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India >> Rajasthan >> Jaisalmer >> Desert National Park
Desert National Park Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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The Thar or Great Indian Desert is an arid region and is one of the most fascinating deserts of the world which extends over 3.18 lac sq. kms, in North West of India. Largely a desolate region of shifting sand dunes, broken rocks and scrub vegetation, it receives an annual average rainfall of less than 25 cm. The thinly populated region has a bucolic economy.


One of the world’s most unique environments harbors the numerous and amazing life-forms, both floral and faunal, that have adapted themselves to survive and regenerate under the harsh habitat conditions in this desert, which is too valuable from the biological point of view.


The DNP is situated at 45 kms in the South-West direction from Jaisalmer. An area of 3,162 sq kms situated in Jaisalmer (1900 sq. kms.) & Barmer (1262 sq kms) was declared a sanctuary in 1980 to preserve this fascinating and fragile habitat. The climate is typically arid. The average annual rainfall of the area is 100 mm. and that too is received during July- August in only 4 to 6 rainy days. January is the coldest month when the minimum temperature often falls down to 2ºC or even less and the frost occurs damaging the vegetation. May - June are the hottest months when the temperature rises up to 48ºC. The air is very dry and the dust storms are common. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park.



Vegetation is distinctive to the climate of the region. The commonest plant is the Sewan grass. The other prominent shrubs are Sinia, Kheep, Phog, Banvli, Bui, Murut, Lana, etc.  Khejri is the life-line of the desert but Rohira, Kair and Aak add colour to the landscape. The other common plant species are Ber, Bordi, Kumat, Jal, Thor, Guggal, Tantia and Ganthia.

The history of species which inhabited the Thar Desert once, speaks of a fascinating wild life. The region harbored big cats like Asiatic Lion, Leopard and Cheetah in fair numbers till the turn of 18th century, the Wild Ass, now restricted in the little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, was well distributed in parts of Rajasthan desert and what remains now in the region is just a faint remainder of the past glory but still amazing by any standards.


The avifauna of the desert is very rich in both species and population, this includes birds such as Indian sandgrouse, Painted and Spotted sandgrouse, Grey Partridge, Common quail, Bush quail, Common bee-eater, Blue tailed bee-eater, Blue J (or the Indian roller), Shrikes, Drongos, Babblers, Warblers, Flycatchers, White cheeked bulbul,  etc. The most prominent of all is the Great Indian Bustard (locally known as Godavan ), the state bird of Rajasthan, which breeds in the area and migrate locally in different seasons. This tall and heavy bird is an epitome of grace and confidence. The prominent among the visiting birds are the Houbara bustard, Imperial sand grouse, Spanish sparrow, Rosy pastor, Spotted starlings, Demoiselle cranes and Common cranes etc The birds of prey seen here include Tawny and Steppe eagle, long Legged honey buzzards, Falcons and Owls. Among the mammals, Chinkara is the most common. The other notable mammals of the desert National Park are the Desert fox, Desert cat and Jackal. The amphibian fauna is represented by Anderson’s toad and five species of frogs. Forty plus species of reptiles are found in this region and the prominent among these are Monitor lizard, Spiny-tailed lizard and at few places the Skinks, Geckos and Agama are also found, the Sand-fish, which swims under the sand and Chameleons, are also commonly seen in the region. Russel’s viper, Kobra, saw-scaled viper and Pivana (Sind Krait) are the main among the several species of snakes found in the region.

 Getting there


The Thar desert lies in south-west Rajasthan, spread over Jaisailmer and Barmer and bordering Pakistan.



689 km W of Jaipur via Jodhour, 317 km NW of Jodhpur, 42 km SW of Jaisalmer. NH 8 to Beawar via Ajmer, NH 14 to Pali via Sojat, NH 65 to Jodhpur; SH to Pokharan via Balesar and Dechhu; NH 15 to Jaisalmer via Odania and Chandan, district road to Sam Village (Desert National Park) via Dedha

 Fast Facts
Name Desert National Park Best Time To Visit October to February
Location Jaisalmer   Rajasthan   West   India   Best Sighing October to February
Open From 2010-08-15  To 2011-08-15 Type National Park
Temperature Summar   40°-45°      Winter   0°-8°      Rainy   36°-42°
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