nature of the range to the Arabian Sea arm also means that the desert does not receive much rainfall.
Soil Sandy to sandy-loam in texture. The low-lying loams are heavier and have a hard pan of clay, calcium carbonate or gypsum.

Most of the Thar Desert is situated in Rajasthan, covering 61% of its geographic area. The desert is rocky, though a small part of the desert in the west is sandy. The origin of the Thar Desert is not certain. Some geologists consider it to be 4,000 to 10,000 years old, whereas others state that aridity began in this region much earlier.


Luni is the only large river in this region.

chans or Crescent Shaped Dunes

  • Barchans or crescent shaped dunes cover larger areas but longitudinal dunes are more prominent near the Indo-Pakistan boundary.

Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is situated in the Heart of the Thar Desert.

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