• Wild World India
    Dunes at DNP @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
  • Wild World India
    Desert Fox @ Dhritiman Mukhrejee
  • Wild World India
    Critically endangered Indian Bustard @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
  • Wild World India
    Dunes at DNP @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
  • Wild World India
    Stoliczka's Bushchat @ Aditya Singh
  • Wild World India
    Indian Desert Jird @ Dhritiman Mukhrejee
  • Wild World India
    Chinkara or Indian Gazelle @ Dhritiman Mukherjee

Desert National Park

Jaisalmer, rajasthan

A spectacular representative of the desert ecosystem, the Desert National Park (DNP) is a vast expanse of sand, undulating dunes and a fascinating array of unique flora and fauna. The only habitat of its type in the Indian subcontinent, DNP is located in the Thar Desert in North-western India, tucked away between the Aravalli hills to its east and the Great Rann of Kutch to the south.

One of the smallest deserts in the world and more recent in comparison to others, Thar’s sparse vegetation and a major part of its arid region falls under thorn forest with open grassland, thorny bushes and rolling dunes which comprise about 20% of the total area.

DNP is the most important site for the long-term survival of the globally threatened Great Indian Bustard, of which the park holds the largest viable population in the country, though numbers are precariously low. Other semi-desert species include the endemic Stoliczka’s Bush Chat, Asian Desert Warbler, Mcqueens Bustard, Cream-coloured Courser, Black-bellied, Chestnut-bellied and Painted Sandgrouse, Black-crowned Finch Lark, Variable and Isabelline Wheatear, Desert Whitethroat and Punjab Raven. Raptors here are the critically endangered Indian and White-rumped Vultures, Laggar Falcon, Tawny and Short-toed Snake Eagle.

Notable mammals of DNP are the Chinkara, Desert and Indian Fox, Desert Cat, Desert hare, Long-eared Hedgehog and the Desert Gerbil. Prominent among the reptiles are the endemic Toad-headed Agama and Sindh Awl-headed Snake, besides the Indian Spiny-tailed Lizard, Dwarf Gecko, Persian Gecko, Desert Monitor and Saw-scaled Viper.

The park is situated close to Jaisalmer town, which has an imposing 11-century fort (the only living fort in India), intricately carved havelis or mansions and Jain temples. Once part of the camel caravan trading on the old Silk route, the town still exuberates a medieval charm and is one of the top heritage sites in India.

Fact Sheet
  • State: Rajasthan
  • Area: 3162 sq km (1900 sq km in Jaisalmer district, 1262 sq km in Barmer)
  • Altitude: 210 to 320 m
  • Vegetation: Arid thorn forest
  • Water resources: Very low rainfall zone
  • Winter: November to February
  • Summer: March to June
  • Monsoon: July to September
  • Rainfall: Less than 100 mm
  • Temperature: Min 2°C, Max 50°C

LOCATION OF Desert National Park

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