Geographical & Physical Features
Jodhpur district is among the largest districts in the state of Rajasthan. It is centrally situated in the western region of the state, and covers a total geographical area of 22850 Sq. Km. Jodhpur district lies between 26 degrees 0 minutes and 27 degrees 37 minutes north latitude and 72 degrees 55 minutes and 73 degrees 52 minutes east longitude. It is bounded by Nagaur in the east, Jaisalmer in the west, Bikaner in the north and Barmer and Pali in the South. The total length of the district from north to south is about 197 Km and from east to west it is about 208 Km. The district of Jodhpur lies at a height of 250-300 metres above sea level.
This district comes under the arid zone of the Rajasthan state. It covers 11.60 percent of the total area of the arid zone of the state. Some of the areas of the great Thar Desert in India also comes within the district. The general slope of the terrain is towards west. Extreme heat in summer and cold in winter is the characteristic of the desert. Jodhpur is no exception.
There is no perennial river in the district. However, there are important rivers in the district viz. Luni River `and Mithri River though their base is saline water. Main sources of irrigation besides rainwater are dug-wells and tube-wells. The highest-irrigated area in the district is in Bilara Tehsil followed by Bhoplgarh and Osian tehsil.
The soil of the district is classified mainly as sandy and loamy. Bajra (pearl millet) is the major crop in the Kharif season. Jodhpur has excellent ground water in many parts of the district. In Rabi, wheat, pulses and a variety of spices like Cumin (jeera), Coriander(dhania) and red chilli are also grown. Jodhpur is well known for its red chilli, onion and garlic. It is one of the major production centres for Guar. The major and important minerals of the district are sandstone and limestone. Fawn and red coloured sandstone of the district is very popular and found in abundance. Besides this, building stones, stone-slabs and flagstones are mined in the district on a regular basis. Minerals like quartz and clays of various colours and dolomite are also available in the district.
On account of the arid climate, a rather negligible percentage of the total reporting area for the land use in the district is covered by forests. Due to sandy soil only scrub and thorny bushes of vegetation are found in the forest areas of the district. The main species of trees are Kumat, Kair, Khejri, Babul, Bir, Jal khara, Pilu etc. Fruit bearing trees are pomegranates and guavas. The fauna of the district includes jackal, Jungle Cat, Indian Fox, Black Buck, Chinkara, common Hare, etc. The birds commonly found are Baya, koyal, parrot, Vulture, Jungle Crow, bulbul, House Sparrow, Kite, Sand Grouse, Common quail, grey partridge, little egrit, etc.
Climate, Temperature and Rainfall
The climate of Jodhpur is generally hot and arid but with a rainy season from late June to September. Although the average rainfall is around 360 millimetres (14 inch), it is extraordinarily variable. The temperature varies from 49 degrees in summer to 1 degree in winter. The Sandstorm (andhi) is a spectacle for people from other regions of India. The rainy days are limited to a maximum of 15 in a year. Temperatures are extreme throughout the period from March to October, except when monsoonal rain produces thick clouds to lower it slightly. During these periods of heavy rain, however, the generally low humidity rises and this adds to the normal discomfort from the heat.
Forest, Flora and Fauna
Only 6948 hectares of the total reported area of land use in the district was covered with forests in 1999-2000. The forest area is available around the hills and is classified as any scrub thorn forest. Due to the sandy soil and dry climate of the district, only shrub and thorny bushes of vegetation are found in the forest areas of the district. The main species of trees are Vilayati Khejri (Prosopis - juliflora) and Kumat.
Balsamand Jheel is located in the north of Jodhpur City. Kailana Tank and Ummed Sagar are notable water reservoirs. There are two natural springs in the district namely the Beri Ganga and Ban Ganga. Besides, some of the important Tanks are Soorpura and Golejor bandhs, Pichiyak (Jaswant Sagar) and Birai Tank, which are maintained by the irrigation department.
Geology and Minerals
The district has ample stores of mineral wealth. The sand used in construction is found in abundance in Jodhpur Tehsil. Apart from this sandstone, ‘Chhitar Stone’ and Brown Stone are also found in rich quantity. Chhitar stone is being used mainly for the construction of roofs. Stone slabs, which are being used for the construction of buildings, are found near Jodhpur City and Balesar.
Some mines of marble stone dolomite are found in Phalodi Tehsil. The mineral and the stone used for Emery Stone is found in Bhopalgarh. White clay is found near Pipar City, which is being used as a paste to join two stones. There are 156 quarries of lime stone. The limestone is being used in lime, cement, rubber, steel and chemical works. Apart from this quarries of Jasper are also found in the district.
The climate of the district is characterized by extremes of temperature, and uncertain rainfall and dryness. The winter season, which is spread over from November to March, is followed by summer, lasting from April to June. The period from July to mid-September forms the south-west monsoon season.
On the whole, the climate of the district is dry but healthy. During, hot season winds blow in the day but nights are generally cool and pleasant. There are two meteorological observatories in the district, one each at Jodhpur and Phalodi which represent the weather conditions of south-eastern and north-western portions of the district.
NATURAL ECONOMIC RESOURCES SOIL
The Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI) and the State Soil Survey Department has classified eleven types of soil in the district. Main seven types of Soil are given below:
1. Soil which is deep to very deep and has an excess of seepage of water. Areas of sand dunes
2. Deep Sandy Soil which has excess of seepage of water.
3. Deep light texturized soil, which has a capacity to preserve some moisture but erosion of soil takes place due to wind.
4. Normal to medium deep texturized soil which has sufficient capacity to preserve moisture.
5. Plain shallow rocky soil, which is uncultivable.
6. Deep texturized land with moisture, which is saline and where the level of ground water is high.
7. Very deep, light texturized fertile soils.
Agricultural activities in the district are mainly dependent on the rains. Kharif is the main crop of the district. Rabi crop is mainly cultivated in Bilara, Bhopalgarh and Osian Tehsils only.
Bajra, Moong, Moth, Sesamum (Til), Jowar and Cotton to some extent are the main crops of Kharif whereas wheat, Barley, Gram, Mustard, Raida, Taramira etc are the main crops of Rabi in the district. Only 15 per cent of the cultivable land is sowed due to scarcity of irrigational facilities.
There is no perennial river in the district. The level of ground water does not rise due to low and scanty rains in the district. Due to the excessive extraction of ground water, its level is going down day by day. The natural sources of water Viz. River, tanks etc are very few. On the other hand, due to high-rate of evaporation irrigation is done with much difficulty. The main sources of irrigation are wells and few tanks constructed during the princely regime. Among the tanks suitable for irrigation purposes, Soorpura tank and Pichiyak (jaswant sagar) are worth mentioning; small tanks however, are available in many villages of the district but are dried up due to insufficient rains.