The Cholistan Desert is 30km from Bahawalpur and extends over an area of 16,000 km². The dry bed of the Hakra River lies across this area. The Desert is home to the famous Derawar Fort which was built by the nawabs of Bahawalpur in 1733. The Desert also has an Annual Jeep Rally, known as the Annual Cholistan Jeep Rally.
Indus Valley Desert
The Indus Valley Desert is a desert ecoregion of northern Pakistan. The Indus Valley desert covers an area of 19,500 square kilometers lying between the Chenab and Indus rivers. The Indus Valley Desert is drier and less welcoming than the Northwestern thorn scrubs that enclose it.
The Cold Desert, also known as the Katpana Desert or Biama Nakpo, is a high-altitude desert located near Skardu, in Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan region. The desert contains expanses of large sand dunes that are sometimes covered in snow during winter. Situated at an elevation of 2,226 meters above sea level, the Katpana Desert is one of the highest deserts in the world. The desert technically stretches from the Khaplu Valley to Zanskar in Ladakh, but the largest desert area is found in Skardu and Shigar Valley. The portion most visited is located near Skardu Airport.
The Kharan Desert is a sand desert situated in Balochistan province, Pakistan. All of the Balochistan plateaux is characterized by extremely arid conditions and very barren terrain. However, the Kharan desert can be separated from the rest of the arid landscape due to its sandy nature and more even terrain, ranging from 1000 m in the north-east to 500 m in the west. It mostly falls in the Kharan District covering an estimated area of more than 20,000 sq km with a population of only 0.23 million. In the north, east, and west it is surrounded by hills, up to 3000 meters, while on the west it extends into Iranian territories. It is the most inhospitable desert in Pakistan with extreme dry climatic conditions supporting very little vegetation cover of mainly desert bushes. Due to its vastness and isolation, the Kharan desert was selected for Pakistan’s second nuclear test executed on May 30, 1998.
The Thal desert is situated in Punjab, Pakistan. The vast expanse is located between the Jhelum and Sindh rivers near the Pothohar Plateau, with a total length from north to south 190 miles, and a maximum breadth of 70 miles, and a minimum breadth of 20 miles. The desert covers the districts of Bhakkar, Khushab, Mianwali, Layyah, Muzaffargarh as well as Jhang, from the left bank of the river Jhelum. Geographically, it resembles the deserts of Cholistan and Thar. Three Fourth of its total area contains huge sand dunes though most of its areas are irrigated by the canal water of Indus.
The Thar Desert, which spreads from Pakistan into India, is the world’s 18th largest desert. In Pakistan, the desert extends over the southeastern part of Punjab and the eastern part of Sindh. Towards the south of the desert is a salt marsh known as Rann of Kutch. The Indus river flows to the west of the desert. About 23 species of lizards and 25 species of snakes are found here.