NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2: Physical Features of India

India is the best example of the  abundance of nature’s beauty, in all its forms, coexisting within the  borders of a  single country. . The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 describe India’s illustrious geographical divisions  and landforms where almost every possible feature of the earth exists, viz. the mountains, rivers, plains, valleys, plateaus, and deserts, coastal regions  and islands. This diversity  gives India a distinct physical feature  and allows it to carve  a niche on the world map. It also stands for India’s motto of unity in diversity. 

Students need to learn the different physical features of our country. Extramarks has illustrated the same using physical maps, resources and materials  in the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2. With the concise syllabus using elementary language, put together by Extramarks, students  will be able to appreciate and absorb the key features of our  country and retain it sufficiently enough to perform well in their CBSE examination.  

Key Topics Covered in NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2

In sections below we have covered a brief summary about key topics covered in Class 9 Geography Chapter 2


The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 give a detailed description of India’s different topography and physiographic divisions based on the tectonic movements of the earth’s crust. Compared to the relatively young multifold mountains in the north, the rock-solid stable blocks of the peninsular plateau account for one of the earth’s most ancient landforms. As per the geological survey, the Himalayas have an inherently unstable zone. These mountains represent a young structure with high peaks, swift rivers and deep valleys. This topography gives way to the rich alluvial soil in the plains of Northern India. Adjacent to this is the mineral high peninsular plateau region consisting of metamorphic and igneous rocks, with soft gradient hills and broader valleys. The tapering thrust of the peninsula into the Indian ocean gives India the advantage of a long coastline towards the east and west. Further, the islands located in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea provide a strategic location for India in terms of sea routes and maritime activities. The physical features are elaborated further with the help of pictures and maps in the Class 9 Geography Chapter 2.

The physical features of India can be divided into six physiographic divisions:

i)The Himalayan Mountains 

With its ruggedness and lofty multifold structure, the Himalayas offer the maximum physical variations than any other mountain range in the world. Stretched out in the west-east direction, across the northern borders of India, they cover a distance of 2,400 km from Indus to the Brahmaputra. As per the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2, these young mountain ranges vary in width from 150 km in Arunachal Pradesh to 400 km in Kashmir, with more variations in altitude towards the eastern side. 

The Himalayas can be divided into three vertical parallel range stretches, interspersed by deep valleys, as given in the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2. 

The Himalayas are made up of three mountain ranges that run parallel to each other: 

The Himadri, The Himachal and the Shivaliks

  • The uppermost or the northmost range is the Himadri, also known as the Great or Inner Himalayas. Its width varies from 400km from  Kashmir to 150km in Arunachal Pradesh. The variation is greater in the eastern half than those in the western half.
  • The next layer is the rugged ranges called the Himachal or lesser Himalaya.  Because the height of the  mountains ranges  from 3700 to 4500 metres, it is also known as the Lesser Himalayas. The famous Kashmir valley, the Kangra and Kullu valleys of Himachal and many other hill stations give prominence to this part of the Himalayas. The Pir Panjal range,The Dhaula Dhar and the Mahabharat ranges are some of the famous ranges. 

The Shiwaliks form the southernmost part of the Himalayan ranges and are composed of loose sediments from the upper strata, alluvium and gravel. They have a width of 10-15 km and a height  ranging from 900 to 1100 metres.The longitudinal valley between Shiwaliks and Himachal is called Duns. Dehradun and many such valleys and ranges between rivers have attracted tourism from time  memorial. 

  • Purvanchal, or the Eastern hills along the river Brahmaputra, are the eastern boundary of the Himalayas, with the core components of sedimentary rocks or the hardened sandstone. The Brahmaputra forms the eastern most boundary of the Purvanchal region.These ranges pass through the northeast states of India which has  thick flora and fauna. 
  1. ii) Plains of Northern India

The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 gives an insight into the plains of the north, situated at the foot of the Himalayas. 

This basin is formed by the conglomeration of the three major rivers:

  • The Ganga
  • The Indus
  • The Brahmaputra and its multiple tributaries. 

Rich in alluvial soil, formed over millions of years, they occupy an area of over 7 lakh sq km. The plains stretch out to 2,400 km with a width of about 240 to 320 km. Strategically positioned, the plains enjoy a favourable climate and  adequate water supply , where people and agriculture have flourished since ancient times. 

The northern plains are divided into three broad regions:

  • The western part formed by the Indus River and its tributaries lies mainly in Pakistan, called the Punjab plains. 
  • Adjacent is the Ganga plains spread across Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. 
  • The easternmost are the Brahmaputra plains falling in West Bengal and Assam.

iii) The Peninsular plateau

The Peninsular plateau is part of Gondwana land and is the oldest landmass. Composed of igneous, ancient crystalline, and metamorphic rocks, the plateau region is characterised by small rounded hills and broad, shallow valleys. As we learn in the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2, this plateau is horizontally divided into two broad divisions : The Central Highlands and the Deccan Plateau. . 

The part above, covering most of the Malwa plateau, is called the Central Highlands, and the southern part is the Deccan plateau. The mountain ranges found in the Central Highlands gradually merge with the Thar desert of Western India. The Highlands are sharp and narrower on the eastern side, forming the Chotanagpur plateau.

The south of river Narmada forms a triangular landmass called the Deccan Plateau, flanked by the tall Western Ghats on the west and the gently sloping Eastern Ghats to the east, which further extends towards Northeast India to form the popular Garo, Khasi and Jaintia Hills. Famous tourist locales are the Anai Mudi and Doddabetta in the Western and Ooty and Kodaikanal in the Eastern Ghats. The main composition of the Deccan Plateau is the volcanic igneous rocks and the rich black soil, which is also called the Deccan Traps.

  1. iv) Deserts of India

The Indian desert is an arid and semi-arid sandy plain located towards the west of Aravalli Hills. The rainfall here is less than 150 mm per year, with only one significant river, the Luni. The crescent-shaped dunes or the Barchans occupy most of this region. Towards Pakistan, in Jaisalmer, one can find the longitudinal dunes. This area has gained prominence in tourism with the local art, culture and traditions. 

  1. v) Coastal plains

Coastal India, formed by the triangular peninsula, has a long coastline which runs across Arabian sea in the west and the bay of Bengal in the east. They are divided into two parts given   in the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2:

  • The narrow western coast is located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. The northern part  of the  coast is called the Konkan. The central part is the Kannad Plain. The southernmost region is the Malabar Coast. 
  • The eastern coast is formed in a spread-out fashion along the Bay of Bengal. The northern part of this coast is called the Northern Circar, while the Coromandel Coast forms the southern section. The rich delta found on the eastern coast owes to the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri rivers. Chilka lake is an important tourist spot in this region. 
  1. vi) Islands of India

India has two island groups on the east and the west coast. The distributed coral islands of Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi, off the Malabar coast, were renamed Lakshadweep Islands in 1973, with headquarters at Kavaratti. The scattered islands are larger in size and number on the east coast, called the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Being closer to the equator, they have an equatorial climate. As given in the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2, both the island groups boast rich foliage and a variety of flora and fauna. 

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2: Exercises &  Solutions

The regular usage of maps, concise answers,  and pictorial representations helps with high  retentivity among  students. Extramarks has attempted to assist the students to learn independently without any help from teachers or parents  while going through the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2. There are case studies and project suggestions to invoke interest in the subject. The Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 provides revision notes and references.

The other Class NCERT Solutions from Extramarks are available here. In case students want to refer to prior classes for any subject, they need not look elsewhere. They can simply register with Extramarks. 

NCERT Solutions Class 12

NCERT Solutions Class 11

NCERT Solutions Class 10

NCERT Solutions Class 9

NCERT Solutions Class 8

NCERT Solutions Class 7

NCERT Solutions Class 6

NCERT Solutions Class 5

NCERT Solutions Class 4

NCERT Solutions Class 3

NCERT Solutions Class 2

NCERT Solutions Class 1

Key Features of NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2

Following are the key features of the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2:

  • India is gifted with  major  physiographic divisions which comprises features, viz. mountains, deserts, plains, plateaus, sea coast and island, each enhancing and complimenting the other and bringing a rich culture, natural resources, lifestyles, occupation and traditional values. 
  • The mountains are the most rugged barriers of the world with large valleys, snow capped mountains, deep river gorges, large glaciers and rich vegetation. 
  • The rich river deposits in the plains of Northern India gave birth to early civilisation and agriculture in our country.
  • The mineral-rich plateau areas have paved the way for technology and industries, thus playing a crucial role in our economic development.
  • Trading and fisheries have developed well in India due to the coastal regions and islands situated in  the Indian Ocean.
  • India’s varied Geography and demography have attracted many tourists, further boosting our economy, as mentioned in NCERT Solutions for Class 9 social science Geography Chapter 2.

Q.1 Choose the right answer from the four alternatives given below.

(i) A landmass bounded by sea on three sides is referred to as
(a) Coast
(b) Island
(c) Peninsula
(d) None of the above

(ii) Mountain ranges in the eastern part of India forming its boundary with Myanmar are collectively called
(a) Himachal
(b) Uttarakhand
(c) Purvachal
(d) None of the above

(iii) The western coastal strip, south of Goa is referred to as
(a) Coromandel
(b) Konkan
(c) Kannad
(d) Northern Circar

(iv) The highest peak in the Eastern Ghats is
(a) Anai Mudi
(b) Kanchenjunga
(c) Mahendragiri
(d) Khasi


(i) (c) Peninsula
(ii) (c) Purvachal
(iii) (c) Kannad
(iv) (c) Mahendragiri

Q.2 Answer the following questions briefly.

(i) What is the bhabar?
(ii) Name the three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south.
(iii) Which plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhyan ranges?
(iv) Name the island group of India having coral origin.


(i) The Bhabar is that narrow belt of the north Indian plain, which is covered with pebbles and lies along the foothills of the Shivalik from the Indus to the Teesta.
(ii) The three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south are:
a. The Great Himalayas or Himadri
b. The Lesser Himalayas or Himachal
c. The Outer Himalayas or Shiwaliks
(iii) The Malwa Plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhya ranges.
(iv) Lakshadweep Islands is the island group of India having a coral origin. They lie close to the Malabar Coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea.

Q.3 Distinguish between

(i) Bhangar and Khadar
(ii) Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats



Bhangar Khadar
i) It is composed of old alluvium. i) It is composed of newer alluvium.
ii) It is found in the highlands of the Northern Plains. ii) It is found in lowlands near the rivers.
iii) It is always about the level of the flood plains. iii) It is flooded almost every year and new alluvium is deposited.
iv) It has calcareous concre­tions known as kankar. iv) It is often characterised by clayey soil.
v) It is not much suited for cultivation as it is less fertile. v) Intensive agriculture is practised here as it is very fertile.


The Western Ghats The Eastern Ghats
1. The Western Ghats runs parallel to the Western Coastal Plains in a north-south direction from the Tapi River to Kanyakumari. 1. The Eastern Ghats runs in a north-east to the south-west direction parallel to the Eastern Coastal plains from Mahanadi Valley to the Nilgiri hills.
2. The average width of the Western Ghats is 100 km 2. The average width of the Eastern Ghats varies from 100 to 200 km.
3. The average elevation is 900 to 1,600 meters above sea level. 3. The average elevation of Eastern Ghats is about 600 metres above sea level.
4. They are more continuous than the Eastern Ghats and can be crossed through passes only. 4. They are dissected into several parts by large rivers, which drains into the Bay of Bengal.
5. The Thal, Bhor and the Pal Ghats are important passes. 5. The Manchavaadi Pass in Shevaroy Hills is an important pass of the Eastern Ghats.
6. The Anai Mudi (2,695 metres) and the Doda Betta (2,637 metres) are the highest peaks of the Western Ghats. 6. The Mahendragiri (1,501 metres) is the highest peak in the Eastern Ghats.

Q.4 Which are the major physiographic divisions of India? Contrast the relief of the Himalayan region with that of the Peninsular Plateau.

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

a. The Himalayan Mountains
b. The Northern Plains
c. The Peninsular Plateau
d. The Indian Desert
e. The Coastal Plains
f. The Islands

The Himalayas and Peninsular Plateau are different in the following ways:

The Himalayas The Peninsular Plateau
i) They are the young fold mountains. i) The Peninsular plateau is the oldest massive landform of India.
ii) They consists lofty mountains and deep valleys. ii) It has a rounded hill, broad and shallow valleys.
iii) They are formed due to the collision of the Indo-Australian Plate and Eurasian Plate. iii) It formed due to breaking and drifting of Gondwana land.
vi) It is composed of sedimentary rocks. vi) It is composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks.
v) It very unstable region because it is made up of soft and unconsolidated rocks. v) It is more stable region as it is made up of hard rocks.
vi) They give rise to the rivers like the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Indus, etc. vi) It has rivers like the Narmada, the Tapti, the Mahanadi, etc.

Q.5 Give an account of the Northern Plains of India.

Ans. The Northern Plains have been formed by the interplay of the three major river systems, namely– the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries. These plains are made up of alluvial soil deposited in a vast basin lying at the foothills of the Himalaya over millions of years. These are fertile plains. They spread over an area of 7 lakh sq. km. These plains are about 2400 Km long and 240 to 320 Km broad.They are a densely populated physiographic division of India. Climate and fertile alluvial soils make the plains suitable for agriculture and the availability of water is in abundance throughout the year.

The northern plain is divided into three sections, i.e. the Punjab Plain, the Ganga Plain and the Brahmaputra Plain.

  • The Punjab plains are formed by the Indus and its tributaries; like Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.
  • Ganga plains extend between Ghaggar and Tista rivers. The Indian states Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, part of Jharkhand and West Bengal lie in Ganga plains.
  • Brahmaputra Plains form the eastern part of the northern plain and lie in Assam.

Based on the relief features; the northern plain can be divided into four regions, viz. Bhabar, Terai, Bhangar and Khadar.

  • Bhabar is the gently sloping coarse alluvial zone below the Shiwalik hills.
  • In the Terai region, the streams reappear and make a wet, swampy and marshy region known as terai.
  • Bhangar is the largest part of the northern plain and is composed of the oldest alluvial soil. The soil of this region is locally known as kankar and is composed of calcareous deposits.
  • The floodplains formed by younger alluvium are called Khadar. This region is very suitable for intense agricultural activities.

Q.6 Write short notes on the following.

(i) The Indian Desert
(ii) The Central Highlands
(iii) The Island groups of India


(i) The Indian Desert or the Thar Desert lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hills. Its undulating plains are covered with sand. This region gets scanty rainfall, which is less than 150 mm in a year. The climate found here is arid and vegetation is scanty. Luni is the only large river, but some streams appear during the rainy season.

(ii) The Central Highlands are a part of the Peninsular plateau lying to the north of the Narmada River covering a major area of the Malwa plateau. The Vindhyan range is in the south and the Aravalis are on the northwest of this plateau. The Chambal, the Sind, the Betwa and Ken are some of the important rivers of this region. The Central Highlands are wider in the west but narrower in the east. The eastern part of this plateau is locally known as the Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand. The Chotanagpur plateau marks the further eastward extension, drained by the Damodar River.

(iii) India has two main island groups, namely the Lakshadweep and the Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.
Lakshadweep Islands: They consist of many small islands located opposite the Malabar Coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea. The islands of this group are formed of coral deposits called ‘atolls’. In Malayalam, they refer to their ring or ‘horseshoe’ shape. They cover a small area of 32 sq km. Kavaratti is the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep. This island group has a great diversity of flora and fauna.
The Andaman and the Nicobar Islands: The Andaman and the Nicobar Islands are bigger in size and have more islands. There are about 200 islands in the Andaman group and 19 islands in the Nicobar group. There is a great diversity of flora and fauna in this group of islands too. These islands lie close to the Equator and experience the equatorial climate and have thick forest cover. India’s only active volcano is found on Barren Island in the Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.

Q.7 On an outline map of India show the following.

(i) Mountain and hill ranges – the Karakoram, the Zaskar, the Patkai Bum, the Jaintia, the Vindhya Range, the Aravali, and the Cardamom Hills.
(ii) Peaks – K2, Kanchenjunga, Nanga Parbat and the Anai Mudi.
(iii) Plateaus- Chotanagpur and Malwa.
(iv) The Indian Desert, Western Ghats, Lakshadweep Islands.


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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why should students opt for the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 by Extramarks?

  • Social sciences are to be taught to students with special care, keeping their interests and curiosity alive. Extramarks understands this need and has prepared the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 with thoroughly researched material supported with pictures and maps designed as per the CBSE pattern.   
  •   The subject matter experts  strictly follow  NCERT guidelines and explain  the content sufficiently to help students in the CBSE examination. This encourages the students to master the topic and increase their confidence in achieving a higher grade.  Further, the notes and question-answer solutions will help the students remember each topic and excel in  their academics.

2. What are the crucial questions from the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 for the CBSE examination?

Students are advised to go through the following questions from the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2:

  • What are the major  physiographic divisions  in India, and which physiographic division is the oldest among them? 
  • Which region of India is known for its high agricultural production and why?
  • What kind of rock formation is found in the peninsular plateau , and what is its significance?
  • Which features help India command a strategic location  in the Indian Ocean, and how?

3. What are the highlights of the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2?

The varied physical features found in India have been helpful in the overall economic development. In this chapter, students learn the physical formation of India, with its diversity in physical features ranging from young fold mountains, deserts, plains, plateaus, and islands to the coastal regions, which has helped India maintain good connections and improve trading with the rest of the world. The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 also explains about the composition of rocks, types of soil, usefulness of the terrain, flora and fauna etc. and other characteristic features.