With its beautiful rivers and mountain ranges, India has made its name as a country with many natural wonders. The Thar Desert which is located in the Northwestern part of India can definitely be considered as one of the natural wonders of India. Popularly knows as the Great Indian Desert. the Thar is the world's eighteenth largest subtropical desert. The Thar desert forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan and has a large area of around 200,000 sq km.
The vast beauty of the Thar Desert has attracted tourists from all around the globe. Though the origin of this desert is not known for certain, it has been mentioned in the Indian epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Apart from being one of the major tourist spots in India, the Thar Desert also houses an array of attractions for the visitors to indulge in. From the rich ecosystem to the cultural activities, everything about the Great Indian Desert leaves the tourists wanting more.
Read about some of the main attractions the Thar has to offer to the travellers.
The Great Rann of Kutch
Located in the Thar Desert, the Rann of Kutch is a seasonal salt marsh which is said to be the largest salt desert in the world. Known as the international border between India and Pakistan, the Rann of Kutch is visited by many, especially during the 3 day annual festival, Rann Utsav. Rann Utsav lets the tourists have a look into the sights and culture of the Great Rann. Many Indian movies such as Refugee, Magadheera etc. have also been shot at this scenic location.
The Thar Desert has a varied ecosystem and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is said that certain endangered species like the Blackbuck, Chinkara etc. also inhabit the Thar Desert. In addition, there are about 23 species of lizard and 25 species of snakes found here, along with more than 141 types of birds such as falcons, great-spotted eagles etc.
The essence of the Great Thar can be enjoyed by taking a ride on the camels. The Camel Safaris are loved by the visitors, especially the international tourists. One can look at the distinctive ecosystem of the Thar desert through camel rides. Exploring the desert on Camel rides is also one of the major attractions here.
With its rich biodiversity, it is only obvious that the Thar Desert hosts a number of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. These sanctuaries are a major source of tourist attraction. The Thar region has eleven national parks and sanctuaries, some of them being Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Desert National Park, Tal Chhapar Sanctuary etc.
The vibrant cultural practices that take place in and around the Thar desert give a taste of Indian heritage to the visitors. There are desert festivals that are held annually during winters and are thronged by a large number of tourists. Brightly coloured traditional attire are worn by the performers who entertain by singing and dancing in the full moon to uphold the folk culture. Various competitions are also conducted.