Thal Desert

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Country Pakistan
Length 305 km (190 mi), N/S
Biome Desert

The Thal desert (Urdu, Punjabi: صحراےَ تھل) is situated in Punjab, Pakistan. It is vast area mainly between the Jhelum and Sindh rivers near the Pothohar Plateau. Its total length from north to south is 190 miles, and its maximum breadth is 70 miles (110 km) while minimum breadth is 20 miles. This region is divided into the districts of Bhakkar, Khushab, Mianwali, Jhang, Layyah, and Muzaffargarh. Its part in Jhang is on the left bank of the river Jhelum. Geographically, it resembles the deserts of Cholistan and Thar. Main towns of Thal are Murshid Abad Shareef, Roda Thal, Mankera, Hyderabad Thal, Dullewala,Jhammat shumali,Joyia,Nibu wala,Khansar,Hasti wala,Rakh Dullewala, Mehmood Shaheed, Shah Wala, Shahi Shumali, Piplan, Kundian, Chowk Azam, Sarai Muhajir, Jiasal, Rangpur, Adhi Kot, Jandanaala, Mari Shah Sakhira, Noorpur Thal, Kapahi, Goharwala,Mahni.

The Greater Thal canal[edit]

Thal Canal

The history of the Thal Canal Project goes back to over 130 years. It was in 1873 that the project was first conceived for the whole of Thal Doab. The proposal to irrigate this area was repeatedly brought up for discussion in 1919, 1921, 1924, 1925, 1936 and in 1949. It was however repeatedly shelved because of the argument that it would severely hurt the water availability to the lower riparians. The project proposal once again came under discussion in 1975 when the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) refused to endorse the project. Finally, on August 16, 2001, General (Rtd) Pervez Musharraf, as President of Pakistan, inaugurated the 30-billion rupee Greater Thal Canal (GTC) project.[1]

Culture and society[edit]

Home in Khansar, Bhakkar, Thal

The language used, Thalochi dialect, reflects a number of features for its historical and geographical background. Thal is a pretty diffused society as many people in search of rain travel larger distances and many travel to central parts of Punjab for work when there is shortage of water. So due to the diffused nature of these people language in Thal is a mixture of many Dialects of the Punjab. Many communities do speak their peculiar local dialects but general Punjabi language is easily understood and can be spoken owing to the migration trends in search for work in these regions.The people here live mainly in houses constructed of mud.The area remains lacking in basic facilities such as electricity. The people of Thal are hospitable, and are generally religious. Grams are produced in this desert and sent all across Pakistan. People go to shrines and Peers to ask for prayers.In some areas people started installing Tube well to water their crops


Main tribes of people living in this desert region include the Bhidwal, Ghullo, Wahla, Rajpoot, Panwaar, Saigra, Khokhar, Sandhila, Naich (Jutt), Aheer, Bhachar, Talokar, Johiya, Mammak, Chhina,[Kulachi Baloch], Tiwana, Sial, Baghoor, Jabhana, Awans, Jasra, Rahdari, Uttra, Bhullar, Lashari, Kanyal, Jhammat, Gahi, Waghra, Aulakh, Majoka, Magsi, Karlu and Pushia. Before the independence of Pakistan in 1947 there was a large Sikh and Hindu population.

See also[edit]