The Northern plains – India

The physical features of India:

  1. The himalayan mountains

  2. The northern plains

  3. The peninsular plateau

  4. The Indian desert

  5. The coastal plains and

  6. The islands

North palins The northern plains

  • The northern plains are formed by the alluvial deposits brought by the rivers – the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.

  • These plains extend approximately 3,200 km from the east to the west and width of 150-300 km.

Northern plainsRegional divisions of the northern plains:

  • Indus plains: formed by the Indus and its tributaries mainly pakistan.

  • Ganga plains: between ghaggar and tista rivers (Haryana, Delhi, UP, Bihar, part of Jharkhand and west engal lie in the Ganga plains).

  • Brahmaputra plains: from tista to dihang with mainly assam.

Sub – divisions of north plains:

  • Bhabar,

  • Terai,

  • Khadar and

  • Bhangar.


  • Bhabar is a narrow belt ranging between 8-10 km parallel to the shiwalik foothills at the break-up of the slope.

  • Lies along foothills of Shiwaliks, from Indus to tista.
  • Comprises of pebble studded rocks (highly porous bed plain).


  • South of the bhabar is the tarai belt, with an approximate width of 10-20 km.

  • Most of the streams and rivers re-emerge without having any properly demarcated channel.

  • Thereby, creating marshy and swampy conditions known as the tarai.

  • This has a luxurious growth of natural vegetation and houses a varied wild life.


  • The bhangar is the older alluvium along the river beds forming terraces higher than the flood plain.

  • The terraces are coarse in nature, contain ‘kankar (lime nodules), pebbles, gravels’.

  • Soil of this region is locally known as kankar viz. calcareous concretions


  • Flood plains with newer alluvium deposited by flood almost every year.

  • The most fertile soils of ganges with intensive agriculture.

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