Tharparkar which consists of two words Thar and Parkar is a sea of cultural heritage in our country that we ourselves have forgotten for some reason. Thar means Desert while Parkar means the other side. According to history both of these places used to be different and divided but were later put together in the form of one place by subsequent governments. With the coming together of two of these areas Tharparkar has ceased to be a complete desert as Thar is the desert which is also the largest desert of Pakistan and the only fertile desert in the world while Parkar is the irrigated area and does not qualify to be a desert. So its a multifaceted area where you will get to see both sides of Gods work.
Tharparkar has a very unique scenery, diverse flora, animals and culture. It has just not been explored well enough to say that we understand and know the people of Tharparkar and its environment very well. The diversity of this region can be judged from the fact that where desert cover Thar the area of Parkar has some Hills that span 20 Km and attain a height of up to 300 m. These hills in the karon-jhar area are covered with jungles and pasturage and when it rains many streams of water are formed in this area running through and
Tharparkar district is located in Sindh, Pakistan. According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, it had a population of 955,812 of which only 4.54%. The district lies between 24° 10' to 25°45' north latitudes and 69' 04' to 71°06' east longitude. It is bounded on the north by Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts, on the east by Barmer and Jaisalmer districts of India, on the west by Badin district and on the south by Rann of Kutch. The total area of the district is 19,638 km².
Until 1990, the present district of Tharparkar, Umarkot and Mirpur Khas composed one district, with Mirpur Khas its headquarters. The division into two separate districts on 31 October, 1990: i.e., Mirpurkhas and Thar established the town of Mithi as the new headquarters of the Tharparkar district, while Umerkot was bifurcated on 17 April 1993.
Thar is a cultural island in the mid of Sindhi, Rajhestani and Gujrati ocean of cultures. The Rajhestani culture overshadows the other two cultures. Thari music seems to be more inspired by the Rajhestani music traditions but with its own emotional rhythm and colours.
An old Thari musician believes that most of the Thari music is based on Mandh beat of Rajhestani music even the women on a death weep-n-cry in the same rhythm. Thari music is considered to be of vital importance in folk music of Pakistan. Often used as background music for TV plays and serials because of its simplicity of emotional expressions, oneness and oddity.
Like other parts of Pakistan, Thar also has a few folk dances including dandan rand, mitco, chakar rand and rasooro. The dandan rand is performed by eight or ten men, having one small stick in one hand and silk handkerchief in the other one, on the dhol beat in a circle. The dhol player also sings the songs while rest of the men dance. The mitco is the solo performance by a male dancer. It is also performed by women in their houses on weddings of their sons alone. The chakar rand dance is the traditions Thari Muslims. The male dancer performs it holding a sword in his hand on dhol beat. The rasooro is a stick dance by women even dhol is played by women and some women also sing song on the dhol beat.
The district has a tropical desert climate. In summer, it is extremely hot during the day, but nights are remarkably cooler. April, May and June are the hottest months during the day; December, January and February are the coldest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperature during this period are 28°C and 9°C, respectively.
There are wide fluctuations in the amount of rainfall from year to year and the yearly average for some areas is as low as 100 mm. Most of the rain falls between July and September, during the south-west monsoon, and is often concentrated in a period of two to three days.
Since the district lies in al1 arid zone, therefore, sweet water is scarce throughout Thar. Drought recurs and usually there is no rain every third year. The soil is generally infertile, and because of severe wind erosion it is overblown with sand. Vegetation consists mostly of stunted scrub and bush, although trees such as the hardy kandi (Prosopis cineraria) do occasionally dot the landscape. The main natural ground cover is provided by grasses which are nutritive and a palatable fodder for livestock.
The common plants of the desert are thuhar (Euphorbia caducifolia), phog (Calligonum polygonoides), and ak (Calotropis gigantea). In irrigated tracts, babul (or babur, Acacica nilotica), talhi (Dalbergia sissoo[verification needed]), neem (Azadirachta indica), jar (Salvadora oleoides), and kri (Tamarix gallica) are found.
Wildlife has a significant correlation with greenery, verdure and forage. In congruence to the desert nature of the area, this district is blessed with beautiful species of birds and animals. Sometimes the black wild ass, the only one of its kind in Pakistan, has been found roaming in the Rann of Kutch area. However, the massive social changes in the district have not affected only the culture of the people but also its physical environment. As a result, this change has diminished and/or vanished many wildlife species. Even so, a number of animals found in the district includes Chinkara (Gazella bennetti), Desert Fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla), Golden Jackal (Canis aureus), Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) and mongoose (Herpestes sp.).
Among birds the most famous is the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus). Other notable birds are:
· Northwestern Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus mekranensis, locally called "partridge")
· Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
· Indian Scops-owl (Otus bakkamoena)
· Sindh Nightjar (Caprimulgus mahrattensis)
· Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus)
· Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)
· Large Hawk-cuckoo (Cuculus sparverioides; particularly around Nagar Parkar)
· Spotted Sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus; particularly around Nagar Parkar).
Among waterbirds, the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) and the Black Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa) are found at Chachro Taluka.
In the district dangerous snakes (e.g., khapar, Indian Cobra, etc.) are generally found in the rainy season in large numbers.
How to Reach
Tharparkar, which was deprived of metal led roads in past, is now linked with vast network of roads laid in its nook and corner. All the main towns and villages have been connected through recently constructed roads. Air-conditioned coaches and buses ply at the routes of Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot towards Mithi and back.
Distances from different routes:
1. Karachi to Mithi via Thatta / Badin 300 K.M
2. Karachi to Mithi via Hyderabad / Mirpurkhas 400 K.M
3. Karachi to Mithi via Mirpurkhas / Umerkot 425 K.M
4. Mithi to Nangerparkar 150 K.M
5. Mithi to Bhalwa ( Village of Marui ) 110
6. Mithi to Badin 100 K.M
7. Mithi to Naukot 50 K.M
8. Mithi to Umerkot 85 K.M
Where to Stay
Thar Guest House is situated in Mithi City, headquarter of Tharparkar district of Sindh Province, Pakistan. It is located at Siran Colony near Thardeep Head Office Mithi. The location is clean, attractive and away from noisy atmosphere. The Guest House provides the facilities of quality lodging and boarding in addition to organize tours around the Thar Desert of Sindh.
Thar Guest House is fully equipped with all basic facilities including Telephone, Standby Generator, Air Conditioned Rooms, TV, Computer, Internet, Transport facilities, Dry Cleaning and humble Guides for visit of Thar.