Which are the Major Physiographic Divisions of India?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Major Physiographic Divisions of India are islands, coastal plains, Indian deserts, peninsular plateaus, northern plains, and northern mountain ranges. The Himalayas, in combination with the Trans-Himalaya and Purvanchal Hills, form the Northern Himalayas which extend from Punjab to Assam (including Nepal).

Physiographic Divisions of India

India has a variety of geographical features & possesses various physiographic or physical divisions. It observes six different types of major physiographic divisions based on physical features. These are:

  • The Northern mountains: The combination of the Himalayas, Trans Himalayas, and Purvanchal Hills is known as the Northern Mountains. It influences the Indian climate, is a source of hydropower and minerals, and is often considered for pilgrimage.
  • The Northern plains: They lie between the north of the Peninsular Plateau and the south of the Himalayas. Based on relief features, they are further divided into 4 types – Bhabar, Terai, Bhangar, and Khadar.
  • The Indian desert: It is the 9th largest desert in the world. The Indian Desert or the Thar Desert is situated on the western edge of the Aravalli Hills.
  • The Peninsular plateau: It is a triangular-shaped tableland that covers an area of about 5 lakh square kilometers. Due to the Narmada River, these plateaus are divided into the Deccan Plateau and the Central Highlands.
  • The Coastal plains: It flows along the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and is divided into the Western Coastal Plains and the Eastern Coastal Plains.
  • The Islands: There are two different types of islands in India- Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands consisting of 43 and 204 islands respectively.

Characteristics of the Physical Divisions of India

Here are some important features or characteristics of the major physical divisions of India:

  • Our nation’s northern borders are bordered by the geologically young mountains known as the Himalayas.
  • The Central Highlands and the Deccan plateau make up the peninsular plateau. South of the Narmada River is a triangular landmass known as the Deccan plateau.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands are two examples of the various island groups.
  • Pakistan and India are naturally separated by the Thar desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert.

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