NCERT Textbook - Physical Features of India Class 9 Notes | EduRev

Social Studies (SST) Class 9

Class 9 : NCERT Textbook - Physical Features of India Class 9 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Y
ou have already learnt earlier that India
is a vast country with varied land forms.
What kind of terrain do you live in?  If
you live in the plains, you are familiar with the
vast stretches of plain land. In contrast, if you
live in hilly region, the rugged terrain with
mountains and valleys are common features.
In fact, our country has practically all major
physical features of the earth, i.e., mountains,
plains, deserts, plateaus and islands.
The land of India displays great physical
variation. Geologically, the Peninsular Plateau
constitutes one of the ancient landmasses on
the earth’s surface. It was supposed to be one
of the most stable land blocks. The Himalayas
and the Northern Plains are the most recent
landforms. From the view point of geology,
Himalayan mountains form an unstable zone.
The whole mountain system of Himalaya
represents a very youthful topography with
high peaks, deep valleys and fast flowing rivers.
The northern plains are formed of alluvial
deposits. The peninsular plateau is composed
of igneous and metamorphic rocks with gently
rising hills and wide valleys.
MAJOR PHYSIOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS
The physical  features of India can be grouped
under the following physiographic divisions
(Figure 2.2):
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA
(1) The Himalayan Mountains
(2) The Northern Plains
(3) The Peninsular Plateau
(4) The Indian Desert
(5) The Coastal Plains
(6) The Islands
The Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayas, geologically young and
structurally fold mountains stretch over the
northern borders of India. These mountain
ranges run in a west-east direction from the
Indus to the Brahmaputra. 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. Their width varies from 400 Km in
Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh. The
altitudinal variations are greater in the eastern
half than those in the western half. The
Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in
its longitudinal extent. A number of valleys lie
between these ranges. The northern-most
range is known as the Great or Inner
Himalayas or the Himadri. It is the most
continuous range consisting of the loftiest
peaks with an average height of
6,000 metres. It contains all prominent
Himalayan peaks.
2
2020-21
Page 2


Y
ou have already learnt earlier that India
is a vast country with varied land forms.
What kind of terrain do you live in?  If
you live in the plains, you are familiar with the
vast stretches of plain land. In contrast, if you
live in hilly region, the rugged terrain with
mountains and valleys are common features.
In fact, our country has practically all major
physical features of the earth, i.e., mountains,
plains, deserts, plateaus and islands.
The land of India displays great physical
variation. Geologically, the Peninsular Plateau
constitutes one of the ancient landmasses on
the earth’s surface. It was supposed to be one
of the most stable land blocks. The Himalayas
and the Northern Plains are the most recent
landforms. From the view point of geology,
Himalayan mountains form an unstable zone.
The whole mountain system of Himalaya
represents a very youthful topography with
high peaks, deep valleys and fast flowing rivers.
The northern plains are formed of alluvial
deposits. The peninsular plateau is composed
of igneous and metamorphic rocks with gently
rising hills and wide valleys.
MAJOR PHYSIOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS
The physical  features of India can be grouped
under the following physiographic divisions
(Figure 2.2):
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA
(1) The Himalayan Mountains
(2) The Northern Plains
(3) The Peninsular Plateau
(4) The Indian Desert
(5) The Coastal Plains
(6) The Islands
The Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayas, geologically young and
structurally fold mountains stretch over the
northern borders of India. These mountain
ranges run in a west-east direction from the
Indus to the Brahmaputra. 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. Their width varies from 400 Km in
Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh. The
altitudinal variations are greater in the eastern
half than those in the western half. The
Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in
its longitudinal extent. A number of valleys lie
between these ranges. The northern-most
range is known as the Great or Inner
Himalayas or the Himadri. It is the most
continuous range consisting of the loftiest
peaks with an average height of
6,000 metres. It contains all prominent
Himalayan peaks.
2
2020-21
8 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Some Highest Peaks of the Himalayas
Peak Country Height
in metres
Mt. Everest Nepal 8848
Kanchenjunga India 8598
Makalu Nepal 8481
Dhaulagiri Nepal 8172
Nanga Parbat India 8126
Annapurna Nepal 8078
Nanda Devi India 7817
Kamet India 7756
Namcha Barwa India 7756
Gurla Mandhata Nepal 7728
The folds of the Great Himalayas are
asymmetrical in nature. The core of this part
of Himalayas is composed of granite. It is
perennially snow bound, and a number of
glaciers descend from this range.
Figure 2.1 : Himalayas
The range lying to the south of the
Himadri forms the most rugged mountain
system and is known as Himachal or lesser
Himalaya. The ranges are mainly composed
of highly compressed and altered rocks. The
altitude varies between 3,700 and 4,500
metres and the average width is of 50 Km.
While the Pir Panjal range forms the longest
and the most important range, the Dhaula
Dhar and the Mahabharat ranges are also
prominent ones. This range consists of the
famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and
Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This
region is well-known for its hill stations.
•  The names of the glaciers and passes
that lie in the Great Himalayas.
•   The  name of  the states where the highest
peaks are located.
• Location of  Mussoorie, Nainital,
Ranikhet from your atlas and also name the state
where they are located.
The outer-most range of the Himalayas is
called the Shiwaliks. They extend over a width
2020-21
Page 3


Y
ou have already learnt earlier that India
is a vast country with varied land forms.
What kind of terrain do you live in?  If
you live in the plains, you are familiar with the
vast stretches of plain land. In contrast, if you
live in hilly region, the rugged terrain with
mountains and valleys are common features.
In fact, our country has practically all major
physical features of the earth, i.e., mountains,
plains, deserts, plateaus and islands.
The land of India displays great physical
variation. Geologically, the Peninsular Plateau
constitutes one of the ancient landmasses on
the earth’s surface. It was supposed to be one
of the most stable land blocks. The Himalayas
and the Northern Plains are the most recent
landforms. From the view point of geology,
Himalayan mountains form an unstable zone.
The whole mountain system of Himalaya
represents a very youthful topography with
high peaks, deep valleys and fast flowing rivers.
The northern plains are formed of alluvial
deposits. The peninsular plateau is composed
of igneous and metamorphic rocks with gently
rising hills and wide valleys.
MAJOR PHYSIOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS
The physical  features of India can be grouped
under the following physiographic divisions
(Figure 2.2):
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA
(1) The Himalayan Mountains
(2) The Northern Plains
(3) The Peninsular Plateau
(4) The Indian Desert
(5) The Coastal Plains
(6) The Islands
The Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayas, geologically young and
structurally fold mountains stretch over the
northern borders of India. These mountain
ranges run in a west-east direction from the
Indus to the Brahmaputra. 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. Their width varies from 400 Km in
Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh. The
altitudinal variations are greater in the eastern
half than those in the western half. The
Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in
its longitudinal extent. A number of valleys lie
between these ranges. The northern-most
range is known as the Great or Inner
Himalayas or the Himadri. It is the most
continuous range consisting of the loftiest
peaks with an average height of
6,000 metres. It contains all prominent
Himalayan peaks.
2
2020-21
8 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Some Highest Peaks of the Himalayas
Peak Country Height
in metres
Mt. Everest Nepal 8848
Kanchenjunga India 8598
Makalu Nepal 8481
Dhaulagiri Nepal 8172
Nanga Parbat India 8126
Annapurna Nepal 8078
Nanda Devi India 7817
Kamet India 7756
Namcha Barwa India 7756
Gurla Mandhata Nepal 7728
The folds of the Great Himalayas are
asymmetrical in nature. The core of this part
of Himalayas is composed of granite. It is
perennially snow bound, and a number of
glaciers descend from this range.
Figure 2.1 : Himalayas
The range lying to the south of the
Himadri forms the most rugged mountain
system and is known as Himachal or lesser
Himalaya. The ranges are mainly composed
of highly compressed and altered rocks. The
altitude varies between 3,700 and 4,500
metres and the average width is of 50 Km.
While the Pir Panjal range forms the longest
and the most important range, the Dhaula
Dhar and the Mahabharat ranges are also
prominent ones. This range consists of the
famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and
Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This
region is well-known for its hill stations.
•  The names of the glaciers and passes
that lie in the Great Himalayas.
•   The  name of  the states where the highest
peaks are located.
• Location of  Mussoorie, Nainital,
Ranikhet from your atlas and also name the state
where they are located.
The outer-most range of the Himalayas is
called the Shiwaliks. They extend over a width
2020-21
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA 9
Figure 2.2 : Relief
2020-21
Page 4


Y
ou have already learnt earlier that India
is a vast country with varied land forms.
What kind of terrain do you live in?  If
you live in the plains, you are familiar with the
vast stretches of plain land. In contrast, if you
live in hilly region, the rugged terrain with
mountains and valleys are common features.
In fact, our country has practically all major
physical features of the earth, i.e., mountains,
plains, deserts, plateaus and islands.
The land of India displays great physical
variation. Geologically, the Peninsular Plateau
constitutes one of the ancient landmasses on
the earth’s surface. It was supposed to be one
of the most stable land blocks. The Himalayas
and the Northern Plains are the most recent
landforms. From the view point of geology,
Himalayan mountains form an unstable zone.
The whole mountain system of Himalaya
represents a very youthful topography with
high peaks, deep valleys and fast flowing rivers.
The northern plains are formed of alluvial
deposits. The peninsular plateau is composed
of igneous and metamorphic rocks with gently
rising hills and wide valleys.
MAJOR PHYSIOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS
The physical  features of India can be grouped
under the following physiographic divisions
(Figure 2.2):
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA
(1) The Himalayan Mountains
(2) The Northern Plains
(3) The Peninsular Plateau
(4) The Indian Desert
(5) The Coastal Plains
(6) The Islands
The Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayas, geologically young and
structurally fold mountains stretch over the
northern borders of India. These mountain
ranges run in a west-east direction from the
Indus to the Brahmaputra. 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. Their width varies from 400 Km in
Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh. The
altitudinal variations are greater in the eastern
half than those in the western half. The
Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in
its longitudinal extent. A number of valleys lie
between these ranges. The northern-most
range is known as the Great or Inner
Himalayas or the Himadri. It is the most
continuous range consisting of the loftiest
peaks with an average height of
6,000 metres. It contains all prominent
Himalayan peaks.
2
2020-21
8 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Some Highest Peaks of the Himalayas
Peak Country Height
in metres
Mt. Everest Nepal 8848
Kanchenjunga India 8598
Makalu Nepal 8481
Dhaulagiri Nepal 8172
Nanga Parbat India 8126
Annapurna Nepal 8078
Nanda Devi India 7817
Kamet India 7756
Namcha Barwa India 7756
Gurla Mandhata Nepal 7728
The folds of the Great Himalayas are
asymmetrical in nature. The core of this part
of Himalayas is composed of granite. It is
perennially snow bound, and a number of
glaciers descend from this range.
Figure 2.1 : Himalayas
The range lying to the south of the
Himadri forms the most rugged mountain
system and is known as Himachal or lesser
Himalaya. The ranges are mainly composed
of highly compressed and altered rocks. The
altitude varies between 3,700 and 4,500
metres and the average width is of 50 Km.
While the Pir Panjal range forms the longest
and the most important range, the Dhaula
Dhar and the Mahabharat ranges are also
prominent ones. This range consists of the
famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and
Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This
region is well-known for its hill stations.
•  The names of the glaciers and passes
that lie in the Great Himalayas.
•   The  name of  the states where the highest
peaks are located.
• Location of  Mussoorie, Nainital,
Ranikhet from your atlas and also name the state
where they are located.
The outer-most range of the Himalayas is
called the Shiwaliks. They extend over a width
2020-21
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA 9
Figure 2.2 : Relief
2020-21
10 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Figure 2.3 : The Himalayas
Figure 2.4 : Mizo Hills
of 10-50 Km and have an altitude varying
between 900 and 1100 metres. These ranges
are composed of unconsolidated sediments
brought down by rivers from the main
Himalayan ranges located farther north.
These valleys are covered with thick
gravel and alluvium. The longitudinal valley
lying between lesser Himalaya and the
Shiwaliks are known as Duns. Dehra Dun,
Kotli Dun and Patli Dun are some of the
well-known Duns.
Besides the longitudinal divisions, the
Himalayas have been divided on the basis of
regions from west to east. These divisions
have been demarcated by river valleys. For
example, the part of Himalayas lying between
Indus and Satluj has been traditionally
known as Punjab Himalaya but it is also
known regionally as Kashmir and Himachal
Himalaya from west to east respectively. The
part of the Himalayas lying between Satluj
and Kali rivers is known as Kumaon
Himalayas. The Kali and Teesta rivers
demarcate the Nepal Himalayas and the part
lying between Teesta and Dihang rivers is
known as Assam Himalayas. There are
regional names also in these broad
categories. Find out some regional names of
the Himalayas
The Brahmaputra marks the eastern-most
boundary of the Himalayas. Beyond the Dihang
gorge, the Himalayas bend sharply to the south
and spread along the eastern boundary of
India. They are known as the Purvachal or the
Eastern hills and mountains. These hills
running through the north-eastern states are
mostly composed of strong sandstones, which
are sedimentary rocks. Covered with dense
forests, they mostly run as parallel ranges
and valleys. The Purvachal comprises the
Patkai hills, the Naga hills, the Manipur hills
and the Mizo hills.
2020-21
Page 5


Y
ou have already learnt earlier that India
is a vast country with varied land forms.
What kind of terrain do you live in?  If
you live in the plains, you are familiar with the
vast stretches of plain land. In contrast, if you
live in hilly region, the rugged terrain with
mountains and valleys are common features.
In fact, our country has practically all major
physical features of the earth, i.e., mountains,
plains, deserts, plateaus and islands.
The land of India displays great physical
variation. Geologically, the Peninsular Plateau
constitutes one of the ancient landmasses on
the earth’s surface. It was supposed to be one
of the most stable land blocks. The Himalayas
and the Northern Plains are the most recent
landforms. From the view point of geology,
Himalayan mountains form an unstable zone.
The whole mountain system of Himalaya
represents a very youthful topography with
high peaks, deep valleys and fast flowing rivers.
The northern plains are formed of alluvial
deposits. The peninsular plateau is composed
of igneous and metamorphic rocks with gently
rising hills and wide valleys.
MAJOR PHYSIOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS
The physical  features of India can be grouped
under the following physiographic divisions
(Figure 2.2):
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA
(1) The Himalayan Mountains
(2) The Northern Plains
(3) The Peninsular Plateau
(4) The Indian Desert
(5) The Coastal Plains
(6) The Islands
The Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayas, geologically young and
structurally fold mountains stretch over the
northern borders of India. These mountain
ranges run in a west-east direction from the
Indus to the Brahmaputra. 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. Their width varies from 400 Km in
Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh. The
altitudinal variations are greater in the eastern
half than those in the western half. The
Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in
its longitudinal extent. A number of valleys lie
between these ranges. The northern-most
range is known as the Great or Inner
Himalayas or the Himadri. It is the most
continuous range consisting of the loftiest
peaks with an average height of
6,000 metres. It contains all prominent
Himalayan peaks.
2
2020-21
8 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Some Highest Peaks of the Himalayas
Peak Country Height
in metres
Mt. Everest Nepal 8848
Kanchenjunga India 8598
Makalu Nepal 8481
Dhaulagiri Nepal 8172
Nanga Parbat India 8126
Annapurna Nepal 8078
Nanda Devi India 7817
Kamet India 7756
Namcha Barwa India 7756
Gurla Mandhata Nepal 7728
The folds of the Great Himalayas are
asymmetrical in nature. The core of this part
of Himalayas is composed of granite. It is
perennially snow bound, and a number of
glaciers descend from this range.
Figure 2.1 : Himalayas
The range lying to the south of the
Himadri forms the most rugged mountain
system and is known as Himachal or lesser
Himalaya. The ranges are mainly composed
of highly compressed and altered rocks. The
altitude varies between 3,700 and 4,500
metres and the average width is of 50 Km.
While the Pir Panjal range forms the longest
and the most important range, the Dhaula
Dhar and the Mahabharat ranges are also
prominent ones. This range consists of the
famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and
Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This
region is well-known for its hill stations.
•  The names of the glaciers and passes
that lie in the Great Himalayas.
•   The  name of  the states where the highest
peaks are located.
• Location of  Mussoorie, Nainital,
Ranikhet from your atlas and also name the state
where they are located.
The outer-most range of the Himalayas is
called the Shiwaliks. They extend over a width
2020-21
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA 9
Figure 2.2 : Relief
2020-21
10 CONTEMPORARY INDIA-I
Figure 2.3 : The Himalayas
Figure 2.4 : Mizo Hills
of 10-50 Km and have an altitude varying
between 900 and 1100 metres. These ranges
are composed of unconsolidated sediments
brought down by rivers from the main
Himalayan ranges located farther north.
These valleys are covered with thick
gravel and alluvium. The longitudinal valley
lying between lesser Himalaya and the
Shiwaliks are known as Duns. Dehra Dun,
Kotli Dun and Patli Dun are some of the
well-known Duns.
Besides the longitudinal divisions, the
Himalayas have been divided on the basis of
regions from west to east. These divisions
have been demarcated by river valleys. For
example, the part of Himalayas lying between
Indus and Satluj has been traditionally
known as Punjab Himalaya but it is also
known regionally as Kashmir and Himachal
Himalaya from west to east respectively. The
part of the Himalayas lying between Satluj
and Kali rivers is known as Kumaon
Himalayas. The Kali and Teesta rivers
demarcate the Nepal Himalayas and the part
lying between Teesta and Dihang rivers is
known as Assam Himalayas. There are
regional names also in these broad
categories. Find out some regional names of
the Himalayas
The Brahmaputra marks the eastern-most
boundary of the Himalayas. Beyond the Dihang
gorge, the Himalayas bend sharply to the south
and spread along the eastern boundary of
India. They are known as the Purvachal or the
Eastern hills and mountains. These hills
running through the north-eastern states are
mostly composed of strong sandstones, which
are sedimentary rocks. Covered with dense
forests, they mostly run as parallel ranges
and valleys. The Purvachal comprises the
Patkai hills, the Naga hills, the Manipur hills
and the Mizo hills.
2020-21
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF INDIA 11
The Northern Plain
The northern plain has been formed by the
interplay of the three major river systems,
namely — the Indus, the Ganga and the
Brahmaputra along with their tributaries. This
plain is formed of alluvial soil. The deposition
of alluvium in a vast basin lying at the foothills
of the Himalaya over millions of years, formed
this fertile plain. It spreads over an area of 7
lakh sq. km. The plain being about 2400 km
long and 240 to 320 km broad, is a densely
populated physiographic division. With a rich
soil cover combined with adequate water
supply and favourable climate it is
agriculturally a productive part of India.
Figure 2.5 : The Northern Plains
The rivers coming from northern
mountains are involved in depositional work.
In the lower course, due to gentle slope, the
velocity of the river decreases, which results in
the formation of riverine islands.
‘Doab’ is made up of two words
— ‘do’ meaning two and ‘ab’ meaning water.  Similarly
‘Punjab’, is also made up two words — ‘Punj’ meaning
five and ‘ab’ meaning water.
The Northern Plain is broadly divided into
three sections. The Western part of the Northern
Plain is referred to as the Punjab Plains.
Formed by the Indus and its tributaries, the
larger part of this plain lies in Pakistan. The
Indus and its tributaries — the Jhelum, the
Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj
originate in the Himalaya. This section of the
plain is dominated by the doabs.
Majuli, in the Brahmaputra
river, is the largest inhabited riverine island in the
world.
The rivers in their lower course split into
numerous channels due to the deposition of silt.
These channels are known as distributaries.
The Ganga plain extends between Ghaggar
and Teesta rivers.  It is spread over the states of
North India, Haryana, Delhi, U.P., Bihar, partly
Jharkhand and West Bengal to its East,
particularly in Assam lies the Brahmaputra plain.
The northern plains are generally described
as flat land with no variations in its relief. It is
not true. These vast plains also have diverse
relief features. According to the variations in
relief features, the Northern plains can be
divided into four regions. The rivers, after
descending from the mountains deposit
pebbles in a narrow belt of about 8 to 16 km
in width lying parallel to the slopes of the
Shiwaliks. It is known as bhabar. All the
streams disappear in this bhabar belt. South
of this belt, the streams and rivers re-emerge
and create a wet, swampy and marshy region
known as terai. This was a thickly forested
region full of wildlife. The forests have been
cleared to create agricultural land and to settle
migrants from Pakistan after partition.  Locate
Dudhwa National Park in this region.
The largest part of the northern plain is
formed of older alluvium. It lies above the
floodplains of the rivers and presents a terrace-
like feature. This part is known as bhangar.
The soil in this region contains calcareous
deposits, locally known as kankar. The
2020-21
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