NCERT Textbook - Human Settlements Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12)

Created by: Mehtab Ahmed

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Human Settlements Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II
Chapter 4
HUMAN
SETTLEMENTS
Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings
of any type or size where human beings live.
For this purpose, people may erect houses and
other structures and command some area or
territory as their economic support-base. Thus,
the process of settlement inherently involves
grouping of people and apportioning of territory
as their resource base.
Settlements vary in size and type. They
range from a hamlet to metropolitan cities. With
size, the economic character and social structure
of settlements changes and so do its ecology and
technology. Settlements could be small and
sparsely spaced; they may also be large and
closely spaced. The sparsely located small
settlements are called villages, specialising in
agriculture or other primary activities. On the
other hand, there are fewer but larger settlements
which are termed as urban settlements
specialising in secondary and tertiary activities.
The basic differences between rural and urban
settlements are as follows :
• The rural settlements derive their life
support or basic economic needs from
land based primary economic activities,
whereas, urban settlements, depend on
processing of raw materials and
manufacturing of finished goods on the
one hand and a variety of services on the
other.
• Cities act as nodes of economic growth,
provide goods and services not only to
urban dwellers but also to the people of
the rural settlements in their hinterlands
in return for food and raw materials. This
functional relationship between the urban
and rural settlements takes place through
transport and communication network.
• Rural and urban settlements differ in
terms of social relationship, attitude and
outlook. Rural people are less mobile and
therefore, social relations among them are
intimate. In urban areas, on the other
hand, way of life is complex and fast, and
social relations are formal.
T T T T Types of ypes of ypes of ypes of ypes of R R R R Rur ur ur ur ural Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement
Types of the settlement are determined by the
extent of the built-up area and inter-house
2015-16
Page 2


Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II
Chapter 4
HUMAN
SETTLEMENTS
Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings
of any type or size where human beings live.
For this purpose, people may erect houses and
other structures and command some area or
territory as their economic support-base. Thus,
the process of settlement inherently involves
grouping of people and apportioning of territory
as their resource base.
Settlements vary in size and type. They
range from a hamlet to metropolitan cities. With
size, the economic character and social structure
of settlements changes and so do its ecology and
technology. Settlements could be small and
sparsely spaced; they may also be large and
closely spaced. The sparsely located small
settlements are called villages, specialising in
agriculture or other primary activities. On the
other hand, there are fewer but larger settlements
which are termed as urban settlements
specialising in secondary and tertiary activities.
The basic differences between rural and urban
settlements are as follows :
• The rural settlements derive their life
support or basic economic needs from
land based primary economic activities,
whereas, urban settlements, depend on
processing of raw materials and
manufacturing of finished goods on the
one hand and a variety of services on the
other.
• Cities act as nodes of economic growth,
provide goods and services not only to
urban dwellers but also to the people of
the rural settlements in their hinterlands
in return for food and raw materials. This
functional relationship between the urban
and rural settlements takes place through
transport and communication network.
• Rural and urban settlements differ in
terms of social relationship, attitude and
outlook. Rural people are less mobile and
therefore, social relations among them are
intimate. In urban areas, on the other
hand, way of life is complex and fast, and
social relations are formal.
T T T T Types of ypes of ypes of ypes of ypes of R R R R Rur ur ur ur ural Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement
Types of the settlement are determined by the
extent of the built-up area and inter-house
2015-16
Semi-Clustered Settlements
Semi-clustered or fragmented settlements may
result from tendency of clustering in a
restricted area of dispersed settlement. More
often such a pattern may also result from
segregation or fragmentation of a large compact
village. In this case, one or more sections of
the village society choose or is forced to live a
little away from the main cluster or village. In
such cases, generally, the land-owning and
dominant community occupies the central part
of the main village, whereas people of lower
strata of society and menial workers settle on
the outer flanks of the village. Such settlements
are widespread in the Gujarat plain and some
parts of Rajasthan.
distance. In India compact or clustered village
of a few hundred houses is a rather universal
feature, particularly in the northern plains.
However, there are several areas, which have
other forms of rural settlements. There are
various factors and conditions responsible for
having different types of rural settlements in
India. These include: (i) physical features –
nature of terrain, altitude, climate and
availability of water (ii) cultural and ethenic
factors – social structure, caste and religion
(iii) security factors – defence against thefts and
robberies. Rural settlements in India can
broadly be put into four types:
• Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated,
• Semi-clustered or fragmented,
• Hamleted, and
• Dispersed or isolated.
Clustered Settlements
The clustered rural settlement is a compact or
closely built up area of houses. In this type of
village the general living area is distinct and
separated from the surrounding farms, barns
and pastures. The closely built-up area and its
intervening streets present some recognisable
pattern or geometric shape, such as
rectangular, radial, linear, etc. Such settlements
are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and
in the northeastern states. Sometimes, people
live in compact village for security or defence
reasons, such as in the Bundelkhand region of
central India and in Nagaland. In Rajasthan,
scarcity of water has necessitated compact
settlement for maximum utilisation of available
water resources.
Hamleted Settlements
Sometimes settlement is fragmented into several
units physically separated from each other
bearing a common name. These units are locally
called panna, para, palli, nagla, dhani, etc. in
various parts of the country. This segmentation
of a large village is often motivated by social
and ethnic factors. Such villages are more
frequently found in the middle and lower Ganga
plain, Chhattisgarh and lower valleys of the
Himalayas.
Dispersed Settlements
Dispersed or isolated settlement pattern in India
appears in the form of isolated huts or hamlets
of few huts in remote jungles, or on small hills
Fig. 4.1 : Clustered Settlements in the North-eastern states
Fig. 4.2 : Semi-clustered settlements
Human Settlements     33
2015-16
Page 3


Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II
Chapter 4
HUMAN
SETTLEMENTS
Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings
of any type or size where human beings live.
For this purpose, people may erect houses and
other structures and command some area or
territory as their economic support-base. Thus,
the process of settlement inherently involves
grouping of people and apportioning of territory
as their resource base.
Settlements vary in size and type. They
range from a hamlet to metropolitan cities. With
size, the economic character and social structure
of settlements changes and so do its ecology and
technology. Settlements could be small and
sparsely spaced; they may also be large and
closely spaced. The sparsely located small
settlements are called villages, specialising in
agriculture or other primary activities. On the
other hand, there are fewer but larger settlements
which are termed as urban settlements
specialising in secondary and tertiary activities.
The basic differences between rural and urban
settlements are as follows :
• The rural settlements derive their life
support or basic economic needs from
land based primary economic activities,
whereas, urban settlements, depend on
processing of raw materials and
manufacturing of finished goods on the
one hand and a variety of services on the
other.
• Cities act as nodes of economic growth,
provide goods and services not only to
urban dwellers but also to the people of
the rural settlements in their hinterlands
in return for food and raw materials. This
functional relationship between the urban
and rural settlements takes place through
transport and communication network.
• Rural and urban settlements differ in
terms of social relationship, attitude and
outlook. Rural people are less mobile and
therefore, social relations among them are
intimate. In urban areas, on the other
hand, way of life is complex and fast, and
social relations are formal.
T T T T Types of ypes of ypes of ypes of ypes of R R R R Rur ur ur ur ural Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement
Types of the settlement are determined by the
extent of the built-up area and inter-house
2015-16
Semi-Clustered Settlements
Semi-clustered or fragmented settlements may
result from tendency of clustering in a
restricted area of dispersed settlement. More
often such a pattern may also result from
segregation or fragmentation of a large compact
village. In this case, one or more sections of
the village society choose or is forced to live a
little away from the main cluster or village. In
such cases, generally, the land-owning and
dominant community occupies the central part
of the main village, whereas people of lower
strata of society and menial workers settle on
the outer flanks of the village. Such settlements
are widespread in the Gujarat plain and some
parts of Rajasthan.
distance. In India compact or clustered village
of a few hundred houses is a rather universal
feature, particularly in the northern plains.
However, there are several areas, which have
other forms of rural settlements. There are
various factors and conditions responsible for
having different types of rural settlements in
India. These include: (i) physical features –
nature of terrain, altitude, climate and
availability of water (ii) cultural and ethenic
factors – social structure, caste and religion
(iii) security factors – defence against thefts and
robberies. Rural settlements in India can
broadly be put into four types:
• Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated,
• Semi-clustered or fragmented,
• Hamleted, and
• Dispersed or isolated.
Clustered Settlements
The clustered rural settlement is a compact or
closely built up area of houses. In this type of
village the general living area is distinct and
separated from the surrounding farms, barns
and pastures. The closely built-up area and its
intervening streets present some recognisable
pattern or geometric shape, such as
rectangular, radial, linear, etc. Such settlements
are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and
in the northeastern states. Sometimes, people
live in compact village for security or defence
reasons, such as in the Bundelkhand region of
central India and in Nagaland. In Rajasthan,
scarcity of water has necessitated compact
settlement for maximum utilisation of available
water resources.
Hamleted Settlements
Sometimes settlement is fragmented into several
units physically separated from each other
bearing a common name. These units are locally
called panna, para, palli, nagla, dhani, etc. in
various parts of the country. This segmentation
of a large village is often motivated by social
and ethnic factors. Such villages are more
frequently found in the middle and lower Ganga
plain, Chhattisgarh and lower valleys of the
Himalayas.
Dispersed Settlements
Dispersed or isolated settlement pattern in India
appears in the form of isolated huts or hamlets
of few huts in remote jungles, or on small hills
Fig. 4.1 : Clustered Settlements in the North-eastern states
Fig. 4.2 : Semi-clustered settlements
Human Settlements     33
2015-16
34 India : People and Economy
Ancient Towns
There are number of towns in India having
historical background spanning over 2000
years. Most of them developed as religious and
cultural centres. Varanasi is one of the important
towns among these. Prayag (Allahabad),
Pataliputra (Patna), Madurai are some other
examples of ancient towns in the country.
Medieval Towns
About 100 of the existing towns have their roots
in the medieval period. Most of them developed
as headquarters of principalities and kingdoms.
These are fort towns which came up on the
ruins of ancient towns. Important among them
are Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Agra
and Nagpur.
Modern Towns
The British and other Europeans have
developed a number of towns in India.
Starting their foothold on coastal locations,
they first developed some trading ports such
as Surat, Daman, Goa, Pondicherry, etc. The
British later consolidated their hold around
three principal nodes – Mumbai (Bombay),
Chennai (Madras), and Kolkata (Calcutta) –
and built them in the British style. Rapidly
with farms or pasture on the slopes. Extreme
dispersion of settlement is often caused by
extremely fragmented nature of the terrain and
land resource base of habitable areas. Many
areas of Meghalaya, Uttaranchal, Himachal
Pradesh and Kerala have this type of settlement.
Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements
Unlike rural settlements, urban settlements
are generally compact and larger in size.
They are engaged in a variety of non-
agricultural, economic and administrative
functions. As mentioned earlier, cities are
functionally linked to rural areas around
them. Thus, exchange of goods and services
is performed sometimes directly and
sometimes through a series of market towns
and cities. Thus, cities are connected directly
as well as indirectly with the villages and also
with each other. You can see the definition
of towns in Chapter 10 of the book,
“Fundamentals of Human Geography.”
Evolution of Towns in India
Towns flourished since prehistoric times in
India. Even at the time of Indus valley
civilisation, towns like Harappa and
Mohanjodaro were in existence. The following
period has witnessed evolution of towns. It
continued with periodic ups and downs until
the arrival of Europeans in India in the
eighteenth century. On the basis of their
evolution in different periods, Indian towns may
be classified as:
• Ancient towns, • Medieval towns, and
• Modern towns.
extending their domination either directly or
through control over the princely states, they
established their administrative centres, hill-
towns as summer resorts, and added new civil,
Fig. 4.3 : Dispersed settlements in Nagaland
Fig. 4.4 : A view of the modern city
2015-16
Page 4


Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II
Chapter 4
HUMAN
SETTLEMENTS
Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings
of any type or size where human beings live.
For this purpose, people may erect houses and
other structures and command some area or
territory as their economic support-base. Thus,
the process of settlement inherently involves
grouping of people and apportioning of territory
as their resource base.
Settlements vary in size and type. They
range from a hamlet to metropolitan cities. With
size, the economic character and social structure
of settlements changes and so do its ecology and
technology. Settlements could be small and
sparsely spaced; they may also be large and
closely spaced. The sparsely located small
settlements are called villages, specialising in
agriculture or other primary activities. On the
other hand, there are fewer but larger settlements
which are termed as urban settlements
specialising in secondary and tertiary activities.
The basic differences between rural and urban
settlements are as follows :
• The rural settlements derive their life
support or basic economic needs from
land based primary economic activities,
whereas, urban settlements, depend on
processing of raw materials and
manufacturing of finished goods on the
one hand and a variety of services on the
other.
• Cities act as nodes of economic growth,
provide goods and services not only to
urban dwellers but also to the people of
the rural settlements in their hinterlands
in return for food and raw materials. This
functional relationship between the urban
and rural settlements takes place through
transport and communication network.
• Rural and urban settlements differ in
terms of social relationship, attitude and
outlook. Rural people are less mobile and
therefore, social relations among them are
intimate. In urban areas, on the other
hand, way of life is complex and fast, and
social relations are formal.
T T T T Types of ypes of ypes of ypes of ypes of R R R R Rur ur ur ur ural Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement
Types of the settlement are determined by the
extent of the built-up area and inter-house
2015-16
Semi-Clustered Settlements
Semi-clustered or fragmented settlements may
result from tendency of clustering in a
restricted area of dispersed settlement. More
often such a pattern may also result from
segregation or fragmentation of a large compact
village. In this case, one or more sections of
the village society choose or is forced to live a
little away from the main cluster or village. In
such cases, generally, the land-owning and
dominant community occupies the central part
of the main village, whereas people of lower
strata of society and menial workers settle on
the outer flanks of the village. Such settlements
are widespread in the Gujarat plain and some
parts of Rajasthan.
distance. In India compact or clustered village
of a few hundred houses is a rather universal
feature, particularly in the northern plains.
However, there are several areas, which have
other forms of rural settlements. There are
various factors and conditions responsible for
having different types of rural settlements in
India. These include: (i) physical features –
nature of terrain, altitude, climate and
availability of water (ii) cultural and ethenic
factors – social structure, caste and religion
(iii) security factors – defence against thefts and
robberies. Rural settlements in India can
broadly be put into four types:
• Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated,
• Semi-clustered or fragmented,
• Hamleted, and
• Dispersed or isolated.
Clustered Settlements
The clustered rural settlement is a compact or
closely built up area of houses. In this type of
village the general living area is distinct and
separated from the surrounding farms, barns
and pastures. The closely built-up area and its
intervening streets present some recognisable
pattern or geometric shape, such as
rectangular, radial, linear, etc. Such settlements
are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and
in the northeastern states. Sometimes, people
live in compact village for security or defence
reasons, such as in the Bundelkhand region of
central India and in Nagaland. In Rajasthan,
scarcity of water has necessitated compact
settlement for maximum utilisation of available
water resources.
Hamleted Settlements
Sometimes settlement is fragmented into several
units physically separated from each other
bearing a common name. These units are locally
called panna, para, palli, nagla, dhani, etc. in
various parts of the country. This segmentation
of a large village is often motivated by social
and ethnic factors. Such villages are more
frequently found in the middle and lower Ganga
plain, Chhattisgarh and lower valleys of the
Himalayas.
Dispersed Settlements
Dispersed or isolated settlement pattern in India
appears in the form of isolated huts or hamlets
of few huts in remote jungles, or on small hills
Fig. 4.1 : Clustered Settlements in the North-eastern states
Fig. 4.2 : Semi-clustered settlements
Human Settlements     33
2015-16
34 India : People and Economy
Ancient Towns
There are number of towns in India having
historical background spanning over 2000
years. Most of them developed as religious and
cultural centres. Varanasi is one of the important
towns among these. Prayag (Allahabad),
Pataliputra (Patna), Madurai are some other
examples of ancient towns in the country.
Medieval Towns
About 100 of the existing towns have their roots
in the medieval period. Most of them developed
as headquarters of principalities and kingdoms.
These are fort towns which came up on the
ruins of ancient towns. Important among them
are Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Agra
and Nagpur.
Modern Towns
The British and other Europeans have
developed a number of towns in India.
Starting their foothold on coastal locations,
they first developed some trading ports such
as Surat, Daman, Goa, Pondicherry, etc. The
British later consolidated their hold around
three principal nodes – Mumbai (Bombay),
Chennai (Madras), and Kolkata (Calcutta) –
and built them in the British style. Rapidly
with farms or pasture on the slopes. Extreme
dispersion of settlement is often caused by
extremely fragmented nature of the terrain and
land resource base of habitable areas. Many
areas of Meghalaya, Uttaranchal, Himachal
Pradesh and Kerala have this type of settlement.
Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements
Unlike rural settlements, urban settlements
are generally compact and larger in size.
They are engaged in a variety of non-
agricultural, economic and administrative
functions. As mentioned earlier, cities are
functionally linked to rural areas around
them. Thus, exchange of goods and services
is performed sometimes directly and
sometimes through a series of market towns
and cities. Thus, cities are connected directly
as well as indirectly with the villages and also
with each other. You can see the definition
of towns in Chapter 10 of the book,
“Fundamentals of Human Geography.”
Evolution of Towns in India
Towns flourished since prehistoric times in
India. Even at the time of Indus valley
civilisation, towns like Harappa and
Mohanjodaro were in existence. The following
period has witnessed evolution of towns. It
continued with periodic ups and downs until
the arrival of Europeans in India in the
eighteenth century. On the basis of their
evolution in different periods, Indian towns may
be classified as:
• Ancient towns, • Medieval towns, and
• Modern towns.
extending their domination either directly or
through control over the princely states, they
established their administrative centres, hill-
towns as summer resorts, and added new civil,
Fig. 4.3 : Dispersed settlements in Nagaland
Fig. 4.4 : A view of the modern city
2015-16
Human Settlements     35
Fig. 4.5 : India – Metropolitan Cities, 2001
2015-16
Page 5


Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II Unit II
Chapter 4
HUMAN
SETTLEMENTS
Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings
of any type or size where human beings live.
For this purpose, people may erect houses and
other structures and command some area or
territory as their economic support-base. Thus,
the process of settlement inherently involves
grouping of people and apportioning of territory
as their resource base.
Settlements vary in size and type. They
range from a hamlet to metropolitan cities. With
size, the economic character and social structure
of settlements changes and so do its ecology and
technology. Settlements could be small and
sparsely spaced; they may also be large and
closely spaced. The sparsely located small
settlements are called villages, specialising in
agriculture or other primary activities. On the
other hand, there are fewer but larger settlements
which are termed as urban settlements
specialising in secondary and tertiary activities.
The basic differences between rural and urban
settlements are as follows :
• The rural settlements derive their life
support or basic economic needs from
land based primary economic activities,
whereas, urban settlements, depend on
processing of raw materials and
manufacturing of finished goods on the
one hand and a variety of services on the
other.
• Cities act as nodes of economic growth,
provide goods and services not only to
urban dwellers but also to the people of
the rural settlements in their hinterlands
in return for food and raw materials. This
functional relationship between the urban
and rural settlements takes place through
transport and communication network.
• Rural and urban settlements differ in
terms of social relationship, attitude and
outlook. Rural people are less mobile and
therefore, social relations among them are
intimate. In urban areas, on the other
hand, way of life is complex and fast, and
social relations are formal.
T T T T Types of ypes of ypes of ypes of ypes of R R R R Rur ur ur ur ural Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement al Settlement
Types of the settlement are determined by the
extent of the built-up area and inter-house
2015-16
Semi-Clustered Settlements
Semi-clustered or fragmented settlements may
result from tendency of clustering in a
restricted area of dispersed settlement. More
often such a pattern may also result from
segregation or fragmentation of a large compact
village. In this case, one or more sections of
the village society choose or is forced to live a
little away from the main cluster or village. In
such cases, generally, the land-owning and
dominant community occupies the central part
of the main village, whereas people of lower
strata of society and menial workers settle on
the outer flanks of the village. Such settlements
are widespread in the Gujarat plain and some
parts of Rajasthan.
distance. In India compact or clustered village
of a few hundred houses is a rather universal
feature, particularly in the northern plains.
However, there are several areas, which have
other forms of rural settlements. There are
various factors and conditions responsible for
having different types of rural settlements in
India. These include: (i) physical features –
nature of terrain, altitude, climate and
availability of water (ii) cultural and ethenic
factors – social structure, caste and religion
(iii) security factors – defence against thefts and
robberies. Rural settlements in India can
broadly be put into four types:
• Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated,
• Semi-clustered or fragmented,
• Hamleted, and
• Dispersed or isolated.
Clustered Settlements
The clustered rural settlement is a compact or
closely built up area of houses. In this type of
village the general living area is distinct and
separated from the surrounding farms, barns
and pastures. The closely built-up area and its
intervening streets present some recognisable
pattern or geometric shape, such as
rectangular, radial, linear, etc. Such settlements
are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and
in the northeastern states. Sometimes, people
live in compact village for security or defence
reasons, such as in the Bundelkhand region of
central India and in Nagaland. In Rajasthan,
scarcity of water has necessitated compact
settlement for maximum utilisation of available
water resources.
Hamleted Settlements
Sometimes settlement is fragmented into several
units physically separated from each other
bearing a common name. These units are locally
called panna, para, palli, nagla, dhani, etc. in
various parts of the country. This segmentation
of a large village is often motivated by social
and ethnic factors. Such villages are more
frequently found in the middle and lower Ganga
plain, Chhattisgarh and lower valleys of the
Himalayas.
Dispersed Settlements
Dispersed or isolated settlement pattern in India
appears in the form of isolated huts or hamlets
of few huts in remote jungles, or on small hills
Fig. 4.1 : Clustered Settlements in the North-eastern states
Fig. 4.2 : Semi-clustered settlements
Human Settlements     33
2015-16
34 India : People and Economy
Ancient Towns
There are number of towns in India having
historical background spanning over 2000
years. Most of them developed as religious and
cultural centres. Varanasi is one of the important
towns among these. Prayag (Allahabad),
Pataliputra (Patna), Madurai are some other
examples of ancient towns in the country.
Medieval Towns
About 100 of the existing towns have their roots
in the medieval period. Most of them developed
as headquarters of principalities and kingdoms.
These are fort towns which came up on the
ruins of ancient towns. Important among them
are Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Agra
and Nagpur.
Modern Towns
The British and other Europeans have
developed a number of towns in India.
Starting their foothold on coastal locations,
they first developed some trading ports such
as Surat, Daman, Goa, Pondicherry, etc. The
British later consolidated their hold around
three principal nodes – Mumbai (Bombay),
Chennai (Madras), and Kolkata (Calcutta) –
and built them in the British style. Rapidly
with farms or pasture on the slopes. Extreme
dispersion of settlement is often caused by
extremely fragmented nature of the terrain and
land resource base of habitable areas. Many
areas of Meghalaya, Uttaranchal, Himachal
Pradesh and Kerala have this type of settlement.
Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements Urban Settlements
Unlike rural settlements, urban settlements
are generally compact and larger in size.
They are engaged in a variety of non-
agricultural, economic and administrative
functions. As mentioned earlier, cities are
functionally linked to rural areas around
them. Thus, exchange of goods and services
is performed sometimes directly and
sometimes through a series of market towns
and cities. Thus, cities are connected directly
as well as indirectly with the villages and also
with each other. You can see the definition
of towns in Chapter 10 of the book,
“Fundamentals of Human Geography.”
Evolution of Towns in India
Towns flourished since prehistoric times in
India. Even at the time of Indus valley
civilisation, towns like Harappa and
Mohanjodaro were in existence. The following
period has witnessed evolution of towns. It
continued with periodic ups and downs until
the arrival of Europeans in India in the
eighteenth century. On the basis of their
evolution in different periods, Indian towns may
be classified as:
• Ancient towns, • Medieval towns, and
• Modern towns.
extending their domination either directly or
through control over the princely states, they
established their administrative centres, hill-
towns as summer resorts, and added new civil,
Fig. 4.3 : Dispersed settlements in Nagaland
Fig. 4.4 : A view of the modern city
2015-16
Human Settlements     35
Fig. 4.5 : India – Metropolitan Cities, 2001
2015-16
36 India : People and Economy
Year Number of Urban Population % of Total Decennial
Towns/UAs (in Thousands) Population Growth (%)
1901 1,827 25,851.9 10.84 —-
1911 1,815 25,941.6 10.29 0.35
1921 1,949 28,086.2 11.18 8.27
1931 2,072 33,456.0 11.99 19.12
1941 2,250 44,153.3 13.86 31.97
1951 2,843 62,443.7 17.29 41.42
1961 2,365 78,936.6 17.97 26.41
1971 2,590 1,09,114 19.91 38.23
1981 3,378 1,59,463 23.34 46.14
1991 4,689 2,17,611 25.71 36.47
2001 5,161 2,85,355 27.78 31.13
2011* 7,935 3,77,000 31.16 31.08
Table 4.1 : India – Trends of Urbanisation 1901-2011
administrative and military areas to them.
Towns based on modern industries also
evolved after 1850. Jamshedpur can be cited
as an example.
After independence, a large number of
towns have been developed as administrative
headquarters, e.g. Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar,
Gandhinagar, Dispur, etc. and industrial
centres such as Durgapur, Bhilai, Sindri,
Barauni. Some old towns also developed
as satellite towns around metropolitan
cities such as Ghaziabad, Rohtak, Gurgaon
around Delhi. With increasing investment
in rural areas, a large number of medium
and small towns have developed all over
the country.
Urbanisation in India Urbanisation in India Urbanisation in India Urbanisation in India Urbanisation in India
The level of urbanisation is measured in
terms of percentage of urban population to
total population. The level of urbanisation in
India in 2001 was 28 per cent, which is quite
low in comparison to developed countries.
Total urban population has increased eleven
fold during twentieth century. Enlargement
of urban centres and emergence of new towns
have played a significant role in the growth
of urban population and urbanisation in the
country. (Table 4.1). But the growth rate of
urbanisation has slowed down during last
two decades.
Classification of Towns on the basis of
Population Size
Census of India classifies urban centres into
six classes as presented in Table 4.2. Urban
centre with population of more than one lakh
is called a city or class I town. Cities
accommodating population size between one
to five million are called metropolitan cities and
more than five million are mega cities. Majority
of metropolitan and mega cities are urban
agglomerations. An urban agglomeration may
consist of any one of the following three
Fig. 4.6 : India : Distribution of urban
population (%), according to size class of
urban centre — 2001
*Source: Census of India, 2011 http.//www.censusindia.gov.in (Provisional)
2015-16
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