India Physiography – The Indian Peninsular Plateaus

Physiography of India



India can be divided into following physical divisions viz.

  • The Northern Mountains
  • The North Indian Plain
  • The Peninsular Plateau
  • Great Indian Desert
  • The coastal Regions
  • Islands

The Peninsular Plateaus

  • Largest of India’s physical divisions – Comprises of broad & shallow valleys with rounded hills
  • Triangular in shape; composed of the oldest rocks & Surrounded by hills
  • Narmada – Tapi divides it into 2 parts viz. Central highland & Deccan plateau

Peninsular Plateaus

Division of Peninsular Plateau

The Central Highland 

  • Malwa Plateau
  • Bundelkhand
  • Baghelkhand
  • Chotanagpur Plateau
The Deccan Plateau 

  • Deccan Trap
  • Western Ghats
  • Eastern Ghats
  • North-East Extension

The Central Highlands

  • Lies to the north of the Narmada river between Aravali in North & Vindhya range in south
  • Covers the major portion of the Malwa plateau (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Rivers in this region flow from southwest to northeast; which indicates the slope of this region
  • Further extension of it is Bundelkhand, Bhaghelkhand & Chhota Nagpur Plateau
  • Chambal & Betwa flows through it Region known as Bedland (Not fit for cultivation)
Malwa Plateau
  • Lies in Madhya Pradesh b/w Aravali & Vindhyas
  • Extension of it is Bundelkhand, Bhaghelkhand & Chota Nagpur Plateau
Bundelkhand Plateau  
  • Lies along the borders of UP & MP
  • Has been transformed into ravines by extensive erosional activities of river Chambal & its tributaries
Chhotanagpur Plateau 
  • NE part of Peninsular plateau
  • Includes Jharkhand, parts of Chhattisgarh & WB,
  • Highest Peak Parasnath
  • Famous as Patland plateau & known as ruhr of India

Deccan Plateau

  • Largest plateau in India; Lies to the south of the Narmada River; Shaped as inverted triangle.
  • Surrounded by Satpura hills, Mahadeo hills, Maikala range, Amarkantak hills and Rajmahal hills i the north; Western Ghats in the west and the Eastern Ghats in the east
  • Volcanic in origin, made up of horizontal layers of solidified lava forming trap structure with step like appearance
  • Sedimentary layers are also found in between the layers of solidified lava, making it inter-trapping in structure
  • Average elevation of Western Ghats is 900 – 1600 metres; compared to 600 metres of Eastern Ghats
  • Slopes towards east and south and descends abruptly towards west making sahayadri ranges
  • The plateau is suitable for the cultivation of cotton; home to rich mineral resources & a source to generate hydroelectric power


Western Ghats

  • Folded parts of Deccan Plateau
  • Also known as Shayadries
  • More Continuous & higher than Eastern Ghats
  • Separated from coast by narrow coastal plains
  • Rich watersheds give birth to large peninsular rivers like Godavari and Krishna
  • Extends from Tapi in North to Kanyakumari in south


Important Passes (Rail Links)
  • Thalghat Mumbai —- Kolkata
  • Bhorghat Mumbai —- Chennai
  • Phalghat Kochi ——– Chennai


Important Hill Ranges
  • Nilgiri Range (Highest peak Doda Betta along ooty (Udhagmandalam) TN
  • Highest Peak of South India Anaimudi From which 3 ranges radiates in 3 directions 
  • Cardmom Hills to south,
  • Anamalai hills to north
  • Palni to North East

Geographical regions of India

Eastern Ghats

  • Extends from Odisha to North of Nilgiri hills
  • Discontinuous & lower then Western Ghats
  • Do not give birth to important rivers like western ghats
  • Separated from coast by very wide coastal plains
  • Geologically older than western ghats
  • Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri cut through this range to merge with Bay of Bengal
  • The Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats meet in the Nilgiri hills

Telangana Plateau 

  • Part of deccan plateau
  • located on north of river Krishna 

Karnataka Plateau 

  • South of deccan lava region
  • Consist of Bababudan hills
  • Famous for iron ores 

Dandakaranya Plateau 

  • Forms parts of Chhatisgarh & Odisha
  • Contains igneous & metamorphic rocks of Archaen period
  • River Indravati & Mahandi flows throuth this plateau
  • Largely inhabited by Gond tribes 

Shillong Plateau

  • Part of Peninsular Deccan Plateau
  • Made of Garo, Khasi & Jaintia Hills
  • World’s highest rainfall receiving point Mawsynram is situated here


India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017


  1. thankyou very much to share the knowledge.

  2. Perfect….

  3. really helpful!!

  4. The notes are easy to refer and to the point. Good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>