Rahim Yar Khan is located in South Punjab next to Bahawalpur at the distance of 200 km on the National Highway N-5, having a border with India, Rajasthan. It was previously part of the Bahawalpur State. A part of Rahim Yar Khan is a desert area in the Cholistan desert.
The region was called with different names in the last 5000 years. One of its old name was Pattan, as the ancient tower of Pattan Minarah is situated at a distance of 13 km from the city. Then it was called as Naushehra until 1881, the ruler of Bahawalpur State, Nawab Sadiq Khan IV renamed it after his first son Rahim Yar Khan. After that it is still called Rahim Yar Khan.
Rahim Yar Khan has boundaries with Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur, Ghotki, and Ranjanpur districts. It also has its boundary with Jaisalmer district in India. It is also connected with the Sukkur - Multan Motorway M-5 for fast access. It is also located on the main railway track between Karachi to Peshwar. Shaikh Zayed International Airport is situated in the town to facilitates local as well as international flight services.
Rahim Yar Khan has diversified land including riverside area, canal irrigated area, and desert area of the Cholistan. A part of the land is irrigated by the Indus river water on the left bank of the river. The middle section of the district is irrigated by the canal water, whereas the remaining part of the district up to the Indo-Pak border is desert, also known as the Cholistan Desert. It contains sand dunes rising up to a height of 150 meters.
Patan Minara is an ancient building of 2000 year ago. It was constructed during the ancient Buddhist monastery in the Hakra valley civilization around 250 BC. It is situated at a distance of 8 km from Rahim Yar Khan city. The minara building was also used by the Alexander to observe the movements of the local tribes. There are remains of the fort, mosque, and tunnels near the Patan Minara.
Bhong Mosque is well designed mosque near the village of Bhong in the Rahim Yar Khan district. It was constructed over a period of 50 years and completed in 1982. It is also awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1986. A postage stamp depicting the image of mosque was issued in 2004 in Pakistan.
Shri Krisha Temple is a Hindu temple situated in the Sadiqabad in Rahim Yar Khan district. It is famous Hindu temple for the Krishna Janmastami celebration. A two to three days festival is held there every year.
The Cholistan Desert, also known as Rohi, is vast area with sand dunes having height of 150 meters. It is located in the southern Punjab, that is the part of the Greater Thar Desert. It is second largest desert in the Punjab region. The world Chol is turkish word and its meaning is sands, so it meaning is the land of sands. It was part of the fertile land of the Indus Valley civilization and watered with a large river from the Himalayas. As river changed its course of movement, it becomes a desert land. The dry-out bed of the Hakra River runs through the Cholistan area. More than four hundred Harappan sites had been listed in the Cholistan desert, that indicates it was the most productive region of the Indus Valley Civilization. It was also a center for caravan trade in the medieval period along the several forts in the area. It covers an area of 25,800 kilometers square in the Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, and Rahim Yar Khan. In a desert safari, one can enjoy mild hot sandy winds of the Cholistan Desert. Camels are the most important animal in the Cholistan Desert and can be used for meat as well as for transportation. In Cholistan Desert, a superior quality carpet wool is produced to knit carpets, rugs and woolen items. Khaddar cloth and beds sheets are also woven there. Ajrak, a special and delicate printing technique with red and indigo blue color, is a specialty of the Cholistan that is famous in Pakistan as well as in international market.
Palace is constructed by Al-Nayhan, the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, for the purpose of hunting in the area. The Sheikhs family has also undertaken a number of other welfare projects in the district.
The area is also famous for various wild animals such as wild cats, Chinkara deer, jackals, snakes, and blue bull are easily observed there. The cholistan desert is also famous for various migratory birds including Houbara bustard. It is an endangered specie, instead of that it is the most famous bird in the hunting season. Chinkara deer is also endangered species in the desert of Cholistan.
The climate is extremely hot and dry in summer but in winter weather becomes pleasant. Dust storms are very common in summer due to high temperatures in the Cholistan Desert.