PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA

Table of Contents

PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA

Answer the following questions:

Q.1.) What are the major physiographic divisions of India?

Answer –

The physical features of India can be grouped under the following physiographic divisions

(1) The Himalayan Mountains
(2) The Northern Plains
(3) The Peninsular Plateau
(4) The Indian Desert
(5) The Coastal Plains
(6) The Islands

Q.2.) Explain the formation of Northern plain of India.

Answer –

The northern plain has been formed by the interplay of the three major river systems, namely — the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries. This plain is formed of alluvial soil. The deposition of alluvium in a vast basin lying at the foothills of the Himalaya over millions of years, formed this fertile plain. It spreads over an area of 7 lakh sq. km.

Q.3.) What is the total length and width of the Himalaya?

Answer –

They form an arc, which covers a distance of about 2,400 Km. Their width varies from 400 Km in Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh.

Q.4.) Explain the three parallel ranges of Himalaya.

Answer –

The Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in its longitudinal extent.

  1. The Great or Inner Himalayas or the Himadri – It is the northern-most range of the Himalaya. It is the most continuous range consisting of the loftiest peaks with an average height of 6,000 metres. It contains all prominent Himalayan peaks. The folds of the Great Himalayas are asymmetrical in nature. The core of this part of Himalayas is composed of granite. It is perennially snow bound, and a number of glaciers descend from this range.
  2. Himachal or lesser Himalaya – This range lies to the south of the Himadri and forms the most rugged mountain system. The ranges are mainly composed of highly compressed and altered rocks. The altitude varies between 3,700 and 4,500 metres and the average width is of 50 Km.
  3. Shiwaliks – It is the outer-most range of the Himalayas. They extend over a width of 10-50 Km and have an altitude varying between 900 and 1100 metres. These ranges are composed of unconsolidated sediments brought down by rivers from the main Himalayan ranges located farther north. These valleys are covered with thick gravel and alluvium.

Q.5.) What are Duns?

Answer –

The longitudinal valley lying between lesser Himalaya and the Shiwaliks are known as Duns.

Q.6.) Which is the longest range in lesser Himalaya range?

Answer –

Pir Panjal range

Q.7.) Divide Himalayan range from west to east.

Answer –

Besides the longitudinal divisions, the Himalayas have been divided on the basis of regions from west to east. These divisions have been demarcated by river valleys.

  • The part of Himalayas lying between Indus and Satluj has been traditionally known as Punjab Himalaya but it is also known regionally as Kashmir and Himachal Himalaya from west to east respectively.
  • The part of the Himalayas lying between Satluj and Kali rivers is known as Kumaon Himalayas.
  • The Kali and Teesta rivers demarcate the Nepal Himalayas.
  • The part lying between Teesta and Dihang rivers is known as Assam Himalayas.

Q.8.) What is the Purvanchal?

Answer –

The Brahmaputra marks the eastern-most boundary of the Himalayas. Beyond the Dihang gorge, the Himalayas bend sharply to the south and spread along the eastern boundary of India. They are known as the Purvachal or the Eastern hills and mountains. These hills running through the north-eastern states are mostly composed of strong sandstones, which are sedimentary rocks. Covered with dense forests, they mostly run as parallel ranges and valleys. The Purvachal comprises the Patkai hills, the Naga hills, the Manipur hills and the Mizo hills.

Q.9.) Divide the northern plain on the basis of river basins.

Answer –

The Northern Plain is broadly divided into three sections.

  • The Punjab Plain is the Western part of the Northern Plain.

It is formed by the Indus and its tributaries, the larger part of this plain lies in Pakistan.

This section of the plain is dominated by the doabs.

  • The Ganga plain extends between Ghaggar and Teesta rivers. It is spread over the states of North India, Haryana, Delhi, U.P., Bihar, partly Jharkhand and West Bengal to its East.
  • The Brahmaputra plain lies particularly in Assam. It is formed by the Brahmaputra River.

Q.10.) Divide the Northern plain on the basis of relief features.

Answer –

According to the variations in relief features, the Northern plains can be divided into four regions.

  • After descending from the mountains, the Himalayan Rivers deposit pebbles in a narrow belt of about 8 to 16 km in width lying parallel to the slopes of the Shiwaliks. This narrow belt is known as bhabar. All the streams disappear in this bhabar belt.
  • In the South of the bhabar belt, the streams and rivers re-emerge and create a wet, swampy and marshy region known as terai.
  • Bhangar is the largest part of the northern plain and is formed of older alluvium. It lies above the floodplains of the rivers and presents a terrace like feature. The soil in this region contains calcareous deposits, locally known as kankar.
  • The newer and younger deposits of the floodplains are called khadar. They are renewed almost every year and so they are fertile, thus, ideal for intensive agriculture.

Q.11.) What is bhabar?

Answer –

After descending from the mountains, the Himalayan Rivers deposit pebbles in a narrow belt of about 8 to 16 km in width lying parallel to the slopes of the Shiwaliks. This narrow belt is known as bhabar. All the streams disappear in this bhabar belt.

Q.12.) What is terai?

Answer –

In the South of the bhabar belt, the streams and rivers re-emerge and create a wet, swampy and marshy region known as terai.

Q.13.) What is bhangar?

Answer –

Bhangar is the largest part of the northern plain and is formed of older alluvium. It lies above the floodplains of the rivers and presents a terrace like feature. The soil in this region contains calcareous deposits, locally known as kankar.

Q.14.) What is khadar?

Answer –

The newer and younger deposits of the floodplains are called khadar. They are renewed almost every year and so they are fertile, thus, ideal for intensive agriculture.

Q.15.) What are the two broad divisions of the peninsular plateau?

Answer –

The peninsular plateau consists of two broad divisions, namely, the Central Highlands and the Deccan Plateau.

Q.16.) Which region is known as Baghelkhand?

Answer –

The narrow eastward extensions of the Central Highlands are locally known as the Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand.

Q.17.) Meghalaya is the part of which plateau?

Answer –

Meghalaya is the north-east extension of the Deccan Plateau.

Q.18.) Which region is known as Deccan trap?

Answer –

Deccan Trap is the black soil area of the peninsular plateau known as Deccan Trap. Their rocks are igneous as they are of volcanic origin which denuded over time and are responsible for the formation of black soil.

Q.19.) Distinguish between the Eastern and the Western Ghat.

Answer –

Western Ghats –

  • The Western Ghats mark the western edges of the Deccan Plateau respectively.
  • Western Ghats lie parallel to the western coast.
  • They are continuous and can be crossed through passes only.
  • The Western Ghats are higher than the Eastern Ghats.
  • Their average elevation is 900– 1600 metres.
  • The Western Ghats cause orographic rain by facing the rain bearing moist winds to rise along the western slopes of the Ghats.
  • The height of the Western Ghats progressively increases from north to south. The highest peaks include the Anai Mudi (2,695 metres) and the Doda Betta (2,637 metres).

Eastern Ghats –

  • The Eastern Ghats marks the eastern edge of the Deccan Plateau.
  • It lie parallel to the Eastern Coast.
  • The Eastern Ghats are discontinuous and irregular and dissected by rivers draining into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Their average elevation is 600 metres.
  • The Eastern Ghats stretch from the Mahanadi Valley to the Nigiris in the south.
  • Mahendragiri (1,501 metres) is the highest peak in the Eastern Ghats.

Q.20.) Write a short on the Aravalli hills.

Answer –

The Aravalli Hills lie on the western and northwestern margins of the peninsular plateau. These are highly eroded hills and are found as broken hills. They extend from Gujarat to Delhi in a southwest-northeast direction.

Q.21.) Name the highest peak of the Eastern and the Western Ghat.

Answer –

The highest peak in the Western Ghats is Anai Mudi (2,695 metres).

Mahendragiri (1,501 metres) is the highest peak in the Eastern Ghats.

Q.22.) Distinguish between the Eastern and the Western Coastal plain.

Answer –

The Western coastal plain –

  • The western coast plain is sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea.
  • It is narrower than the eastern coastal plain.
  • It consists of three sections. The northern part of the coast is called the Konkan (Mumbai – Goa), the central stretch is called the Kannad Plain, while the southern stretch is referred to as the Malabar Coast.
  • They do not having any extensive delta.

The Eastern Coastal Plain –

  • The eastern coast plain is sandwiched between the Eastern Ghats and the Arabian Sea.
  • The plains along the Bay of Bengal are wide and level.
  • In the northern part, it is referred to as the Northern Circar, while the southern part is known as the Coromandel Coast.
  • Large rivers, such as the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri have formed extensive delta on this coast.

Q.23.) What was the erstwhile name of the Lakshadweep islands?

Answer –

Earlier they were known as Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindive. In 1973, these were named as Lakshadweep.

Q.24.) Name the only active volcano of India.

Answer –

India’s only active volcano is found on Barren Island in Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands.

Q.1.) Write a short note on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Answer –

  • The Andaman and Nicobar islands are the elongated chain of islands located in the Bay of Bengal extending from north to south.
  • They are bigger in size and are more numerous and scattered.
  • The entire group of islands is divided into two broad categories – The Andaman in the north and the Nicobar in the south.
  • It is believed that these islands are an elevated portion of submarine mountains.
  • These island groups are of great strategic importance for the country.
  • There is great diversity of flora and fauna in this group of islands too.
  • These islands lie close to equator and experience equatorial climate and has thick forest cover.

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