Tharparkar – The Only Desert In The World Which Is Fertile

Tharparkar – The Only Desert In The World Which Is Fertile

thar

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This article was originally submitted by Muhammad Sario

The dynamics of doing business, living life and behaving in society have completely changed since the pandemic COVID-19; something no one had any idea could possibly happen and affect the whole world this way.

Most of us in routine life make plans especially summer plans; of visiting grandparents, going to some northern areas to beat the heat or spending our summer vacations in hilly areas.

I was also thinking the same this year but since the situation is not favourable, let me share an experience of mine from last year! An experience of such a beautiful place; which I think is underrated, ignored and something most of us as well as our government don’t promote enough – an experience of the Tharparkar district and its cities.

History:

Tharparkar, aka Thar, is the largest district of the Sindh province; having the largest Hindu population in Pakistan. It is a combination of two words; Thar (referring to the Thar Desert), and Parkar (meaning ‘’to cross over’’).

Although mostly desertified between 2000 and 1500 BC, the Thar region was historically fertile. Before its desertification, a tributary of the Indus River was said to flow through the region. Here’s a fun fact: it is speculated by some historians that this river could be the ancient Sarasvati River; mentioned in the Hindu Rigveda. Furthermore, the Thar region is also mentioned in the Ramayana; where it is called “Lavanasagara” (meaning “salt ocean”).

Geography:

To its east, the district borders the Jaisalmer, Barmer and Jalore districts; of Rajasthan in India, and the Kutch district of Gujarat in India to the south. As a result, Umerkot district is at its north whereas Mirpur Khas and Badin districts are to its west.

Tourism:

Let’s start the journey from Karachi to Nagar Parkar which is around 480km one side; fully carpeted road accessible to all kinds of vehicles. Since I am a solo rider; and love to explore the beauty by myself, I can tell you that the biggest advantage of travelling alone is that you are the boss of your own – you don’t need anyone’s recommendation, suggestions and ideas. As a result, you can just explore by yourself and stop whatever and whenever you want.

Major tourist destinations in Tharparkar district include:

Gadi Bhit, Mithi

Mithi is the capital city of Tharparkar district and Gadi Bhit is actually a monument 300 m above the sea level; one that provides a panoramic view of the city. Fun fact: the most favourable times to visit; to have a complete view of the whole city from above, are from the evening till night.

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Mai Bakhtawar International Airport, Islamkot (39km from Mithi)

On request of Sindh Coal Authority; to facilitate the development of the Thar coalfields nearby, the Mai Bakhtawar International Airport; or Islamkot International Airport was constructed. As a result, this lies within 80 km of Pakistan’s international border with India.

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Marvi jo Kooh, Bhalwa (87km from Islamkot)

Marvi Jo Khoh (Marvi’s Well) is the heritage of Sindh; located near the village Bhalva in Tharparkar. Furthermore, at just a 5-minute drive, there is a museum for visitors; from the main road on the left side.

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Jain Temples, Nagar Parkar (10km from Nagarparkar)

Approximately 14 Jain temples; along with Bhodesar Mosque, are scattered throughout Nagarparkar mountains. These temples’ buildings date from the 12th to the 15th centuries; situated in the middle of the mountains.

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Churrio Jabal (25km from Nagarparkar)

This is located in Nagar Parkar and famous for the historic Durga Mata Temple; where more than 200,000 pilgrims of Hindu religion visit annually on Shivratri. On this day, they bring the ashes of their departed beloved to immerse in the holy water; as part of their rituals. Furthermore, this place is also famous for the mining of rare and expensive granite.

Bhodesar Mosque, Nagar Parkar (10km from Nagarparkar)

Mehmood Shah Bin Zaffar Shah; the ruler of Gujrat, built this mosque with white pillars holding a small marble and limestone structure in Bhodesar in 1436 AD; near the pond embankment. Moreover, the mosque is located 5 km from the town Nagarparkar.

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Karoonjhar Mountains, Nagar Parkar

These mountains are situated at the edge of the Renn of Kutch, 305m above the sea level. Fun fact: when it rains, they get covered with lush greenery in summer days.

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