PLATEAUS OF INDIA
The Peninsular Plateau
The peninsular plateau is roughly triangular in shape with base coinciding with southern edge of the Great Plains. It covers a total area of 160, 0000 km2 (about half of total land area of the country).
The Plateaus of Peninsular India
- The Marwara Upland: It lies cast of Aravali range, made up of sand stone, shales and limestone of Vindhayan period. The upland is drained by Banns river originating in Aravali range.
- The Central Highland: Also called the Madhya Bharat Pathar, lying in the east of Marwara upland.
- The Bundelkhand Upland: To south of Yamuna river between Mad-hya Bharat Pathar and the Vindhyan scamp lands consists of granites and gneiss.
- Malwa Plateau: It is an extensive lava plateau in M.P. with black soil drained by a number of north flowing rivers like Betwa, Prabati, Kali Sindh, Chambal and Mahi.
- Baghelkhand: East of Makal range and bounded by Son river on the north.
- Chotanagpur Plateau: It covers mostly Jharkhand, adjoining eastern Madhya Pradesh and Purulia of West Bengal. This plateau is composed mainly of Gondwana rocks with patches of granites and gneisses and Deccan lavas. The plateau is drained by numerous rivers in a radial pattern such as Damodar, Subarnrekha, North Koel, South Koel and Barakar river.
- Meghalaya Plateau: This plateau has been separated from main block of the peninsular plateau by a gap called Ganu-Raj Mahal gap. From east to west the plateau comprises Gana, Khasi and Jaintia hills and Mikir hills. Shilong is the highest point of the plateau.
- The Deccan Plateau: It comprises Maharashtra plateau, Karnataka pla-teau and the Telengana plateau (Andhra Pradesh). The general slope is from west to east. Indicated by flow of major rivers like Mahanadi, Go-dawari, Krishna and Cauveri.
- The Chhattlsgarh Plain: It is the only plain worth the name in the vast stretch of plateau drained by upper course of Mahanadi. The saucer shaped depression lies between Makal range and Orissa hills.
Hill Ranges of the Peninsula
- Aravali Range: Aravalis are the world's oldest fold mountain running in north east to southwest direction from Delhi to Palampur in Gujarat. Gurushikhar is the highest peak situated in Mount Abu. Barr, Piplighat, Dewair and Desuri passes allow Movements by roads and railways.
- Vindhyan Range: It rises as an escarpment flauting the northern edge of the Narmada, Son-trough. The Vindhyas are continued eastward as the Bhamcr and Kaimur hills. This range acts as a water divide between Ganga system and river system of south India. The Makal range forms a connecting link between Vindhya and Satpuras.
- Satpura Range: It is a series of seven (Sat) mountains running in east-west-direction south of Vindhya and in between the Narmada and Tapi. Connects from Rajpipla hills in the west through the Mahadeo hills. It extends to Makal range in the east Dhupgarh near Panchmarhi on Mahadeo hills in highest pcak of Satpuras.
- Western Ghat (Sahyadris): The western ghats run in north-south direc-tion from Tapi valley to north of Kanyakumari. Sahyadris form the real water divide of the peninsula. All the important rivers rise from these hills and flow eastward. The Sayadris upto 16° north latitude are mainly composed of basalt. There are three important passes in the Sahyadris: (a) Balghat (b) Bhorghat (c) Palghat
- Eastern Ghat: It is a chain of highly broken and detached hills starting from Mahanadi in Orissa to Vaigai in Tamil Nadu. In the northern part between Mahanadi and Godavari eastern ghats exhibit true mountain character comprising Maliya and Madugula konda ranges. South of Godawari the broken hill ranges are Nallamalai, Palkonda, Javadi, Shavroy and Bil-ligiri Rangan hills. Mahendragiri is the tallest peak of eastern ghats.
Coastal Plains and Islands
- West Coastal Plains: It is 1500 km long from Surat to Cape Comorin. This plain is sub-divided into:
(a) Kachchh Plains: Previously an island surrounded by seas and la-goons. In the north of Kachchh, lies the Great Rann—a broad level salt soaked plain to its south is Little Rann.
(b) Kathiawar Peninsula: Lying south of Kachchh its central part is highland of Manddu hills having radial drainage. Mount Gimar is the highest point. Further south lies the Gir range.
(c) Gujarat Plains: East to Kachchh and Kathiawar formed by the rivers Narmada, Tapi, Mahi and Sabarmati. It includes the southern part of Gujarat and Gulf of Khambhat coastal areas.
(d) Konkan Coast: Extends from Davav to Goa for a distance of about 500 km. Mumbai was an island where the coast is wide east.
(e) Karnataka or Kanara Coast: It extends from Goa to Bangalore in narrow belt. Sharavati river drains this part making Gerosoppa falls.
(f) Malabar Cost/Kerala Coast: It extends between Bangalore and Kanyakumari. The back waters locally called Kayals are the shallow lagoons. The largest among these is Vembanded Lake followed by Ashtamudi. Sand dunes locally called Teris are very common.
- East Coastal Plain
(a) The east coastal plain is much wider and drier than the west and has a number of deltas.
(b) The Utkal plain along Orissa coast includes the Mahanadi delta whose most prominent feature is the Chilka lake south to Mahanadi delta.
(c) The Andhra Plain lying south of Utkal extends upto Pulicat lake.
(d) The Andhra plain comprises delta of Godavari and Krishna rivers. • Kouru lake is situated between the two deltas.
(e) The Tamil Nadu plain extends from Pulikat lake to Kanyakumari comprising the Cauvery delta known as granary of south India.