The Thar Desert, also called the Great Indian Desert, covers more than 77,000 square miles (200,000 sq. km), forming a natural border between India and Pakistan. It is a large arid region with a landscape dominated by sand dunes varying in size from 52ft (16m) in the North to 498ft (152m) in the south. The age of the Thar Desert is a topic of great controversy, though most geologists agree that it is somewhere in the region of 4000-10,000 years old.
Interesting facts about the Thar Desert
The Thar Desert is the 18th largest subtropical desert in the world.
It is rather large – 500mi (800km) long, and 250mi (400km) wide, and is spread over four Indian states – Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan, as well as two Pakistani States.
In contrast to the Sahara, which has one of the lowest population densities (1 person per sq. km), the Thar Desert is the most densely populated desert in the world (83 people per sq. km).
Most families in the Thar Desert coexist using a joint family system, meaning all generations live together in one residence. Money earned by family members becomes the common property of the family as a whole.
India carried out its first nuclear weapon explosion test in the Thar Desert on 18 May 1974.
The Thar region of Rajasthan is the biggest wool-producing area in India.
Very little rainfall is experienced in the Thar Desert, with average rainfall less than 10 inches (25cm) per annum. This is distributed rather erratically, though occurs mostly between July and September.
The average temperature in the Great Indian Desert ranges from of 75 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (24-26 degrees Celsius) in summer, to 39 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4-10 degrees Celsius) in winter.