India Table of materials

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India"s total land fixed is 2,973,190 square kilometers and also is split into three key geological regions: the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the Himalayas, and the Peninsula region. The Indo-Gangetic Plain and those parts of the Himalayas in ~ India are collectively known together North India. Southern India consists of the peninsular region, often termed merely the Peninsula. ~ above the basis of its physiography, India is divided into ten regions: the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the northern mountains of the Himalayas, the main Highlands, the Deccan or Peninsular Plateau, the East shore (Coromandel coastline in the south), the West coast (Konkan, Kankara, and Malabar coasts), the good Indian Desert (a geographic function known together the Thar Desert in Pakistan) and also the Rann the Kutch, the valley of the Brahmaputra in Assam, the northeastern hill ranges bordering the Assam Valley, and also the archipelago of the Arabian Sea and also the bay of Bengal.

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Indo-Gangetic level

In social and also economic terms, the Indo-Gangetic level is the many important region of India. The plain is a good alluvial crescent stretching from the Indus River device in Pakistan come the Punjab plain (in both Pakistan and India) and the Haryana level to the delta that the Ganga (or Ganges) in Bangladesh (where it is called the Padma). Topographically the level is homogeneous, with just floodplain bluffs and other related functions of flow erosion and changes in river networks forming important natural features.

Two small terrain belts, collectively known together the Terai, constitute the north boundary the the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Wherein the foothills the the Himalayas encounter the plain, little hills recognized locally together ghar (meaning home in Hindi) have actually been formed by rough circuit sands and pebbles deposited by mountain streams. Groundwater indigenous these locations flows ~ above the surface ar where the levels begin and also converts big areas along the rivers right into swamps. The southern boundary that the plain starts along the sheet of the great Indian Desert in the state of Rajasthan and also continues east along the basic of the hills of the main Highlands to the just of Bengal. The hills, varying in key from 300 to 1,200 meters, lie on a general east-west axis. The central Highlands are split into northern and also southern parts. The northern component is centered on the Aravalli range of eastern Rajasthan. In the northern component of the state that Madhya Pradesh, the Malwa Plateau comprises the southern part of the central Highlands and also merges with the Vindhya selection to the south. The key rivers that flow through the southern part of the plain--the Narmada, the Tapti, and also the Mahanadi--delineate phibìc India from southern India.

Some geographers subdivide the Indo-Gangetic Plain into three parts: the Indus valley (mostly in Pakistan), the Punjab (divided between India and also Pakistan) and Haryana plains, and also the middle and lower Ganga. These local distinctions room based mainly on the availability of water. By one more definition, the Indo-Gangetic plain is split into 2 drainage containers by the Delhi Ridge; the western part consists the the Punjab Plain and the Haryana Plain, and the eastern component consists the the Ganga-Brahmaputra drainage systems. This division is just 300 meters above sea level, contributing to the perception that the Indo-Gangetic Plain shows up to be continuous between the 2 drainage basins. The Punjab level is focused in the land between five rivers: the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, and also the Sutlej. (The surname Punjab originates from the Sanskrit pancha ab , an interpretation five waters or rivers.)

Both the Punjab and Haryana plains are irrigated through water from the Ravi, Beas, and also Sutlej rivers. The watering projects emanating from this rivers have actually led to a decrease in the circulation of water reaching the lower drainage areas in the state that Punjab in India and also the Indus valley in Pakistan. The services that boosted irrigation has carried to farmer in the state of Haryana space controversial in light of the effects that watering has had on agricultural life in the Punjab locations of both India and also Pakistan.

The middle Ganga extends from the Yamuna river in the west come the state of West Bengal in the east. The lower Ganga and the Assam sink are an ext lush and verdant 보다 the middle Ganga. The reduced Ganga is centered in West Bengal native which that flows right into Bangladesh and, after joining the Jamuna (as the reduced reaches the the Brahmaputra are recognized in Bangladesh), creates the delta of the Ganga. The Brahmaputra (meaning son of Brahma) rises in Tibet (China"s Xizang Autonomous Region) as the Yarlung Zangbo River, flows through Arunachal Pradesh and also Assam, and also then crosses right into Bangladesh. Average yearly rainfall rises moving west to east from roughly 600 millimeter in the Punjab plain to 1,500 millimeters about the lower Ganga and also Brahmaputra.

The Himalayas

The Himalayas, the highest mountain selection in the world, expand along the northern frontiers that Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and also Burma. They were developed geologically together a result of the collision of the Indian subcontinent through Asia. This procedure of key tectonics is ongoing, and the gradual northward drift of the Indian subcontinent still reasons earthquakes (see Earthquakes, this ch.). Lesser ranges jut southward from the main body that the Himalayas in ~ both the eastern and western ends. The Himalayan system, around 2,400 kilometers in length and also varying in broad from 240 to 330 kilometers, is comprised of 3 parallel ranges--the greater Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, and also the outer Himalayas--sometimes collectively called the great Himalayan Range. The greater Himalayas, or northern range, average approximately 6,000 meters in height and contain the three highest possible mountains ~ above earth: mountain Everest (8,796 meters) ~ above the China-Nepal border; K2 (8,611 meters, also known together Mount Godwin-Austen, and also in China together Qogir Feng) in one area claimed by India, Pakistan, and also China; and also Kanchenjunga (8,598 meters) ~ above the India-Nepal border. Many major mountains are located entirely within India, such together Nanda Devi (7,817 meters) in the state that Uttar Pradesh. The snow line averages 4,500 to 6,000 meters on the southerly side that the higher Himalayas and 5,500 to 6,000 on the northern side. Due to the fact that of climatic conditions, the snow line in the east Himalayas averages 4,300 meters, while in the west Himalayas that averages 5,800 meters.

The Lesser Himalayas, located in northwestern India in the claims of Himachal Pradesh and also Uttar Pradesh, in north-central India in the state the Sikkim, and also in northeastern India in the state the Arunachal Pradesh, selection from 1,500 come 5,000 meters in height. Located in the Lesser Himalayas space the hill train station of Shimla (Simla) and Darjiling (Darjeeling). Throughout the early american period, these and also other hill station were used by the British as summer retreats come escape the intense warm of the plains. That is in this transitional vegetation zone the the contrasts in between the bare southerly slopes and the forested north slopes come to be most noticeable.

The outer or southern Himalayas, averaging 900 come 1,200 meter in elevation, lie between the Lesser Himalayas and the Indo-Gangetic Plain. In Himachal Pradesh and also Uttar Pradesh, this southernmost variety is regularly referred to as the Siwalik Hills. The is possible to recognize a fourth, and also northernmost range, known as the Trans-Himalaya. This selection is located totally on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, phibìc of the good west-to-east trending valley of the Yarlung Zangbo River. Return the Trans-Himalaya variety is split from the good Himalayan selection for most of its length, the merges v the good Himalayan range in the west section--the Karakoram Range--where India, Pakistan, and China meet.

The southerly slopes of each of the Himalayan ranges are too steep come accumulate snow or support lot tree life; the north slopes usually are forested below the snow line. In between the varieties are comprehensive high plateaus, deep gorges, and also fertile valleys, such together the vales the Kashmir and also Kulu. The Himalayas offer a an extremely important purpose. They carry out a physical display within which the monsoon device operates and are the resource of the an excellent river equipment that water the alluvial plains below (see Climate, this ch.). As a an outcome of erosion, the rivers comes from the hills carry vast quantities the silt that enrich the plains.

The area that northeastern India adjacent to Burma and also Bangladesh is composed of many hill tracts, averaging between 1,000 and also 2,000 meters in elevation, that space not connected with the eastern part of the Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh. The Naga Hills, increasing to heights of more than 3,000 meters, form the watershed between India and Burma. The Mizo Hills are the southern component of the northeastern varieties in India. The Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia hills are focused in the state the Meghalaya and, isolated indigenous the northeastern ranges, division the Assam valley from Bangladesh come the south and also west.

The Peninsula

The Peninsula proper is one old, geologically stable region with an median elevation between 300 and 1,800 meters. The Vindhya variety constitutes the main separating line between the geological regions of the Indo-Gangetic Plain and the Peninsula. This range lies north of the Narmada River, and when viewed from there, that is feasible to discern the prominent escarpments the rise in between 800 and also 1,400 meters. The Vindhya range defines the north-central and northwestern boundary of the Peninsula, and the Chota Nagpur Plateau of southerly Bihar develops the northeastern boundary. The uplifting that the plateau the the main Peninsula and its eastward tilt developed the west Ghats, a line of hills running from the Tapti River south to the tip of the Peninsula. The east Ghats mark the eastern finish of the plateau; they start in the hills the the Mahanadi flow basin and converge with the west Ghats at the Peninsula"s southern tip.

The interior of the Peninsula, southern of the Narmada River, regularly termed the Deccan Plateau or merely the Deccan (from the Sanskrit daksina , an interpretation south), is a series of plateaus topped by rojo hills and also intersected by countless rivers. The plateau averages roughly 300 to 750 meter in elevation. Its major rivers--the Godavari, the Krishna, and also the Kaveri--rise in the western Ghats and flow eastward into the only of Bengal.

The coastal plain boundaries the plateau. ~ above the northwestern side, the is characterized by tidal marshes, drowning valleys, and estuaries; and in the southern by lagoons, marshes, and also beach ridges. Coastal plains top top the eastern side are wider than those in the west; lock are concentrated on big river deltas that offer as the centers of human settlement.

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Offshore islands

India"s offshore islands, constituting roughly one-quarter that 1 percent of the nation"s territory, lie in two groups located off the east and also west coasts. The northernmost suggest of the union region of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago lies 1,100 kilometers south-east of Calcutta. Positioned in the bay of Bengal in a chain stretching some 800 kilometers, the Andaman Islands make up 204 islands and also islets, and also their topography is defined by hills and also narrow valleys. Although their place is tropical, the climate of the islands is tempered through sea breezes; rainfall is irregular. The Nicobar Islands, i beg your pardon are southern of the Andaman Islands, make up nineteen islands, some through flat, coral-covered surfaces and also others with hills. The islands have actually a nearly equatorial climate, heavy rainfall, and also high temperatures. The union are of Lakshadweep (the name means 100,000 islands) in the Arabian Sea, comprises--from north to south--the Amindivi, Laccadive, Cannanore, and also Minicoy islands. The islands, just ten that which room inhabited, room spread throughout an area of roughly 77,000 square kilometers. The islands are low-lying coral-based formations capable of limited cultivation.