The Great Indian Desert – Thar

The physical features of India:

(1) The Himalayan Mountains

(2) The Northern Plains

(3) The Peninsular Plateau

(4) The Indian Desert

(5) The Coastal Plains

(6) The Islands

The Great Indian Desert – TharThe Great Indian Desert – Thar

  • The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is a large, arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.

  • It forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan and It is the world’s 17th largest desert.

  • About 85% of the Thar Desert is in India, and the 15%is in Pakistan.

  • In India, it covers about 320,000 km2, of which 60% is in Rajasthan and extends into Gujarat, Punjab, and Haryana.

  • The Luni River is the only river integrated into the desert.

  • Salt water lakes in the Thar Desert include the Sambhar, Kuchaman, Didwana in Rajasthan and Kharaghoda in Gujarat.


  • The Thar Desert is the most densely populated desert in the world, with a population density of 83 people per km2.

  • About 40% of the total population of Rajasthan live in the Thar Desert. The main occupation of the people is agriculture and animal husbandry.

  • A colourful culture rich in tradition prevails in this desert. The people have a great passion for folk music and folk poetry.

Sub – divisions of Thar desert


  • It is a desert with shifting sand-dunes which is located in the west.
  • The region to the extreme west covered with, rocks, sands and dunes is known as Marusthali.


  • They were located east of Marusthali, i.e., along Luni valley.

  • The Grasslands with little sand, is known as Bagar.

  • With the irrigation for Rajasthan canal, marked development of agriculture has started here.


  • The fertile flood plains of small streams originated from western slope of Aravalli is known as Rohi.

  • They were located to the east of Bagar.

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