Theri Kaadu – The Red Desert in Tamil Nadu

When we think of Indian deserts, we only think of the Thar. The Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan and Rajasthan both contain portions of the Thar or Great Indian Desert. The majority of us might not be familiar with the small desert found in Tamil Nadu called Theri. It only exists in the  Tiruchendur, Thoothukudi district, and is made up of red sand dunes. They are composed of marine sediments that date back at least to the Quaternary Period.

They have a relatively limited capacity for water and nutrient retention. The possibility of aerodynamic lift exists in the dunes. This is the force that causes things to go upward. The force that opposes weight is this one.

Source: Civilsdaily

The current Theri could have been produced by the local limitation of beach sand following sea regression. Sand grains moved and dunes accumulated as a result of the Western Ghats’ strong winds blowing east. The southwest monsoon winds that blow from May to September transport the red sand over the surface of a vast strip of red soil in the plains of the Nanguneri region, which is about 57 kilometers away in the Tirunelveli district. Wind erosion is said to be mostly caused by deforestation and a lack of vegetation in the Aralvaimozhi gap as well as the Nanguneri plains.

Source: Inmathi

The settlements of Nalumavadi, Pudhukudi, Sonaganvilai, Kayamozhi, and Paramankurichi are located on the southern bank of Thamirabarani, the state’s shortest river. The Bay of Bengal borders Theri Kaadu, which is a location sandwiched between these villages, on one side. About 12,000 acres, or 50 square kilometers, make up Theri Kaadu. Although cultivation is not feasible in Theri Kaadu, palm trees, and cashew nut trees are widespread. But if there is a drought, these could perish. In order to support themselves, the peasants worked incredibly hard to establish cashew and palm trees.

Water pockets that form after rainstorms become temporary lakes and ponds. These areas develop agricultural grounds around these water features. They are known as Tharuvai Kaadu by locals. In these spots, the villagers are currently growing plants like drumstick trees.

Source: Roaming Owls

The Fan-Throated Lizard is a significant member of the unique fauna that can be discovered. The lizard is a special animal that can endure even the worst climates. It possesses what appears to be an umbrella-like neck. Another common snake is the saw-scaled viper.

Source: Encyclopedia of Life

Among the species found here are the Black Rumped Woodpecker, Common Lora, Spotted Owl, Green Bea Eater, and White Breasted Water Hen. Some varieties of butterflies are the Crimson Tip, Blue Tiger, and Plain Tiger.

The environment has been damaged by widespread sand mining. The habitat for living things is in jeopardy. Theri Kaadu should be made a protected area so that the conservation department can take better care of it in order to stop this from happening.


Published by LakesOfIndia

Lakes of India is an E.F.I initiative aimed at sensitizing the larger public on freshwater habitats across the country. A blog platform where one can read about lakes across India. You can become a guest blogger to write about a lake in your hometown and initiate an action to protect that lake.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: