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Physical Divisions

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Physical Divisions - Lesson Summary

Political divisions are man-made territorial boundaries, whereas physical divisions are marked by natural contours. A physical map shows the natural landscape of a country.

India is divided into six natural regions:
  • The Great Himalayas
  • The northern plains
  • The desert region
  • The southern plateau
  • The coastal plains
  • The island region

The great Himalayas owing to the location are said to be guarding our country. The Himalayas include three main parallel ranges: The northern-most range is the Himadri. This range forms the backbone of the Himalayas. It contains nine of the fourteen highest peaks in the world. The middle range is the Himachal, also called the Lower Himalayas. The southern-most is the narrowest range, the Shivalik range.
Plains are flatland areas and are only marginally above sea level. Plains are highly populated owing to the pleasant climate in these areas. The rivers Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra pass through this land and their alluvial deposits make the land fertile.

Towards the south of the northern plains lies the triangular peninsular plateau. The Aravali range stretches across the state of Rajasthan and ends in Delhi and is one of the oldest ranges of the world. 

The Deccan plateau is the biggest plateau in India covering most of central and southern India. Most areas in the plateau region are rich in minerals. The Vindhya and the Satpura ranges of mountains lie at the centre of our country, dividing it into Northern and Southern India.

The rivers Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra make alluvial deposits on the northern plains, making them fertile. The Narmada and the Tapi flow westward between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges and drain into the Arabian Sea.

There are two groups of islands that are also a part of India:
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and
  • The Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.

Lakshadweep Islands are also known as coral islands as they are made of corals, which are skeletons of marine organisms known as polyps. The Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri drain into the Bay of Bengal in the east.

The world’s largest delta is the Sunderban Delta. This delta is formed at the mouth of the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra when they drain in the Bay of Bengal.


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