India Physiography – The Northern Indian Plains - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

India Physiography – The Northern Indian Plains

by Devender

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India can be divided into 6 physical divisions which are:

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

    These are formed by depositional work by rivers such as Indus, Ganga & Brahmaputra. It is 2400 Km long and its width varies from 240 to approx. 320 km.

    It can be divided into three sections which are:

  • Punjab Plains
  • It is formed by the Indus and its tributaries. Major parts of it lie in Pakistan.

  • Ganga Plains
  • It is between Ghaggar and Tista rivers. Haryana, Delhi, UP, Bihar, part of Jharkhand, and West Bengal lie in the Ganga plains.

  • Brahmaputra Plains
  • This plain lies from Tista to Dihang and major parts of it lie in Assam.

    The Northern plains can be further divided into the following divisions:

  • Bhabhar
  • Tarai
  • Khadar
  • Bhangar

  • 1 Bhabhar

    It lies from Indus to Tista, along the foothills of Shivalik. It is laid down by the streams coming from the hills.

  • It comprises of pebble studded rocks that are highly porous bed plain
  • The streams disappear here because of the high porosity

    2 Tarai

    It lies south of Bhabhar running parallel to it. It is marked by the re-emergence of underground streams of the Bhabhar belt

  • Highly alluvial & agricultural land
  • It also has a water table because of groundwater percolating down from the adjacent zone

  • 3 Khadar

    These are flood plains with newer alluvium deposited by flood almost every year and have very fertile soil.

  • It is a zone of intensive agriculture
  • The soil is non-porous, clayey, and loamy

  • 4 Bhangar

    It is an alluvial terrace lying above the level of flood plains and composed of the oldest alluvial soil.

  • The soil of this region is known as kankar (calcareous concretions)
  • It is coarse in nature and contains kankar (lime nodules), pebbles, and gravels



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