India Guide

The Great Indian Desert Guide to the Thar Desert India

The Great Indian Desert Guide to the Thar Desert India

Thar Desert (Great Indian Desert)

This enormous expanse of desert, covering over 200,000 km2 of Indian land is one of the largest subtropical deserts in the world. There is much debate surrounding the origins of the desert, but what is known is that it is expanding, already occupying area in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana states.

Extreme heat plagues the desert in summer and still remains very warm in winter with the rain mostly falling in the monsoon season. These rains are very important for the survival of both animals and people who call the desert home. Because the rains are variable and the tobas (small ponds of water) can dry out, most that live here are gypsies and travel around to find their water supply. However these travelling communities often have incredible cultures and a unique lifestyle, something tourists will no doubt find fascinating.

To explore the plains often said to be the most colourful of all deserts, it is best to join a safari to give you the experience of a lifetime. You can choose to take a jeep safari, or for the more adventurous there are alternative modes of transport such as camelback, horseback or even an elephant! You will find that this Great Indian Desert is somewhat contrasting to other deserts with its diverse wildlife, vegetation and habitat. It has been found that animals that are fast becoming close to extinct in other areas of India are found prospering in the desert. Because of the inconsistency of a water source, just like those communities living in the desert, animals too are usually on the move most of the year.

Pull out the intrepid traveller within and enjoy an uncanny experience upon a camel to observe the small groups of desert people dressed in colourful clothes going about their daily herding or berry picking. If going for several days, you will get to experience the safari desert hospitality staying in camps and dining amongst the wide expanse of desert.

There are several companies that offer safari trips in the Rajasthan desert. Many will give you options between travelling the common route or the less travelled tracks for a true intrepid experience.

One thing quite notable is that you definitely get what you pay for on these journeys. For good quality cuisine and comfortable beds you should not rush to accept the cheapest but research what they offer instead to get the best out of your desert experience. The average cost for a camel safari is around 650 rupees each day which includes food, and can reach 1,500 rupees for the more comfortable journeys.

The best time to take a Thar Desert safari is in the winter months when temperatures aren’t reaching the 40°C range. September to March are usually the best months, missing the hottest months and the monsoon.

For a bird’s eye view of the Great Indian Desert, visit VisableEarthVisableEarth for a NASA image.