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The Northern Plain

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The Northern Plain - Lesson Summary

The Northern Plain is located in the southern part of the Himalayan range. The plain is formed from the flood plains of three big river systems:
  • The Indus,
  • The Ganga and
  • The Brahmaputra

The Northern Plain is also called the Indo-Gangetic plain. The soil cover in this plain is rich and fertile, and water is found in plenty, combined with a favourable climate for growing several major crops, the Northern Plain is one of the world’s most intensively farmed areas and hence very densely populated.

The rivers coming from the northern mountain carry a huge load of eroded soil and debris. As a river flows down towards the plains, due to the gentler slopes, its velocity decreases, and the material carried by it gets deposited on the way creating riverine islands.

The Northern Plain can be divided into three main parts:
  • The Indus and its tributaries – the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej - originate in the Himalaya. This part of the Northern Plain is also called the Punjab Plain.
  • The Ganga Plain lies between the Ghaggar and the Teesta rivers.
  • The Brahmaputra Plain lies in the state of Assam.

The states that fall under the Northern Plain are: Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, parts of Jharkhand and West Bengal, and Assam.

The Northern Plain is divided into four regions:
  • Bhabar,
  • Terai,
  • Bhangar and
  • Khadar

The Bhabar region is a narrow belt of level surface in the Northern Plain, lying parallel to the slope of the Shiwaliks.

All rivers and streams that disappear in the Bhabar belt resurface in the Terai region. The Terai region consists of wet, swampy and marshy land.

Bhangar, is the largest part of the northern plain and is formed of older alluvium. This region lies above the flood plains of the rivers.

The newer, younger deposits of the flood plains form the fourth region of the Northern Plain called Khadar. The land is fertile, and used extensively for agriculture.


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