MAJOR PHYSIOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS
The physical features of India can be grouped into
the following divisions:
1. The Himalayan Mountains
2. The Northern Plains
3. The Peninsular Plateau
4. The Indian Desert
5. The Coastal Plains
6. The Islands
THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS
Found in the northern borders of India.
Run in West-East direction from the Indus to the
Cover about 2,400 Km with width varying from 400
Km to 150 Km.
Consists of three parallel ranges:
1. The Great or Inner Himalayas or the ‘Himadri’.
2. The Lesser Himalayas or the ‘Himachal’.
3. The ‘Shiwaliks’.
THE GREATER HIMALAYAS
Average height of peaks is 6,000m.
All prominent peaks lie here.
The core of this par is composed of Granite.
It is snow bound.
Glaciers descend from this range.
They were formed geologically as a result of the
collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia.
THE LESSER HIMALAYAS
Altitude varies from 3,700 to 4,500m.
Average width is 50 Km.
Mainly composed of highly compressed and altered
The Pir Panjal Range, Dhaula Dar and the
Mahabharat ranges are prominent ones.
The valley of Kashmir, Kangra and Kullu valley in
Himachal Pradesh lie here.
Altitude varies between 900 to 1,100m.
Width varies from 10-50 Km.
Composed of unconsolidated sediments.
THE NORTHERN PLAINS
The Northern Plains has been formed by the
interplay of three major river systems, namely:
1. The Indus,
2. The Ganga,
3. The Brahmaputra; and their tributaries.
Fertile plains formed by the deposition of alluvium.
Agriculturally a very productive part of India.
The area covered by this plain is 7 lakh
The plain is about 2400 km long and 240 to 320
THE PENINSULAR PLATEAU
The peninsular plateau is a tableland composed of
the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
This plateau consists of two broad divisions,
1. The Central Highlands
2. The Deccan Plateau
THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS
The part of Peninsular Plateau lying to the North of
the Narmada river covering a major area of the
Malwa plateau is known as the Central Highlands.
The rivers in this region are the Chambal, the Sind,
the Betwa and the Ken.
The slope of this region is from Southwest to
THE DECCAN PLATEAU
The Deccan Plateau is a triangular landmass lying
to the South of the Narmada river.
The Satpura range is in the North while the
Mahadev, the Kaimur hills and the Maikal range
form its eastern extensions.
The plateau is higher in the West and slopes gently
Other hill ranges are the Garo, the Khasi and the
THE WESTERN GHATS & THE EASTERN
The Western Ghats and The Eastern Ghats mark
the Western and the Eastern edges of the plateau
The Western Ghats are continuous and can be
passed through passes only (the Thal, Bhor and
The average height if the Western Ghats is 900-
1600m whereas that of the Eastern Ghats is 600m.
The Western Ghats cause orographic rains.
The highest peaks of Western Ghats include the
Anai Mudi (2,695 metres) and the Doda Betta
Mahendragiri (1,501 metres) is the highest peak in
the Eastern Ghats.
The black soil area of the peninsular plateau is
known as Deccan Trap.
This is of volcanic origin and hence rocks are
THE INDIAN DESERT
The Indian Desert lies towards the western margins
of the Aravali hills.
It is an undulating sandy plain covered with sand
This region receives very low rainfall below 150mm
THE COASTAL PLAINS
The Peninsular plateau is flanked by stretch of
narrow coastal strip, running along the Arabian Sea
on the West and the Bay of Bengal on the East.
The northern part of the Western Coastal Plains is
called the Konkan (Mumbai-Goa), the central
stretch is called the Kannad Plain while the
southern stretch is known as the Malabar Coast.
The northern part of the Eastern Coastal Plains is
called the Northern Circar while the southern part is
called Coromandel Coast.
India consists of two island groups, The
Lakshadweep Islands on the West near the
Malabar Coast and The Andaman and Nicobar
Islands in the East in the Bay of Bengal.
The Lakshadweep islands are composed of small