Physiographic Divisions of India: The Himalaya
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Physiographic Divisions of India: The Himalaya|Geography|Frontier IAS
India has a unique culture and is one of the oldest and greatest civilizations in the world. In this article, we have provided a summary of the Physiography of India as a quick revision, which can be helpful in the preparation of various competitive examinations.
Physiography of India:
- India, being a vast country, lies in Northern and Eastern hemisphere.
- One important latitude passes through it i.e. Tropic of Cancer (23°30’N) and it bifurcates India into two halves.
- Tropic of cancer passes through the following states- Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura, Mizoram.
Tropic of cancer passing through 8 states.
- Mainland extends between 8°4’N and 37°6’N latitude and 68°7’E and 97°25’E longitude.
- North-south extent- 3214 km
- West-East extent- 2944 km
- Standard meridian of India passes through (82°30’E) which is situated in Naini, Allahabad (U.P.).It also passes through M.P, Chhatisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
- Time of India is ahead of Greenwich Mean Time by 5 hours and 30 minutes because IST is based on 82°30’E longitude.
- Area- 3,287,263 square km
- In terms of area, India is the 7th largest country in the world i.e. 2.4% of the total geographic area.
- Coastline-7500 km approx.
- Islands- Andaman & Nicobar group and Lakshadweep
- North- Young fold mountains
- South- Peninsular Plateau
- West- Desert
- East- Purvanchal
Neighbour Countries of India:
- Afghanistan- India shares smallest boundary with Afghanistan
- Bangladesh- India shares longest boundary with Bangladesh
- Indian Subcontinent-India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives
Physiographic divisions of India:
India is divided into six physiographic divisions:
- Northern mountain complex
- Northern Plain
- Peninsular Plateau
- Indian Desert
- Coastal Plains
1. Northern Mountain complex
- Greater Himalayas
- Lesser Himalayas (Himachal)
- Outer Himalayas (Shivalik)
2. Northern plains
- The Ganga Plains
- Brahmputra Plains
3. Peninsular Plateau
- Central Highlands
- Chhotanagpur Plateau
- Deccan Plateau
4. Coastal Plains
- Western coastal plains- Malabar coast
- Eastern coastal plain- Coromandel coast
- Created due to the collision with the Eurasian plate.
- Northern most area in the country in the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
- Extension of Tibetan plateau around the Himalayas.
- The Zaskar, the Ladakh, the Kailas and the Karakoram are the main ranges.
- Average elevation =3000 m above mean sea level.
- Average width= 40 km at the extremities and about 225 km in the central part.
- Northern most range is Great Karakoram Range also known as the Krishnagiri range.
- Himalayas are formed due to C-C collision between Indian plate and Eurasian plate which began 50 million years ago and continues even today.
- Himalayas are developed in 3 phases-
1. Great Himalayas (Oligo-Eocene period)
2. Middle Himalayas (Miocene period)
3. Outer Himalayas (Pleistocene period)
Properties of Himalayas:
- Himalayas are fold mountain which are formed mainly of sedimentary rocks of marine origin. (Tethys Sea)
- Himalayas are not single mountain but a series of ranges which is bordered on North-West by the Karakoram and Hindu-Kush ranges, on North by Tibetan Plateau and in South by Indo Gangetic plains.
- Himalayas can be divided North-South as well as West to East.
North-South division of Himalaya:
- Great Himalayas
- Middle/ Lesser Himalayas (Himanchal)
- Outer Himalayas (Shivaliks)
1. Himadri or Greater Himalaya:
- Northernmost region of the Himalayas
- Highest and most continuous range of Himalaya
- Average height- 6000 km
- All important peaks are situated in this region
- Highest peak of the world -Mount Everest(8852)
- Snow-bound area and a number of important rivers originate from this region
Important peaks of Greater Himalaya:
- Mount Everest
- Nanga Parbat
- Nanda Devi
- Namcha Barwa
Important Passes of Greater Himalaya:
- Karakoram- it is situated in Ladakh region of J & K, highest pass of the India
- Burzil- situated in Greater Himalayas of J and K. It connects Srinagar and Gilgit.
- Zoji la- situated in Zaskar range in J and K. Srinagar-Leh highway passes through it
- Pir Panjal- situated in Pir panjal range
- Banihal-Situated in Ladakh region. Jawahar tunnel is here.
- Shipki la- in Zaskar range, Himachal Pradesh
- Bara Lacha la- in Zaskar, Himachal Pradesh
- Mana la- in Kumaon range, Uttarakhand.
- Niti La, Thaga la and Lipu lekh- in Kumaon range, UK
- Nathu la and Jelep la-Sikkim
2. Himanchal or Lesser Himalayas:
- Middle Himalayas
- width-80 to 100 km
- Average height- 1300-1500 m
- Main rocks- quartzites, limestone and slate
- Alpine grasslands are located which are known as marg i.e. Sonmarg, Gulmarg
- Famous for its scenic beauty and hill stations like Kullu-Manali, Mussoorie, Darjeeling etc.
- Pir panjal range
- Dhauladhar range
- Mahabharat range
- Kangra valley
- Kullu valley
- Kashmir valley
3. Shiwalik or Outer Himalayas:
- Southernmost Himalayas
- Width- 10 to 50 km
- Height- 900 to 1200 m
- This is not a continuous range
- Most recent part of the himalayas
- Between Shiwalik and Himachal there are number of valleys like Kathmandu valley
- Western side- Duns or Duar like Dehradun, Kotli dun and Patli dun and Haridwar (Dehradun largest of them)
- Lowermost part is called Terai region which is marshy area with dense forests.
Division on the basis of Rivers:
- Besides the longitudinal divisions, the Himalayas have also been divided on the basis of regions from west to east. These divisions have been demarcated by river valleys.
- Indus-Satluj- Kashmir/Punjab Himalayas
- Satluj-Kali- Kumaon Himalayas
- Kali-Kosi-Nepal Himalayas
- Kosi-Teesta- Sikkim Himalaya
- Teesta-Dihang-Assam Himalayas
- Southward extension of Himalayas running along the north-eastern edge of India.
- At the Dihang gorge, the Himalayas take a sudden southward bend and form a series of comparatively low hills which are collectively called as the Purvanchal.
- Purvanchal hills are convex to the west.
- Run along the India-Myanmar Border extending from Arunachal Pradesh in the north to Mizoram in the south.
Main hills are:
- Patkai hills
- Naga hills
- Barail range
- Mizoram hills
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