Relief Features of Northern India

  • We find a great diversity in the relief features of India. It includes lofty mountains, flat plains, arid desert and one of the oldest plateaus of the world. These relief features are found throughout the length and breadth of the country.
  • Himalayas, the lofty mountains are one of the relief features of Northern India. The word ‘Himalaya’ has been derived from a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘abode of the snow’. It runs in west–east direction from the Indus to the Brahmaputra forming an arc.
  • The northwest off-shoots of Himalayas include the mountain ranges lying beyond the Indus, whereas the northeast off-shoots of the Himalayas lie beyond the gorge of Tsangpo-Brahmaputra.
  • The Himalayas is broadly divided into:
  1. The Western Himalayas and,
  2. The Eastern Himalayas
  • The Western Himalayas lie between the Indus and the Kali rivers, whereas the Eastern Himalayas lie between the Tista and the Brahmaputra rivers.
  • The longitudinal divisions of the Himalayas are the Himadri, Himachal, and Shivalik.
  • Himadri is also known as the ‘Greater Himalayas’. It is the northernmost, longest and the most continuous belt of the Himalayas.
  • Himachal is also known as the ‘Lesser or Middle Himalayas’. It lies between the Himadri in north and the Shivaliks in south.
  • Shivalik is also known as the ‘Outer Himalayas’. It is the southernmost belt of the Himalayan range.
  • The regional divisions of the Himalayas are as follows:
  1. Punjab Himalayas
  2. Kumaon Himalayas
  3. Nepal Himalayas, and
  4. Assam Himalayas
  • The fertile great plains of northern India is formed by the deposition of sediments brought by the rivers descending from the Himalayas. It is spread over an area of 7 lakh sq km.
  • The main relief features of the northern plains are bhabar, terai, bhangar, and khadar.
  • Bhabar is a narrow belt, about 6-8 km in width. It comprises pebble-studded rocks in the shape of porous beds.
  • Terai lies to the south of the bhabar belt. Streams and rivers re-emerge in terai.
  • Plain with older alluvium is called bhangar. It lies above the flood plains and consists of calcareous deposits (kankars).
  • Khadar are the young deposits of flood plains. These are very fertile and hence, good for cultivation.
  • The regional division of northern plains is as follows:
  1. Rajasthan Plain
  2. Punjab-Haryana Plain
  3. Ganga Plain, and
  4. Brahmaputra Plain

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  • Q1

    What are the three parallel ranges of the Himalayas?


    The Himalayas are situated in the north of India. They are located in three parallel ranges such as:

    1. Greater Himalayas.
    2. Middle Himalayas.
    3. Outer Himalayas.

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  • Q2

    Mention two characteristics of Great Himalayas.


    Great Himalayas are the part of the Himalayan mountain range. The two major characteristic of the Great Himalayas are as follows:

    1. They are situated in the extreme north of Himalayas.
    2. The highest peaks are located in the Great Himalayas.

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  • Q3

    How was the Arabian Sea formed?


    At the time of volcanic eruption in the north-western plateau, the western part was subsided and the depression was created. The depression was filled by the water of Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea was formed.

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  • Q4

    Mention the names of continents that were previously the part of Gondwanaland.


    The continents that were previously the part of the Gondwanaland are:

    • South America
    • Africa
    • Australia
    • Antarctica
    • Part of Asia

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  • Q5

    Which two forces are responsible for shaping the present geographical features of India?


    The two major forces responsible for landform development of the earth surface are:

    1. Endogenitic Forces (Internal Forces)
    2. Exogenitic Forces (External Forces)

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