A sea of sand, the desert have motivated explorers and adventurers alike to voyage on the ever-changing dune-scapes. The fascination the Thar holds is unparalleled. Gateway to the Indian Silk Road, to the story called India, the Thar is also the most diverse and rich desert ecosystem in the world. This diversity also manifests itself in the richness of traditional knowledge system of ancient communities here.
With elements of nature, necessitating stringent protection under the law from human intervention and destruction of desert wildlife and habitat. 68 species of large animals are found here, of which 29 are protected by the Indian Wildlife Act. Some of the ubiquitous species around Manvar Resort, Camp and Desert Reserve are the Chinkara aka Indian Gazelle, Nilgai, Desert Fox, Asiatic Desert Cat, very specific and specialized rodents, lizards, monitor lizards, rabbits, hedgehogs, mongoose among others.
There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount...
unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.”
― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
The desert fringes afford an oasis-like sanctuary for birds, with avifauna, indigenous and migratory flock to these safe havens undisturbed by human activities. Harriers to falcons, buzzards, kestrels and vultures, sand grouse, peacocks, not to mention the famed Demoiselle cranes and their feeding grounds at Khichan are sought after by birders from around the globe.
The vegetation of this region is unique with trees and shrubs such as Khejri, the lifeline of the desert, Kumatiya, Rohida (desert teak), Kair, Ber, Googal, Phog, Sevan, Dhaman, Kheemp, Thhor cactus, Aak among others providing sustenance and shade to humans and animals alike. Invading species have caused unimaginable and irreversible damage to these indigenous species elsewhere. Manvār Desert Reserve is set up with the express intent of creating a safe haven for the indigenous species to proliferate.
Bishnois, probably the first community of people anywhere to have built an identity on the principles of conservation of wildlife are legendary for their love of all life. Settled around in the deserts of ancient cities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner, the Bishnois live by a set of twenty-nine commandments which implores them to love all living beings as an extension of their own self. A manifestation of this is seen in the daily ritual of feeding the Chinkaras at the Bishnoi Temple of Lohawat, a 45-minute drive from Manvār, the quintessential desert camp and resort near Jaisalmer.
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