India > Environment > Indian Landforms

Types of Indian Landforms

Indian Landforms are concluded with the northern Great Himalayas to southern Costal Strips and western Desert to Eastern mountain forest. India is the seventh largest country in the world with an area of 3,287,591 sq km (approximately).

India's landforms can be classified in five seperate types, respectively these are the Northern mountáin region, the Great Plains of the north, the desert of Rájasthan, the Greát Plateau and the Coastal Strips & Islands.

Indian Northern mountain region

Himalaya is a Sanskrit word which means "house of Snow" (Hima means snow and Alaya means house). It outlines separate geographical partitions that disconnect the India from the outer world. The Himalayas expand from west to east in an enormous semicircle for about 2,500 km or 1,550 miles, it covers a surprising area of 612,021 sq km.

The Himalayas Mountain ranges run across the northern parts of India. It can be classified into 3 (three) mountain belts from north to south, each with its unique features and individual geological forms. Respectively they are the Himadri Himalayas ranges, the Himachal or middle Himalayas and the Shivalik or south most ranges.

Himadri is the maximum mountain range with an average height of 6,000 meters above the sea level. The world's highest mountain peak, Mount Everest (8,848 m) lies in Himadri. The heights of the Himachal range vary between 3,701 meters and 4,501 meters. The famous hill stations - Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital and Darjeeling stretch out in this range. The Shivalik is the lowest among the Himalayas with a height of between 901 meters to 1,201 meters.

Great Plains of North and Middle India

The extensive Northern Great Plains has been formed due to the constant depositional motion of the Himalayan Rivers. With several thousand kilometers of thickness, the Northern Great Plains cover a surprising area of above 700,000 sq km These plains are the world's most wide plain. These made up of with the alluvial soil Himalayas River and the soil of these plains are most fertile individuality of India.

These greatest plain starts from the foothill of the Himalayas and it extend from the Sutlej River in the west to the Brahmaputra River in the east. These northern plains consist of three individual parts the Indus basin, Ganga-Brahmaputra basin and the tributaries of these rivers.

Peninsular Plateau in India

The Peninsular plateau is built of stable rocks and is the most wide physiographic partition of India. This physiographic partition has an area of about above 1,500,000 sq. km. It has a diverse landscape of mountains, plateaus and valleys. The plateaus of this physiographic division have an average height of above 400m from mean sea level. Anamudi with a height of 2,695m is the highest peak in this zone.

The peninsular plateau has been divided into nine subdivisions. These are the Aravalli hills, Malwa Plateau, Vindhya ranges, Satpura ranges, Chotta Nagpur plateau, Deccan pláteau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Kachchh and Kathiawar of Gujarat. Many small and large hills and pláteaus are also integrated in these zones.

Thar Desert Rajasthan

Indian Thar Desert is located in the north western part of India. The desert forms a political border between India and Pakistan. With a region of about 200,001 km2, it ranked 18th compare to any other in the world and ranked 9th among the all subtropical deserts.

Rainfall of this region is very low, average annual rainfalls varies from 11 cm to 51 cm and the climate of this region remains dry throughout the year with the temperatures variations from near freezing up to 50°C. Thar Desert is mainly located in Rajasthan (about 62% of Rajasthan) and rest parts of the desert covering some areas of Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat.

The Coastal Areas and Islands

The coastal strip surroundings the Deccan plateau along its eastern and western side. The Eastern Coastal Plain insert between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. The Western Coastal Plain lies between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea.

The northern part (the Northern Circars) and the southern part is (the Coromandal Coast) important part of this, because these contains fertile and well-watered deltas created by the Krishna, Kaveri, Mahananda and Godavari river.

The Konkan Coast (northern division of the Western Coastal Plains) is extensive and thin as it moves southwards. The Malabar Coast (southern division of the Western Coastal Plains) is thin and consists of a number of lagoons, backwaters and raised beaches.

Indian Islands

There are many islands placed in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, which form part of our country. These are dispersed in the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and in the Gulf of Mannar, between India and Sri Lanka. Lakshadweep (Laksha means a hundred thousand and Dweep means Island) means a hundred thousand islands. But, there are only 36 major islands present in this group of islands. Only ten islands in the group have been populated. This group of islands is located about 300 km away from the Kerala coast. Another important island group of India is Andaman & Nicobar Islands.