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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


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1 Comment

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

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