Bhakkar - Homeland of Thal Desert (Punjab)
Bhakkar is a district in Punjab on the left bank of the Indus River at a distance of 406 km from Lahore via Bhakkar - Jhang Road. Most of its area is located in the Thal desert which is famous for its sand dunes and wonderful cultural traditions.
Bhakkar is bounded by Layyah, Jhang, Khushab, Dera Ismail Khan, and Mianwali districts. It can be accessed through the Indus Highway N-55 via Dera Ismail Khan or by using Jhang-Bhakkar Road via Jhang district.
A part of the district consists of a ravine tracts along the Indus River, also known as Kaccha, while most part of the district area composed of the desolate plain of the Thal Desert. Kaccha is suitable for various crops but it can be in danger due to flood in river in the monsoon period.
The Thal Desert is located in the Pothohar Plateau with length of 306 km and breadth of 113 km. It is bounded by the northern Salt Range and the Indus River. It is a subtropical sandy desert with massive sand dunes. Due to high wind velocity, there is huge shifting and rolling of sand and becomes a reason of land erosion that leads to crop damage. Day time temperature is much higher as compare to night temperature. Most of the plants in the Thal desert are of herbaceous nature such as grass, shrubs, sedge, etc. There are several herbs used for medicinal purposes. There is also sudden increase and decrease in the temperature. Thal desert is full of wildlife. It is a homeland of more than fifty species of both resident and migratory birds. Several mammals such as chinkara, Indian hare, Indian desert cat, and red fox are commonly availabe. The Thal Desert is famous for desert safari tour along the Jhang-Bhakker road as well as Noorpur-Shergarh Road. One can observe the splendid views of desert with moving sand dunes shined with the sun lights. It gives a diversified ranges of views as the time passes from morning to evening. The view of sunset in the Thal desert is one of the more memorable view of one's life. It covers area of Bhakkar, Mianwali, Khushab, Jhang, Layyah, and Muzzafargarh districts. Thal canal, originated from Chashma Jhelum Link Canal, is constructed to irrigate the land of the Thal Desert to convert it into fertile land.
Apart from the desert area, Bhakkar is a also best for producing various crops in alluvial plains of the river sides. The most of the area is irrigated due to the Indus River as well as Thal canal water. These crops include cotton, grams, maize, sugarcane, etc. Dates are also famous in the region.
Mankera Fortress is located at a distance of half a kilometer to the left of the Bhakkar Highway near Mankera town. It has a fort building and a fortification wall around it. It was constructed with stones and mud taken from the Indus River. Now-a-days, it is almost in ruins except its walls. Major part of the wall still exists. There is also a historical mosque, called Mankera Mosque.
Bhakkar is famous for its unique specialty of Karna oil, which is extracted from karna flowers. It is also exported to other countries.
The temperature in the district varies with the structure of land. Mostly in the summer season, the weather is extreme hot and dry, whereas in winter season it becomes moderate cold. There is not much rain in monsoon period.
Bhakkar Photo Gallery
Bhakkar is famous for agriculture in Punjab. Sugarcane is one the famous crop in Bhakkar, that is the main source of foreign exchange by exporting sugar.
The Thal desert is located between the Indus River and the Jhelum River in Punjab Province, with a total length of 190 miles and width of 70 miles. It covers the area of Bhakkar, Khushab, Mianwali, Layyah, Muzaffargarh and Jhang.