15 Thar Desert Facts: Learn About Its Location, Climate & Vegetation

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Oct 21, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Mar 29, 2022
Edited by Urvashi Mukherjee
Thar Desert facts will make you crave for a holiday in the desert.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.2 Min

Spread across a huge area of 77,220.4 sq mi (200,000 sq km), the Thar Desert is the largest desert in India.

Also referred to as the Great Indian Desert, the Thar Desert received its name from the word 'thul,' meaning 'sand ridges.' The Thar Desert, as we already know, is the largest desert located in the northwestern part of India. 

Located in both India and Pakistan, the Thar has a population density of 214 people per sq mi or 83 people per sq km, making it the most densely populated desert in India.

With that, let's find out some amazing facts about this desert from the Indian subcontinent.

Climate And Temperature

Like any arid region in the world, the Thar Desert too has interesting facts related to its climate.

The Thar Desert witnesses scorching heat during the summers, with days being extremely humid while nights are comparatively cooler.

During the winters, the days remain warm and sunny, but the nights will almost freeze you!

During the summers, June, July, and August, the average temperature can vary from 75-79 F (23.9-26.1 C).

The winters, December and January, experience a range of temperatures between a freezing 39-50 F (3.9-10 C).

The average rainfall of the region varies from about 4 in (101.6 mm) or below towards the western part to around 20 in (508 mm) towards the eastern parts of the desert.

Animals And Plants

What has baffled a lot of tourists and nature lovers across the world is the diversified habitat in the Thar region despite the harsh conditions of its climate.

The arid conditions of the desert can only support perennial and ephemeral plants.

Thar is also home to different shrubs and herb species, including Balanites aegyptiaca and Calligonum polygonoides.

The plants found in these regions can range from stunted to thorny to prickly and includes khejri, cactus, and keekar.

Oases surrounded by fertile soil also allow natural vegetation like date palms to grow.

Along with the flora of the desert, the fauna is captivating as well. Rajasthan, home to this desert, has various national parks for animals, including nilgai and camels.

One can also spot Indian spiny-tailed lizards, Asiatic wildcats, and white-footed foxes in the desert.

Around 18% of the desert is covered with protected areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

The desert is also a common destination for about 150 migratory birds, including sand grouse, ducks, and geese.

More than 60 species of animals live in this huge desert.

Importance And Significance

Although life in the Thar is heavily dominated by its extreme weather, it also has ample development opportunities.

The Thar Desert acts as a natural border between India and Pakistan.

Natural mining resources such as feldspar, phosphorite, and kaolin are also found here.

Solar panels are a common source of energy, which is further also used in desalination. Electricity is also generated here through wind power.

The Thar Desert also contributes to the Indian economy with its agricultural sector.

With natural features like alluvial plains depositing sediments in the large shifting sand dunes and large salt lakes, along with safari tours, the Thar has caught the attention of a lot of tourists over the years making tourism a booming market here.

Location Of The Thar Desert

Last but not the least, let's have a look at some interesting facts about the geographical location of the desert.

Bordered by the Indus River on its west, Aravalli range on the southeast, and the Rann of Kutch towards the south, Thar spreads over an area of about 77220.4 sq mi (200,000 sq km).

If you move towards the north, you can also come across the states of Punjab and Haryana towards the northeast. However, the largest part of this desert lies in Rajasthan.

The largest salt lake in India, the 'Sambhar Salt Lake,' is 50 mi (80.5 km) towards the southwest of the capital and the largest city of Rajasthan.


Q: Which river flows through the Thar Desert?

A: Originating from the Pushkar valley of the Aravalli hills, the Luni is the largest river in Thar.

Q: Was Thar Desert a sea?

A: With the discovery of 47 million-year-old fossils of marine animals, paleontologists estimate that the desert was once under the sea.

Q: How old is Thar Desert?

A: The Thar Desert is estimated to have been about 4,000-10,000 years old.

Q: Why was the Thar Desert formed?

A: The catastrophe that hit about 100,000 ago with a sharp decline in rainfall and strong winds depositing sand and silt led to the formation of the Thar Desert.

Q: Why is the Thar Desert famous?

A: The Thar Desert is interestingly famous for being one of the largest wool producing regions in the world.

Q: Is Thar Desert man-made?

A: No. The Thar Desert is a naturally formed geographical region.

Q: How many animals are in the Thar Desert?

A: One can spot more than 60 mammal species, 35 reptiles species, 350 bird species, hundreds of insects, and five different amphibian species.

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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