Search Post on this Blog

Physiography of peninsular plateau UPSC| Physiographic Regions of India UPSC | Geography of India

The Peninsular plateau is one of the six physiographic divisions of India. The other five physiographic regions of India are:

  • Himalayan region
  • The northern plains
  • Indian desert
  • The coastal plains
  • The islands

 The peninsular plateau

  • The Peninsular Plateau is the oldest landmass in India and one of the oldest and most stable landforms in the world.
  • It was part of Gondwanaland.
  • This is a table size. It is bounded by the Western Ghats in the west, the Eastern Ghats in the east, the Indian desert in the northwest, and the Northern Plains in the north. Please refer to the map below for the size of the Peninsular Plateau.
  • The area of ​​the Peninsular Plateau is about 1.6 million sq km, which is half of the total geographical area of ​​India (3.2 million sq km).
  • The Peninsular Plateau is made up of older crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • Shallow broad valleys and rounded hills are important landforms in the peninsular plateau.
  • The presence of shallow and wide valleys in the peninsular plateau is an indication of the maturational phase of the plateau's erosion cycle.
  • The average elevation of the Peninsular Plateau is 600-900 m above sea level.

Peninsular Plateau

The peninsular plateau can be divided into the following minor plateaus:
  • Central Highlands
  • Deccan Plateau
  • Meghalaya Plateau
Central highlands:
  • Central highlands lies north of the Narmada river.
  • Vindhya and Satpura ranges are on the southern side of the central highlands.
  • Vindhya and Satpura ranges meet at Maikal Hills in Madhya Pradesh. Amarkantak plateau is located in Maikal Hills.
  • Aravali mountain ranges are on the northwestern side of the central highlands.
  • Sand and rocky desert in the west side of central highlands.
  • Important rivers of central highlands are Chambal, Sindh, Betwa, and Ken.
  • The slope of central highlands is from the southwest to the northeast.
  • It is wider in the west and narrows in the east.
The following are minor plateaus of central highlands:
  • Malwa Plateau
  • Bundelkhand Plateau
  • Baghelkhand Plateau
  • Chota Nagpur Plateau
Malwa Plateau:
  • Malwa plateau is also known as Marwar plain or Mewar plateau.
  • Southeastern Rajasthan is located on Malwa Plateau.
  • Vindhya range is east of the Malwa plateau.
  • Malwa plateau is made up of sandstones, shales, and limestone.
  • Rolling plain[ not completely flat] is an important relief feature of the Malwa Plateau.
  • Mahi, Chambal, and the Betwa rivers are important rive in the Malwa plateau.
Bundelkhand Plateau:
  • Yamuna river marks north of Bundelkhand Plateau.
  • It spreads over four districts of Madhya Pradesh and five districts of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Ken, Betwa, and Dasan rivers flow through the Bundelkhand plateau.
  • It is a drought-prone area.
  • It is made up of mostly hard crystalline igneous gneiss rocks. 
  • Crystalline igneous gneiss rocks of Bundelkhand belong to the oldest Archaean rocks of India.
Major division of Peninsular Plateau

Baghelkhand Plateau:
  • Baghelkhand plateau is surrounded by the Northern plain in the North, Bundelkhand in the west, and Vindhya range in the south.
  • Most of Baghelkand's plateau is in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Son and ton rivers are important rivers in the Baghelkhand plateau.
  • Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh is in Baghelkhand plateau.
  • Rewa, Rajgarh, Satna, Shahdol, and Ambikapur are important areas of the Baghelkhand plateau.
  • Maikal range lies south of Baghelkhand.
  • It is made up of limestones and sandstone rocks.
Chotanagpur Plateau:
  • The northern part of Chhatisgarh, most of the Jharkhand areas, and the Purulia district of West Bengal come under Chhotanagpur Plateau.
  • It is the easternmost of the central highlands.
  • Chotanagpur is made up of Gondwana and Archean granite rocks.
  • Damodar, Subarnrekha, and Koel are important rivers in the Plateau.
  • Chotanagpur plateau is home to many minerals such as Gondwana coals, iron ore, bauxite, etc.

Meghalaya Plateau:
  • The Meghalaya Plateau is also known as the Shillong Plateau or Karbi Anglong.
  • The Meghalaya Plateau is the easternmost plateau of India and is part of the Peninsular Plateau.
  • The Malda fault separates the Chotanagpur plateau from the Meghalaya plateau or the Karbi Anglong plateau.
  • The Meghalaya Plateau and the Peninsular Plateau have similar rock composition, natural vegetation, and minerals, so they are considered part of the Peninsular Plateau.
  • Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia are important hills of the Meghalaya plateau.

Deccan plateau:
  • Deccan plateau lies south of the Narmada river and Satpura range.
  • Mahadev, Kaimur hills, and Maikal hills mark the north-eastern boundary of the Deccan plateau.
  • Western ghats and eastern ghats mark the western and eastern boundaries of the Deccan plateau.
  • The general slope of the Deccan plateau is from west to east, that is why most of Deccan plateau's rivers flow from west to east.
  • The unique fertile black soil of volcanic origin is found in the Deccan trap.
  • The upper surface of the Deccan trap is formed by a volcanic eruption during the Cretaceous period.
  • Cotton is the main crop of the Deccan plateau.
  • Deccan plateau receives less than 60 cm of rainfall annually as it is located in the rainshadow zone of western ghats.
Deccan Plateau is further divided into the following plateaus:
  • Maharashtra Plateau
  • Karnataka Plateau:
    • Karnataka Plateau is mostly comprised of Dharwad and Cuddapah rocks.
  • Dandakaranaya Plateau:
    • Dandakaranaya Plateau is located in eastern India and it is located on the northern side of the Telangana Plateau. Areas of the Dandakaranaya Plateau are Chhatisgarh, Telangana, and Odisha.
  • Telangana Plateau:
    • Telangana Plateau is a semi-arid region.
    • Peneplain landform has developed in the region after reaching the bases level of erosion over gneiss rocks.
  • Chhattisgarh Plain

Western Ghats:
  • The Western Ghats is located between the Westcoast plain and Peninsular Plateau.
  • The Western Ghats extends into 6 states-Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • The following are other names of Western Ghats:
    • It is called Sahyadri in Maharashtra.
    • It is called Nilgiri in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
    • It is called Anaimalai and Cardamom hills in Kerala.
  • The highest peak of the western ghat is the Anaimudi 2,637 meters. Anaimudi is located in Kerala.
  • Dodabeta peak( 2637 m) is the second-highest peak of Western Ghat and it is the highest peak in Tamil Nadu. 
  • It continues to range and orographic rainfall commonly occurs in the western slope of western ghats.
Eastern Ghats:
  • The average elevation is about 600 meters.
  • Spread from Mahanadi valley in the north to Nilgiri hills in the South.
  • It is a discontinuous range.
  • The highest peak is Mahendra Giri and it is about 1501 meters above sea level.
  • Shevroy and Javed hills are located in the southeast part of eastern ghats,
  • Ooty or Udaga Mandalam [ hill stations] is in the Eastern Ghats.

Answer the following questions:

1. Extent of Western Ghats is in how many states?
a) 5
b) 6
c) 7
d) 8

Answer. b) 6

2. the Western Ghats is called by what name in Maharashtra?
a) Sahyadri
b) Himadri
c) Nilgiri
d) Cardamom hills

Answer. a) a) Sahyadri

3. Which of the following separates the Meghalaya plateau from the Chhotanagpur Plateau?
a) Malda Fault
b) Himalaya frontal thrust
c) Son-Mahanadi rift basin
d) Narmada rift

Answer. a) Malda Fault

4. Which of the following is the highest peak of the Western Ghats?
a) Mahendragiri
b) Doddabetta Peak
c) Anamudi
d) Nilgiri hills

Answer. c) Anaimudi(2,695 m)

5. Which of the following is the highest peak of Tamil Nadu?
a) Mahendragiri
b) Doddabetta Peak
c) Anamudi
d) Nilgiri hills

Answer. b) Doddabetta Peak(2,637 m)

6. Which of the following is the highest peak of  Eastern Ghats?
a) Mahendragiri
b) Doddabetta Peak
c) Anamudi
d) Nilgiri hills

Answer. a) Mahendragiri (1501 m)

7. Which of the following physiographic region of India is the oldest landmass?
a) Peninsular Plateau
b) Indian desert
c) The coastal plains
d) The islands

Answer. a)  Peninsular Plateau

8. Which of the following is the main crop of Deccan trap?
a) Paddy
b) Wheat
c) Cotton
d) Sugarcane

Answer. c) cotton

9. Dandakaranya Plateau is located in which part of India?
a) North-Eastern India
b) Eastern India
c) Western India
d) Northern India

Answer. b) Eastern India

10. Amarkantak plateau is located in which of the following region?
a) Vindhya ranges
b) Satpura ranges
c) Maikal range
d) Baghelkhand Plateau

Answer. c) Maikal range

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

Answer. c) Peninsula

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

Answer. c) Mahendragiri

13. Which plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhyan ranges?
a) Malwa Plateau
b) Bundelkhand Plateau
c) Baghelkhand Plateau
d) Chota Nagpur Plateau

Answer. a) Malwa Plateau

14. On which of the following hill range is the ‘Dodabeta’ peak situated?
a) Nilgiri hills 
b) Anaimalai hills 
c) Cardamom hills
d) Nallamala hills

Answer. a) Nilgiri hills 

15. Which of the following are the easternmost hills?
a) Garo Hills
b) Khasi Hills
c) Jaintia Hills
d) Maikal Hills

Answer. c) Jaintia Hills

Try to solve the following questions:

  • Distinguished the geographical aspect of the Northwestern lava plateau and Chotanagpur plateau of Peninsular India. ( UPSC, 2018)
  • Justify the inclusion of Meghalaya in Peninsular India and discuss its vegetation and soil types. ( UPSC 2017)
  • Describe the structure and relief features of peninsular India. ( UPSC 2000)
  • Distinguish between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats. (NCERT)
  • Write short notes on the Central Highlands of India. (NCERT)

Next Post »