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CHOLISTAN

The Cholistan Desert also locally known as Rohi sprawls 30 km (19 mi) from Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan and covers an area of 26,300 km2 (10,200 sq mi). It adjoins the Thar Desert, extending over to Sindh and into India.

The word the Cholistan is derived from the Turkic word chol, meaning desert. The people of this area lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals. The dry bed of the Hakra River runs through the area, along which many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found.

The desert also hosts an annual Jeep rally, known as Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally. It is the biggest motorsports event in Pakistan.

In a harsh and barren land where rainfall is very sparse and unreliable, Cholistanis rely mainly on their livestock of sheep, goats, and camel. However, in cold nights of winter, they huddle indoor and engage themselves in various arts and crafts such as textiles, weaving, leatherwork, and pottery.

The Cholistan produces a very superior type of carpet wool as compared to that produced in other parts of Pakistan. From this wool, they knit beautiful carpets, rugs and other woolen items. This includes blankets, which is also a local necessity for the desert is not just a land of dust and heat, but winter nights here are very cold, usually below freezing points. Khes and pattu are also manufactured with wool or cotton. Khes is a form of a blanket with a field of black white and pattu has a white ground base. Cholistanis now sell the wool for it brings maximum profit.