Saturday, April 15, 2023

Desert National Park

Desert National Park UPSC

The Desert National Park is a protected area located in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is one of the largest national parks in the country, covering an area of about 3,162 square kilometers (1,220 square miles). The park was established in 1980 to preserve the unique desert ecosystem and the wildlife that inhabits the region.


The Desert National Park is primarily a sandy desert, characterized by rolling sand dunes, rocky terrain, and sparse vegetation. It falls within the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, which is the most arid region in India.


The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna that have adapted to the harsh desert conditions. Some of the notable wildlife species found in the Desert National Park include the Indian bustard (Great Indian bustard), a critically endangered bird species, as well as blackbuck, desert fox, desert cat, chinkara (Indian gazelle), and various species of reptiles and migratory birds.


Table of Contents

  • Desert National Park Location
  • Desert National Park History
  • Desert National Park Area
    • Sudashri Forest
    • Sand Dunes
  • Desert National Park Sand Dunes
  • Desert National Park River
    • Luni River
  • Akal Wood Fossil Park
  • Desert National Park Flora
  • Desert National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Great Indian Bustard
  • Top Things to do in Desert National Park
  • Desert National Park UPSC Questions


Desert National Park Location

Desert National Park is located in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan, India. The park is located in the Thar Desert. It is situated in western part of the state of Rajasthan, India. 


Desert National Park’s eastern boundary is characterised by the Aravalli hills, while the western boundary is defined by the fertile plains of the Indus river. The Great Rann of Kutch forms a sharp border in the south and sub-Himalayan plains form the northern limit.


The park is situated about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Jaisalmer, which is a popular tourist destination known for its magnificent sandstone fort and havelis (traditional mansions).


Desert National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Desert National Park is Jaisalmer Airport, also known as Jaisalmer Civil Airport. It is located in the city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The airport is approximately 45 kilometers (28 miles) away from the park. 


Desert National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Desert National Park is Jaisalmer Railway Station. It is well-connected to major cities in Rajasthan and other parts of India through regular train services. Jaisalmer Railway Station is situated in the city of Jaisalmer, approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from the park. From the railway station, visitors can hire a taxi or take a guided tour to reach the Desert National Park.




Desert National Park History

The Desert National Park has a rich history that stretches back to ancient times. The region surrounding the park has been inhabited by various civilizations and has witnessed the rise and fall of empires.


Ancient Civilization and Archaeological Significance: Indus Valley Civilization: The region surrounding the Desert National Park has archaeological remains dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300-1300 BCE). The area has yielded ruins of ancient settlements, temples, and tombs, providing insights into the cultural and historical heritage of the region.


Establishment of the Desert National Park: In 1980, the Desert National Park was established as a protected area. The primary objective was to conserve the unique desert ecosystem, protect wildlife species, and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area. The park plays a crucial role in safeguarding endangered species, such as the Indian bustard (Great Indian bustard), which is critically endangered.


Note- Great Indian Bustard is one of the largest flying birds in the world and is found only in India and Pakistan.




Desert National Park Area

The Desert National Park covers an area of approximately 3,162 square kilometers, making it one of the largest national parks in India. Its 1900 km² is in the Jaisalmer district and the remaining 1262 km² is in the Barmer district of Rajasthan State, India.


The Desert National Park is divided into two major sections: the Sudashri forest and the sand dunes. 


(1) Sudashri Forest:

The Sudashri forest covers an area of about 780 square kilometers and is characterized by its rocky outcrops and thorny vegetation. The Sudhansri Forest is an important ecological resource and provides a habitat for several species. It is a popular destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. 


(2) Sand Dunes:

The sand dunes cover an area of approximately 2,382 square kilometers and consist of vast stretches of sand that are constantly shifting due to the wind.




Desert National Park Sand Dunes

The Desert National Park is known for its vast stretches of Sand Dunes. Sand dunes form around 44% of the Desert National Park area. It cover an area of approximately 2,382 square kilometers within the park. The sand dunes are constantly shifting due to the wind, creating a unique and ever-changing landscape.


The sand dunes in the Desert National Park are typically categorized into three types: longitudinal, barchan, and transverse.


Longitudinal Dunes: Longitudinal dunes are long, straight dunes that run parallel to the prevailing wind direction. 


Barchan Dunes: Barchan dunes are crescent-shaped dunes that are formed by winds blowing from one direction. 


Transverse Dunes: Transverse dunes are long, ridged dunes that are perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction.


Visitors to the Desert National Park can explore the sand dunes through guided tours or by hiking on designated trails. The sand dunes are also a popular location for camping and camel safaris, providing a unique and immersive way to experience the beauty and tranquility of the desert.




Desert National Park River

The Desert National Park is located in the Thar Desert, which is known for its arid climate and lack of permanent water sources. The Luni river flows through Thar Desert.


Luni River:

The Luni is the largest river in the Thar Desert. It flows through the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is one of the few rivers in the region that flows westward and empties into the Arabian Sea. 


The river has a length of around 495 kilometers (307 miles) and originates in the Pushkar valley of the Aravalli Range, near Ajmer, Rajasthan. The Luni river is also known as the Lavanavari or Lavanavati, which means "salt river" in Sanskrit, due to the high salinity of its water.


It passes through the southeastern portion of the Thar Desert, and ends in the marshy lands of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Luni river is one of the internal drainage rivers in India; it does not meet with Arabian Sea.


Tributaries of Luni river are-


Left Bank Tributaries:

  • Sukri
  • Mithri
  • Bandi
  • Khari
  • Jawai
  • Guhiya
  • Sagi


Left Bank Tributaries:

  • Jojari 


The dams in Luni river are:

  • Dantiwada Dam
  • Sipu Dam
  • Jaswant Sagar Dam 




Akal Wood Fossil Park

Desert National Park has presence of fossils from the Jurassic Period. The Wood Fossil Park at Akal (Jaisalmer district) has significant fossil evidences dating back to the Jurassic period. Akal Wood Fossil Park is a National Geological Monument of India and also a Biodiversity Heritage Site. Its terrain is barren and rocky.


The Akal Wood Fossil Park is a unique site that contains fossilized remains of ancient trees that date back to the Jurassic period, around 180 million years ago. The Akal Wood Fossil Park covers an area of about 21 hectares and is considered one of the largest and best-preserved fossil sites in the world.


The Akal Wood Fossil Park is home to a variety of tree fossils, including Gymnosperms and Angiosperms, and also contains a variety of other plant fossils, such as leaves, fruits, and seeds. The fossils are well-preserved and provide valuable insights into the flora that existed during the Jurassic period.




Desert National Park Flora

The Desert National Park is home to a variety of plant species that are uniquely adapted to the harsh desert environment. The park's vegetation is primarily characterized by open and scattered Grassland, thorny shrubs, cacti, and succulents that are able to survive in the arid climate.


Despite the arid conditions, the Desert National Park's vegetation provides an important habitat for a variety of animal species. The park's vegetation also helps to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion, contributing to the overall health and sustainability of the desert ecosystem.


Some of the most common plant species found in the Desert National Park include:


  • Khejri 
  • Dhok
  • Ber
  • Rohida
  • Gugal (Commiphora wightii)
  • Phog
  • Prickly Pear Cactus




Desert National Park Fauna (Desert National Park Animals)

What wildlife is in Desert National Park?/Which important animals are found in Desert National Park Jaisalmer?

The Desert National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife species that are specially adapted to the arid desert environment. Some of the notable species found in the park include:


Mammals:

  • Chinkara or Indian Gazelle
  • Desert Fox
  • Indian Wolf
  • Desert Cat
  • Bengal Fox
  • Hedgehog
  • Indian Hare


Birds:

  • Great Indian Bustard
  • Sandgrouse
  • Partridges
  • Bee-eaters
  • Larks
  • Shrikes 
  • Demoiselle Crane 
  • Houbara Bustard 
  • Tawny 
  • Steppe Eagles
  • Long-legged
  • Honey Buzzards
  • Falcons


Reptiles:

  • Spiny-tailed Lizard
  • Monitor Lizard
  • Saw-scaled Viper
  • Russell’s Viper
  • Common Krait




Great Indian Bustard

Greatest attraction of the Desert National Park is the Great Indian Bustard. The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) is a critically endangered bird species that is found in the grasslands and deserts of India and Pakistan, including the Desert National Park. Desert National Park is one of the last few remaining sites in which Great Indian bustard can be found in good numbers.


The Great Indian Bustard is known for its striking appearance and elaborate courtship displays. The Great Indian Bustard is a large, ground-dwelling bird that is well adapted to the arid conditions of the desert. The male bird is larger than the female and has a more elaborate plumage, which it displays during courtship rituals.


The Great Indian Bustard is a solitary bird that feeds on a variety of small animals, including insects, lizards, and rodents. It is also known to eat seeds and fruits during times when other food sources are scarce. The bird is highly adapted to its environment and is able to survive in extreme temperatures and with limited access to water.




Top Things to do in Desert National Park

The Desert National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the beauty and diversity of the desert ecosystem. Here are some of the top things to do in the park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Visit the Fossil Park
  • Bird Watching
  • Camel Safari
  • Trekking
  • Cultural Tour
  • Photography




Desert National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Desert National Park is famous for which bird?

A. Desert National Park is famous for Great Indian Bustard.


Q. Where is Desert National Park located?/The Desert National Park is located in which state?/In which district is Desert National Park?/How many districts does Desert National Park spread?

A. Desert National Park is located in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan, India.


Q. What is Desert National Park known for?

A. Desert National Park known for Great Indian Bustard, Fossils (Jurassic Period), Sand Dunes etc.


Q. Which river flows through Desert National Park?

A. Luni river flows through Thar Desert.


Q. Which state of India is famous for desert tourism?

A. Rajasthan state is famous for desert tourism.


Q. Is there human habitation in Desert National Park?

A. No.


Q. Which bird is found only in Desert National Park Rajasthan?

A. Great Indian Bustard bird is found only in Desert National Park (Rajasthan).


Q. Desert National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Desert National Park is famous for Great Indian Bustard.


Q. Desert National Park spread over two districts?

A. Desert National Park spread over in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan, India.


Desert National Park

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