Flora of Rajasthan
While one part of Rajasthan is dominated by the Thar Desert, the other part flaunts the lofty peaks of the Aravallis and Vindhya ranges. The forests in Rajasthan mostly lie to the east of the Aravalli range. They comprise of about 9% of the total area. The vegetation in the desert region majorly comprises of stunted trees, thorny shrubs and some grasses. The rest of the vegetation grows only during monsoon.
Kejri or prosopis cineraria are the most widely found trees in the Rajasthan. It serves the purpose of both food and fodder. Its bean shaped fruit, sangri, is used for both this purpose. Another fruit, Ker, is also eaten as a vegetable. Its tree is used as wood as well. The other prominent trees that grow on sandy soil are akaro and shrubs, the thor, botdi babul, anwal, sewan, dhaman, boor and bhatut.
Some of these grasses help in soil conservation as they bind the soil and can also be utilized as fodder for the cattle. Other plants that are part of the flora of Rajasthan are bamboo, khejri, peepal, jamun, salar, ber and khajur or dates. The shrubs are more attention grabbing. They comprise of wild roses, ferns and orchids. Plants with medicinal values grow in abundant in the state of Rajasthan.
Fauna of Rajasthan
The fauna of Rajasthan is blessed with various species. They range from mammals and reptiles to colorful birds. The common animals here are antelopes and gazelles that include Blackbuck and Chinkara. Nilgai is commonly found in open plains and in the foothills of the Aravallis. Chau Singha, another local, lives in the hilly regions. Besides these one may also come across sambar, chital, rhesus macauqe, langur, jackal, wolf, Indian porcupine, desert fox, Indian gerbil, five-striped palm squirrel, desert gerbil, wild boar and a host of other wild animals.
But the most important species that adds a special dimension to the fauna of Rajasthan is the cat family. Amazingly, it is one of the best places where big cats thrive. Taking shelter in the ruins of temples, chilling in the water bodies and lurking behind long grasses, they have rendered the wildlife in Rajasthan with a unique charisma. The Indian tigers, leopards, panthers, jungle cat and caracal are to be found here. Amongst these some are endangered species and are kept in protection in national parks.
While the tiger rules the land, the crocodiles and ghariyals are the monarchs of the aquatic life. Other reptiles include Indian python or ajgar, Indian chameleon and the garden lizard. Common mongoose and Indian mongoose are mostly found in dry arid zone.