Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

Geography for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

UPSC : Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

The document Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims.
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PHYSIOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS OF INDIA 

India is a country of vast physical diversity. There are high mountain peaks in some areas while in others, lie the flat plains formed by the deposition process of the Himalayan Rivers. 

On the basis of varied physiographic features, India is divided into six physiographic divisions:

  • The Northern Mountains
  • The Northern Plains
  • The Peninsular Plateau
  • The Indian Desert 
  • The Coastal Plains
  • The Islands

Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

Physiographic Zones of India

NORTHERN MOUNTAINS 

The northern mountains are further divided into three groups:

  • The Himalayas
  • The Trans Himalayas
  • The Northeastern Mountains or the Purvanchal hills

  The Himalayas

  • The young fold mountains run from west-east direction from Indus to Brahmaputra along the northern boundary of India.

Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

The Great Himalayas

  The Trans Himalayas

  • The Himalayan ranges north of the Great Himalayan range.
  • They are also known as the Tibetan Himalaya because most of the ranges lie in Tibet.
  • The Zaskar, the Ladakh, the Kailas and the Karakoram are the main ranges.
  • Mount Kailash (6,714 m) is the highest peak. Nanga Parbat (8,126 m) in the Zanskar range is an important peak.
  • River Indus originates from the northern slopes of the Kailash range.

  The Purvanchal Hills/Eastern Himalayas

  • The Northeastern Hills or the Purvanchal are the southward extension of Himalayas running along the north-eastern edge of India.
  • They run along the India-Myanmar Border extending from Arunachal Pradesh in the north to Mizoram in the south.
  • The Patkai Bum, Naga Hills and Mizo Hills are along the international boundary with Myanmar while the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia Hills are located along the border with Bangladesh.
  • Saramati (3,826 m) in Naga Hills and Blue Mountain (2,157 m) in the Mizo Hills are the important peaks.

Question 1:Which of the following hill/ranges is along the international boundary with Myanmar?

THE HIMALAYAS
Introduction 

The Himalayas represent the loftiest and one of the most rugged mountain barriers of the world. They form an arc, which covers a distance of about 2,400 Km spread uninterruptedly from Jammu & Kashmir in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east. Their width varies from 400 Km in Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh.Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

Location of Himalayas on the Earth

They are one of the 'newest fold mountains' of the world and they have come up during the Tertiary epoch under Alpine earth movement. The altitudinal variations are greater in the eastern half than those in the western half, which is why high mountain peaks like Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga are present in the Eastern Himalayas.

Formation of Himalayas 

The Himalayas are the result of the collision between the Eurasian plate (Angaraland) and the Indo-Australian plate (Gondwanaland).

Longitudinal Division of Himalayas

The Western Himalayas consists of three parallel ranges in its longitudinal extent. These ranges are:

  • The Great Himalayas or Inner Himalayan Range
  • The Lesser Himalayas or the Himachal Range
  • The Outer Himalayas or the Shiwalik Range

  Greater/ Outer Himalayas/ Himadri

  • The average height is 6000 m.
  • The average width is 120 to 190 kms.
  • The folds of the Great Himalayas are asymmetrical in nature.
  • These ranges are composed of archean rocks like granite, gneisses, and schists.
  • It contains all prominent Himalayan peaks. The highest peak of this range is Mount Everest or ‘Sagarmatha’.Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev
    The Great Himalayan Range
  • The Ganga, Yamuna, and their tributaries originate from the middle of this range and the Indus, Brahmaputra, and Alaknanda rivers have made antecedent valleys by passing through this range.
  • There are few passes and almost all of them have a height above 4,500 m.
    Example:
    1. Shipki La and Bara Lapcha La in Himachal Pradesh,
    2Burzil and Zozi La in Kashmir, Niti, Lipulekh and Thag La in Uttarakhand,
    3Jelep La and Nathu La in Sikkim.

  Lesser Himalayas/Himachal

  • These ranges have an average height of 3500-5000 m and have a width of 50-80 km.
  • These ranges are composed of metamorphic rocks.
  • It has the famous and beautiful hill stations which include Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet etc.
  • Important ranges include Pir Panjal, Dhauladhar, and Nag Tibba.
  • In Uttarakhand, the Middle Himalayas are marked by the Mussoorie and the Nag Tibba ranges.

Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

Lesser Himalaya Range


Range of Lesser Himalayas 

Pir Panjal - It is the longest and the most important range. It starts from near PatniTop in Jammu and Kashmir all the way to Garhwal passes through Himachal Pradesh.

DhaulaDhar Range - They begin from near Dalhousie at the northwest end of Himachal Pradesh and pass through the state to the vicinity of the bank of the Beas River in the Kulu.

  Sub Himalayas or Shiwaliks

  • These ranges have an average height of 1000 to 1500 m. and have an average width of 15 to 50 kms.
  • These ranges are made of clay, sand, gravel, slate, boulders etc.
  • The Doon valleys are situated in the ranges which include Dehradun, Patlidun, and Kothrud.

Question 2:Consider the following statements regarding the Himalayas:

1. They had formed due to the collision between the Indian-Australian Plate and the Eurasian plate.
2. The highest peak of Himalayas the Mount Everest is located in Shivaliks.
3. Lesser Himalayas are composed of metamorphic rocks.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Regional Divisions of Himalayas 

Besides the divisions into three parallel ranges, the Himalayas can also be divided on the basis of regions from west to east into the following:

  • Kashmir /Punjab/ Himachal Himalayas
  • Kumaun Himalayas
  • Central/ Nepal Himalayas/Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas
  • Assam/ Eastern Himalayas.  

Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

Regional Division of Himalayas

These divisions are demarcated by the river valleys:

  Kashmir /Punjab/ Himachal Himalayas

  • Areas: Lies in J&K, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and in some parts of Punjab. Lies between the Indus and Satluj river.
  • Features: Characterized by high snow-covered peaks, deep valleys, interlocked spurs and High Mountain passes. Karewa soil which is famous for the saffron and other dry fruit cultivation is found here.
  • Major Ranges: Karakoram, Ladakh, Pir Panjal, Zanskar and Dhauladhar.

  The Kumaun Himalayas

  • Area: Lies between the Satluj and Kali river.
  • Features: It is drained by the Indus and the Ganga river systems. It is distinguished by the ‘DUN’ formations like the Chandigarh-Kalka dun and Dehradun. They are inhabited by the Bhutias who migrate to the ‘Bugyals’ which are the summer grasslands. The ‘valley of flowers’ is located here.
  • Important peaks: Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kedarnath, Dunagiri, Kamet, Badrinath, Jaonli, Gangotri, and Bandarpunch.
  • Important Glaciers: Pindari, Gangotri, and Milam
  • Important Passes: Thaga La, Muling La, Mana, Mangsha Dhura and Lipu Lekh. 

  The Central / Nepal Himalayas/Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas

  • Area: Lies in Nepal, also it stretches from Kali river to the Kosi river (Nepal Himalayas) and between Kosi river to Teesta river (Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas).
  • Features: These are known for their fast flowing rivers like ‘TEESTA’ and their Tea plantations due to good rainfall all year and mild winters. They are also known for ‘DUAR’ formations. 
  • Important peaks: Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, and Gosainath.
  • Important Passes: Nathu La and Jelep La.

  Eastern Himalayas/The Assam Himalayas

  • Area: Stretches between the Tista river and the Brahmaputra River (Dihang).
  • Features: Himalayas are narrower; Shows dominance of fluvial erosion. In the north they are known as Patkai bum, Naga hills, Manipur hills and in the south as Mizo hills. The Barak is the most important river here. Mizoram as known as the ‘Molasses Basin'.
  • Important peaks: Namcha Barwa, Kula Kangri, etc.
  • Important Hills: Patkai bum, Manipur hills, Blue Mountains, Tripura range and Barail range.
  • Important Passes: Bomdi La, Yonggyap, Diphu, Pangsau, Tse La, Dihang, Debang, Tunga and Bom La.

Question 3:Which of the following regional Himalayas consist of  Karewa soil which is famous for the saffron and other dry fruit cultivation?

Glaciers and Snowline 
Glacier

  • A glacier is a huge mass of ice that moves slowly over land.
  • The term “glacier” comes from the French word glace (glah -SAY), which means ice. Glaciers are often called "rivers of ice".

Important Glaciers of Himalayas:

  • Karakoram Range: Siachen, Fedchenko (It is the longest glacier in the world outside of the polar regions), Hispar, Biafo and Baltoro.
  • Pir Panjal Range: Sonapani, Bara Shighi, Rakhiot and Gangri.
  • Kumaon-Garhwal Range: Kafni Glacier, Kalabaland Glacier, Kedar Bamak Glacier, Meola Glacier, Namik Glacier, Panchchuli Glacier, Pindari Glacier, Ralam Glacier, Satopanth Glacier and Chorabari Glacier.

Snowline

  • The climatic snow line is the boundary between a snow-covered and snow-free surface.
  • The snowline in the Western Himalaya is at a lower altitude than in the Eastern Himalaya, due to increase in latitude.

Question 4:Consider the following statements:
1. Fedchenko is the longest glacier in the world outside of the polar regions.
2. The western Himalayas snowline is at a higher altitude than the eastern Himalayas.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Mountain Peaks

The Himalayas contain many of the world’s tallest peaks, including Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, Mount Everest, Mount K2 and Kanchenjunga. The Himalayan mountain system is home to about 10 of 14 of the world's highest peaks. It also contains more than 50 peaks that have a height of over 7,000 m.

Mountain Passes

A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. A pass forms when a glacier or stream erodes or wears away, the land between areas of higher terrain. Passes often provide the easiest routes for people to travel across steep mountain ranges.

Important Passes in India 
A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. A pass forms when a glacier or stream erodes or wears away, the land between areas of higher terrain. Passes often provide the easiest routes for people to travel across steep mountain ranges.


Passes In Western Himalayas:
Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev


Passes of The Eastern Himalayas:
Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev


Passes in Southern India:Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

Question 5:Consider the following pairs:

Himalayas: Physiographic divisions of India Notes | EduRev

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct?    


Comparison between Western Himalayas and Eastern Himalayas:

  • Extension: Western Himalayas extend till west of River Kali whereas Eastern Himalayas extend from Kali to the Brahmaputra river.
  • Height: Western Himalayas rise in parts whereas Eastern Himalayas rises abruptly from the plains.
  • Vegetation: Western Himalayas are Coniferous forests and alpine vegetation.
  • Biodiversity: Western Himalayas have less biodiversity in comparison to eastern Himalayas.
  • Precipitation: Western Himalayas receive from the northwest monsoon in the winters; Eastern Himalayas receive south-eastern monsoon in the summers.
  • Snowline: Lower in Eastern Himalayas; Higher in Western Himalayas.
  • Altitude: It is higher in Western Himalayas than the Eastern Himalayas.

Comparison between Northern and Southern slopes of Himalayas:

  • Precipitation: Southern Slopes receive more as compared to Northern Slopes as it lies in rain shadow region.
  • Vegetation: Southern Slopes are covered with thick vegetation whereas Northern Slopes are generally barren. The volume of precipitation decreases from the south towards the north
  • Snowline: Due to a longer period of sunshine, less snow accumulates on the southern slopes than on the northern slopes.

Question 6:Consider the following statements:
1. Western Himalayas have more biodiversity in comparison to the eastern Himalayas.
2. Southern Slopes of Himalayas are covered with thick vegetation whereas Northern Slopes of Himalayas are generally barren.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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