Topographic Region/ Physiographic Region

India is home to various geographical features such as rivers, mountains, valleys, tablelands, seashores, deserts, and flat terrains. The country is a traveler's paradise. The states in northern India lie in the Himalayan Mountain Range. India is the seventh largest country in the world and covers a total area of 3,287,263 sq km. The shoreline of the country extends for 7,517 km and the longest river of the country is the holy Ganga or Ganges which is 2,510 km long. You will notice four separate regions in the country - the plains, the mountains, the southern peninsula and the desert. 
The eastern and middle portion of India is made up of productive Indo-Gangetic plains. The Thar Desert in Rajasthan is located to the northwest. The terra firma in southern India is nearly wholly made up of the Deccan plateau. There are two important mountain ranges in South India that are closely located to the seashores and they are the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats mountain ranges. The Aravallis and the Vindhyachal are the other well-known mountain ranges of India. 
India is the seventh largest country with 2.4% of total area of the world. The Indian Mainland extends from 8°4′ north and 37°6′ North in length(latitudes). And between 68°7′ East and 97°25′ East in width (longitudes). This makes the North-south extension of 3214 km and East-west extension of 2933 km. At 23°30′ North, the Tropic of Cancer passes through the centre of India, dividing the country into two equal parts – Northern and Southern India. The Tropic of Cancer passes through eight states in India – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram. Physiographic divisions in India include 

1) The Northern Mountains 

The northern boundary of India is created by the northern mountain ranges known as Himalayas that form the natural border between India and Tibet. The Himalayan range is divided into Pir Panjal Range, Zanskar Range, Ladakh Range, Dhaula Dhar Range and East Karakoram Range. Apart from the Himalayan, other ranges are Siwalik Range lying in the outer Himalayas, Karakom Range, Patkai Range lying at the eastern part of India at the Burma border, Vindhya Range covering parts of central India, Satpura Range covering parts of central India being parallel to Vindhya Range, Aravalli Range covering areas of Haryana and Rajasthan states, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats. 

2) The Indo-Gangetic Plains 

The plains named after the rivers flowing through them - Indus and Ganges, cover northern and eastern parts of India, stretching to cover some parts of Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh also. These rivers form tributaries that network the entire region. These tributaries are Yamuna, Chambal, Gomti, Sutlej, Kosi, Ravi, Beas, Chenab, Ghaghara and Tista. These rivers make the soil fertile and apt for farming which is widely practiced all over. This has led to tremendous increase in population with time. The plains are divided into four belts namely, the Bhabar belt, the Terai belt, the Bangar belt and the Khadar belt. The crops produced in these belts are wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, and maize. 

3) The Thar Desert 

It is ranked as the seventh biggest desert in the world that covers most of the Rajasthan and neighboring states of Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat. It also crosses the borders to touch Pakistan where it is known as Cholistan desert. It’s some parts are attributed by sand dunes and some have rocks. The vegetation in the area includes small trees, herb and shrubs. The sandy nature of the soil makes it get eroded quite often, due to speedy winds that blow with full force in the region. This region gets very less rainfall which is less than 150 mm in a year. Understanding the need of plantation in the region to avoid erosion, the Indira Gandhi Canal scheme was started in 1965 to irrigate the land. The common source of income for the people here is animal husbandry and agroforestry. 

4) The Central Highlands 

The highlands of central India are divided into three plateaus, the Deccan Plateau located between the western and eastern ghats, the Malwa Plateau at the western parts of India including states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, and the Chota Nagpur Plateau covering eastern states of India like Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Odisha. The Chota Nagour Plateau is rich in coal and metal ores and is divided into Ranchi plateau, Hazaribagh plateau and Koderma plateau. The Ranchi plateau is characterized by numerous falls. The Hazaribagh plateau is a part of Hazaribagh region, the lower part of which is known as Koderma plateau. Read more on the Central Highlands 

5) The Eastern and Western Coastal Plains 

These plains lie at the eastern parts of India spreading from the state Tamil Nadu to West Bengal. With rivers like Mahanadi, Kaveri , Krishna and Godavari flowing through them, Chilika Lake runs alongside them. The plains are divided into six regions – Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu, Kanyakumari Coast at the southern-tip of India, Krishna-Godavari delta at southeast of Vijaywada, Mahanadi delta in Odisha, and the south Andhra Pradesh coastal plain that covers the major parts of Eastern Ghat and Bay of Bengal. These coastal regions normally stay humid with frequent rainfall. Tall coconut palms adorn the eastern coastline, apart from the crops grown here. Fishing is the major occupation of the locals here. 
As the name suggests, they lie at the areas of Western Ghats forming the coastal parts of that are flanked by the Arabian Sea. They cover Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Narmada, Zuari, Tapi and Mandovi are rivers that flux through them. The plains are divided into Konkan and Malabar Coasts. The Konkan coast runs through 700 km, covering parts of the Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. The Malabar coast covers 845 km, stretching from Karnataka to the extreme south tip Kanyakumari through Kerala. All of the Malabar coast receives heavy rainfall that makes it suitably irrigated enough for farming. Read more on western and eastern coastal plains 

6) The Islands 

There are two main groups of islands – Andaman and Nicobar islands and Lakshadweep islands that are recognized as Union Territories (UT). Apart from them, Daman and Diu are also known as UT; they almost touch the mainland unlike Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. Andaman islands are composed of 572 tiny islands that serve as a great tourist attraction. The Nicobar islands are not accessible for the tourists. Inhabited by native tribes, their beaches stay deserted yet beautiful owing to lovely colors added to the waters by a variety of corals. The Lakshadweep islands comprise of 35 tiny islands that stand in the Laccadive Sea, just 200 to 400 km from Kerala, the southwestern coast of India.


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