The Indian landmass may be divided into three distinct units.

ü  The Himalayas

ü  The Northern Plains

ü  The Peninsular Plateau


ü  The mountains are radiating out from the Pamir Knot.

ü  The Himalayas separates the Indian subcontinent from the rest of Asia.

ü  This chain of mountains includes the Hindu Kush, the Suleiman and the Kirthar in the east, and the Karakoram and the Himalayas in the west.

ü  The Himalayas stretch across northern India from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh for about 2,400 km.

ü  The Himalayas are the world’s youngest fold mountains.

    The Himalayas are classified into four zones

The Outer Himalayas or the Shiwaliks: 

ü  The height ranging from 600 to 1,500 m (average elevation being 1,200 m).

ü  Shiwaliks are composed of tertiary sediments mainly containing boulder and clay.

ü  They emerged in the most, recent phase in the Himalayan orogeny, that is, during the Miocene - Pleistocene epoch.

ü  Along the foothills, rivers have deposited  pebbles, gravel and sand.

ü  This deposition is called Bhabar plain.

ü  The Terai plain, formed of fine alluvium, occurs in the region south of the Bhabar plain.

ü  These hills are referred to as Abor, Miri and Mishmi Hills in the Arunachal Pradesh region and as Jammu hills also.

ü  The Outer Himalayas are separated from the Lesser Himalays by duns  (valleys resulting from draining away of the  temporary lakes formed by ridges) Such duns include Dehradun, Patli in Uttar Pradesh, and Kotli in Jammu.


ü  This is located at a height 1,000 to 4,500 m.

ü  The southern slopes are barren.

ü  Its ranges include the 400 km – long Pir Panjal range, the longest range of the Himalayas.

ü  The Pirpanjal range extends between the Jhelum and Beas rivers.

ü  The other ranges are the Nag Tibba range; Mussoorie range and the Mahabharat range in Nepal are part of the Himachal.


The innermost Himalayan range is the world’s highest, with an average height of about 6,000m.

It is the most continuous of the Himalayan ranges and forms the Himalayas’ northernmost part.

Some of The  Highest Peaks of the Himalayas

·         Mount Everest (Nepal)                     :          8,848 m

·         Kanchenjunga (Sikkim, India)         :          8,598 m

·         Makalu (Nepal)                                 :          8,481m
·         Dhaulagiri (Nepal)                                      :           8172 met

·         Nanga Parbat

·         (Jammu and Kashmir, India)            :          8,126 m

·         Annapurna (Nepal)                                     :           8078 met

·         Nanda Devi                                    :           7817 met

·         Kamet                   :             7,756 m

·         Namacha Barwa               

·         (Arunachal Pradesh, India)              :          7,754 m

·         Gurla Mandhata (Nepal)                  :          7,728 m


ü  This zone has important ranges such as the Zaskar range with an average elevation of 6,000 m and the great Karakoram Range which has very high peaks and large glaciers.

ü  The Karakoram extends towards the south- east to from the Kailash range (Tibet).

ü  The Laddakh range, parallel to the Zaskar range, has a height of 5,800 met .

ü  The highest peak in this region is K2 (8,047 m) and the Siachen glacier is also located here.


·         The Assam Himalayas 

·         The Central Himalayas

·         The Kumaon Himalayas

·         The Punjab Himalayas

·         The Kashmir Himalayas


This runs from Tista River to the Brahmaputra.

The Assam Himalayas are divided into

·         The Naga Hills

·         The Kohima Hills

·         The Mizo Hills

·         The Manipur Hills

·         The Garo Hills

·         The Aka Hills

·         The Dafla Hills

·         The Mishmi Hills

·         The Miris

·         The Abhor Hills

ü  The Naga Hills house the Saramati peak (3,826m).

ü  The Kohima Hills house the Japuo peak.

ü  The Mizo hills the Manipur Hills are present between Manipur and Myanmar.

ü  The Garo Hills, the Aka Hills are present between Dikrai and Dhansiri rivers.

ü  The Dafla Hills, the Mishmi Hills and the Miris are present to the North of district Lakhimpur.

ü  The Abhor Hills are located between Dibang in the East and Siam in the West.


ü  These are located between the rivers Tista and Kali.

ü  These are also called the Darjeeling Himalaya, the Sikkim Himalaya and the Bhutan Himalaya.

ü  The Central Himalayas has some of the world’s loftiest peaks.


ü  It lies between Kali and Sutlej rivers.

ü  The important peaks that are located here are Nanda Devi (7,816 m), Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Trishul and Mana.


ü  This lies between Sutlej and Indus rivers.

ü  The Kangra, Spiti and Lahul valleys present in this region.


ü  It has an average height of 3,000 m.

ü  This region has so many glaciers.

Important Passes in the Himalayan Ranges

·         Khyber pass

·         Bolan pass

·         karakoram pass


ü  Khyber Pass is the most important pass of the Indian subcontinent.

ü  It passes through the Safed Kuh range between Pakistan and Afghanistan.


ü  This is Located in Pakistan.

ü  The Bolan Pass served as an important trade route for centuries.


ü  This is situated in the Karakoram Range in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The other important passes of this region are

ü  Burzil and Zoji La in Jammu and Kashmir

ü  The Bara Lacha La and the Shipki La in Himachal Pradesh

ü  The Nathu La and the Jelep La in Sikkim.

ü  The main Indo – China trade route, connecting Kalimpong (near Darjeeling) with Lhasa (Tibet), passes through the Jelep La pass.


ü  The Himalayas protect the Indian plains from cold blizzards of central and north–east Asia.

ü  The Himalayas are the natural barriers between India and its neighbors such as China.

ü  India’s big rivers, such as the Ganga and Yamuna, with their many tributaries originate from these mountains.

ü  The Himalayas are rich in forest and animal resources.

ü  The Himalayan Rivers are a great source of water for irrigational purposes and power generation.

ü  The Himalayas are the source of many minerals including copper, nickel, cobalt, lead, zinc and tungsten, and mineral fuels such as petroleum and coal.

ü  Important hill stations include Nainital, Dehra Dun, Mussoorie, Ranikhet, Almora (all in Uttaranchal); Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir); Shimla, Dharamsala, Kullu - Manali, Chamba - Dalhousie (Himachal Pradesh) are the tourist centers.



ü  These are present between the Himalayas and the peninsular plateau.

ü  The Great Northern Plains stretch in an East-West direction for about 3,200 km.

ü  Alluvial soil that is present in the nature.

ü  The Alluvial soils are composed of older alluvium is also called bhangar.

ü  The newer alluvium also called khadar or bet.

ü  The older alluvium is found in raised areas which are away from river channels.

ü  The newer alluvium is found along river banks.


The Great Plains can further be sub divided into

v  The Punjab-Haryana plains

v  The Rajasthan plains.

v  The Ganga Plains.

v  The Ganga-Yamuna Doab.

v  The Brahmaputra plains.


    These are the low flood plains, bets as well as upland plains.

ü  The very fertile areas in this region are

ü  The Bist Doab between Sutlej and Beas rivers

ü  The supper Bari Doab between Rivers Beas and Ravi

ü  The South-Eeast Malwa Plain.

The Rajasthan Plains

ü  These comprise the Marushali of Thar and the nearby Bagar areas and occupy an area of 1.75 lakh sq km.

ü  The Luni River that flows towards the south - west is the only river in the region.

ü  To the North of the Luni Riverr basin are salt lakes

v  The Sambhar

v  The Kuchaman

v  The Didwana

v  The Degana.


ü  This is spread across the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bental and Bihar.

ü  These areas comprise the raised bhangar areas and khadar areas, the bhabars and terais.


ü  The middle Ganga Plain comprises eastern Uttar Pradesh and the plains of Bihar.

ü  This covers an area of 35, 000 sq km.

The Brahmaputra Plains

ü  The Brahmaputra Plain in Assam extends from Dhubri to Sadiya.

ü  The low - level plains are formed by the deposits carried mainly by the Brahmaputra river and also the Dibang, the Sesiri and the Luhit.


ü  The peninsular plateau is the largest and the oldest of all the physiographic divisions.

ü  This covers an area of 16 lakh sq km.

ü  At the western and Eastern ends of peninsular plateau are the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats are located.

ü  The upland of Central India has

·         The Ganga to its North

·         The Kaimur - Maikal range to its East

·         The Arvallis and Kutch to its West

·         The Vindhya and Satpura ranges to its south.

ü  The plateau is broken by ravines mainly in the Chambal, Yamuna and Banas valleys.


ü  This runs from Sasaram (Bihar) in the East to Jobat (Gujarat) in the West.

ü  The fairly continuous range separates northern India from the southern mainland.

ü  This range is mostly composed of sandstones, quartzites and shales.


ü  It comprises the Rajpipla Hills of Gujarat in the west, and the Pachmarhi, Surguja, Ranchi, Hazaribagh Hills and the Maikal range in The east.

ü  Its northern and southern borders are composed of sandstone.

ü  The average elevationis 1,030 m above sea level, with the highest point at Dhupgarh (1, 350 m) near Pachmarhi.


ü  This is one of the most ancient fold mountains in the World.       

ü  The rocks of quartzites, gneisses and schists belonging to the precambian age

ü  The Gurusikhar peak (1, 722 m) of the Abu Hills is the highest point of the range.

ü  The Delhi Ridge is the Aravalli’s northernmost part.


ü  This area lies to the north - east of the Malwa.

ü  Its main rivers are the Damodar, the Subarnarekha and the South Koel.

ü  To its west is the Ranchi plateau.

ü  To the north of the Ranchi upland are the plateaus of Kodarma and Hazaribagh.


ü  The Deccan plateau is India’s largest plateau.

ü  This is a triangular plateau. 

ü  The height of the plateau ranging from 900 met to 3000 m in the west and east respectively.

ü  It occupies the land between the Western and the Eastern Ghats and the south of the Mahadeo, Maikal and Satpura ranges.

ü  The northern part of the Deccan plateau has the Maharashtra plateau.

ü  The Deccan plateau displays a sudden narrowing of land below the Karnataka plateau.

ü  Here, it comprises uplands made by the hills of Palni, Nilgiri, Cardamom and Anamalai (or Annamalai).

ü  The Deccan plateau is bordered on its sides by the Tamil Nadu and Kerala plains.

The Western Ghats

ü  The Western Ghats are also called Sahyadris.

ü  The Sahyadris are about 1,600 km long and with an average elevation of 1000 met to 1300 met.

ü  These run along the west coast from the south of the Tapti river valley to Kanyakumari.

ü  Important peaks of Western Ghats include the Salher peak (1567 met) and Kalsubai  peak (1646 met).

ü  The highest plateau Vembadi Shola (2505 m) is in the Palani Hills.

ü  Makurti (2554 m) and Doda Betta (2637 m) are in Nilgiris.

ü  The Anaimudi (2,695 m) in the Annamalai Hills.

ü  The  Westrn Ghats and  Eastern  Ghats meet in the Nilgiri Hills whose highest  point is Doda Betta peak.

ü  A break in the Western Ghats is in the form of the palakkad gap, south of the Nilgiris.

ü  The main rivers of the Western Ghats such as the Godavari, Cauvery and Krishna flow eastwards and fall into the Bay of Bengal.


ü  These are the irregular hill ranges.

ü  The Eastern Ghats stretch from northern Orissa to the Nilgiris in Chennai across coastal Andhra with an average elevation of 750 m above sea level.

ü  They reach over 1500 m at Nimargiri (1515 m) in Ganjam, Mankarnacha (1109 m) in Bonai and Malayagiri (1186 m) in Paltahara.

ü  Jindhagada Peak in Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh is the highest mountain peak in Eastern Ghats and Andhra Pradesh, with a summit elevation of 1,690 m


ü  India has few good harbors.

ü  The places in the interior like Delhi or Nagpur are quite far away from the sea.

ü  On the West coast of India the sea is deep and very near the coast.

ü  Three inlets on this coast - Mumbai, Goa and Cochin form the good natural harbors.

ü  The East coast of Peninsular India is less rocky, large ships cannot approach close to the coast.

ü  There is no good natural harbor on this coast; the two most important Chennai and Visakhapatnam are the being artificially built harbors.

The East  Coastal Plains

ü  The East Coast plain extends between the source of the Subarnarekha and Kanyakumari and contains deltas of almost all rivers in the region, except Tapti and Narmada, as these flows towards the Bay of Bengal.

ü  This is located between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal Coast.

ü  The East Coast has comparatively a broader plain compared to the Western Coast with an average width of 80 – 100 km.

ü  This area is drained by large rivers like Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery that have formed large deltas.

ü  The East coast has more or less a straight coastline where good ports are absent.

The West Coastal Plains:

ü  This extends from the Rann of Kutch to Kanya kumari.   

ü  Rivers Beas and Saraswati in the North flow towards West and join the Arabian Sea.

ü  The other rivers the Tapti, the Mahi, the Sabarmati and the Narmada also flow towards west and join the Arabian Sea.

ü  Salt marshes are found in the western parts.

ü  This area is located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea Coast.

ü  The West coast is a narrow plain with an average width of 64 km.

ü  This area is drained by short and swift streams which are unable to form deltas.

ü  Several lagoons are formed

ü  The West coast has an inundated coast which supports many ports.