Deserts in Pakistan: Discover How Many & Their Beauty


Aamir Javed

Pakistan is a country known for its diverse and breathtaking natural landscapes. From majestic mountain ranges to lush green plains, this South Asian nation is also home to several captivating deserts. In this article, we will explore the deserts in Pakistan, revealing their unique characteristics, geographical locations, and the beauty they hold within.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pakistan boasts a variety of deserts, offering adventure, wildlife exploration, and cultural immersion.
  • The Thar Desert is the largest desert in Pakistan, known for its protected areas and diverse flora and fauna.
  • The Kharan Desert in Balochistan features sandy and mountainous terrain and holds historical significance.
  • The Thal Desert in Punjab is a sandy desert supporting agricultural activities and livestock farming.
  • The Cholistan Desert in southern Punjab offers a rich cultural heritage, caravansary history, and unique festivals.
  • The Cold Desert in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, is a high-altitude desert with mesmerizing sand dunes.
  • Desert tourism in Pakistan is gaining popularity, providing opportunities for exploration and adventure.
  • Detailed maps of the deserts in Pakistan are available to facilitate your travel planning.

Kharan Desert: A Sandy and Mountainous Region in Balochistan.

The Kharan Desert, located in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, is a vast expanse of sandy and mountainous terrain. This desert is renowned for its unique landscape and historical significance. Spanning an area of approximately 20,000 square kilometers, the Kharan Desert is surrounded by picturesque hills.

With its dry climate, the Kharan Desert serves as a habitat for various flora and fauna, adapting to the arid conditions. Despite the challenging environment, the region is home to communities primarily engaged in agriculture and farming.

One notable event that took place in the Kharan Desert is Pakistan’s second nuclear test, making it a site of historical importance. This desert showcases the resilience of nature and human perseverance.

“The Kharan Desert’s sandy and mountainous landscape provides a breathtaking backdrop, captivating those who venture into its uncharted territory.”

Unique Features of the Kharan Desert

The Kharan Desert’s distinct characteristics make it a fascinating destination for explorers. Here are some remarkable features:

  • Sandy dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a mesmerizing landscape
  • Secluded valleys nestled among the mountains, offering a serene and secluded escape
  • Rugged terrain providing opportunities for adventure seekers, such as mountain climbing and off-road expeditions
  • Rich cultural heritage reflected in the traditions and lifestyle of the local communities

Visiting the Kharan Desert allows travelers to immerse themselves in its natural wonders, discover hidden treasures, and experience the harmony between humans and nature.

Location Province Climate Area
Kharan Desert Balochistan Dry Approximately 20,000 sq km

Thar Desert: The Largest Desert in Pakistan.

The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is the largest desert in Pakistan, covering an area of 30,000 sq km. It is ranked as the 16th largest desert in the world. This expansive desert stretches across both India and Pakistan, with 85% of its land in India and the remaining 15% in Pakistan. Located in the Sindh province of Pakistan, the Thar Desert showcases a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it an extraordinary natural wonder.

The Thar Desert is celebrated for its unique beauty and cultural heritage. Its vast expanse of golden sand dunes, undulating landscapes, and captivating sunsets create a mesmerizing atmosphere. The desert is home to a rich ecosystem comprising various plant species, such as thorny shrubs, grasses, and drought-resistant trees. It also supports a diverse array of fauna, including reptiles, mammals, and avian species.

Flora and Fauna of the Thar Desert

The Thar Desert boasts a wide range of plant life specially adapted to survive the arid conditions. Some notable plant species found in the Thar Desert include Khejri trees, Desert Date, Prosopis Cineraria, and Capparis decidua.

The desert is also a sanctuary for various animal species. It provides habitat to numerous mammals like Indian Gazelle (Chinkara), Desert Fox, Indian Wild Ass (Ghudkhur), and Desert Cat. The Thar Desert is a bird-watcher’s paradise, with over 160 bird species, including the Indian Bustard, Great Indian Bustard, Demoiselle Crane, and Gray Francolin, among others.

Rich Cultural Heritage

The Thar Desert is not only renowned for its natural wonders but also for its vibrant cultural heritage. The desert is home to numerous indigenous communities like the Rajputs, Jats, Meghwals, and Bhils, each with their unique traditions, art forms, and festivities. The colorful attire, folk music, dance performances, and intricate handicrafts of the Thar Desert’s inhabitants offer visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

Exploring the Thar Desert allows visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture through activities like camel safaris, traditional desert camping, and experiencing the warm hospitality of the locals. The desert is also famous for its annual cultural event, the Pushkar Fair, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.

Preservation Efforts

Recognizing the ecological importance of the Thar Desert, both the Indian and Pakistani governments have initiated conservation efforts to protect the fragile ecosystem and promote sustainable tourism. Various measures, including the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries and the implementation of eco-friendly practices, aim to preserve the desert’s unique flora, fauna, and cultural heritage.

In conclusion, the Thar Desert stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty and biodiversity of Pakistan. Its vast expanses, vibrant ecosystems, and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and cultural enthusiasts alike.

Thal Desert: A Sandy Desert in Punjab.

The Thal Desert is a captivating sandy desert situated in Punjab, Pakistan. With an expansive area covering approximately 20,000 sq km, it proudly stands as the third-largest desert in the country. This desert is known for its unique landscape dominated by vast stretches of sandy dunes, creating a breathtaking sight for visitors and locals alike.

The Thal Desert is characterized by its arid and dry climate, making it an inhospitable environment for most forms of life. However, the resilient inhabitants of this desert are primarily engaged in agricultural activities and livestock farming. They have found ways to harness the limited resources and turn them into sustenance for their livelihoods.

Despite its harsh conditions, the Thal Desert is a testament to the indomitable human spirit. The inhabitants have adapted to the challenging environment and built thriving communities amidst the sandy dunes.

Water is essential for survival in the Thal Desert, and the Thal Canal plays a crucial role in providing water for everyday tasks and irrigation purposes. This man-made marvel enables the locals to cultivate their lands and sustain their agricultural activities.

Thal Desert

The Thal Desert is not only a visual masterpiece but also a symbol of resilience and human ingenuity. Visitors to this sandy paradise can witness the remarkable tenacity of its inhabitants and marvel at the beauty that arises from nature’s most challenging landscapes.

Cholistan Desert: A Land of Sands in Southern Punjab.

The Cholistan Desert, also known as the Rohi Desert, is a mesmerizing and mystical expanse located in the southern region of Punjab, Pakistan. Spanning over 25,800 square kilometers, this vast desert is renowned for its sandy terrain that stretches as far as the eye can see.

In the ancient times, the Cholistan Desert was a fertile region, supporting various civilizations. However, with the passage of time, it transformed into a bustling center for caravan trade, attracting travelers from far and wide.

One of the noteworthy attractions within the Cholistan Desert is the magnificent Derawar Fort. This iconic fortress stands tall amidst the barren landscape, reflecting the rich history and grandeur of the region. It is a true testament to the architectural brilliance of the bygone era.

The Cholistan Desert possesses a unique climate, characterized as an arid and semi-arid tropical desert. It experiences low annual humidity, making it an arid haven for the intrepid explorer. The golden sands, undulating dunes, and vast open spaces create an ethereal ambiance that is both serene and awe-inspiring.

“Exploring the Cholistan Desert is like embarking on a voyage of discovery, as you traverse the land of sands and unlock the mysteries woven within its vast expanse.”

Flora and Fauna of Cholistan Desert

The Cholistan Desert is not just a barren wasteland; it is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna that have adapted to the harsh desert environment. The desert vegetation includes shrubs, thorny bushes, and a variety of grasses that thrive in the arid conditions.

Wildlife in the Cholistan Desert is equally fascinating, with species such as the Indian gazelle (chinkara), blackbuck, and the endangered Indian wild ass finding refuge in the vast desert plains. These unique and enchanting creatures add to the natural charm and biodiversity of the Cholistan Desert.

Experience the Magic of Cholistan Desert

For those seeking an adventure-filled getaway, the Cholistan Desert offers a plethora of thrilling experiences. From camel safaris that take you deep into the heart of the desert to mesmerizing stargazing sessions under the vast desert sky, every moment spent in the Cholistan Desert is truly unforgettable.

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the desert as you witness traditional desert festivals, featuring local music, dance, and art forms. These vibrant celebrations offer a glimpse into the lives and traditions of the desert-dwelling communities, leaving you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Embark on a journey to Cholistan Desert, the land of sands in southern Punjab, and let its enchanting beauty captivate your heart and soul. Discover the allure of this breathtaking desert and create memories that will stay with you forever.

Cold Desert, Skardu: A High-Altitude Desert in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Cold Desert, also known as the Skardu Desert, is a high-altitude desert located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. This mesmerizing landscape is characterized by vast stretches of sand dunes and is situated at an impressive elevation of 2,226 meters above sea level.

Despite its name, the Cold Desert experiences a wide range of temperatures. In the summer months, the temperature can reach a maximum of 27°C, providing a mild and pleasant climate for visitors. In contrast, during the winter months, the temperatures drop below freezing, transforming the desert into a breathtaking snowy wonderland.

The Cold Desert in Skardu is renowned for its stunning sandy vistas, especially when blanketed in pristine white snow. This unique blend of sand and snow offers visitors a surreal and otherworldly experience. The serenity and tranquility of the Cold Desert make it an ideal destination for those seeking solace and natural beauty.

Discover the Beauty of the Gilgit-Baltistan Region

Skardu, located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, is not only home to the Cold Desert but also boasts mesmerizing lakes, enchanting valleys, and towering mountain ranges. The region is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering opportunities for trekking, mountaineering, and exploring the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan.

Explore the Unique Flora and Fauna

While the Cold Desert may seem inhospitable, it is home to a variety of flora and fauna that have adapted to survive in this extreme environment. Various species of plants, including the sea-buckthorn, thrive in the arid conditions of the desert. Additionally, the desert is inhabited by unique wildlife such as the Tibetan wild ass, also known as the kiang.

Experience the Local Culture

The vibrant culture of the Gilgit-Baltistan region can be experienced through interactions with the warm and hospitable local communities. Visitors can immerse themselves in the traditional music, dance, and cuisine of the region, gaining a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage of Pakistan.

Comparing Deserts in Pakistan

Desert Location Area Elevation
Kharan Desert Balochistan 20,000 sq km 250 meters above sea level
Thar Desert Sindh/Punjab 30,000 sq km 100-400 meters above sea level
Thal Desert Punjab 20,000 sq km 200-300 meters above sea level
Cholistan Desert Punjab 25,800 sq km 30-60 meters above sea level

Deserts in Pakistan: A Haven for Wildlife and Biodiversity.

The deserts in Pakistan are not just picturesque landscapes; they are also thriving ecosystems that support a diverse range of flora and fauna. These arid regions provide habitats for unique plants and animals, contributing to the biodiversity of the country.

The Thar Desert, for instance, is home to several protected areas, such as the Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary serves as a refuge for endangered species, including the mugger crocodile. It is a vital breeding ground for these crocodiles, which are facing the threat of extinction.

Similarly, the Cholistan Desert also boasts protected areas that provide sanctuary to various wildlife species. Here, you can find the blackbuck, chinkara, and Indian wild ass, among others. These animals thrive in the desert’s harsh conditions and are well adapted to the arid environment.

The deserts of Pakistan are not just barren wastelands; they are rich in biodiversity and serve as crucial habitats for numerous plant and animal species. From the unique flora of the Thar Desert to the diverse wildlife of the Cholistan Desert, these arid regions offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of desert ecosystems.

pakistan desert regions

Exploring these deserts provides an opportunity to witness nature’s resilience and marvel at the adaptability of life in extreme environments. It is a chance to witness rare and endangered species in their natural habitats and gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of ecosystems in these regions.

Desert Tourism in Pakistan: Exploring the Unexplored.

Desert tourism in Pakistan is gaining popularity as adventurous travelers discover the untouched beauty of these desert regions. With their unique climate and stunning landscapes, Pakistan’s deserts offer a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors.

  • Embark on a camel safari through the vast sands of the Thar Desert, immersing yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and appreciating the breathtaking views.
  • Explore the ancient forts and palaces in the Cholistan Desert, delving into the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.
  • Engage in thrilling activities like sandboarding or dune bashing, testing your adventurous spirit amidst the picturesque dunes.
  • Participate in vibrant desert festivals, such as the Desert Festival in Thar, where you can witness traditional music, dance performances, and local crafts.

Whether you’re seeking exploration, adventure, or a glimpse into Pakistan’s cultural tapestry, the desert regions of Pakistan have something to offer. From the arid landscapes to the warm hospitality of the locals, your desert tourism experience in Pakistan will be truly unforgettable.

Experience the Unique Climate and Landscapes

The deserts of Pakistan have their own distinct climate, varying from the scorching sands of the Thar Desert to the arid regions of Cholistan. These climates create diverse desert ecosystems, fostering a wide range of flora and fauna adapted to survive in these harsh conditions.

“The deserts of Pakistan offer a different kind of travel experience. The landscape, climate, and atmosphere make it a unique destination for those seeking something extraordinary.”

– Travel enthusiast, Sarah Peterson

Exploring the Cultural Heritage

The desert regions of Pakistan are not only natural wonders but also treasure troves of cultural heritage. Explore the ancient forts and palaces that narrate stories of the bygone era. Engage with the locals to learn about their traditions, crafts, and way of life in harmony with the desert environment.

“The desert regions of Pakistan offer a glimpse into the cultural tapestry of the country. The festivals, music, and arts showcase the rich heritage of these regions.”

– Cultural enthusiast, Muhammad Ali

Plan Your Desert Adventure

When planning your desert tourism adventure in Pakistan, consider the climate and seasons of each desert region. Some deserts may be more accessible during certain times of the year, while others offer unique experiences during festivals or cultural events.

Ensure you have appropriate clothing, sun protection, and necessary supplies to make the most of your journey through the deserts of Pakistan. It is also advisable to seek local guides or tour operators who can provide valuable insights and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Maps of Deserts in Pakistan: Where to Find Them.

To explore the breathtaking deserts of Pakistan, it is essential to have access to reliable maps that showcase their geographical locations and help you plan your journey. There are various online resources and travel guides that provide detailed maps of the different desert regions in Pakistan.

These maps serve as invaluable tools, offering insights into the unique landscapes and attractions of each desert. Whether you are interested in exploring the vast expanses of the Thar Desert, the sandy and mountainous terrain of the Kharan Desert, or the arid beauty of the Cholistan Desert, a map will guide you on your expedition.

Here are some of the desert regions in Pakistan for which you can find maps:

  1. Thar Desert
  2. Kharan Desert
  3. Thal Desert
  4. Cholistan Desert
  5. Skardu Desert (Cold Desert)

These maps show the boundaries and highlights of each desert, allowing you to chart your course and explore hidden gems along the way. Whether you are embarking on a desert safari, planning a photography expedition, or seeking an adventurous getaway, having a map will enhance your experience.


Pakistan’s deserts are a treasure trove of natural beauty and adventure, offering a unique experience for tourists and nature enthusiasts. From the expansive Thar Desert to the rustic terrains of Kharan and Cholistan, each desert showcases its own distinctive charm and attractions. Adventure seekers can embark on thrilling camel safaris or explore ancient forts, while wildlife enthusiasts can marvel at the diverse range of flora and fauna that call these deserts home.

Moreover, Pakistan’s desert tourism industry is rapidly growing, catering to the increasing interest in these unexplored regions. Tourists can soak in the breathtaking landscapes, immerse themselves in the rich culture, and participate in annual festivals that celebrate the heritage of these deserts. Whether you seek adrenaline-pumping activities or a tranquil escape amidst nature’s wonders, the deserts of Pakistan offer an experience like no other.

So, if you’re craving a unique and memorable adventure, add a visit to Pakistan’s deserts to your travel bucket list. Discover the hidden gems, witness the beauty of these diverse landscapes, and create unforgettable memories. Pakistan’s deserts await you with open arms, ready to provide an extraordinary journey that will leave you awe-inspired and longing to return.


How many deserts are there in Pakistan?

Pakistan is home to several deserts, including the Kharan Desert, Thar Desert, Thal Desert, Cholistan Desert, and Cold Desert (Skardu).

Where is the Kharan Desert located?

The Kharan Desert is located in the Balochistan province of Pakistan.

What are the characteristics of the Kharan Desert?

The Kharan Desert is characterized by its sandy and mountainous terrain.

Which is the largest desert in Pakistan?

The Thar Desert is the largest desert in Pakistan.

Where is the Thar Desert located?

The Thar Desert extends into both India and Pakistan, with 15% of its area in Pakistan and the remaining 85% in India. It is located in the Sindh province of Pakistan.

What is the Thal Desert known for?

The Thal Desert is known for its sandy dunes and dry climate. It is mainly inhabited by people engaged in agricultural activities and livestock farming.

Where is the Cholistan Desert located?

The Cholistan Desert, also known as the Rohi Desert, is located in the southern region of Punjab, Pakistan.

What are the unique features of the Cholistan Desert?

The Cholistan Desert was historically a fertile region but later became a center for caravan trade. It is home to several forts, including the famous Derawar Fort.

Where is the Cold Desert, Skardu located?

The Cold Desert, also known as the Skardu Desert, is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

What is the climate of the Cold Desert?

The Cold Desert experiences cold temperatures, with a maximum of 27°C in summer and below-freezing temperatures in winter.

What is the significance of the deserts in Pakistan for wildlife and biodiversity?

The deserts in Pakistan, including the Thar and Cholistan Deserts, provide habitats for unique plants and animals, contributing to the biodiversity of the region.

Is desert tourism popular in Pakistan?

Yes, desert tourism in Pakistan is gaining popularity as adventurous travelers explore the untouched beauty of the desert regions.

Where can I find maps of the deserts in Pakistan?

You can find maps of the deserts in Pakistan online or consult travel guides for detailed information on the geographical locations of the different deserts.

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