Thar Desert, Rajasthan

Thar DesertWhile working for ONGC, during 1968-69, I was posted in Jodhpur to work in a seismic party headed by SK Verma.We were working deep in the Thar desert very near to the Pakistan boarder . The experience living and working in that area is worth describing here.Personal experience of living in that special and harsh environmental conditions and dealing with different kinds of people working in the party is really quite unique. In fact, the people including the party chief sent over here to work in this exploration party were under punishment of some kind or the other , transferred as the bosses in Head Quarters were not happy with them. Dealing with such people was not easy. NC Sharma, PN Mathur were other two more geophysicists working in the party. We were working in Ghotaru area covering upto Kishan Garh. Names of the places were given not as they were the villages or townships of any kind but they were known with other identifiable marks like a water well etc.

From Jodhpur to our camp Ghotaru, one has to go through Jaisalmer , Ramgarh, Gamnewala and Longenwala. Jodhpur to Jaisalmer was a tar road and Jaisalmer is the last or terminal Railway station in this area; also Jaisalmer is the biggest town in Thar desert area with lots of tourist attractions.From Jaisalmer to Ramgarh is also tar road and Ramgarh is also the last small town with stable population in this area. After Ramgarh, there is no road , it is only the desert with sand dunes of varying sizes. We have to change our mud tred tires to sand tred tires in Ram Garh. Our drivers were very experienced ones from the local area and knew every bit of the place. It was possible to reach from one place to another only with these expert drivers. Our vehicles were strong ones with high powered engines , could climb those sand dunes without much problems. The journey from Ram Garh to ghotaru was really trachorous , difficult with lots of ups and downs on the sand dunes. The desert is just empty without any visible vegetation or living animals. The journey is monotonous and full with wilderness.

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