(Indian Geography) Indo-Gangetic Plains & Peninsular Plateau

Indian Geography Notes for Civil Services Examination


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Indo-Gangetic Plains

The Indo-Gangetic Plains is a large and fertile alluvial plains encompassing most of northern and eastern India, the most populous parts of Pakistan, and virtually all of Bangladesh. The region is named after the Indus and the Ganges, the twin river systems that drain it. The southern edge of the plains is marked by the Deccan Plateau in Peninsular India. On the west rises the Iranian Plateau. The region is one of the most populated areas on the earth, being home to nearly 900 million people (or over 1/8th of the world's population). In social and economic terms, the Indo-Gangetic Plains is the most important region of both India and Pakistan.

Topographically the plain is homogeneous, with only the floodplain bluffs, changes in river channels and other related features of river erosion forming natural features. Two narrow terrain belts, collectively known as the Terai, constitute the northern boundary of the Indo- Gangetic Plain. In the area where the foothills of the Himalayas encounter the plains, small hills known locally as ghar (meaning 'house' in Hindi) have been formed by coarse sands and pebbles deposited by mountain streams.

The Indo-Gangetic Plains Stretches Across:

  • Kashmir in the North
  • The Punjab region of Pakistan and the Aravalli Range.
  • Sindh in the West
  • The Himalayan foothills in the east; and the Deccan Plateau in the south
  • The fertile Terai region is the Nepalese extension of the plain.
  • The river encompassed are the Beas, the Chambal, the Chenab, the Ganges, the Gomti, the Indus, the Ravi, the Satluj and the Yamuna. The Soil is rich in silt, making the plain one of the most intensely farmed areas of the world. Even rural areas here are densely populated

Peninsular Plateau

Peninsular (A body or piece of land enclosed on three sides by water, jutting out from a larger body of land) plateau lies to the south of the northern plains of India. It was formed due to the breaking and drifting of the Gondwana land; Hence it is a part of the oldest landmass.

  • It is tableland made up of the old crystalline, Igneous and metamorphic rocks. The plateau has broad and shallow valley and rounded hills.
  • The peninsular Plateau is flanked by Aravallis on the northwest, the western Ghats in the east. This plateau ranges in an elevation from 100 metres in northern side to 1000 metres to the south.
  • Many rift valleys such as Narmada, Tapi, Mahanadi, Godavari, and Damodar have been formed due to faulting and vertical movements.
  • The peninsular Plateau is rich in valuable minerals such as manganese, Iron, Mica, Coal, Bauxite, gold and copper.

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