The Great Indian Desert lies to the west of the Northern Plains. It is also known as the Thar Desert (थार मरुस्थल).
The Great Indian Desert stretches from the Aravalli hills in the east to the border of Pakistan in the west and from Rann of Kachchh in the south-west to the border of Haryana. The Great Indian Desert is partly rocky and partly sandy. It has many low sand hills called sand dunes. These sand dunes keep on moving as a result of strong dust storms.
The Great Indian Desert receives little rainfall. Some areas do not get rain at all for many years. There are no permanent rivers. The only river that flows through this desert it the Luni. It is a seasonal river and dries up soon in the summer. So there is always a shortage of water.
During summer, the days are very hot but nights are cold because the sand cools down quickly after sunset. During winter, the days are generally warm but the nights are very cold.
During summer, dust storms are very common. Due to shortage of water, people have to walk many kilometres to bring water from wells. So, life in the desert is very difficult.
However, in some places, the underground water comes to the surface and forms big pools. Such a place is called an oasis. The water from oases is used to grow crops. Trees like date palm, kikar, babool and cactus also grow near the oases.