The Thar is one of the most impressive expanses of dry desert in the world. With an overall radius of nearly 170,000 sq km, the great Indian desert ranks as the 9th largest tropical desert in the world. But what mysteries does this great tract of land hold? As it turns out, quite a few. Did you know, for instance, that the Thar was mentioned in inscriptions in the Vedas? Or that this massive, isolated region is actually the world’s most populated desert? Being a premier desert resort in Jaisalmer, we’ve learnt many things about these great sands that course through time here, and we’ve collated some of the more interesting tidbits for you.
The first thing that comes to people’s minds when thinking of a desert is the aridness. While a good section of the Thar is indeed arid, there’s a lot more life to these dunes. The Thar is technically classified as dry scrub forest, with 3 or 4 endemic flowering species included in the mix of flora!
There’s no dearth of wildlife either. Over 141 species of birds, 60 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles and more, call the desert their home. The iconic blackbuck, the near threatened Wild Ass, the Saw Scaled Vipers that burrow under the shrubs: Just a few popular examples of the beings that live in the Thar. A safari excursion at our desert resort in Jaisalmer yields excellent sightings of some of these shy, usually nocturnal beings!
Being the most populated desert in the world, the Thar is home to nearly 40% of Rajasthan’s population. The numerous Hindu, Muslim, Jain and Sikh populations have called this land their home for centuries. Crude, handmade tools from prehistoric civilizations have been found in some deposits of the region.
And the communities are diverse; each tribe has their own story, their own wealth of knowledge to pass on to future generations. From the Bishnois that act as animal conservationists, to the Manganiyars and Langhas that are expert musicians, to the dancers of the Kalbeliyas, every group around the Thar has its quirks. One of the most iconic groups that have made their life in the desert are the Raikas, camel herders for over 600 years.
Of course, the most prominent part of the Thar desert are its sands. Most of the region is covered in highly erosive soil, forming great dunes and small hills as the wind blows, making for a perfect location for some dune bashing. The Thar is water-fed by the monsoons, which are a scant 200-400mm during the monsoon seasons. Recent endeavours like the Indira Gandhi Canal project enable water supply to the villages and wildlife throughout the year.
Manvar Luxury Camp is a premier, luxury camp in Jaisalmer that encapsulates the best of the Thar, curated especially for you. So plan your next vacation at our bespoke desert camp in Jaisalmer!