Sunday, February 5, 2023

Deserts of Pakistan: Learn Name, Location, Map & More

Here’s a list and map of all main/ famous deserts of Pakistan, including the location, names, and features of Thar/ Nara, Cholistan/ Rohi, Thal, Kharan/ Sandy, and Katpana/ Cold desert.

Name List of Main/ Famous Deserts of Pakistan

A desert is an area of land that receives less than 250 mm of rainfall and doesn’t have any vegetation is called a desert.

There are five main deserts in Pakistan and their names are as follows:

  • Thar
  • Cholistan
  • Thal
  • Kharan
  • Katpana

1. Thar/ Nara Desert in Sindh


  • Eastern part of lower Indus plain in Sindh
  • 15% lie in Pakistan, 85% in India (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana)
  • Also adjoins the Cholistan Desert in Punjab


  • Subtropical
  • Coastal


  • Thar Desert is the largest desert of Pakistan.
  • It is also Asia’s 3rd largest, world’s 9th largest hot subtropical and 20th largest overall desert.
  • It’s largely dry and arid.

Other Names

  • Thar Desert is known as ‘Nara’ in Mirpur Khas and ‘Thar’ in Tharparkar region, and ‘Pat’
  • It’s also known as ‘Great Indian Desert’
  • It’s also known as the ‘Friendly Desert’ as living here is relatively easy (around 30m people live in Thar Desert)

2. Cholistan/ Rohi Desert Punjab


  • Cholistan desert (also known as Rohi) is located in the South Eastern part of Upper Indus plain
  • It covers the districts of Bahawalpur, Bahawalnager, and Rahim Yar Khan districts in Punjab, and adjoins Thar in Sindh


  • Hot & Dry

Features/ Famous for

  • Cholistan Desert is famous for hosting Pakistan’s biggest motor sports, Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally
  • It’s also famous for the iconic Derawar Fort, at 130 km from Bahawalpur city

3. Thal Desert in Punjab


  • Thal Desert is located in the Upper Indus plain in Sind Sagar Doab between Indus & Jehlum/ Chenab rivers.
  • It’s in the south of Salt Range and mainly spans the districts of Bhakkar, Mianwali, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, and some parts of Jhang, Sargodha and Khushab in Punjab.


  • Hot & Dry


  • Most of the Thal desert is suitable for farming
  • Hosts the ongoing mega project of Greater Thal Canal

4. Kharan/ Sandy Desert in Balochistan


  • Balochistan


  • Sandy and mountainous

Famous For

  • Kharan Desert was the site at which Pakistan conducted its second nuclear explosion/ test, codenamed Chagai-IIon May 30,
  • Alexander the Great passed through the Kharan Desert (Gedrosia) to mimic Cyrus the Great.

5. Katpana/ Cold Desert in Gilgit Baltistan


  • Katpata Desert is located in Gilgit-Baltistan near Skardu.
  • It spans Skardu, Shigar, and Khaplu, and is easily accessible by Skardu airport.


  • Cold

Other Names

  • Cold Desert
  • Biama Nakpo

Features/ Famous For

  • At a height of 2,226 metres, it’s one of the world’s highest deserts
  • In winters, it’s sometimes covered with snow

Map of Main/ Famous Deserts of Pakistan

Name & Map of Main/ Famous Deserts of Pakistan
Map of Main/ Famous Deserts of Pakistan


Britannica, Zameen, AIOU Geography

Read More

List of Famous Doabs of Pakistan

Plains of Pakistan: Upper & Lower Indus Plain

Mountain Ranges of Pakistan: List & Map of All Famous Mountains

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