Physio-graphic Divisions of India – Indian Geography Notes Part 3

India can be divided into six physiographic regions

  1. The Northern Mountains  (The North and North-eastern Mountains)
  2. The Peninsular Plateau
  3. Indo Gangetic Plains
  4. Indian Deserts
  5. The Coastal Plains (East & West)
  6. Island

Physio-graphic Divisions of India

The Northern Mountains (The North and North-eastern Mountains)

  • The Himalayas consist of a series of parallel mountain ranges.
  • The general orientation of these ranges is from the northwest to the southeast direction in the north-western part of India
  • The Himalayas in the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions lie in an east-west direction
  • While in Arunachal Pradesh they are from southwest to the northwest direction
  • In Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, they are in the north-south direction
  • The approximate length of the Great Himalayan range, also known as the central axial range, is 2,500 km from east to west
  • Their width varies between 160-400 km from north to south.
  • The Himalayas are not only the physical barrier; they are also a climatic, drainage and cultural divide.

 On the basis of relief, alignment of ranges and other geomorphologic features the Himalayas can be divided into the following sub-divisions

  • Kashmir or North-western Himalayas
  • Himachal and Uttaranchal Himalayas
  • Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas
  • Arunachal Himalayas
  • Eastern Hills and Mountains

(i)Kashmir or North-western Himalayas  Comprise a series of ranges such as




Pir Panjal

  • The north-eastern part of the Kashmir Himalayas is a cold desert, which lies between the greater Himalayas and the Karakoram ranges
  • The great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range lies the world famous valley of Kashmir and the famous Dal Lake.
  • The Kashmir Himalayas are also famous forKarewa formations, which are useful for the cultivation of Zafran, a local variety of saffron.
  • This region is drained by the river Indus and its tributaries such as the Jhelum and the Chenab.
  • The Kashmir and the north-western Himalayas are well-known for their scenic beauty and picturesque landscape
  • Famous places of pilgrimage such as Vaishno Devi, Amarnath Cave, Charar -e-Sharif, etc. are also located here and a large number of pilgrims visit these places every year
  • Srinagar, the capital city of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is located on the banks of Jhelum River.
  • Srinagar, the capital city of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is located on the banks of Jhelum River.
  • An Interesting Fact
  • In Kashmir Valley, the meanders in Jhelum River are caused by the local base level provided by the erstwhile larger lake of which the present Dal Lake is a small part.
  • The Himachal and Uttaranchal Himalayas
  • This part lies approximately between the Ravi in the west and the Kali (a tributary of Ghaghara) in the east
  • It is drained by two major river systems of India, i.e. the Indus and the Ganga.
  • Tributaries of the Indus include the river Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj
  • The tributaries of Ganga flowing through this region include the Yamuna and the Ghaghara.
  • The northernmost part of the Himachal Himalayas is an extension of the Ladakh cold

Some Important facts of this region

Karewas – Karewas are the thick deposits of glacial clay and other materials embedded with moraines.

Important passes of the region are

  • Zoji La on the Great Himalayas
  • Banihal on the Pir Panjal
  • Photu La on the Zaskar
  • Khardung La on the Ladakh range.

Important fresh lakes

  • Dal
  • Wular

Saltwater lakes such as

  • Pangong Tso
  • Tso Moriri

‘Valley of flowers’

  • The famous ‘Valley of flowers’ is also situated in this region.
  • The places of pilgrimage such as the Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib are also situated in this part.
  • The region is also known to have five famous Prayags (river confluences)

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