The district derives its name from Thar and Parkar. The name Thar is from Thul, the general term for the region sand ridges and Parkar literary means "to cross over". It was earlier known as Thar and Parkar district, but later became one word Tharparkar. Until 1990, the present district of Tharparkar, Umerkot and Mirpur Khas comprised one district with Mirpur Khas its headquarters. The division into two separate districts on 31st October, 1990, i.e. Mirpurkhas and Thar established the town of Mithi as the new headquarters of the Tharparkar district, while Umerkot was bifurcated on 17th April 1-993.

The district lies between 24 10' to 2545' north latitudes and 69' 04' to 7106' east longitude. It is bounded on the north by Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts, on east by Barmer and Jaisselmir districts of India, on west by district Badin and on south by Rann of Kutch. The total area of the district is 19,638. square kilometers.