Thar Desert Images

Janette Heartwood's photographs of the Thar Desert, taken in December 2008, are offered as a contribution to the historical record of these remote villages.


Joyce Plath invited me to join her on this journey to the Thar Desert, during our Christmas break from teaching at Aayojan School of Architecture in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The School helped us by sponsoring this exploration.

The Director and Staff at Urmal Trust in Bikaner drew a map showing villages with the last remaining traditional dwellings. Our driver took us down narrow roads to these remote places.

Art Professor Suresh Jangid and his wife Sonika, a Cultural Historian, accompanied us. Beyond their ability to speak the language, it was Sonika who was most successful in making initial contact and explaining our mission to the villagers. Once confidence was gained they welcomed us, shared stories, demonstrated how they made things, played music and children ran around with great amusement.

I was free to wander about but had to be quick with capturing photos lest they be filled with children rather than architecture.


The Thar Desert is located in north west India, along the Pakistan Border.

See orange area on map.

Thar Desert Village
Thar Desert Landscape
Thar Desert thatched hut decorated wall