Despite the challenges that the desert environment offers, people have settled all over the Thar and have innovated in their own small ways to make the arid sands habitable. There are agricultural and pastoral settlements; villages that have become pilgrimage
centres; there are settlements along the river bank or wherever water is to be found, fortified shelters offer sanctuary , while jobs are to be found in mining towns and at seasonal fairs or
melas. The central place is occupied by either a village well or a temple as in the case of the village Mukam where all social and cultural life revolves around the temple of Jambheswarji founded in 1593 on the samadhi (grave) of the saint. Water is, of course, the deciding factor in their location, except in the case of villages like Goriya which are situated on the Aravalli tract where water is plentiful.