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India Geography



India is fortunate in possessing one of the world's most extensive and fertile lands, made up of the alluvial soil brought down in the form of fine silt by the mighty rivers. Lying south of the Himalayas, these Great North Indian Plains consist of the Indus basin, the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin, and the tributaries of these mighty river systems.

To the south of the Great Plains of northern India lie the Great Plateau of Peninsular India, which is divided into two parts, namely, the Malwa Plateau and the Deccan Plateau. The Malwa plateau bounded by the Aravalli hills in the northwest and the Vindhyas in the south form the northern half of this peninsula.
The Chota Nagpur region forms the northeastern part of this plateau and is the richest mineral producing region of India. The valley of the Narmada River forms the southern boundary of this plateau. The Deccan plateau extends from the Satpura hills in the north to Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of mainland India, finally ending in the Indian Ocean.

Towards the west of this plateau lie the Western Ghats comprising of the Sahyadri, the Nilgiri, the Annamalai and the Cardamom Hills. On the eastern side, this plateau merges into a layer of discontinuous low hills known as the Mahendra Giri hills forming the Eastern Ghats.

Narrow coastal plains along the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal flank the Deccan Plateau on its eastern and western sides, respectively. The Western coastal plains lie between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, further split into the northern Konkan Coast and the southern Malabar Coast. The eastern coastal plains, on the other hand, lie between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal.

Towards the western half of India lies a vast stretch of land that is divided by the Aravalli Mountains into two separate units. The area west of the Aravalli comprises of the Thar Desert; made up of sand and interrupted by rocky hills and waterless valleys, this arid land, extend deep into Pakistan. The state of Gujarat lies to the east of this range and is one of the most prosperous regions in India.

These mainland areas apart, India has two groups of islands-the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and the Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian Sea.


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