Knowing about India’s Relief, Major
Physiographic Units and Structure.
To understand the major landforms
features and the underlying
geological structure, Their
association with different rocks
and minerals as well as nature of
Facts that Matter
1.India is a large landmass formed during different
geological periods by processes such as Weathering, Erosion
and deposition have also influenced her relief.
2.According to the Theory of Plate tectonics, the crust or the
upper part of the earth has been formed out of seven major
and some minor plates.
3.These plate movements are of Three types – convergent
boundary, Divergent Boundary and transform Boundary.
4.The oldest landmass was a part of the Gondawana land
which includes India, Australia, South Africa, South America
and Antarctica as one single landmass.
Facts that Matters
5. The physiographical Divisions of India
b)The Northern Plains
c)The peninsular Plateau
d)The Indian Desert
e)The Coastal Plains
Facts That Matters
a)The Himalayas stretch over the northern borders of India.
-The northern most range is called ‘Himadri’.
-The Southern range is called ‘Himachal’.
-The Outermost Range is called ‘Shiwaliks’.
b)It is formed by interplay of 3 Major river system- The Indus,
The Ganga and Brahmaputra.
-Its divided into three sectors. The Punjab Plains formed by
Indus and its tributaries. Large Part of this plain lies in Pakistan.
The Ganga plain extends between Ganga and Teesta river.
Facts That Matter
-The Northern Plain also have diverse relief Features.
According to this, This plain can be divided into four Regions
-The river after descending from the mountains deposit
pebbles in a narrow belt lying parallel to the slopes of the
shiwaliks. It is known as Bhabhar.
-South of the belt, the streams and Rivers re-emerged and
create a wet swampy and marshy region known as Terai.
-The Largest Part of the Northern Plain is formed of older
Alluvium and known as Bhangar.
-The newer Younger deposits of fold Plains are Called Khadar.
Facts That matters
c) The Peninsular Plateau is a tableland composed of the old
crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks. It's a part of the
oldest landmass on the surface of earth. It has broad and
shallow valleys and rounded hills.The Plateau consists of two
main divisions: 1. Central Highlands 2. Deccan Plateau.
d) The Indian desert lies towards the western margins of the
Aravali Hills. It is undulating sandy plain covered with sand
dunes. This region receives very low rainfall below 150mm
Facts That Matters
e)The coastal Plain extended in the form of a strip along the
Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian sea on the west.
- The western coast, sandwiched between the Western Ghats
and the Arabian Sea, is a narrow plain. It consists of three
- The northern part of the coast is called the Konkan(MumbaiGoa)
- the central stretch is called the Kannad Plain
- the southern stretch is referred to as the Malabar coast.
- Lake Chilika is an important feature along the eastern coast.
Facts That Matters
f) -The Lakshadweep Islands group lying close to the Malabar
coast of Kerala.This groups of islands is composed of small
coral islands . Earlier they were known as Laccadive,Minicoy
and Amindive.In 1973 these were named as Lakshadweep.
- It covers small area of 32 sq.km. Kavaratti island is the
administrative head- quarters of Lakshadweep.
- The elongated chain of islands located in the Bay of Bengal
extending from north to south.
-These are Andaman and Nicobar islands. They are bigger in size
and are more numerous and scattered.
- The entire group of islands is divided in to two broad
categories- The Andaman in the north and the Nicobar in the
-These island groups are of great starategic importance for the
One word Answers
1.What is the northernmost range of the Himalayas Known as?
Ans : Himadari
2.In which country is Dhaulagiri located?
Ans : Nepal
3.Which two rivers demarcate the Nepal Himalayas?
Ans : Kali and Tista
4.Where are Kailash and Mansarovar Located?
Ans : Tibet
5.Which is The Highest peak of Eastern Ghats?
Ans : Mahendragiri
6.What type of soil is found in Peninsular plateau?
Ans : Black Soil
7. Where is the Chilka Lake located?
Ans : Orrisa
Question.2: Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) What are tectonic plates?
(ii) Which continents of today were parts of the Gondwana land?
(iii) What is bhabar?
(iv) Name the three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south.
(v) Which plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhyan ranges?
(vi) Name the island group of India having coral origin.
(i) Due to internal heat of the earth, the currents of the semi-molten rocks
begin to move towards the crust and tear it apart dividing it into large
fragments called lithospheric or tectonic plates. There are seven such major
plates namely, South America, North America, Pacific, Indo–Australian,
Eurasian, African and Antarctic.
(ii) Gondwana land is the name given to the hypothetical ‘super-continent’
located in Southern hemisphere. Gondwana Land included South America,
part of Africa (south Africa including Madagascar), part of Asia (India, Arabia,
Malaya), Australia and Antarctica, prior to its break-up under the forces
(iii) The ‘Bhabar’ is that narrow belt of the plain which is covered with
pebbles and lies along the foothills of the Shiwaliks from the Indus to the
Teesta. This belt is laid down by numerous streams descending down the hills.
(iv) The three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south are –
(a) The northernmost range which is known as the great Himalayas or
Inner Himalayas or the Himadri.
(b) The range lying to the south of the Himadri which is known as Himachal
or the lesser Himalaya.
(c) The outermost range of the Himalayas which is known as the Shiwaliks.
Theses are the foothill ranges and represent the southernmost division of the
(v) Malwa plateau or Central Highland
Question.3: Distinguish between
(i) Converging and diverging tectonic plates.
(ii) Bhangar and Khadar
(i) The internal heat of the earth makes the molten rocks to rush towards
the surface of the earth and drive the crust into large fragments known as
“Tectonic Plates”. These plates are drifting oven the mantle of the earth. As
a result when the two or more plates are pushed towards each other they
are called ‘Converging Plates’. On the other hand if they are moving away
from each other, they are called ‘Diverging Plates’.
(ii) According to the age of the soils of the Northern Plain they have been
differentiated by two names: (a) Bhangar and (b) Khadar. The difference
between these two are mentioned below –
(a) Bhangar - These are the older alluvium or old soil and form the largest
part of the Northern Plains. They lie above the flood plains of the rivers and
present a terrace like structure. It often contains Kankar nodulesmade of
(b) Khadar - The newer and younger deposits of the flood plains are
known as ‘Khadar’. So, these are the new alluvium or new soil and are very
fertile. Thus, Khadar is ideal for intensive agriculture.