India, being a large country, has diverse geology. The rock system of India is broadly divided into the systems mentioned below:
    A.1 Archaean Rock System – 4 – 1.8 BYA
          1. Archaean Gneisses and Schists 
          2. Dharwar System 
   A.2 Purana Rock System – 1400 – 600 MYA
          3. Cuddapah rock system
          4. Vindhyan rock system
       B.1 Dravidian Rock System – 600 – 230 MYA
         Palaeozoic Era –  600 MYA – 230 MYA
          5. Dravidian rock system
         B.2 Aryan Rock System – 230 MYA – Present
          Mesozoic Era –  230 MYA – 65 MYA
           6. Gondwana System
           7. Jurassic rock system
           8. Cretaceous rock system
         Cenozoic Era –  65 MYA – Today
           9. Tertiary rock system
          10. Quarternary rock system


A.1  Archaean Rock System
       4 – 1.8 BYA

  • Archean rocks, also known as Pre-Cambrian rocks are the oldest rocks of the earth’s crust.
  • The Archean period covers 86.7% of total geological history time of earth and therefore is very significant.

1. Archean Gneisses and Schists 

 4 billion years ago

  • Oldest rocks [pre-Cambrian era] [formed about 4 billion years ago].
  • Rocks formed due to solidification of molten magma.
  • They serve as the basement complex or the foundation rocks for other rock systems.
  • They are devoid of any fossils (Azoic).
  • They mostly contain gneisses (granite, gabbro etc.) and schists (crystalline rocks such as mica, chlorite, talc etc.)
  • Because of their volcanic origin, they are crystalline and consist of sheet-like layers (foliated).


  • The Archean rock system in India is found in Aravalli mountains.
  • 2/3rd of the Deccan peninsula and
  • Some parts of north east.


  • These rocks have abundant metallic and non-metallic minerals.

2. Dharwar rock system

2.5 billion to 1.8 billion years

  • They are formed due to the metamorphosis of the sediments formed out of the Archean rocks.
  • Since they were first studied in the Dharwar region of Karnataka, they were named so.
  • They are rich in metallic minerals.
  • These are the oldest metamorphic rocks of India.


  • Dharwar region of Karnataka.
  • But they are also found in Aravallis, Tamil Nadu, Chotanagpur plateau, Meghalaya, Delhi, and the Himalayas region.
  • Dharwar rocks are divided into various series based on the region in which they are found and the type of metal contained in them.

Dharwar series

    • The Champions series containing gold mines lie within this system. This Champion system is named after the Champion reef in the Kolar Gold Fields. The Kolar Gold Fields contain one of the deepest gold mines of world. 
    • Champaner series that is found near Baroda. This is source of a lush green variety of marble. 
    • Closepet series that is found in Balaghat and Chhindwara of Madhya Pradesh. It is rich in Copper ores.
    • Chilpi Series that is found in and around the Closepet series in Balaghat and Chhindwara.
    • Iron-Ore series that is located in Singhbhum, Mayurbnhanj and Keonjhar rangaes.


  • Economically the most important rocks because they possess valuable minerals like high grade iron-ore, manganese, copper, lead, gold, etc.
  • They are considered to be the storehouses of metallic minerals and hence have a high economic significance.

A.2 Purana Rock System –

1400 – 600 MYA

  • The Cuddapah and Vindhyan rock systems are together known as the Purana rock system.

3. Cuddapah rock system

  • They were formed when sedimentary rocks like sandstone, limestone etc., and clay were deposited in synclinal folds (between two mountain ranges)


  • Mainly found in the Cuddapah region of Andhra Pradesh.
  • They are also found in Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, the lesser Himalayas etc.


  • They are rich in metamorphic rocks such as shale, slate, quartzite etc.
  • Even though metallic minerals like iron ore were found, they were of poor quality.

4. Vindhyan rock system

  • This system derives its name from the great Vindhyan mountains.
  • The system comprises of ancient sedimentary rocks (4000 m thick) superimposed on the Archaean base.
  • They are formed by the erosion and deposition of Archean and Dharwar rocks.
  • Mostly Unfossiliferous.
  • Large area of this belt is covered by the Deccan trap.
  • Comprises of very old sedimentary rocks, hence are devoid of metallic minerals.


  • They are mainly found in the Vindhyan mountain ranges, extending from Rajasthan to Bihar.


  • They are diamond-bearing regions with Panna and Golconda diamonds being mined here.
  • Though they are devoid of metallic minerals, they are abundant in building materials such as red sandstone, limestone, glass making sand etc.


B.1 Dravidian Rock System

Palaeozoic Era –  600 MYA – 230 MYA

5. Dravidian system

600-300 million years ago.

  • The rocks of Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous periods are fall under Dravidian system. (All these are not important, only Carboniferous is important).
  • They are abundant in fossils, and this period saw the beginning of coal formation.


  • These are found in the extra-Peninsular regions of the Himalayas and the Gangetic plain.


  • Carboniferous coal is of a higher quality, though it is not found abundantly in India.

B.2 Aryan Rock System

Mesozoic Era –  230 MYA – 65 MYA

They began to be formed since the Upper Carboniferous period. From the Gondwana rock system, Jurassic system, Deccan trap and Tertiary period, this rock system is made up of diverse kinds of rocks.

6. Gondwana System

250 million years ago.

  • The Gondwana System [derives its name Gonds, the most primitive people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh]. They are deposits laid down in synclinal troughs on ancient plateau surface.
  • This system is named after the huge carbon deposits contained within them.
  • As the sediments accumulated, the loaded troughs subsided.
  • This makes them the largest source of coal in India, containing up to 98 percent of our coal deposits.
  • Gondwana coal is much younger than the Carboniferous coal and hence it’s carbon content is low.
  • This system contains famous Damuda and Panchet series which are famous for coal deposits.
  • This happened since Permian period (250 million years ago).


  • The important coal bearing areas of this series are Raniganj, Jharia, Karanpur, and Bokaro of the Damodar basin in Odisha, and the Pench valley in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the jhingurda coal seam (Chhattisgarh). 
  • Damodar and Sone River valley and Rajmahal hills in the eastern India is depository of the Gondwana rocks.


  • Apart from coal, they are also a source of metallic minerals such as iron, manganese, antimony, uranium etc.

7. Jurassic rock system

200 – 145 MYA

  • This period witnessed marine transgressions on both west and east coasts.
  • The marine transgression in the latter part of the Jurassic gave rise to thick series of shallow water deposits in Rajasthan and in Kuchchh.
  • Another transgression on the east coast of the Peninsula is found between Guntur and Rajahmundry.


  • Shallow water deposits in Rajasthan and the Kutchch region on the west and Guntur and Rajahmundry areas of Andhra Pradesh.


  • Coral limestone, sandstone, conglomerates and shales occur in Kuchchh.
  • Prominent deposits in this rock system include limestone, shale, sandstone etc.

8. Cretaceous rock system

145.5–66.0 MYA

  • This was formed when the Indian plate came over the Reunion hotspot in the Indian Ocean while travelling north towards the Eurasian plate, after breaking up from the Gondwana plate.
  • Basaltic lava flowed out of fissures covering a vast area of about ten lakh sq km.
  • The continuous outpouring of magma, from the fissures over the Indian plate led to the formation of a layered structure called the Deccan Traps.
  • These are formed by the flow of magma over the solidified rock systems/cooled magma in layers.
  • The process of weathering and erosion (denudation) since millions of years has reduced the Deccan Trap to almost half of its original size.
  • The thickness of the Deccan traps decreases from west to east, with around 3000m in the west to just 150m in the east, and around 800m in the south


  • Basaltic lava covered an area of 5 lakh encompassing the regions like Kutchch, Saurashtra, Maharashtra, Malwa plateau and north Karnataka.


  • Due to the forces of weathering and erosion, this rock system gave birth to a new soil variety known as the Black Cotton soil or Regur.

Cenozoic Era –  65 MYA – Today

9. Tertiary rock system

65 – 2.5 MYA

  • Eocene to Pliocene about 60 to 7 million years ago.
  • The tertiary is the most significant period in India’s geological history because the Himalayas were born and India’s present form came into being in this period.


  • Important rock systems include Karewas of Kashmir, Bhangra and Khadar of the Gangetic plains etc.

10. Quarternary rock system

2.5 – 0 MYA

  • They were formed during the Pleistocene and the process continued in the Eocene.
  • Since they are of recent origin, they have good organic content (fossils)


  • These are largely found in the plains of north India (Sutlej-Ganga-Brahmaputra plains) and also in the Karewas of Kashmir valley.


  • Agriculture



Physiographic Regions

  • Indian Physiography deals with the Geophysical features in India.
  • It deals with the mountains, hills, plains and its characteristics features.
  • On the basis of physical features, India can be divided into six divisions:
1. Himalayan Ranges
2. Northern Plains
3. The Peninsular Plateau
4. The Indian Desert
5. The Coastal Plains
6. The Islands
  • If we look at the distribution of physiographic units, Mountains occupy 10.6 %, Hills occupy 18.5%, plateaus occupy 27.7% and the plains occupy 43.2%.

1. Himalayan Ranges

  • The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau.
  • 👉🏽Folding of the geosyncline relates to the formation of the Himalayas.
  • The range has some of the planet’s highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest.
  • Over 100 peaks exceeding 7,200 m in elevation lie in the Himalayas.
  • The Himalayas are the highest and the youngest fold mountain ranges of the world.
  • 👉🏽Their geological structure is young, weak and flexible since the Himalayan uplift is an ongoing process, making them one of the highest earthquake-prone regions of the world.

👉🏽Impact of Himalayas –

1. Much of the country would experience the cold waves from Siberia.
2. Indo-gangetic plain would be devoid of such extensive alluvial soils.
3. The pattern of monsoon would be different from what it is at present.

👉🏽When you travel in Himalayas, you will see the following:

1. Deep gorges.
2. U-turn river courses.
3. Parallel mountain ranges.
4. Steep gradients causing land-sliding.

Origin & Formation

A. Ranges of Himalayas 🗺️

  • The Himalayas are a series of parallel mountain ranges extending along the North-West to the South-East direction .
  • These ranges are separated by longitudinal valleys. They include,

1.1 Trans-Himalayas (60 million years)
1.2 👉🏽Greater Himalayas or Himadri (40-50 million years)
1.3 Lesser Himalayas or Himachal (25-30 million years)
1.4 Shiwaliks or the Outer Himalayas (2-20 million years)
1.5 Eastern Hills or Purvanchal

1.1 Trans-Himalayan Ranges


  • They are made of the ocean sediments of the Tethys Sea which was consumed during the collision of Indian and Eurasian plate boundaries.
  • The Trans-Himalayas, mainly composed of granites and volcanic rocks of Neogene and Paleogene age (i.e., about 2.6 to 65 million years old)


  • They include the ranges of Karakoram, Ladakh, and Zanskar.


  • Karakoram ranges have their one end originating from the Pamir Knot.
  • Karakoram ranges hold the largest amounts of snow and ice* among all of the Himalayan ranges.
  • This is because they are situated in higher latitudes where the snow line (altitude above which there is permanent ice and snow cover).
  • Glaciers – The Karakoram is home to some of the largest glaciers* such as Siachen (the second longest glacier outside of polar regions), Biafo (longest glacier outside of polar regions), Baltoro , Hispar , Trango  etc.
  • 👉🏽Peaks – They are home to some of the tallest peaks in the world such as Mt. K2/Godwin-Austin (8611m), Gasherbrum 1 (8080m), Broad Peak (8051m) etc.
  • Passes – Karakoram ranges have gaps in them, which are known as passes. Important among them are – Khunjerab Pass, Karakoram Pass, Sia La Pass, Bilafond La Pass (immediately west of the Siachen glacier) etc.

Ladakh ranges

  • Ladakh ranges are to the south-east of the Karakoram ranges.
  • They separate the rivers Indus and Shyok (a tributary of Indus).
  • Khardung La Pass (India’s highest motorable pass falls in these ranges).
  • These ranges extend into China where they are known as the Kailash ranges. They include Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake.
  • Pangong Tso (largest saline lake between India and China) and Spanggur Tso are the two saltwater lakes situated in these ranges.
  • 👉🏽The Markha Valley is one of the most popular trekking routes in Ladakh, accessible from Ganda La pass near Spituk in the west, which is usually the beginning point of the trek, and Gongmaru La pass near Hemis, where the trek usually ends.

Zanskar ranges

  • To the south of the Ladakh, ranges are the Zanskar ranges, which are cut across by the Zanskar river.
  • These ranges extend into Uttarakhand. They contain some prominent peaks like Mt. Kamet, 👉🏽👉🏽Nanda Devi (a biosphere reserve) Kedarnath etc.
  • Liphu Lekh Pass that leads to Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash forms a part of these ranges.
  • Spiti Valley, Lahaul Valley, and Kinnaur Valley are also a part of these ranges.

1.2 Greater Himalayas 

  • Also known as Himadris.
  • They extend for about 2400 km, making them one of the longest-running fold mountain ranges in the world.
  • The core of this range is made up of granite ranges and flanked by metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.
  • Of the 28 tallest peaks in the world (higher than 8000 m), 14 are situated in the Himadri. Mt. Everest*, 👉🏽Mt. Kanchenjunga* (Highest in India), Mt. Makalu etc. are a part of these ranges.
  • Some of the important passes of these ranges include 👉🏽Zojila Pass (connects Srinagar with Leh), 👉🏽Shipki La Pass , Burzil Pass, Nathu La Pass  etc.
  • Important glaciers of these ranges include – Rongbuk glacier (largest in the Himadri), Gangotri  etc.
  • They are separated from the lesser Himalayas by longitudinal valleys which are filled with sediments. 

1.3 The Lesser Himalayas

  • Also known as Himachal.
  • The altitude of this range lies between 1000 and 4500 metres and the average width is 80 KM.
  • Rocks in this zone have been metamorphosed due to Violent compression. Hence, this range is mostly consists of metamorphic rocks.
  • 👉🏽Between middle and greater Himalayas are located some broad synclinal valleys – beautiful, fertile and densely settled valleys such as Kashmir valley in between Pir Panjal and Greater Himalaya, Kangra valley  between Dhauladhar and Himalaya and the Kathmandu valley in Mahabharat Ranges.
  • Along the slopes are found a number of small pastures which are called Merg in Kashmir (viz. Gulmerg, Sonmerg, Tanmerg) and Bugyal and Payar in Uttarakhand.
  • They are divided into the Pir Panjal rangeDhauladhar range and the Mussoorie ranges.
  • Pir Panjal range is the longest range of the lesser Himalayas. It is cut across by the Jhelum river, Chenab river. Famous passes of this range include – Pir Panjal Pass, Banihal Pass (connects Jammu and Srinagar)
  • Dhauladhar ranges are the extension of Pir Panjal into Himachal Pradesh. They are cut across by the river Ravi.
  • Mussoorie ranges are also a part of the lesser Himalayas. They divide the waters of Sutlej and Ganga

1.4 The Outer Himalayas

  • Also known as the Siwaliks*.
  • It is the outermost range of the Himalayas.
  • The altitude varies between 900-1100 meters and the width lies between 10-50 KM.
  • The range has a total length of about 2400 km from the Indus gorge to the Brahmaputra valley.
  • Composed of Miocene (20-5MYA) to Pleistocene (2.58  – 0.012 MYA) molassic sediments derived from the erosion of the Himalaya.
  • They are known by different names in different places for example, they are called Jammu hills in Jammu, Dudhwa ranges in Uttarakhand, Darjeeling hills in West Bengal etc.
  • River Teesta* cuts across these ranges in Sikkim. Beyond Sikkim, these ranges merge with the lesser Himalayas.
  • The valleys lying between Siwalik and Lesser Himalayas (Himachal) are called ‘Duns’ like Dehra Dun*, Kotli Dun and Patli Dun.

1.5 The Eastern Hills 

Also known as Purvanchal Hills. It extended in the north-eastern states of India. Major Hills of Purvanchal Hills are as follows:

  • Daffla Hills (1): It is situated to the north of the Tezpur and North Lakhimpur, and is bounded on the west by the Aka Hills and on the east by the Abor Range.
  • Abor Hills (2): It is located in a region of Arunachal Pradesh in the far north-east of India, near the border with China. It is bordered by the Mishmi Hills and Miri Hills. This region is drained by the Dibang River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra.
  • Mishmi Hills (3): These hills are located in the southward extension of the Great Himalayan ranges and its northern and eastern parts touches China.
  • Patkai Bum Hills (4): It is situated India’s North-Eastern border with Burma. The word “patkai” means “to cut chicken” in Tai-Ahom language. It is originated by the same tectonic processes that resulted in the formation of the Himalayas in the Mesozoic. These hills are crammed with conical peaks, steep slopes and deep valleys but they are not as rough as the Himalayas. The whole region is surrounded by forests comprising of sandstones.
  • Naga Hills (5): It is located in India extending into Myanmar which forms a divide between India and Myanmar.
  • Manipur Hills (6): It is located in the north of Nagaland, Mizoram in the south, upper Myanmar in the east and Assam in the west bound Manipur Hills.
  • Mizo Hills (7): It is formerly called Lushai Hills. It is located to in south-eastern Mizoram state, north-eastern India, forming part of the north Arakan Yoma system. 
  • Tripura Hills (8): These hills are a series of parallel north-south folds, decreasing in elevation to the south until they merge into the greater Ganges-Brahmaputra lowlands (also called the Eastern Plains). Each successive ridge of hills to the east rises higher than the one before; the low Deotamura Range is followed by the Artharamura, Langtarai, and Sakhan Tlang ranges.
  • Mikir Hills (9): It is located to the south of the Kaziranga National Park. It is part of the Karbi Anglong Plateau. Radial drainage pattern is the best characteristic of this region where Dhansiri and Jamuna being the main rivers.
  • Garo Hills (10): It is located in Meghalaya state and part of Garo-Khasi range which is consider as one of ‘the wettest places on earth’. Nokrek Peak is the highest peak of this region.
  • Khasi Hills (11): It is a part of Garo-Khasi Range in the Meghalaya and got its name khasi tribes which are found in this region. Cherrapunji is situated in the East Khasi Hills and Lum Shyllong is the highest peak near to Shillong.
  • Jaintia Hills (12): It is located further to the east from the Khasi Hills.

📰 Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region

The HKH region spans Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
It traverses about 5 million square kilometres and hosts a large and culturally diverse population.
It is considered the Third Pole (after the North and South Poles), and has significant implications for climate.
It contains vast cryospheric zones (frozen water parts) and is also the world’s largest store of snow and ice outside the polar region.

Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region Report has been published by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). It is India’s first-ever national forecast on the impact of global warming on the subcontinent in the coming century.

Key Points

Findings of the Report:

  • Several areas of Hindukush Karakoram Himalayas have experienced a declining trend in snowfall and also retreat of glaciers in recent decades.
  • In contrast, the high-elevation Karakoram Himalayas have experienced higher winter snowfall that has shielded the region from glacier shrinkage.
  • Even when the winter snowfall has increased over the high-elevation Karakoram Himalayas, the overall climate along the Hindukush Karakoram region is undergoing warming at a higher rate during the winter season as compared to other seasons.

B. Longitudinal divisions 

👉🏽Longitudinally, the Himalayas can be divided into following sections.

1. Kashmir Himalayas.

  • This is the 560 km long stretch of the Himalayas between the Indus and the Sutlej rivers.
  • A large portion of this sector lies in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh as a result of which it is also called the Kashmir and Himachal Himalaya.
  • Kashmir Himalayas comprise trans Himalayan ranges of Karakoram, Ladakh, Zanskar and the Pir Panjal range of the lesser Himalayas.
  • The cold desert of Ladakh lies in between the Greater Himalayas and the Karakoram range.
  • Kashmir Valley is located between the Greater Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range.
  • Karakoram, Ladakh, Ph Panjal, Zaskar and Dhaula Dhar are the main ranges of this section.

2. Kumaon Himalayas

  • Extends from Sutlej to Kali river valleys and is said to have 360 lakes, such as Naini Tal and Bhimtal.
  • It is drained by the Indus and the Ganga river systems.
  • The Pilgrimage centers (Badrinath, Gangotri) located in this section is of particular importance to the Hindus.

3. Darjeeling and Sikkim Him.

  • They are situated between rivers Kali and Teesta.

4. Arunachal Himalayas

  • They extend from the east of Bhutan Himalayas up to the Diphu pass in the east.
  • Their orientation is from the southwest to the northeast direction, unlike the earlier ranges of the Himalayas.
  • Some important rivers crossing these ranges include – Kameng, Subansiri, Dihang, Dibang, Lohit etc.
  • Prominent hills of these ranges include the Dafla hills, Abor Hills, Mishmi hills etc. which are named after the ethnic communities residing in these hills.

5. Eastern Hills

  • They are aligned from the north to the south. They include the ranges of Patkai Bum, Naga hills, Manipur hills, Mizo/Lushai hills.

2. The Northern Plains


  • The Northern Plains are located between south of the Himalayas and north of the Peninsular plateau.


  • It is formed by the deposition of the sediments brought by three main river systems namely : the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.


  • From Punjab in the west to Assam in the east, this plain is about 2400 km long.
  • Its width varies from about 300 km in the west to about 150 km in the east.
  • It mainly includes the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.


On the basis of regional characteristics, the Great Plains may be divided into following sub plains:

2.1 Punjab-Haryana Plains
2.2 Rajasthan Plains
2.3 Ganga Plains
2.4 Brahmaputra Plains

2.1 The Punjab-Haryana Plains 

  • Extends from Punjab in the west to yamuna River (Haryana) in the East.
  • Delhi ridge (the northernmost extent of Aravallis) forms the eastern boundary of these plains.
  • With a distance of 640 km from north-east to south-west and 300 km from west to east, these flat plains occupy 1.75 lakh sq. km.
  • This plain has an average elevation of 250 m above the MSL
  • Land of five rivers is primary made up of ‘doabs’ the land between two rivers.
  • They comprise the Bist Doab (1) (between Sutlej and Beas rivers).
  • The Ban Doab (2) (between Beas and Ravi rivers).
  • The Rechna Doab (3) (considerable portion of the Rechna Doab is Majha) lies between the Chenab and the Ravi rivers.
  • The Chaf Doab (4) (between Chenab & Jhelum).
  • The Sindh Sagar Doab (5) (between Jhelum – Chenab & Indus).
  • Ghaggara is a river which is considered to be the present day remnant of the legendary river Saraswati. It lies in Haryana, in between Sutlej and Yamuna.

2.2 The Rajasthan Plains

  • Extent: 650 km long.
  • With an average elevation of 325m above the mean sea level (MSL), this region is among the highest places in the Northern plains.
  • This plain is mostly occupied by the Great Indian Desert or the Thar desert.
  • Geologically, it’s a part of the Peninsular plateau. Hence, low lying rock formations (outcrops) can be found at distant intervals on these plains.
  • They mostly contain peninsular rocks such as granite, schist, and gneiss.
  • Rajasthan Bagar is a semi-arid plain which occupies the intervening space between the Thar desert until the Aravalli range.
  • Unlike, the Marusthali region, the plains of Rajasthan have fertile lands which support agriculture because a number of short streams which are seasonal in nature and originate from the Aravallis drain the region. One such short coursed river is Luni which is an ephemeral river flowing into the Rann of Kutchch.
  • The Rajasthan desert is sloping towards two directions (a) westwards to the Indus Valley in Pakistan, and (b) southwards to the Rann of Kutch.

2.3 The Ganga Plains 

  • Spreading across the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar for 3.57 lakh sq km, this is the largest section of the Northern Plains.
  • This region includes sediments brought down and deposited by the Himalayan rivers as well as the Peninsular rivers.
  • Himalayan rivers include the Ganga and its tributaries such as Yamuna, Gandak, Kali, Kosi etc.
  • Peninsular rivers include such as Chambal, Ken, Betwa, Son etc.Since the plain is gently sloping towards the southeast, most of the rivers that flow through this region drain into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The lower reaches of Ganga and its tributaries are characterized by various landforms such as oxbow lakes, marshes, etc.
  • The region is further divided into –
    (a) Ganga-Yamuna Doab,

    (b) Rohilkhand Plain,
    (c) Avadh Plain  (covering the eastern half of Uttar Pradesh).
    (d) Bihar Plain, and
    (e) Bengal Plain.
  • Kosi is considered to be the “sorrow of Bihar” due to frequent floods in its catchment area. These occur because it flows from great heights onto a plain accompanied by deposition of huge amounts of sediments along its riverbed.
  • This causes the river to change its course frequently, flooding the areas along its course.
  • This is true for other rivers of this region too, though they do not cause floods as severe as those along the Kosi floodplains.
  • Ghangra, Gomli, Kosi, Son deposit large amount of alluvium and make this extensive plain more fertile.
  • The Ganga delta which constitutes the Bengal basin, has part of it stretching along the sea and covered with tidal forests. 

2.4 The Brahmaputra Plains

  • The low-level plains formed by deposits carried by mainly the Brahmaputra river.
  • Moist soil conditions and thick forests form the northern extreme.
  • 💡Majuli Island – Majuli Island is largest river island in world and first island district of the country. It is formed by Brahmaputra River in south and and Kherkutia Xuti, another branch of Brahmaputra, joined by Subansiri River in north. The area of Majuli island recordere in 1914 was aroung 734 sq km and in 2004, it was recorded to be 502 sq km. Geomorphologically, the entire Majuli island is part of alluvial flood plains of the Brahmaputra river.

Division Based on Bed Types

Bhabar :

  • It lies all along the foot of the Siwaliks with remarkable continuity from the Indus to the Tista.
  • It is generally 8 to 16 km wide belt consisting of gravel and unassorted sediments deposited by the Himalayan rivers in the foreland zone due to sudden break of slope.
  • The porosity is so high that all streams disappear in the Bhabar tract leaving out only dry channels

Tarai :

  • South of the Bhabar lies a 15-30 km wide marshy tract called terai where streams reappear to the surface.
  • The Terai is more marked in the eastern part than in the west due to higher amount of rainfall.
  • It is a zone of excessive dampness, thick forests & rich wildlife.
  • At present, the Terai is extensively cultivated and densely populated.
  • Rice, wheat, sugarcane, maize, pulses, and oilseeds are some of the important crops cultivated in this region


  • The area flooded by rivers almost every year.
  • The younger alluvium of the flood plains of the numerous rivers is called the Khadar or Bet (in Punjab).
  • Its alluvium is light coloured and poor in calcareous matter consisting of deposits of sand, silt, mud and clay.
  • The fertile tracts of land, availability of water, and vibrant cultivation of crops makes the region a highly populated one.


  • Calcareous deposits or kankar make up a very large area of the plains.
  • This region contains the older alluvium, along with the terraces of the floodplains and is known as Bhangar.
  • Since the old alluvium is rich in humus, it is one of the most productive agricultural regions of India.

Ganga – Brahmaputra Delta (💡the Sunderbans)

  • The largest delta in the world, formed by the joining of the two largest rivers of the Indian subcontinent – Ganga and Brahmaputra.
  • This is an aggradational landform in which the merged river of Ganga and Brahmaputra, known as the Padma, flows in the form of a number of channels.
  • This a low lying region, with some of the delta lying up to 30m below the MSL. This makes the region highly vulnerable to climate change (sea level rise).
  • Towards the mouth of the delta, there is a large mangrove forest famous for its Sundari trees and is known as the Sunderbans.

3. The Peninsular Plateau 

  • The peninsular plateau is a part of the peninsular Indian landmass that is surrounded by seas.
  • Most of the peninsular landmass is a plateau.
  • It’s an uplifted block called the Horst, created by two faults in the west and east coasts.
  • It is triangular in shape with its three corners at:

Bharuch in Gujarat on the west
Rajmahal hills on the east
Kanyakumari in the south

  • The Narmada – Son – Damodar rift valley runs across the peninsular landmass cutting it into two parts viz., the Central Highlands in the north, and the Deccan Plateau in the south.

The peninsular plateau is divided into various regional landmasses based on the local topography and their geographical location. They include:

 A. Minor Plateaus in the Peninsular Plateau 

  • 👉🏽Malwa plateau
  • Bundelkhand plateau
  • Baghelkhand plateau
  • Madhya Bharat Pathar
  • Kathiawar plateau
  • Chotanagpur plateau
  • Meghalaya plateau

B. Deccan plateau

  • Maharashtra Plateau
  • Karnataka Plateau
  • Telangana plateau
  • Chhattisgarh Plain

A. Minor Plateaus in the Peninsular Plateau

1. Malwa plateau

  • Located immediately to the east of the Aravallis, most of the plateau is situated in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • Narmada Rift Valley is the most prominent structure of this plateau.
  • It has the drainage systems of the Bay of Bengal (Chambal, Sindh, Betwa, Parbati join the Yamuna, which in turn joins the Ganga) and the Arabian Sea (Narmada, Tapti, Mahi).
  • The average elevation of the plateau is 500m with a gentle slope towards the north.
  • Geologically, it’s among India’s most diverse landmasses with Dharwar rocks, Vindhyan rocks, Gondwana rocks, and Volcanic Basalt being found within it.
  • It has semi-arid to arid type of climate. Short spells of rainfall occur due to convection which gives rise to temporary streams.
  • In the absence of dense vegetation, these streams remove the topsoil giving rise to narrow valley type of structures known as Gullies. Gullies deepen eventually to form Ravines.
  • Ravine-Gully erosion turns the landform into a Badland, not suitable for agriculture. Chambal’s drainage basin is abundant with such Badland topography.

2. Bundelkhand plateau

  • Lies to the east of Malwa plateau, and is situated in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Situated over the Ganga basin, made up of granite and gneiss rocks.
  • The average elevation of the plateau is in the range of 300-600m.
  • It has a drainage system into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Along the Betwa floodplains, there are badlands which make the region unfit for agriculture.

3. Baghelkhand plateau

  • It is situated in three States – UP, MP, and Chhattisgarh.
  • Son river drains the region, on which the Rihand Dam and Govind Vallabh Pant Sagar reservoir (largest manmade lake in India) were built.
  • The plateau contains Dharwar and Gondwana rocks.
  • It separates the Ganga basin from the Mahanadi basin.

4. Madhya Bharat Pathar

  • Also known as the Central Highland.
  • It contains the drainage of river Chambal which flows in a rift valley.
  • Kali-Sindh, Banas, and Parbati are the tributaries of Chambal which also drain the region.
  • It lies to the east of Marwar upland

5. Marwar Plateau or Mewar Plateau

  • It is the plateau of eastern Rajasthan. [Marwar plain is to the west of Aravalis whereas Marwar plateau is to the east].
  • The average elevation is 250-500 m above sea level and it slopes down eastwards.
  • It is made up of sandstone, shales and limestones of the Vindhayan period.
  • The Banas river, along with its tributaries [Berach river, Khari rivers] originate in the Aravali Range and flow towards northwest into Chambal river.
  • The erosional activity of these rives make the plateau top appear like a rolling plain.

6. Kathiawar plateau

  • Located in the Kathiawar region of Gujarat, this region has many pipe-like volcanic openings which gave rise to many hill ranges such as the Girnar range, Junagarh range, Pavagarh range etc.
  • Lake Nalsarovar, which is a bird sanctuary, forms the Northeast boundary of the plateau.
  • Little Rann is situated to the north of Kathiwar plateau.
  • It has some volcanic rocks in the form of Mandav hills and Balda hills.
  • Mt.Girnar is the highest point of Kathiawar plateau.

7. Chota Nagpur plateau (CNP)

  • East of BaghelKhand. the chotanagpur Plateau represents the north-eastern projection of the indian peninsula.
  • It covers an area of 87 thousand sq. km mostly in Jharkhand, northern part of chhatisgarh and purulia district of West Bengal.
  • Its average elevation is in the range of 600-700 m above the mean sea level.
  • It is the storehouse of minerals and a large scale mining of iron, manganese, coal, uranium etc is done in this region.
  • This plateau is drained by numerous rivers fonuing a radial drainage pattern. Damodar river valley is well-known for its coal deposits.
  • In the North-East of this region lies Hazaribagh plateau, while towards East are Parasnath hills and towards South-East is Ranchi plateau.
  • Rajmahal hills form the North-Eastern edge of the Chhotanagpur plateau and are covered by black soil. The plateau is an example of Pat Land.
  • Geologically, the plateau is made up of Dharwar (igneous and metamorphic) rocks, mostly granite and gneiss.
  • Damodar rift valley (DRV) is the most prominent structure of this plateau.
  • Gondwana rocks are found in the rift valley, which resulted in some of the richest coal deposits of India viz., the Damodar Valley Coal Fields.
  • This resulted in the differential weathering and erosion of the soft rock strata, leaving the hard rock strata. Such a topography is known as the Patland.
  • The Damodar rift valley divides the plateau into two parts. The Patlands south of DRV constitute the Ranchi plateau, and the Patlands north of DRV make up the Hazaribagh plateau.
  • Due to intense weathering and erosion, CNP is covered with laterite soils. CNP is among the richest mineralized zones of India.
  • Many important industrial centres such as Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Sindri, Lohar Darga, Ranchi etc. are located in this region.
  • Rajmahal hills form the eastern edge of the CNP.

8. Meghalaya plateau

  • Also known as the Shillong plateau, it’s a part of the peninsular plateau but is separated from it by the Malda trough/Rajmahal-Garo gap.
  • It is made up of Dharwar and Gondwana rocks. It is rich in coal fields (Bapung coal fields of Meghalaya) and also in nuclear minerals (Uranium deposits of Domiasiat mines in Meghalaya)
    Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia hills form the southern edges of the plateau.
  • Its average elevation is about 1500m above the mean sea level.
  • Brahmaputra’s basin is to the north of the plateau. River Surma enters the plateau from Assam and joins the river Meghna in Bangladesh.
  • Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, located in the Khasi hills, are the wettest places in India and are a part of the plateau.

B. Deccan plateau

  • It is the largest plateau in India, covering an area of around 5 lakh
  • It extends into the States of Maharashtra, Telangana, Northern Karnataka, and Kathiawar region of Gujarat.
  • It is volcanic plateau formed after the solidification of basaltic lava which has flown over the region in layers forming a step-like topography known as the Deccan Traps.
  • Deccan Traps have the highest thickness in the west and gradually slope towards the east.
  • The western edge of the plateau is made up hills with steeping slopes to the west, known as the Sahyadris. They are a part of the Western Ghats.
  • The plateau comprises several hill ranges such as the Balaghat hills, 👉🏽Ajanta hills etc.
  • Gaps in these hill ranges are known as passes. For example, the Bhorghat pass connects Mumbai and Pune.
  • The southern extensions of Deccan plateau are known by their regional names such as the Telangana plateau and Karnataka plateau

9. Maharashtra Plateau

  • The Maharashtra Plateau lies in Maharashtra.
  • It forms the northern part of the Deccan Plateau.
  • Much of the region is underlain by basaltic rocks of lava origin [Most of the Deccan Traps lies in this region].
  • The area looks like a rolling plain due to weathering.
  • The horizontal lava sheets have led to the formation of typical Deccan Trap topography [step like].
  • The broad and shallow valleys of the Godavari, the Bhima and the Krishna are flanked [bordered on the opposite sides] by flat-topped steep sided hills and ridges.
  • The entire area is covered by black cotton soil known as regur.

10. Telangana plateau

  • It is made up of Dharwar rocks. Gondwana rocks are also found in the Godavari valley, famous for its coal fields.
  • Godavari, Krishna, and Penna are the major rivers flowing through the plateau.
  • Because of the Dharwar rock strata, the plateau is rich in mineral resources.
  • The plateau receives good rainfall (average of 100mm/year), similar to the CNP.
  • It’s considered to be a peneplain i.e., a vast featureless, undulating plain.
  • The average elevation of the plateau is in the range of 500-600m above the mean sea level

11. Karnataka plateau

  • Also known as the Mysore plateau.
  • The average elevation of the plateau is in the range of 600-900m.
  • The plateau has two major divisions viz., Malnad and Maidan
  • Malnad is a hilly region covered with dense forests. Maidan is a rolling plain with low lying hills.
  • The plateau is drained by numerous streams and rivers flowing from the Western Ghats.
  • The plateau tapers to the south, in between the Western and the Eastern Ghats, and merges with the Nilgiris.

12. Chhattisgarh Plain

  • The Chhattisgarh plain is the only plain worth the name in the Peninsular plateau.
  • It is a saucer shaped depression drained by the upper Mahanadi.
  • The whole basin lies between the Maikala Range and the Odisha hills.
  • The region was once ruled by Haithaivanshi Rajputs from whose thirty six forts (Chhattisgarh) it derives its name.
  • The basin is laid with nearly horizontal beds of limestone and shales.
  • The general elevation of the plain ranges from 250 m in the east to 330 m in the west.

4. Hill Ranges of India 

The peninsular plateau is made up of several hill ranges. These are older landmasses, as against the young fold mountains of the Himalayas.

  • Important Hill Ranges of India
    1. Aravalli hills
    2. Vindhyan range
    3. Satpura range
    4. Western Ghat
    5. Eastern Ghat

1. Aravalli hills

  • They originate in Gujarat (at Palanpur) and extend till Haryana. They terminate in the Delhi ridge.
  • They have a maximum extent of 800 km.
  • They are old fold mountain ranges, one of the oldest tectonic mountains in the world.
  • Rocks that make up the Aravallis are more than 2 billion years old.
  • Aravallis have an average elevation in the range of 400-600m only.
  • 👉🏽This is because throughout their geological history they were subjected to the processes of weathering and erosion.
  • Peaks – Only a few peaks reach an elevation of above 1000m. These include – 👉🏽Mt. Gurushikhar (1722m, the highest point of Aravallis), Mt. Abu (1158m, it’s part of a plateau).
    Geologically, they are mainly made up of Dharwar igneous and metamorphic rocks. They contain the largest marble deposits in India.
  • Rivers  – Banas, Luni, Sabarmati are born in Aravallis. Banas is a tributary of Chambal. Luni is an ephemeral river which terminates in the Rann of Kutchch. They contain several passes that cut through them, especially between Udaipur and Ajmer like Piplighat, Dewair, Desuri etc. They also contain several lakes such as Lake Sambhar (largest inland saline water body in India), Lake Dhebar (south of Aravallis), Lake Jaisamand (in the Jaisamand wildlife sanctuary) etc.

2. Vindhyan range

  • These are non-tectonic mountains, they were formed not because of plate collision but because of the downward faulting of the Narmada Rift Valley (NRV) to their south.
  • 👉🏽The Vindhyas belong to class of Block mountains. 
  • They extend for 1200km from Bharuch in Gujarat to Sasaram in Bihar.
  • Geologically, they are younger than Aravallis and Satpura hills.
  • Their average height is in the range of 300-650m.
  • They are made up of older Proterozoic rocks. They are cut across by Kimberlite piles (diamond deposits)
  • They are known by local names such as Panna, Kaimur, Rewa etc.
  • They rise from the NRV in the form of steep, sharp slopes called the escarpments. These escarpments are well developed in Kaimur and Panna regions.

3. Satpura range

  • Satpura range is a combination of Satpura, 👉🏽Mahadeo, and Maikala hills.
  • Satpura hills are tectonic mountains, formed about 1.6 billion years ago, as a result of folding and structural uplift. They are a Horst landform.
  • They run for a distance of about 900km.
  • Mahadeo hills lie to the east of Satpura hills. Pachmarhi is the highest point of the Satpura range. Dhupgarh (1350m) is the highest peak of Pachmarhi.
  • Maikala hills lie to the east of Mahadeo hills. Amarkantak plateau is a part of the Maikala hills. It is about 1127m.
  • The plateau has the drainage systems of Narmada and Son, hence it has drainage into the Bay of Bengal as well as Arabian sea.
  • These are mostly situated in the States of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • These hills are rich in bauxite, due to the presence of Gondwana rocks.
  • Dhuandhar waterfalls over the Narmada is situated MP.

4. Western Ghats

  • They extend between Diu island near Gujarat to Kanyakumari in the south.
  • They form the western edge of the Deccan plateau.
  • They appear to be rising abruptly from the west coast plains to an altitude of 1km from the mean sea level.
  • They have a gentle slope towards their eastern edge, from the Deccan plateau, and don’t appear to be a tall range of hills.
  • They were formed due to faulting along the western edge of the Deccan plateau, during the collision of the Indian plate with the Eurasian plate.
  • This led to the submergence of the western coast, as well as an abrupt escarpment of the Western Ghats along the plateau’s western edge.
  • They are divided into three sections – northern section, middle section, and southern section.

4.1 Northern section

  • The Western Ghats of this section is also known as the Sahyadris. They are located in Maharashtra.
  • The average elevation of Sahyadris is 1200m above the mean sea level.
  • Sahyadris are made of volcanic igneous rocks (basalt). Hence they are geologically younger than the rocks in the other sections of the Western Ghats.
  • Mahabaleshwar plateau is the highest region of the Sahyadris. River Krishna has its origin from this plateau.
  • Important peaks of the Sahyadris include – Kalasubai peak (1.64km, the tallest peak of the Sahyadris), Salher peak (1.56km), Harischandragarh peak (1.4km) etc.
  • Sahyadris give rise to more number of large rivers, relatively than any other section of the Ghats. Hence they form the most important watershed of south India.
  • Some of the important passes of this section include the Thalghat gap (the route between Mumbai and Nashik passes through this) and Bhorghta gap (the route between Mumbai and Pune passes through this)

4.2 Middle section

  • This section runs through the States of Karnataka and Goa. It terminates in the Nilgiris, where it joins the Eastern Ghats.
  • Bababudan hills of Karnataka are a part of this section.
  • They are famous for their coffee plantations. River Tungabhadra has one of its originating streams (Bhadra) coming from these hills.
  • They are made of igneous and metamorphic rocks like the granite and gneiss.
  • They have dense forests and a number of short streams originate from them. This resulted in a headward erosion of these hills, leaving many gaps in the ranges.
  • Their average elevation is around 1200m. They include prominent peaks such as the Vavulmala (2339m), Kudremukh (1892m), Pushpagiri (1714m) etc.
  • Nilgiris are the prominent hills of this section. They rise abruptly at the trijunction of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala to a height of up to 2000m.
  • The highest hills of Nilgiris are the Ootacamund hills. Doda betta (2630m) is the highest peak in the Nilgiris.
  • Nilgiris are block mountains, they rose between two faults and are hence considered to be Horst landforms.

4.3 Southern section

  • This includes the hill ranges of Annamalai and Cardamom.
  • Palghat gap (Palakkad gap) is the largest gap in the Western Ghats (about 24km wide). It separates the Nilgiris from the Annamalai hills.
  • 👉🏽Anaimudi peak (2690m) is the highest point of Annamalai hills, also the highest point of peninsular India.
  • 👉🏽Palani hills are a part of the Annamalai range.
  • They are made of Dharwar igneous rocks. Kodaikanal hill station is a part of the Palani hills.
  • Cardamom hills are to the south of Annamalai hills and are separated from them by the Shenkottai pass. Also known as Ealaimalai, these hills are famous for Cardamom cultivation.
  • Periyar river originates close to the Annamalai hills and flows into the Arabian Sea.
  • Varushnad hills are a part of the Cardamom hills. River Vaigai originates here.
  • Agasthyamalai hills are the southernmost section of the Western Ghats. Situated in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Agasthamalai peak is the southernmost peak of peninsular India.

5. 👉🏽Eastern Ghats

  • They extend between the rivers Mahanadi and Vaigai.
  • They are mainly composed of Dharwar igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • Unlike the Western Ghats, these are low lying hills. They are a discontinuous mountain range, unlike the Western Ghats.
  • They comprise a series of discontinuous hill ranges such as – Odisha hills (Maliya hills), Nallamala hills, Palakonda hills, Velikonda hills, Javadi hills, and Shevaroy hills.
  • Mahendragiri peak (1501m) is the highest point of Odisha hills.
  • Between Odisha hills and the Godavari basin, there are some prominent hill ranges such as the Madugula Konda range.
  • It has an average elevation in the range of 900-1100m It has some of the highest peaks of the Eastern Ghats like the Jindhagada peak (1690m), Arma Konda (1680m), Gali Konda (1643m) etc.
  • They almost absent between Madugula Konda range and 👉🏽Nallamala hills. This region is made up of the Godavari-Krishna delta.
  • Nallamala hills are situated in Andhra Pradesh. They are made up of Proterozoic sedimentary rocks. Their average elevation is in the range of 600-850m.
  • To their south are the Velikonda hills, Palakonda hills, and the Seshachalam range in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Javadi hills and Shevaroy hills are situated in Tamil Nadu. To the south, Eastern Ghats merge with the Western Ghats at the Nilgiris.

Passes in Peninsular India

1AsirgarhIt connects the north India
with Deccan Plateau.
2Haldighati PassIt connects Rajsamand and
Pali districts of Rajasthan.
3Palghatruns along the entire eastern
edge of Kerala isolating it from
the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
4Bhor GhatLies between Palasdari and Khandala
for railway and between Khopoli
and Khandala on the road route in Mah..
5Goran Ghatconnects the city of Udaipur with
Sirohi and Jalore in Rajasthan.
6Thal GhatIt also called as Thul Ghat or Kasara Ghat. 
7Amba GhatIt connects Ratnagiri district to Kolhapur
8Malshej GhatThis region is famous for wide varieties
of birds such as quails, rails, crakes,
flamingos and cuckoos.
9NanaghatIt connects Pune district to Junnar City.
10Tamhini GhatIt connects the talukas of Mulshi
and Tamhini in Pune district.
11Amboli GhatIt connects Sawantwadi of Maharashtra
to Belgaum of Karnataka.
12Kumbharli GhatIt connects the coastal Ratnagiri District
in Konkan region of Maharashtra with the
Satara District in Desh region.

5. The Coastal Plains 

  • India has a long coastline of 6100 km along the mainland and 7516.6 Km coastline including the island groups Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

Coastline of India: Features and Importance

  • The Plateau of Peninsular India is fringed with narrow coastal plains. Raised beaches and wave-cut platforms above the watermark suggest that these coastal plains are essentially the emerged floors of the seas adjacent to the land. After the emergence of these lowlands, fluctuations in sea-level, though limited to small areas, have brought about some changes in the general surface features of the littoral.

Western Coast of India

  • The west coast strip extends from Gujarat in the north to Kerala in the south including Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.
  • The western coastal plains are an example of submerged coastal plain.
  • It is believed that the city of Dwaraka which was once a part of the Indian mainland situated along the west coast is submerged under water.
  • Because of this submergence, it is a narrow belt and provides natural conditions for the development of ports and harbours.
  • The western coastal plains in the north have a varied topography. There are marshes, lagoons, mud-flats, peninsulas, creeks, gulfs and islands.

The western coast is further divided into:

  1. Kachchh and Kathiawar coast
  2. Konkan coast
  3. Kanada coast
  4. Malabar coast

Kachchh and Kathiawar coast

  • Kachchh, formerly a gulf is now a vast desolate lowland formed due to the deposition of silt brought mainly by the Indus which drained into it in the past. Kachchh is made up of such Ranns.
  • The Kachchh area gets covered with shallow water in the monsoons.
  • Kachchh is divided into Great Rann in the north and Little Rann in the east. Between Great Rann and Rocky mainland lies the Banni Plains.
  • Kathiawar is situated to the south of Kachchh. The plains of Gujarat are made up of black soil.

Konkan coast

  • Konkan coast extends between Daman in the north to Goa in the south.
  • The Konkan coast is characterised by subduction and erosional features.
  • The lowlands in the region are marked by low hills separated by river courses which end in creeks and estuaries near the sea.
  • In this region, rice and cashew are important crops.

Kanada coast

  • Kanada coast extends between Marmagaon and Mangalore.
  • The Kanada coast is narrow and indented.
  • The region is rich in iron deposits.

Malabar coast

  • Malabar coast extends between Mangalore to Kanyakumari.
  • The coastal plains here are relatively broad.
  • There are lagoons in the area which run parallel to the coast in southern Kerala.
  • These lagoons are called Kayal (backwaters) which receive the water of a large number of rivers before discharging that to the sea with which they are connected with narrow openings.
  • There has been slight emergence in this part of the western coast.

Eastern Coast of India

  • The east coast strip extends from the Bay of Bengal to the tip of the Eastern Ghats including the states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • The Eastern coastal plains are an example of emergent coastal plain and are broader than the western coastal plains.
  • There are well-developed deltas in the eastern coast formed by the deposition of sediments from the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri.
  • In East Coast, the continental shelf here extends up to 500 km into the sea, so it is difficult to develop good natural harbours and ports in this region.

The eastern coast is further divided into:

  1. Utkal coast
  2. Andhra coast
  3. Coromandel coast

1. Utkal coast

  • Utkal coast extends between Chilika Lake and Kolleru Lake.
  • These coastal plains are much wider than the western coastal plains.
  • The region is vastly affected by immense rainfall. It is also vulnerable to cyclones.
  • In this region, rice, coconut and banana are widely cultivated.

2. Andhra coast

  • Andhra coast extends between Kolleru Lake (20) and Pulicat Lake (21).
  • The region is a basin area of two very important rivers- the Krishna and the Godavari.
  • Due to this, the region is very fertile. These coastal plains are very wide.

3. Coromandel Coast

  • Coromandel coast extends between Pulicat Lake (21) and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
  • This region remains dry in summer and receives rainfall in the winter from the north-east monsoons.

6. The Indian Desert

  • The Great Indian Desert also called Thar desert lies to the North-West of the Aravali hills.
  • It spreads over four states namely Punjab. Haryana. Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
  • It is a land of undulating topography dotted with longitudinal dunes and branches.
  • It has arid climate due to very low rainfall (below 150 cm) received by this region.
  • The Indian Desert lies towards the western margin of Aravali Hills.
  • It is also called Thar Desert. It is the ninth largest desert in the world.
  • It spreads over the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. This region has semi-arid and arid weather conditions.
  • It receives less than 150 mm of rainfall per year. The vegetation cover is low with thorny bushes.
  • Luni is the main river in this area. All other streams appear only at the time of rainfall otherwise they disappear into the sand.

7. The Islands

  • India has 615 islands/islets. The majority of them, around 572 islands/islets are located in the Bay of Bengal and remaining 43 islands/islets are located in the Arabian Sea.
  • Apart from these, there are some coral islands in the Gulf of Mannar and Khambat regions and there are some offshore islands along the mouth of the Ganga river.
  • The Indian Island groups are generally grouped into two:
  1. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Bay of Bengal
  2. The Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands located in the Arabian Sea (adjacent to Kerala coast)

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands situated in the Bay of Bengal, run like a narrow chain in the north-south direction extending between 6 39 N and 14 34 N.
  • The main islands under the Andaman and Nicobar Islands group are:
    • North Andaman
    • Middle Andaman
    • South Andaman
    • Little Andaman
    • Car Nicobar
    • Little Nicobar
    • Great Nicobar
  • These islands are separated from one another by very narrow straits.
  • Andamans are separated from Nicobar by 10-degree channel (10-degree latitude).
  • South Andaman and Little Andaman are separated by Duncan Passage.
  • The Grand Channel is between the Great Nicobar islands and the Sumatra islands of Indonesia.
  • The Coco Strait is between the North Andaman islands and the Coco Islands of Myanmar.
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands group is a Union Territory administered by the President through a Lt. Governor.
  • Port Blair, located in South Andaman is the administrative capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The southernmost point of India is The Indira Point, (formerly known as Pygmalion Point and Parsons Point) which is the southern point of the Great Nicobar Islands.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are part of the submarine tertiary fold mountains which are protruding out of the sea. These mountains form a link with Arakan Yoma and Sumatra.
  • The highest peak of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is Saddle Peak, located in the North Andaman.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Island has a tropical marine climate influenced by the seasonal flow of monsoon winds.
  • The region is under dense tropical rain forests. The coastal regions have mangrove forests.
  • Coconut fruit is the staple food of the people. Fisheries, piggery is also followed.
  • The Islands are also famous for the largest and rarest species of crab, the Giant Robber Crab. It can climb the coconut trees and break the hard shell of the fruit.
  • Many islands are uninhabited. The inhabited islands are also sparsely populated.
  • The entire region is vulnerable to earthquakes as it is in the major earthquake zone.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are also known as the Emerald Islands.
  • Barren Island, located in the east of Middle Andaman is India s only active volcano.
  • The Narcondam Island, located in the north-east of North Andaman is also a volcanic island.

Lakshadweep Islands

  • Lakshadweep Islands situated in the Arabian Sea is a group of 36 islands having an area of 32 square kilometers and extending between 8 N and 12 N latitude.
  • The main islands under the Lakshadweep Islands group are:
    • Kavaratti
    • Agatti
    • Minicoy
    • Amini
  • These islands were earlier known as Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands.
  • The name Lakshadweep was adopted on 1 November 1973
  • These islands are separated from one another by very narrow straits.
  • The Lakshadweep Islands group is a Union Territory administered by the President through a Lt. Governor.
  • It is the smallest Union Territory of India.
  • Kavaratti is the administrative capital of the Lakshadweep Islands. It is also the principal town of the Union Territory.
  • It is a uni-district Union Territory and is comprised of 12 atolls, three reefs, five submerged banks, and ten inhabited islands.
  • The name Lakshadweep in Malayalam and Sanskrit means ‘a hundred thousand islands‘.
  • The Lakshadweep Islands are located at a distance of 280 km to 480 km off the Kerala coast.
  • These islands are a part of Reunion Hotspot volcanism.
  • The entire Lakshadweep islands group is made up of coral deposits.
  • Fishing is the main occupation on which livelihoods of many people depend.
  • The Lakshadweep islands have storm beaches consisting of unconsolidated pebbles, shingles, cobbles, and boulders.
  • Minicoy Island, located to the south of the nine-degree channel is the largest island among the Lakshadweep group.
  • 8 Degree Channel ( 8 degrees north latitude) separates islands of Minicoy and Maldives.
  • 9 Degree Channel ( 9 degrees north latitude) separates the island of Minicoy from the main Lakshadweep archipelago.
  • In the Lakshadweep region, there is an absence of forests.
  • Pitti Island is an important breeding place for sea turtles and for a number of pelagic birds such as the brown noddy, lesser crested tern and greater crested tern. The Pitti island has been declared a bird sanctuary.

Other  Islands of India

  1. Sriharikota Island- It is located between Pulicat Lake and the Bay of Bengal in the Nellore district of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Sriharikota is one of the satellite launching stations of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
  2. Abdul Kalam Island/ Wheeler Island- The Abdul Kalam Island is located off the Odisha coast. It is India’s most advanced missile testing site. The island was earlier named after an English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler.
  3. Pamban Island- It is located between India and Sri Lanka in the Gulf of Mannar and in the Ramanathapuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as Rameswaram Island. Most of Pamban Island is covered with white sand and hence is not suitable for
  4. Majuli Island- It is located in the state of Assam. It is a large river island in the Brahmaputra river. It is the world s largest river island. The livelihoods of people on the island are dependent on agriculture. The island is under severe ecological threat due to the extensive soil erosion on its banks.
  5. Diu Island-It is located off the south coast of Kathiawar. Diu Island is famous for the historical Diu fort and beautiful beaches.
  6. Sagar Island-It is located in the Ganga delta in the Bay of Bengal. It is a large island. It is also an important place of Hindu pilgrimage.
  7. Halliday Island-It is located in the state of West Bengal and is part of the Sunderbans region. It is located in the river Malta. It is also designated as a wildlife sanctuary.
  8. Phumdis/Floating Islands-They is located in the state of Manipur. It is part of the Keibul Lamjao National Park. It is famous for the Eld’s deer/ Sangai.




  1. Name the Main physiographic divisions of India and give the salient features of each division. [1984]

  2. Had there been no Himalayas, what would have been the winter climate in north India [2001]

  3. Assess the significance of the coastal regions in the economic development of India [2009]

  4. There is no formation of deltas by the rivers of the Western Ghats. Why? [2013]

  5. Himalayas are highly prone to landslides. Discuss the causes and suggest suitable measures of mitigation. [2016]


Drainage System


  • The drainage system or pattern of an area refers to the system of flow of surface water mainly through the rivers and basins forms.
  • The drainage system studies streams and the directions in which they carry the surface water of an area.
  • The drainage system is related to a number of factors, for example slope of land, geological structure, amount of volume of water and velocity of water.
  • The surface run off of India is carried by a number of small and large rivers.
  • The drainage system of country can be studied with reference to two parts Northern India and Southern India.

Major Drainage System 🗺️

    1. The Indus River System
    2. The Ganga River System
    3. The Brahmaputra River System
    4. The Peninsular River System

1. The Indus River System

  • The Indus is a transboundary river of Asia and a trans-Himalayan river of South and Central Asia.
  • The 3,180 km  river rises in Western Tibet, flows northwest through the Ladakh and Gilgit-Baltistan regions of Kashmir, bends sharply to the left after the Nanga Parbat massif, and flows south-by-southwest through Pakistan, before it empties into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi.
  • The river has a total drainage area exceeding 1,165,000 km2 .
  • Its estimated annual flow is around 243 km3 (58 cu mi), making it one of the 50 largest rivers in the world in terms of average annual flow.
  • Its left-bank tributary in Ladakh is the Zanskar River, and its left-bank tributary in the plains is the Panjnad River which itself has five major tributaries, namely the Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej rivers.
  • Its principal right-bank tributaries are the Shyok, Gilgit, Kabul, Kurram, and Gomal rivers.

Primary Tributaries 


  • The Jhelum rises in a spring at verinag in the south-eastern part of the Kashmir valley.
  • It flows northwards from its source to Wular Lake and further down south-westwards.
  • Tributaries
    • left Poonch River Sukhnag River
    • right Arpath River, Lidder River, Neelum River, Sind River, Kunhar River
  • At Muzaffarabad, the river takes a sharp hairpin swing southward and the Kishaganga joins at on its right bank.
  • Thereafter, it forms the India-Pakistan boundary for 170 km and emerges at the Potwar Plateau near Mirpur.
  • It has total length of 724 km. It’s average  water discharge 313.19 m3/s.
  • It joins the Chenab at Trimmu.
  • The river is navigable for about 160 km out of a total length of 724 km.
  • 💦The Tulbul Project– The project has been commissioned on the river Jhelum in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • 💦The Uri Dam– The dam has been constructed on the river Jhelum in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • 💦Kishanganga Power station (3x110MW) is located on Kishanganga River, a tributary of river Jhelum in Bandipora District of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • 💦Wular Barrage on the Wular Lake(a Ramsar wetland site) is constructed.
  • 💦Hokera Wetland


  • It is the largest tributary of the Indus.
  • It originates near the Bara Lacha Pass in the Lahul-Spiti part of the Zaskar Range.
  • The united stream (Chandra and Bhaga) called the Chandrabhaga flows in the north-west direction through Himachal Pradesh and enters Jammu & Kashmir as Chenab river.
  • It enters the plain area near Akhnur in J&K. 
  • It receives waters of Jhelum and Ravi rivers.
  • The total length of the river is 1,180 km. Average Water discharge 977.3 m3/s 
  • 💦The Dul Hasti Dam– The dam has been constructed on the river Chenab in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • 💦The Salal Dam– The dam has been constructed on the river Chenab at Dhyangarh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • 💦The Baglihar Dam– The dam has been constructed on the river Chenab near Batote in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.


  • It originates from Kullu hills near the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh.
  • It cuts a deep gorge in the Ohaula Dhar range after crossing Chamba.
  • It enters Punjab Plains near Madhopur and later enters Pakistan 26 km below Amritsar.
  • It debouches into the Chenab a little above Rangpur in Pakistani Punjab.
  • Its total catchment area is 14,442 sq. 1cm of which only 5,957 sq. kin lies in India
  • 💦The Upper Bari Doab Canal (Thein Dam)– It draws its water from the Ravi river. It starts from Madhopur near Pathankot(in Punjab). The canal provides irrigation to the northern districts of Punjab, mainly Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran. The dam has been constructed on the river Ravi near Pathankot in the state of Punjab. It is also known as Ranjit Sagar Dam. It is the largest hydroelectric project of Punjab.
  • 💦The Chamera Dam– The dam has been constructed on the river Ravi in Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh. The dam fulfils the hydroelectric needs of the region.


  • The Beas originates near the Rohtang pass, at a height of 4,062 m above sea level, on the southern and of the Nr Panjal Range, close to the source of the Ravi.
  • It is a comparatively small river which is only 460 km long bout lies entirely within the Indian territory
  • It crosses the Dhaula Dhar range through a deep gorge from Lorji to Talwara.
  • It debouches on the plain near Pong and meets the Satluj river at Harike.
  • It lies entirely within the Indian territory.
  • 💦The Pong Dam-The dam has been constructed on the river Beas in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • 💦The water reservoir created by the dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar is a Ramsar wetland site. It’s all length is shown as Ramsar site.
  • ⚖️Ravi and Beas water sharing dispute among Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan.

Satluj river

  • It rises from the Mansarovar – Rakas Lake near Darma Pass in western Tibet, where it is also known as Langcher Khambab.
  • In Nazi Khorsan province of Tibet, it has created an extraordinary canyon.
  • It is joined by the Spiti river at Namgia near the Shipki La.
  • Before entering the Purijab Plain, it cuts a gorge in Naina Devi Dhar (Bhakra Dam has been constructed here).
  • It enters the plain at Rupnagar (Ropar).
  • It is joined by the Beas at Harike.
  • From near Ferozepur to Faziilca, it forms the boundary between India and Pakistan for nearly 120 km.
  • It joins the Indus a few kilometers above Mithankot.
  • Out of its total length of 1,450 lan, it flows for 1,050 km in Indian territory.
  • 💦The Indira Gandhi Canal Project– It is one of the largest and the longest (600km) canal project in the world. The Indira Gandhi Canal starts from the Harike Barrage at Harike(in Punjab), the confluence point of the rivers Satluj and Beas, to southward till Barmer(in Rajasthan). The canal has transformed the barren areas of Rajasthan into prosperous agricultural fields. Besides providing water for agriculture, the canal supplies drinking water to hundreds of people in far-flung areas.
  • 💦The Bhakra Nangal Project– This multipurpose river valley project was constructed for supplying electricity to the power-hungry north-western India and to extend irrigation facilities in the north-western Haryana and south-western Punjab. Bhakra Dam and Nangal Dam have been constructed on the river Satluj in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The water reservoir behind the Bhakra Dam is known as Gobind Sagar.
  • 💦The Sirhind Canal– It draws its water from the Satluj river. It starts at Rupnagar/Ropar(in Punjab). The canal provides irrigation in Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Sangrur, Bathinda and Patiala districts of Punjab.

Indus Water Treaty – 1960

  • Under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of three rivers, namely Ravi, Sutlej and Beas ( Eastern Rivers) were allocated to India for exclusive use.
  • While, the waters of Western rivers – Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab were allocated to Pakistan except for specified domestic , non-consumptive and agricultural use permitted to India as provided in the Treaty.
  • According to treaty, all the water of eastern rivers shall be available for unrestricted use in India.
  • India should let unrestricted flow of water from western rivers to Pakistan.
  • It doesn’t mean that India can’t use western river’s water. The treaty says that India can use the water in western rivers in “non-consumptive” needs. Here non consumptive means we can use it for irrigation, storage and even for electricity production. (But India has not fully utilized this provision so far). The treaty allocates 80% of water from the six-river Indus water system to Pakistan.

💡Diamer-Bhasha Dam

2. The Ganga River System

  • The Ganga is the most important river of India both from the point of view of its basin and cultural significance.
  • The Ganges  is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through India and Bangladesh.
  • The 2,525 km river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
  • It flows south and east through the Gangetic plain of North India, where it receives tributaries from Nepal that account for the bulk of its flow.
  • It then enters Bangladesh, meets other rivers, and eventually breaks up, forming the major portion of the Ganges Delta, and emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The Ganges system (Ganges/Brahmaputra/Meghna)  is the third largest river on earth by discharge (38,129 m3/s) after first Amazon and second Congo .
  • It rises in the Gangotri (1) glacier near Gaumukh (3,900 m) in the Uttarakhand where it is known as the Bhagirathi.
  • At Devprayag (2) , the Bhagirathi meets the Alaknanda and both makes Ganga. The Alaknanda consists of the Dhauli and the Vishnu Ganga which meet at Vishnuprayag (3) .
  • Pindar joins Alaknanda at Karnaprayag while Mandakini meets it at Rudraprayag.
  • At Haridwar (4) , Ganga enters into plains.
  • 💦The Tehri Dam- It is the highest dam in India. It is constructed on the Bhagirathi river at Tehri in the state of Uttarakhand. The dam is a lifeline for many people as it generates electricity, provides irrigation and municipal water supply to lakhs of people. The dam is in a highly earthquake prone area(Zone V). Noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna had led the Anti-Tehri Dam movement (Chipko) for many years.

The course of the Ganga river

  • The Ganga is called the Bhagirathi above Devprayag and below this town, the Ganga. The Ganga initially flows in the southern direction, then in the south-east direction up to Mirzapur and then in the east direction in the Bihar plains. Near the Rajmahal hills, it turns into south-east direction and after flowing some distance in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, it enters Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, it gets divided into two main distributaries- the Bhagirathi and the Hugli. The main river goes to Bangladesh where it is firstly known by the name of the Padma and then the Meghna which drains into the Bay of Bengal.

The Five Prayags

  1. Devaprayag, the place of confluence of Bhagirathi river and Alaknanda river.
  2. Rudraprayag, the place of confluence of Mandakini river and Alaknanda river.
  3. Nandaprayag, the place of confluence of Nandakini river and Alaknanda river.
  4. Karnaprayag, the place of confluence of Pindar river and Alaknanda river.
  5. Vishnuprayag, the place of confluence of Dhauliganga river and Alaknanda river.

Major Tributaries of the Ganga River

  • Left Bank Tributaries of the Ganga River
    • Ramganga River
    • Gomti River
    • Ghaghra River
    • Kali River
    • Gandak River
    • Burhi Gandak
    • Kosi River
  • Right Bank Tributaries of the Ganga River
    • Yamuna River
      • Chambal River
      • Banas River
      • Sind River
      • Betwa River
    • Ken River
    • Son River
    • Damodar River

Left Bank Tributaries

The Ramganga River

  • It is a left-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  • It rises in the Kamaun range of the Himalayas near Nainital in Uttarakhand.
  • It enters the Ganga plains near Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh.
  • 💦The Ramganga Project- It is an irrigation and a hydro-electric project on the Ramganga river, a tributary of Ganga. It is located in the Jim Corbett National Park region.

The Gomati River

  • It is a left-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  • It rises from Gomat Tall in the Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • It joins the Ganga at Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh before flowing through the cities of Lucknow and Jaunpur.

The Ghaghara River

  • It is a left-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  • It rises from Mapcha Chung Glacier in Tibet region.
  • The river is known by the name of Karnali in Nepal.
  • It joins the Ganga at Chhapra.
  • The Sarda river and the Rakti river are its important tributaries.

The Sarda River

  • It rises from the Milam Glacier in the Great Himalayas in Nepal.
  • It flows along the Indo-Nepal border before leaving the Himalayas at Baramdeo.
  • The river is known by different names- Kali, Sarda, Kheri, Chauka.
  • It joins the Ghaghara river at Bahramghat.

The Gandak River

  • It is a left-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  • It rises from the Great Himalayas in Nepal.
  • The river is known by the name of Kalyani in Nepal.
  • It joins the Ganga at Sonpur near Patna, Bihar.
  • 💦The Gandak Project- It is a joint project of the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. It is constructed on the river Gandak. A barrage is constructed at Valmikinagar, Bihar. Electricity is generated at Suratpura power station in Nepal which caters the power needs of Tarai region.

The Kosi River

  • It is a left-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  • The Arun, the Sun Kosi and the Tamur rivers which drain Mount Everest and the Kanchenjunga hills in east Nepal unite to form the Kosi river in the north region of Mahabharta range of the Himalayas.
  • It is an antecedent river.
  • The Kosi flows through the Tarai region of Nepal. The catchment area of the river receives immense rainfall leading to floods.
  • The river has changed its course and ruined a large area. Because of the havoc created and the floods, the Kosi is termed as Bihar’s “River of Sorrow”.
  • 💦The Kosi Project- Kosi Barrage has been constructed along the Indo-Nepal border. It is an irrigation, flood control and hydro-electricity generation project on the Kosi River built under a bilateral agreement between Nepal and India.

The Mahananda River

  • It rises in the Darjeeling hills. It is the last left-bank tributary of the Ganga river in India.

Left Bank Tributaries

The Yamuna River

  • It is the right-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  • It rises from the Yamunotri glacier on the Banderpunch range.
  • After cutting a deep gorge across the Shivaliks, it flows south-west and enters the Ganga plain at Paonta Sahib.
  • It flows southwards till Agra and moves south-east till it merges with the Ganga at Allahabad.
  • The Tons river, the Chambal river, the Sind river, the Betwa river and the Ken river are its four main right-bank tributaries.
  • The Hindon, the Sharda river, the Varuna river, the Giri river are its major left-bank tributaries.

The Chambal River

  • The Chambal river rises from a place near Mhow in the Vindhyan range in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Firstly, it flows northwards in a gorge up to Kota, Rajasthan. Below Kota, it flows in the north-east direction till Pinahat.
  • Then it runs east and parallel to the Yamuna before merging in it at Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh. Banas river, Kali Sindh river and Parvati river are its major tributaries.
  • 💦The Chambal Project– This is a joint venture of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh initiated in 1954 on the Chambal River (the main tributary of the Yamuna). The project aims at harnessing the Chambal River for irrigation, power generation and for prevention and control of soil erosion in the valley. The project has been executed in three successive stages.
    The first stage consists of construction of the 64 m high and 514 m long Gandhisagar dam about 8 km downstream of the Chaurasigarh fort in Bhanupura tehsil at the border of M.P. and Rajasthan.
    The second stage includes the construction of the 54 m high and 1,143 m long Rana Pratap masonry dam at Rawatbhata about 56 km downstream of the Gandhisagar dam.
    The third stage consists of the construction of a 45 m high and 548 m long gravity dam, known as the Jawahar Sagar dam or Kota dam, about 29 km upstream of Kota city.


  • The Son, 784km long, originates near Amarkantak in MP, just east of the headwater of the Narmada River, and flows north-northwest through MP before turning sharply eastward where it encounters the southwest-northeast running Kaimur Range
  • The Son parallels the Kaimur hills, flowing east-northeast through UP, Jharkhand, and Bihar states to join the Ganga just above Patna
  • Geologically. The lower valley of the Son is an extension of the Narmada Valley, and the Kaimur Range an extension of the Vindhya Range
  • Dehri is the major town situated on Son River.
  • Tributaries of Son river
    • Right – Gopad Rive, Rihand River, Kanhar River, North Koel River
    • Left – Ghaggar River, Johila River, Chhoti Mahanadi River
  • Its chief tributaries are the Rihand and the North Koel. It is largely forested and sparsely populated.
  • 💦The Rihand Project– It is the most important multipurpose project of Uttar Pradesh. A dam is constructed on Rihand river near Pipri in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh. Rihand river is a tributary of Son river. Son Canal is also constructed which supplies water to Bihar. Reservoir-Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar is constructed on the Uttar Pradesh-/Chhattisgarh border.

The Damodar River

  • It rises in the Chhotanagpur Plateau and flows in the eastern direction in Jharkhand. The river passes through a rift valley. It joins the right-bank of Hoogly river near Fulta. The Barakar river is an important tributary of Damodar📌.
  • 💦The Damodar Valley Project– It is India’s first multipurpose river valley project. It was started in 1948 based on the Tennessee River Valley Corporation of the USA. Important dams under the project are- Panchet Dam on the Damodar river; Tailaiya Dam, Maithon Dam and Bal Pahari Dam on the Barakar river(a tributary of Damodar); Konar Dam on the river Konar(a tributary of Damodar); Bakora Dam on the Bokaro river(a tributary of Damodar). Also, the Durgapur barrage on the Damodar river in Durgapur has been created for the storage of irrigation water.

Namami Gange Programme:

    • Namami Gange Programme is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
    • It is being operated under the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
    • The program is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organizations i.e State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
    • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council (set in 2016; which replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority – NGRBA).
    • It has a Rs. 20,000-crore, centrally-funded, non-lapsable corpus and consists of nearly 288 projects.
    • The main pillars of the programme are:
      • Sewage Treatment Infrastructure
      • River-Front Development
      • River-Surface Cleaning
      • Biodiversity
      • Afforestation
      • Public Awareness
      • Industrial Effluent Monitoring
      • Ganga Gram

Ghaggar River

Source of origin of the Ghaggar river: It rises from a place in the Nahan Hills in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Confluence or mouth of the Ghaggar river: The Ghaggar is also an ephemeral river. It drains itself in the northern Rajasthan.

Major Tributaries of the Ghaggar river:

  • The Kaushalya River
  • The Markanda River
  • The Sarsuti River
  • The Tangri River

Course of the Ghaggar river:

The Ghaggar flows through the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

Other characteristics of the Ghaggar river system:

  • The Ghaggar river is seasonal in nature and is dependent on monsoonal rainfall.

3. Brahmaputra River System

  • The Brahmaputra , also known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, the Siang/Dihang River in Arunachal Pradesh, and Luit, Dilao in Assam, is a trans-boundary river which flows through Tibet, India, and Bangladesh. 
  • It is the 9th largest river in the world by discharge, and the 15th longest.

Course of the Brahmaputra River

  • With its origin in the Manasarovar Lake region, near the Mount Kailash, located on the northern side of the Himalayas in Burang County of Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo River, it flows along southern Tibet to break through the Himalayas in great gorges (including the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon) and into Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It flows southwest through the Assam Valley as Brahmaputra and south through Bangladesh as the Jamuna (not to be confused with Yamuna of India).
  • In the vast Ganges Delta, it merges with the Padma, the popular name of the river Ganges in Bangladesh, and finally, after merging with Padma, it becomes the Meghna and from here, it flows as Meghna river before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

Tributaries of the Brahmaputra River

The Dhansiri River

  • It is the left-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It rises from Liasang peak of Nagaland.
  • It is the main river of the Golaghat district of Assam and the Dimapur district of Nagaland.

The Lohit River

  • It is an important left-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It rises in the eastern Tibet region. The Lohit river flows through the Mishmi Hills.
  • It joins the left-bank of the Brahmaputra at Sadia town in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The main human habitations along the river are the cities of Lohit and Brahmakund.
  • The catchment area of the Lohit river is covered extensively by thick forests.
  • The newly constructed massive Dhola-Sadia bridge or the Bhupen Hazarika bridge spans the Lohit river.

The Dibang River

  • It is the left-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It is one of the principal tributaries of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It flows through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
  • It enters the plain area in Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It enters Assam plains near Roing.

The Subansiri River

  • It is the right-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It rises in the Tibet region in the Himalayas.
  • It flows east and southeast through the Lower Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh, and then south to the Assam valley, where it joins the right-bank of the Brahmaputra river in the Lakhimpur district of Assam.
  • The Subasi River is known as the Gold River by the locals.
  • This river is famous all over the world for its gold dust.

The Kameng River

  • It is the right-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It rises in the Tawang district in the eastern Himalayas.
  • It forms the border between the East Kameng district and the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • In Assam, it flows through the Sonitpur district before joining the Brahmaputra at Tezpur.
  • The Kameng River consists of two sections- the west consisting of the Akka hills and resided by the Akka tribes and the east consisting of the Dafla hills resided by the Daphla tribe.
  • The Kaziranga National Park and the Pakkhui Wildlife Sanctuary are located near the Kameng river.

The Manas River

  • It is the right-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It is a trans-boundary river in the Himalayan foothills between southern Bhutan and India.
  • It is named after Manasa, the serpent god in the Hindu mythology.
  • Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan and the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary are located in the Manas River valley.
  • The Manas river flows through Bhutan and Assam in India before it joins the right-bank of the Brahmaputra river.

The Sankosh River

  • It is the right-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It is a trans0boundary river and it flows through Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh.
  • It rises in the northern Bhutan region.
  • It then flows through the region bordering the West Bengal district of Jalpaiguri and the districts of Dhubri and Kokrajhar in Assam.
  • It then crosses over to Bangladesh where it is known by the name of Dudhkumar River.
  • The river finally joins the right-bank of the Brahmaputra river near the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The Teesta River

  • It is the right-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river.
  • The Teesta rises from Zemu glacier in Kanchenjunga massif in Sikkim.
  • The Teesta river drains the entire state of Sikkim and a part of Darjeeling Hills.
  • It is known as the lifeline of Sikkim.
  • The Teesta flows along a very deep gorge which divides north Bengal or the hills of Darjeeling into two parts-Tiger Hill range in the west and the Kalimpong Hill range in the east.
  • It joins the Brahmaputra on its right-bank in Bangladesh.

B. The Peninsular River System

The Western Ghats running close to the western coast is the main water divide between the major Peninsular rivers, discharging their waters in the Bay of Bengal and as small rivulets joining the Arabian Sea.

Most of the major Peninsular rivers except Narmada, Tapi, Sabarmati and Mahi flow towards the west. Mahanadi, Kaveri, Godavari, Krishna rivers have a fixed course and there is an absence of meanders, and the flow of water is non-perennial. And Narmada and Tapi flow through the rift valley.

West flowing rivers

The Narmada River System

  • The Narmada is a river located in central India.
  • It rises to the summit of the Amarkantak Hill in Madhya Pradesh state.
  • It outlines the traditional frontier between North India and South India.
  • It is one of the major rivers of peninsular India. Only the Narmada, the Tapti, and the Mahi rivers run from east to west.
  • The river flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
  • It drains into the Arabian Sea in the Bharuch district of Gujarat.
  • Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Narmada river system:

    • 💦 Sardar Sarovar Dam– The dam is part of the Narmada River Valley Project. It is the second-largest in the world in terms of volume and size. The dam is located near Songadh in the state of Gujarat. Though the foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was laid in 1961 by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, it has been inaugurated very recently in 2017 since it was marred by controversies. According to the government, the dam will prove instrumental in increasing the agricultural output and revenue of the region and will serve as a major power producer in the country.
    • 💦 Indira Sagar Dam– It is also part of the Narmada River Valley Project. This multi-purpose dam is built on the Narmada river in Narmada Nagar in the Khandwa district in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
    • 💦Bargi Dam– It is one of the first completed dams under the Narmada River Valley Project. The dam is located on the Narmada river in Jabalpur district in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
    • 💦 Tawa Dam- The dam has been constructed across the Tawa river (a tributary of Narmada) in the Hoshangabad District of Madhya Pradesh.
    • 💦 Maan Dam– Built under the Narmada River Valley Project, the dam is constructed across the Maan river (a tributary of Narmada) in Dhar district in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
    • 💦Jobat Dam– It is also part of the Narmada River Valley Project. The dam is constructed across the Hathni river (a tributary of Narmada) in Alirajpur district in the state of Madhya Pradesh.


⚖️ Narmada water sharing dispute among Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan.

  • Other facts related to the Narmada river system:

    • The river flows in a rift valley between the Vindhyas in the north and the Satpura in the south.
    • The river forms a picturesque gorge in marble rocks.
    • The Narmada forms the Dhaundhar waterfalls, southwest of Jabalpur.
    • It forms the traditional boundary between North India and South India.

The Tapi River System

  • It is a central Indian river. It is one of the most important rivers of peninsular India with the run from east to west.
  • It originates in the Eastern Satpura Range of southern Madhya Pradesh state.
  • It flows in a westward direction, draining some important historic places like Madhya Pradesh’s Nimar region, East Vidarbha region and Maharashtra’s Khandesh in the northwest corner of the Deccan Plateau and South Gujarat before draining into the Gulf of Cambay of the Arabian Sea.
  • The River Basin of Tapi River lies mostly in eastern and northern districts Maharashtra state.
  • The river also covers some districts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat as well.
  • The principal tributaries of Tapi River are Waghur River, Aner River, Girna River, Purna River, Panzara River and Bori River.
  • Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Tapi river system:

    • The Ukai Project– The project is a joint venture between the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. A dam is constructed on the Tapi river in Ukai in the state of Gujarat.
    • The Kakrapar Project– The project is flagship irrigation and hydro-electric project of the state of Gujarat. A dam is constructed at Kakrapar.

    Other facts related to the Tapi river system:

    • The Tapi river like the Narmada river also flows in a rift valley.

Sabarmati River

The Sabarmati river rises from the Aravalis in Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan.

The Sabarmati river drains into the Gulf of Khambat (the Arabian Sea).

Major Tributaries of the Sabarmati River:

  • The Wakal River
  • The Harnav River
  • The Hathmati River
  • The Vatrak River
  • The MAdhumati River
  • The Sei River

Course of the Sabarmati River:

The Sabarmati river flows through the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Sabarmati river system:

  • The Dharoi Dam– It is constructed across the Sabarmati river in Dharoi in the Mehsana district in the state of Gujarat. It is a multi-purpose dam constructed to serve the north Gujarat region with irrigation, electricity generation and flood control purposes.

Other facts related to the Sabarmati river system:

  • Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad are two main cities standing on its banks.
  • The Sabarmati is a seasonal river receiving varied rainfall and has been frequented by floods in the past.
  • Gandhi, father of the nation, established an ashram on the banks of this river, the Sabarmati Ashram, an embodiment of peace, struggle, sacrifice, courage, and hard work.

Mahi River

  • The Mahi basin extends over states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat having total area of 34,842 Sq km.
  • It is bounded by Aravalli hills on the north and the north-west, by Malwa Plateau on the east, by the Vindhyas on the south and by the Gulf of Khambhat on the west.
  • Mahi is one of the major interstate west flowing rivers of India.
  • It originates from the northern slopes of Vindhyas at an altitude of 500 m in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The total length of Mahi is 583 km.
  • It drains into the Arabian Sea through the Gulf of Khambhat.
  • The major part of basin is covered with agricultural land accounting to 63.63% of the total area
  • Hydro Power stations are located in Mahi Bajaj Sagar dam and at Kadana Dam.
  • Vadodara is the only important urban centre in the basin. There are not many industries in the basin.
  • Some of the industries are cotton textile, paper, newsprint, drugs and pharmaceuticals. Most of these industries are located at Tatlam.

Luni River

The Luni River is the longest river system of Rajasthan.

Source of origin of the Luni river: It rises from a place near Pushkar in two branches- Saraswati and Sabarmati which join with each other at Govindgarh. From here, the river comes out of the Aravalis and is known as Luni.

Confluence or mouth of the Luni river: The Luni is an Ephemeral river. The Luni river discharges water on land and develops Rann of Kachchh.

Major Tributaries of the Luni river:

  • The Bandi River
  • The Khari River
  • The Jawai River
  • The Guhiya River
  • The Sukri River

Course of the Luni river:

The Luni river flows in westward direction till Telwara and then takes a southwest direction to drain into the Rann of Kachchh. The basin of the river extends over parts of Ajmer, Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Pali, Rajsamand, Sirohi and Udaipur districts.

Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Luni river system:

  • Sardar Samand Irrigation Project– Under the project, a dam has been constructed in the Pali district in the state of Rajasthan.
  • Jawai Dam– It is constructed across the Luni River and is located in the Pali district in the state of Rajasthan.

Other facts related to the Luni river system:

  • Due to its high saline content, the Luni river is also known as the Lavanaravi or Lavanavati, which means “salt river” in the Sanskrit language.

East flowing rivers

The Godavari River System

  • The Godavari River is the second-longest course in India with brownish water.
  • The river is often referred to as the Dakshin (South) Ganga or Vriddh (Old) Ganga.
  • It is a seasonal river, dried during the summers, and widens during the monsoons.
  • This river originates from Trimbakeshwar, near Nasik in Maharashtra.
  • It flows southeast across south-central India through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa, and drains into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The river forms a fertile delta at Rajahmundry.
  • The banks of this river have many pilgrimage sites, Nasik(MH), Bhadrachalam(TS), and Trimbak. Some of its tributaries include Pranahita (Combination of Penuganga and Warda), Indravati River, Bindusara, Sabari, and Manjira.
  • Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge which links Kovvur and Rajahmundry is located on the river Godavari.
  • Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Godavari river system:

    • The Gangapur Dam– The dam has been constructed across the Godavari in Nashik district in the state of Maharashtra. The reservoir created by the dam is known as Gangapur Bandh Sagar.
    • The Jayakwadi Dam– The dam has been constructed across the Godavari river near Paithan in the state of Maharashtra. It aims to address the dual problems of flooding along the banks during monsoon months, and that of drought during the rest of the year, particularly in Marathwada region.
    • The Sriram Sagar Project– The project has been executed across the Godavari river in Nizamabad district in the state of Telangana.
    • The Polavaram Project– The Polavaram project is being executed across the Godavari river in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
    • The Dowleswaram Barrage– The barrage was built by Sir Arthur Cotton, a British engineer in 1852. It is located in Rajahmundry in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

⚖️Water sharing dispute among Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha.

The Krishna River System

  • Krishna is one of the longest rivers of India, which originates from Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra.
  • It flows through Sangli and drains the sea in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The river flows through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Tungabhadra River is the main tributary which itself is formed by the Tunga and Bhadra rivers that originate in the Western Ghats.
  • Dudhganga Rivers, Koyna, Bhima, Mallaprabha, Dindi, Ghataprabha, Warna, Yerla, and Musi are some of the other tributaries.
  • Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Krishna river system:

    • 💦The Tungabhadra Project– The project aims at producing hydro-electricity, providing irrigation water and municipal water supply and controlling floods in the region. Under this project, a dam has been constructed across the Tungabhadra river near Hospet in the state of Karnataka.
    • 💦The Srisailam Project– Under the project, a large dam has been constructed across the Krishna river in Kurnool district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It has created a reservoir named as Srisailam Sagar or Neelam Sanjjeva Reddy Sagar.
    • 💦The Nagarjuna Sagar Dam– The construction of the dam started in 1950, being one of the earliest large infrastructure project of India, aimed at bringing Green Revolution. The dam has been constructed across the Krishna river straddling the borders of Nalgonda and Guntur districts.
    • 💦The Prakasam Barrage– The Prakasam Barrage was conceptualised by Major Cotton of the East India Company. It is constructed across the Krishna river near Vijayawada in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
    • 💦The Ghatprabha Project– The project has been executed across the Ghatprabha river near Chandgad in Kolhapur district in the state of Maharashtra in the Krishna river basin.
    • 💦The Bhima Project– The project has been executed across the Bhima river in Solapur district in the state of Maharashtra in the Krishna river basin.

⚖️ Krishna Water sharing dispute among Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana.

The Cauvery River System

  • The Cauvery is also known as Dakshin Ganga.
  • It originates from Talakaveri located in the Western Ghats.
  • It is a famous pilgrimage and tourist place in the Kodagu district of Karnataka.
  • The headwaters of the river are in the Western Ghats range of Karnataka state, and from Karnataka through Tamil Nadu.
  • The river drains into the Bay of Bengal. The river supports irrigation for agriculture and is considered as a means of support of the ancient kingdoms and modern cities of South India.
  • The river has many tributaries called Arkavathy, Shimsha, Hemavati, Kapila, Shimsha, Honnuhole, Amaravati, Lakshmana Kabini, Lokapavani, Bhavani, Noyyal, and Tirtha.

Major River Valley Projects associated with Kaveri River

  • During the pre-plan period many projects were completed in this basin which included Krishnarajasagar in Karnataka, Mettur dam and Cauvery delta system in Tamil Nadu.
  • Lower Bhavani, Hemavati, Harangi, Kabini are important projects completed during the plan period.

⚖️ Water sharing dispute among Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The Mahanadi River System

  • The Mahanadi originates from the Satpura Range of central India and it is a river in eastern India.
  • It flows east to the Bay of Bengal. The river drains of the state of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Orissa.
  • The largest dam, the Hirakud Dam is built on the river.

Major River Valley Projects/Dams/Barrages associated with the Mahanadi river system

  • 💦The Hirakud Dam– It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence. The dam aims at controlling floods in the Mahanadi basin, providing water for irrigation and municipal water supply. The dam is located near Sambalpur in the state of Odisha.
  • 💦The Gangrel Dam– It is also known by the name of R.S. Sagar Dam. The dam is built across the Mahanadi river in Dhamtari district in the state of Chhattisgarh.
  • 💦The Dhudhwa Dam– The dam is constructed across the Mahanadi river in Dhamtari district in the state of Chhattisgarh.

⚖️ Water sharing dispute between Chhattisgarh, Odisha.

Issues related to the Mahanadi river system

    • The Mahanadi river basin is subject to severe flooding occasionally in the delta area due to an inadequate carrying capacity of the channels. The multi-purpose Hirakud river valley project provides some amount of flood relief by storing part of flood water. However, the problem still persists and a lasting solution needs to be evolved.

Interlinking of rivers is an important topic that features in the UPSC environment section. It is also a part of the Geography segment of the UPSC Syllabus. In this article, you can read all about the interlinking of rivers in India, its issues and challenges, and also about the National River Linking Project (NRLP) for the IAS exam.

Interlinking of Rivers

The idea of interlinking rivers was first mooted by the Chief Engineer of the Madras Presidency in 1919, Sir Arthur Cotton.

  • This idea was revisited in 1960 by the then Minister of State for Energy and Irrigation, KL Rao, who proposed to link rivers Ganga and Cauvery.
  • The National Water Development Agency was established by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1982.
  • In 2002, the Supreme Court asked the government to finalize a plan for interlinking rivers by 2003 and execute it by 2016.
  • A task force was formed by the government for the same in 2003.
  • In 2012, the SC again asked the government to start the project.
  • In 2014, the Ken-Betwa River Linking Project got Cabinet approval. However, the project is yet to take off because of the opposition faced by the government chiefly from environmentalists.


What is Inter-linking of Rivers (ILR)?

The idea behind the interlinking of rivers is that many parts of the country face problems of drought while many others face the problem of flooding every year. 

  • The Indo-Gangetic rivers are perennial since they are fed by rains as well as the glaciers from the Himalayas.
  • The peninsular rivers in India are, however, not seasonal because they are rain-fed mainly from the south-west Monsoons.
  • Due to this, the Indo-Gangetic plains suffer from floods and the peninsular states suffer from droughts.
  • If this excess water can be diverted from the Plains to the Peninsula, the problem of floods and droughts can be solved to a large extent.
  • Hence, the interlinking of rivers will bring about an equitable distribution of river waters in India.

National River Linking Project (NRLP)

This project envisages the transfer of water from the water-excess basin to the water-deficient basin by interlinking 37 rivers of India by a network of almost 3000 storage dams. This will form a gigantic South Asian water grid.

There are two components to this project:

  1. Himalayan Component
  2. Peninsular Component

Himalayan Component of NRLP

Under the Himalayan component of the NRLP, there are 14 projects in the pipeline.

  • Storage dams will be constructed on the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra, and also their tributaries.
  • The linking of the Ganga and the Yamuna is also proposed.
  • Apart from controlling flooding in the Ganga – Brahmaputra river system, it will also benefit the drought-prone areas of Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat.
  • This component has two sub-components:
    • Connecting the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins to the Mahanadi basin.
    • Connecting the Eastern tributaries of the Ganga with the Sabarmati and Chambal river systems.

Peninsular Component of NRLP

This component of the NRLP envisages the linking of the 16 rivers of southern India.

  • Surplus water from the Mahanadi and the Godavari will be transferred to the Krishna, Cauvery, Pennar, and the Vaigai rivers.
  • Under this component, there are four sub-component linkages:
    • Linking Mahanadi and Godavari river basins to Cauvery, Krishna, and Vaigai river systems.
    • Ken to Betwa river, and Parbati & Kalisindh rivers to Chambal river.
    • West-flowing rivers to the south of Tapi to the north of Bombay.
    • Linking some west-flowing rivers to east-flowing rivers.


UPSC Mains Questions
1. What are the objectives of Ganga Action Plan? Explain in brief, the benefits of the plan. 1986
2. What Is ‘Underwater Archaeology? What important findings have been made in Indian coastal waters recently? 1987
3. Why do the rivers of the peninsular India have well defined rigid channels in sharp contrast to the Himalayan Rivers? 1995
4. Why has the Narnada River Valley Project attracted the attention of the common people? 1997
5. Describe the major characteristics of the rivers of Peninsular India. 2003
6. Why do the rivers of the west coast do not form a delta? 2006
7. Write about National Waterways. 2009
8. Wrile a note on the causes for dominant dendritic Pattern of drainage in the Gangeic plains. 2010
9. Major cities of India are becoming more vulnerable to flood conditions. Discuss. 2016


The Ravva offshore block, with great potential for oil, is located in :[1999]
(a)Krishna-Godavari basin (b)Cauvery basin (c)Mahanadi basin (d)Palar-Pennar basin
Ans. (a)The Ravva offshore block is in Krishna–Godavari basin of Andhra Pradesh. It is the area of a great reserve of petroleum and natural gas.
          The palaeomagnetic results obtained from India indicate that in the past, the Indian land mass has moved: [1995]
(a)northward (b)southward (c)eastward (d)westward

Ans. (a)The palaeomagnetic results indicates that, the Indian land mass has moved to the north breaking from Africa.

          The Indian subcontinent was originally a part of a huge mass called:[1995] (a)Jurassic land mass (b)Aryavarta (c)Indiana (d)Gondwana continent

Ans..(d)Geologists believes that the Indian peninsula was a part of the Gondwanaland (continent) which drifted northwards and India, Africa and other parts separated from each other.

          Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer:[1997]
List-I                                                    List-II
A. Deccan Traps                                1.Late Cenozoic
B. Western Ghats                              2.Pre-Cambrian
C. Aravalli                                           3.Cretaceous Eocene
D. Narmada-Tapi                              4.Cambrian alluvial deposits

(a)A – 3; B – 5; C – 1; D – 4
(b)A – 3; B – 1; C – 2; D – 5
(c)A – 2; B – 1; C – 3; D – 4
(d)A – 1; B – 4; C – 2; D – 5

Ans..(b)Major Geological Eras Peninsularand Periods A.Deccan Traps–Cretaceous era B.Western Ghats–Late cenozoic era C.Aravalli–Pre-cambrian era D.Narmada-Tapti–Pleistocene period alluvial deposits

The Ravva offshore block, with great potential for oil, is located in :[1999]
(a)Krishna-Godavari basin (b)Cauvery basin (c)Mahanadi basin (d)Palar-Pennar basin
Ans. (a)The Ravva offshore block is in Krishna–Godavari basin of Andhra Pradesh. It is the area of a great reserve of petroleum and natural gas.

Which one of the following is the appropriate reason to considering the Gondwana rocks as most important of rock systems of India?[2010]
(a)More than 90% of limestone reserves of India are found in them
(b)More than 90% of India’s coal reserves are found in them
(c)More than 90% of fertile black cotton soils are spread over them
(d)None of the reasons given above is appropriate in this context
Ans..(b)More than 90% of India's coal reserves are found in Gondwana rock system.

When you travel in Himalayas, you will see the following :

Which of the above can be said to be the evidence for Himalayas being young fold mountains?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1, 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Solution (d)

Which one of the following pairs of islands is separated from each other by the ‘Ten Degree Channel’?
1. Andaman and Nicobar
2. Nicobar and Sumatra
3. Maldives and Lakshadweep
4. Sumatra and Java
Solution (a)
Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer:[1997]
List-I                                  List-II
A. Deccan Traps             1. Late Cenozoic
B. Western Ghats           2. Pre-Cambrian
C. Aravalli                         3. Cretaceous Eocene
D. Narmada-Tapi           4. Cambrian alluvial deposits
                                               5. Pleistocene Codes:
(a)A – 3; B – 5; C – 1; D – 4
(b)A – 3; B – 1; C – 2; D – 5
(c)A – 2; B – 1; C – 3; D – 4
(d)A – 1; B – 4; C – 2; D – 5
Ans..(b)Major Geological Eras Peninsularand Periods
A.Deccan Traps–Cretaceous era
B.Western Ghats–Late cenozoic era
C.Aravalli–Pre-cambrian era
D.Narmada-Tapti–Pleistocene period alluvial deposits

Which one of the following mountain ranges is spread over only one state in India?[1995]
(a)Aravalli (b)Satpura (c)Ajanta (d)Sahyadri
Ans. (c)Ajanta mountain range a short range, which spreads within Maharashtra. –Aravali ranges covers Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi –Satpura ranges are found in Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh. –Sahyadris ranges starts from Gujrat, Maharastra border and crossing Goa, Karnataka it reaches Kerala tip upto Cape Comrin. –Ajanta is found in the Aurangabad district of Maharastra.
The approximate age of the Aravallis range is :[2001] (a)370 million years (b)470 million years (c)570 million years (d)670 million years
Ans..(a)The Aravallis range are the oldest mountain in India. The approximate age of the Aravallis is 670 million years
Nanda Devi peak forms a part of :[2003] (a)Assam Himalayas (b)Kumaon Himalayas (c)Nepal Himalayas (d)Punjab Himalayas
Ans.. (b)Nanda Devi peak are a part of Kumaon Himalayas located in Chamoli district of Uttaranchal
Among the following cities, which one has the highest altitude above mean sea level?[2003] (a)Bangalore (b)Delhi (c)Jodhpur (d)Nagpur
Ans. (a)Bangalore is the city which is 937 metres above sea level, Delhi is 218 metres sea level, Jodhpur is 230 metres and Nagpur is 247.5 metres above the sea level.
Consider the following:[2004] 1.Mahadeo Hills 2.Sahyadri Parvat 3.Satpura Range What is the correct sequence of the above from the north to the south ? (a)1, 2, 3 (b)2, 1, 3 (c)1, 3, 2 (d)2, 3, 1
Ans. (c)
Match List I (Beaches in India) with List II (States) and select the correct answer using the codes given A. Gopinath Beach 1. Andhra Pradesh B. Lawsons Bay Beach 2. Kerala C. Devbagh Beach 3. Gujarat D. Sinquerim Beach 4. Goa 5. Karnataka Codes: (a)A-5; B-4; C-2; D-1 (b)A-3; B-1; C-5; D-4 (c)A-5; B-1; C-2; D-4 (d)A-3; B-4; C-5; D-1
Ans. (b)Beach in IndiaStates A.Gopinath Beach:Gujarat B.Lawsons Bay Beach: Andhra Pradesh C.Devbagh Beach:Karnataka D.Sinquerim Beach: Goa
Which one of the following statements is not correct?[2005] (a)The Western Ghats are relatively lower in their northern region. (b)The Anai Mudi is the highest peak in the Western Ghats. (c)Tapi river lies to the south of Satpura (d)The Narmada and Tapti river valleys are said to be old rift valleys.
Ans. (a)Western Ghats are are relationship higher in the Southern region.
Which one of the following is the correct sequence of hills starting from the north and going towards the south?[2005] (a)Nallamalai Hills–Nilgiri Hills–Javadi Hills–Anamalai Hills (b)Anamalai Hills–Javadi Hills–Nilgiri Hills–Nallamalai Hills (c)Nallamalai Hills–Javadi Hills–Nilgiri Hills –Anamalai Hills (d)Anamalai Hills–Nilgiri Hills–Javadi Hills–Nallamalai Hills
109.(c)The correct sequence of the given hills starting from north and going towards to south is Nallamalai Hills, Javadi Hills, Nilgiri Hills, Anamalai Hills
Match List-I (Valley) with List-II (State) and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists:[2006] List-I (Valley) List-II (State) A.Markha Valley1.Sikkim B.Dzukou Valley2.Himachal Pradesh C.Sangla Valley3.Jammu & Kashmir D.Yumthang Valley4.Nagaland Codes : (a)A-2; B-4; C-3; D-1 (b)A-3; B-1; C-2; D-4 (c)A-2; B-1; C-3; D-4 (d)A-3; B-4; C-2; D-1
Ans. (d)
Where are Shevaroy hills located?[2007] (a)Andhra Pradesh (b)Karnataka (c)Kerala (d)Tamil Nadu
Ans..(d)Shevaroy hill is situated near Salem of Tamil Nadu. This hill range covers an area of fifty square kilometers.
In which State is the Guru Shikhar Peak located? [2007] (a)Rajasthan (b)Gujarat (c)Madhya Pradesh (d)Maharashtra
Ans..(a)Guru Shikhar Peak is the highest point in Rajasthan. The altitude of peak 5676 feet (1722 mt).
Which of the following hills are found where the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats meet?[2008] (a)Anamalai Hills (b)Cardamom Hills (c)Nilgiri Hills (d)Shevaroy Hills
Ans. (c)Nilgiri hills are at the junction of the eastern and western ghats of the Sahayadri hills. The heights of the hills range varies between 2,280 and 2,290 metres.
In which one of the following places is the Shompen tribe found?[2009] (a)Nilgiri Hills (b)Nicobar Islands (c)Spiti Valley (d)Lakshadweep Islands

Ans..(b)The Shompen tribe is one of two Mongloid tribes found in Nicobar Island.

If there were no Himalayan ranges, what would have been the most likely geographical impact on India?[2010] 1.Much of the country would experience the cold waves from Siberia. 2.Indo-gangetic plain would be devoid of such extensive alluvial soils. 3.The pattern of monsoon would be different from what it is at present. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)1 and 3 only (c)2 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3
Ans. (d)All the statements given in the question are correct.
When you travel in Himalayas, you will see the following :[2012 - I] 1.Deep gorges 2.U-turn river courses 3.Parallel mountain ranges 4.Steep gradients causing land-sliding Which of the above can be said to be the evidences for Himalayas being young fold mountains? (a) 1 and 2 only(b) 1, 2 and 4 only (c) 3 and 4 only(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Ans..(d)All are correct.
Consider the following pairs :[2014 - I] HillsRegion 1.Cardamom Hills:Coromandel Coast 2.Kaimur Hills:Konkan Coast 3.Mahadeo Hills:Central India 4.Mikir Hills:North-East India Which of the above pairs are correctly matched? (a)1 and 2 (b)2 and 3 (c)3 and 4 (d)2 and 4
Ans. (c)The Cardamom Hills are southern hills of India and part of the southern Western Ghats located in southeast Kerala and southwest Tamil Nadu. They are not in coromandel coast. Kaimur Range is the eastern portion of the Vindhya Range extending from Madhya Pradesh to Bihar. They are not in konkan coast. The Mahadeo Hills are in Madhya Pradesh, state of central India.Mikir hills are in assam i.e. in North East India.
Which one of the following pairs of States of India indicates the eastern most and western most State?[2015-I] (a)Assam and Rajasthan (b)Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan (c)Assam and Gujarat (d)Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat
Ans.. (d)Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat are the easternmost and westernmost States.
At one of the places in India, if you stand on the seashore and watch the sea, you will find that the sea water recedes from the shore line a few kilometres and comes back to the shore, twice a day, and you can actually walk on the sea floor when the water recedes. This unique phenomenon is seen at[2017-I] (a)Bhavnagar (b)Bheemunipatnam (c)Chandipur (d)Nagapattinam
Ans..(c)Odisha state Government's tourism webpage says verbatim that Chandipur beach has a unique distinction on its own. Unlike other beaches, the sea water here recedes away from the shore line about five km twice a day, an unusual phenomenon, rarely found anywhere. Therefore answer is "C".Yes, some candidates have been circulating youtube clips of Bhavnagar beach with similar phenomenon, but when it comes to UPSC Answerkey, Government site wins over YouTube or Personal travel diary blogs.
Which of the following is/are tributary tributaries of B0rahmaputra?[2016-I] 1. Dibang 2. Kameng 3. Lohit Select the correct answer using the code given below. (a)1 only (b)2 and 3 only (c)1 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3
Ans...(d)The Brahmaputra enters India in the state of Arunachal Pradesh from its original source Tibet, and is joined by the Dibang River and the Lohit River at the head of the Assam Valley. It is joined in Sonitpur by the Kameng River (or Jia Bhoreli). Brahmaputra’s main left bank tributaries, viz., Dibang or Sikang and Lohit. The important right bank tributaries are the Subansiri, Kameng, Manas and Sankosh. Therefore, all 3 correct. Ref. NCERT Physical Geography Class11, Ch.3 Drainage system Page, 26
Which one of the following rivers thrice forks into two streams and reunites a few miles farther on, thus, forming the islands of Srirangapattanam, Sivasamudram and Srirangam?[1996] (a)Cauvery (b)Tungabhadra (c)Krishna (d)Godavari
Ans. (a)River Cauvery has formed three big islands on her journey from Talacauvery to join the Bay of Bengal Sea. The islands are Srirangapattnam, Shivasamudram in Karnataka and Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. All the three islands are pilgrimage centers with temples dedicated to Lord Ranganatha.
Consider the following rivers:[1996] 1.Kishenganga 2.Ganga 3.Wainganga 4.Penganga The correct sequence of these rivers when arranged in the north-south direction is (a)1, 2, 3, 4 (b)2, 1, 3, 4 (c)2, 1, 4, 3 (d)1, 2, 4, 3
Ans..(a)Kishenganga river is called Neelam river in Jammu & Kashmir. Ganga river originates from Gangotri glacier in Uttarakhand. Wainganga originates about 12 km from Mundara village of Seoni district in southern slopes of Satpura range of Madhya Pradesh. Penganga is river found in Yavatmal District of Maharashtra.
Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer: [1997]
List-I (Climatic conditions) List-II (Reasons)
A.Madras is warmer 1.North-east monsoon than Calcutta
B.Snowfall in Himalayas 2.Altitude
C.Rainfall decreases from 3.Western depressions West Bengal to Punjab
D.Sutlej-Ganga plain gets 4.Distance from the sea some rain in winter 5. Latitude Codes:
(a)A – 1; B – 2; C – 4; D – 5
(b)A – 4; B – 5; C – 1; D – 3
(c)A – 5; B – 2; C – 4; D – 3
(d)A – 5; B – 1; C – 3; D – 4
Ans..(c)Madras is warmer than Calcutta. Madras lies 13°08'17" N latitude which is much near to equator than Calcutta, which is 22°56'67" N. Show fall occurs in Himalayas due to its higher attitude. Rainfall decreases from West Bengal to Punjab due to distrance from sea West Bengal is near to sea than Punjab. Sutluj-Ganga plain gets some rain in winter due to western distrubance.
The Alamatti is on the river:[1997] (a)Godavari (b)Kavery (c)Krishna (d)Mahanadi
Ans (c)The Alamatti dam is build on the river Krishna in Karnataka. It is a multi-purpose project. The water is used in canal irrigation and hydroelectric production.
Which one of the following east flowing rivers of India has rift valley due to down warping?[1998] (a)Damodar (b)Mahanadi (c)Sone (d)Yamuna
Ans (a)Damodar is a east flowing river with rift valley due to down warping. Down warp denotes a segment of the earth’s crust that is broadly bent downward.
Which one of the following statements is not true?[2000] (a) Ghaggar's water is utilised in the Indira Gandhi canal (b)Narmada rises from Amarkantak region (c)Nizam Sagar is situated on the Manjra river (d)Penganga is a tributary of the Godavari
Ans (a)Indira Gandhi Canal originated from Harike barrage at Sultanpur on Sutlej but Ghaggar is a tributary of river Saraswati, which ends in the Thar desert.
The correct sequence of the eastward flowing rivers of the peninsular India from north to south is :[2002] (a) Subarnarekha, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Pennar, Cauvery and Vagai (b)Subarnarekha, Mahanadi, Krishna, Godavari, Cauvery and Vagai (c)Mahanadi, Subarnarekha, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Pennar and Vagai (d)Mahanadi, Subarnarekha, Krishna, Godavari, Cauvery, Vagai and Pennar
Ans.(a)The correct sequence of eastward flowing river of the peninsular India from north to south is Subarnarekha, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Pennar, Cauvery and Vagai.
What is the correct sequence of the rivers–Godavari, Mahanadi, Narmada and Tapi in the descending order of their lengths?[2003] (a)Godavari–Mahanadi–Narmada–Tapi (b)Godavari–Narmada–Mahanadi–Tapi (c)Narmada–Godavari–Tapi-Mahanadi (d)Narmada–Tapi–Godavari–Mahanadi
Ans.(b)The correct sequence of the river in descending order of their lengths are Godavari (1465 km), Narmada (1312 km), Mahanadi (858 km) and Tapti (724 km).
Assertion (A) : West-flowing rivers of Peninsular India have no deltas. Reason (R) : These rivers do not carry any alluvial sediments.[2004] (a)Both A and R are individually true and R is the correct explanation of A (b)Both A and R are individually true but R is not the correct explanation of A (c)A is true but R is false (d)A is false but R is true
Ans.(a)West flowing rivers Narmada and Tapti do not form delta, because topography of western peninsular India is rocky without loose sediments and no alluvial sediments carried by the rivers.
Which one of the following statements is not correct ? (a)Mahanadi River rises in Chhattisgarh [2006] (b)Godavari River rises in Maharashtra (c)Cauvery River rises in Andhra Pradesh (d)Tapti River rises in Madhya Pradesh
Ans (c)Cauvery is a river of southern India, rises on Brahmagiri Hill in Western Ghats in Coorg district of Karnataka.
From North towards South, which one of the following is the correct sequence of the given rivers in India? (a)Shyok-Spiti-Zaskar- Sutlej [2006] (b)Shyok-Zaskar-Spiti-Sutlej (c)Zaskar-Shyok-Sutlej- Spiti (d)Zaskar-Sutlej-Shyok-Spiti
Ans.(b)The correct sequence of the rivers in India from north towards south is Shyok – Zaskar – Spiti – Satluj. Shyok flows through northern Ladakh in India. Zaskar river flows in north-eastern part of Ladakh. Spiti river is situated at Kaza in Himachal Pradesh at an elevation of 12500 feet. Satluj river rise from slopes of Kailash and flows in south-westerly direction to Himachal Pradesh & Punjab.
Assertion (A) : River Kalinadi is an east-flowing river in the southern part of India. Reason (R) : The Deccan Plateau is higher along its western edge and gently slopes towards the Bay of Bengal in the east.[2007] (a)Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A (b)Both A and R are true but R is not a correct explanation of A (c)A is true but R is false (d)A is false but R is true
Ans.(d)River Kalinadi is a west flowing river in the southern part of India. So, the assertion is wrong. Deccan Plateau has elevation ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 ft and gently slopes towards the Bay of Bengal in the east. So, the reason is correct.
Which one of the following rivers originates in Amarkantak?[2007] (a)Damodar (b)Mahanadi (c)Narmada (d)Tapi
Ans (c)The Narmada river originates from a tank 1057 m high west of Amarkantak plateau in Madhya Pradesh. River Damodar originates from Chhota Nagpur plateau, Mahanadi originates from Bastar plateau and Tapti originates from Satpura hills.
Match List I with List II and select the correct answer using the code given below the lists:[2007] List-I List-II (Town) (River Nearer to it) A.Betul1.Indravati B.Jagdalpur2.Narmada C.Jabalpur3.Shipra D.Ujjain4.Tapti Code : (a)A-1; B-4; C-2; D-3 (b)A-4; B-1; C-2; D-3 (c)A-4; B-1; C-3; D-2 (d) A-1; B-4; C-3; D-2
Consider the following pairs:[2008] Tributary River Main River 1.ChambalNarmada 2.Sone Yamuna 3.ManasBrahmaputra Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched? (a)1, 2 and 3 (b)l and 2 only (c)2 and 3 only (d)3 only
Ans.(d)Tributaries of Brahmaputra in India the Manas, Pagladiya, Puthimari, Dhanisri, Jia Bhariti and Subansiri. Manas is a tributary of Brahmaputra Chambal is the chief tributary of Yammuna and sone is a tributary of Ganga.
Which of the following pairs are correctly matched? WaterfallsRiver[2008] 1.Kapildhara Falls:Godavari 2.Jog Falls:Sharavathi 3.Shivasamudram Falls:Cauvery Select the correct answer using the code given below: Code: (a)1 and 2 only (b)2 and 3 only (c)1 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3
Ans.(b)Shivasamudram falls is located on river Cauvery. Jog waterfall is the highest waterfall in India of 253 metres on Sharavathi river.
Which one of the following rivers does not originate in India?[2009] (a)Beas (b)Chenab (c)Ravi (d)Sutlej
Ans.(d)Sutlej originates from the central Sulaiman range in Pakistan.
.At which one of the following places do two important rivers of India originate; while one of them flows towards north and merges with another important rivers flowing towards Bay of Bengal, the other one flows towards Arabian Sea?[2009] (a)Amarkantak (b)Badrinath (c)Mahabaleshwar (d)Nasik
Ans.(a)Amarkantak is the origin of River Narmada and Sone.
Consider the following statements:[2009] 1.There are no east flowing rivers in Kerala. 2.There are no west flowing rivers in Madhya Pradesh. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)Both 1 and 2 (d)Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.(d)Three east flowing rivers found in Kerala is Kavari, Tapti, Narmada and Mahi rivers flows westward, and also flows through Madhya Pradesh. East flowing rivers of Kerala are Kabani, Bhavani and Pambar. The west flowing rivers in M.P. are Narmada, Tapti, Mahi.
With reference to, the river Luni, which one of the following statements is correct?[2010] (a)It flows into Gulf of Khambhat (b)It flows into Gulf of Kutch (c)It flows into Pakistan and merges with a tributary of Indus (d)It is lost in the marshy land of the Rann of Kutch
Ans.(d)Luni river originates from Aravalli range and flows in south west direction through the hills and finally ends up in the marshy land of Rann of Kutch.
Rivers that pass through Himachal Pradesh are :[2010] (a)Beas and Chenab only (b)Beas and Ravi only (c)Chenab, Ravi and Satlej only (d)Beas, Chenab, Ravi, Satlej and Yamuna
Ans.(d)Rivers like Beas, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Yamuna passes through Himachal Pradesh
The Brahmaputra, Irrawady and Mekong rivers originate in Tibet and flow though narrow and parallel mountain ranges in their upper reaches. Of these rivers, Brahmaputra makes a “U” turn in its course to flow into India. This “U” turn is due to [2011 - I] (a) Uplift of folded Himalayan series (b) Syntaxial bending of geologically young Himalayas (c) Geo-tectonic disturbance in the tertiary folded mountain chains (d) Both (a) and (b) above
Ans.(b)Brahamputra originates near Mt. Kailash and is known to take a U turn near Mount Namcha Barwa. This U turn is also known as Great Bend. The U Turn is because of the 180° bend of the Himalayan structural trends.
The Narmada river flows to the west, while most other large peninsular rivers flow to the east. Why?[2013 - I] 1.It occupies a linear rift valley. 2.It flows between the Vindhyas and the Satpuras. 3.The land slopes to the west from Central India. Select the correct answer using the codes given below. (a)1 only (b)2 and 3 (c)1 and 3 (d)None
Consider the following rivers :[2014 - I] 1.Barak 2.Lohit 3.Subansiri Which of the above flows/flow through Arunachal Pradesh? (a)1 only (b)2 and 3 only (c)1 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3
Ans.(b)Rivers Lohit and Subansiri flow through Arunachal Pradesh. River Barak flows in south Assam and Manipur. River lohit and subanseri flows through Arunachal Pradesh. Barak river flows in sourth Assam and Manipur.
Consider the following rivers:[2015-I] 1.Vamsadhara 2.Indravati 3.Pranahita 4.Pennar Which of the above are tributaries of Godavari? (a)1, 2 and 3 (b)2, 3 and 4 (c)1, 2 and4 (d)2 and 3 only
Ans. (d)Major tributaries of the river include the Purna (South), Pravara, Indravati, Manjira River, Bindusara River, Sabari River, Wainganga, and Wardha River. Pranahita is the name given to the combined flow of the rivers Wardha and Wainganga.
In which of the following regions of India are shale gas resources found?[2016-I] 1. Cambay Basin 2. Cauvery Basin 3. Krishna-Godavari Basin Select the correct answer using the code given below. (a) 1 and 2 only (b) 3 only (c) 2 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.(d)Research is under process for presence of shale gas in Cambay basin at Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Bharuch districts of Gujarat, Cauvery basin at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and in KG Basin at East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. Ref: As per Economic Survey 2013, page 196
    1. Archean rock system – 1
    2. Dharwar rock system – 2.1 & 2.2
    3. Cuddapah rock system – 2.3
    4. Vindhyan rock system – 2.3
    5. Dravidian rock system – 3.1 to 3.1.5
    6. Carboniferous rock system
    7. Jurassic rock system – 3.2.2
    8. Cretaceous rock system – 3.2.3
    9. Tertiary rock system – – 3.3.2
    10. Quarternary rock system – 3.3.3

General Idea

  1. The Northern mountains
  2. The Northern Plains
  3. The Peninsular Plateau
  4. The Indian Desert
  5. The Coastal Plains
  6. The Islands

I. The Himalayas
    Origin & Formation
Parallel Division
         (a) Greater Himalayas or Himadri
         (b) Lesser Himalayas or Himachal
         (c) Outer Himalayas or Siwaliks
         Longitudinal divisions
          (a) The Punjab Himalayas
          (b) Kumaon Himalayas
          (c) Nepal Himalayas
          (d) Assam Himalayas

II.  The Trans Himalayas
III. The Purvanchal hills
Significance of N. Mountains

  Based on Water Divide
    (a) The Western plain 
    (b) The Ganga-Brahmaputra plain
  Based on Bed Types
    Bhabar Tarai Khadar
  Based on Regional Characeristics
    The Punjab-Haryana Plains
    The Rajasthan Plains
    The Ganga Plains
    The Brahmaputra Plains

(i) The central highlands
    The Aravalli Range
    East Rajasthan Uplands
    Madhya Bharat Plateau
    The Vindhyan Ranges
    The Baghelkhand
    The Chhotanagpur Plateau
(ii) Deccan Plateau
    The Satpura Ranges
    Maharashtra Plateau
    Karnataka Plateau
    Telangana Plateau
    The Western Ghats
    The Eastern Ghats
(iii) The North-Eastern Plateau
(IV) The Indian Coasts and Islands

Western Coastal Plains

(i) The Konkan Plains
(ii) Karnataka or Kannada Coastal Plains
(iii) The Malabar Coastal Plains

Eastern Coastal Plains

(i) Northern Circars 
(ii) Coromandel Coast

Lakshadweep Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Other important islands of India

General Idea

1. Himalayan drainage S
2. Peninsular drainage S



The East Flowing Rivers
The West Flowing Rivers

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The beginning or start of a river. Example: Gangotri.

The point where the river comes to the end, usually when entering a sea. Example: Sunderbans Delta

A stream or smaller river which joins a larger stream or river and thus increases its water volume. Examples: 1. Gomti 2. Ghaghra 3. Gandak 4. Kosi 5. Yamuna 6. Son 7. Ramganga

The small river that branches out from the main river and then never meets again. It thus decreases the river’s water volume. Distributaries are commonly found on deltas but are also important in the formation of alluvial fans and cones. Hoogli River is a Ganges distributary that flows through India

All the area drained by a river and its tributaries.

A watershed is an area of land that drains or “sheds” water into a specific waterbody.

Watershed as a water divide refers to an elevated line from where the water flows in different directions into different river basins.
The 3 major watersheds which direct and control the flow of surface water in India are:
The Great Himalayan watershed with its important Karakoram branch
In Central India, the watershed is formed by Vindhyas, Satpura and Maikala ranges.
The Western Ghats.

A river basin or watershed is often taken as planning unit for macro/micro level developmental planning because:

River basins and watersheds are marked by synergy and unity. What happens in one part of the basin or watershed (eg flood, drought etc.) directly affects the other parts and the unit as a whole.
The data about land and water characteristics is measurable and comparable.