Physical features of india

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05 Physical features of india

Formation of the Physical Features

  • The relief features of India are formed by geological formations, weathering, erosion and deposition, have created and modified the relief to its present form.
  • According to ‘Theory of Plate Tectonics’, the crust of the earth has been formed out of seven major and some minor plates.

Oldest landform – Himalayas

  • The oldest landmass was a part of the Gondwana land which included India, Australia, South Africa, South America and Antarctica as one single land mass.

Formation of the Northern Plains:

  • The uplifting of the Himalayas resulted in the formation of a large basin.
  • A flat land of extensive alluvial deposits led to the formation of the northern plains of India.

Major physiographic divisions:

1. The Himalayan Mountains

  • These mountain ranges run in a west-east direction from the Indus to the Brahmaputra. The Himalayas covers a distance of about 2,400 Km. Their width varies from 400 Km in Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in its longitudinal extent.

The Greater or the Inner Himalayas

The Lesser Himalayas or the Himachal

The Shiwaliks

Regional Division of the Himalayas:

  • The part lying between Indus and Satluj are known as Kashmir and Himachal Himalaya.
  • The part of the Himalayas lying between Satluj and Kali rivers is known as Kumaon Himalayas.
  • The Kali and Teesta rivers demarcate the Nepal Himalayas.
  • The part lying between Teesta and Dihang rivers is known as Assam Himalayas.

2. The Northern Plains

  • The northern plain has been formed the three major river systems, namely — the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries.
  • The Northern Plain is broadly divided into three sections.

The Punjab Plains:

The Western part of the Northern Plain is referred to as the Punjab Plains.

The Ganga Plains:

The Ganga plain extends between Ghaggar and Teesta rivers.

The Brahmaputra Plain:

This part particularly lies in Assam.

The Northern Plains are divided according to the variations in relief features. They are.

  • Bhabar formed by the deposition of pebbles by the rivers that descend from the mountains.
  • Terai is where the streams and rivers re-emerge and create a wet, swampy and marshy region.
  • Bhangar is the largest part of the northern plain and is formed of older alluvium.
  • Khadar are newer, younger deposits of the floodplains.

3. The Peninsular Plateau

  • It is a tableland composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • This plateau consists of two broad divisions.

The Central Highlands lies to the north of the Narmada River and covers a major area of the Malwa plateau.

The Deccan Plateau is a triangular landmass that lies to the south of the river Narmada.

Western Ghats

  • Western Ghats lie parallel to the western coast.

Eastern Ghats

  • The Eastern Ghats stretch from the Mahanadi Valley to the Nilgiris in the south.

The Aravali Hills

  • The Aravali Hills lie on the western and northwestern margins of the Peninsular plateau.

4. The Indian Desert

  • It lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hills.

5. The Coastal Plains

  • These are stretch of narrow coastal strips, running along the Arabian Sea on the west and the Bay of Bengal on the east.

6. The Islands

  • Lakshadweep Islands
  • Andaman and Nicobar islands

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