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Indian Geography / Physiography

Short Note on Peninsular Plateau of India

    Peninsular plateau of India is located towards the south of Great Northern Plains and it is the oldest and largest physiographic division of India. The topographical features of Peninsular Plateau include rift valleys, plateaus, block mountains, river basins, etc.

    Divisions of Peninsular Plateau

    • There are three divisions of Peninsular plateau of India, namely North-Eastern Plateau, Central Highlands and Deccan Plateau.

    • The northern portion of the Peninsular Plateau is inclined towards North and hence many rivers like Son, Chambal, Betwa, etc. drain the North Indian plains. The southern portion of the Peninsular plateau is inclined towards East and hence most of the rivers like Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, etc. except Narmada and Tapti flow into Bay of Bengal.

    • Aravalli ranges are the North-Western boundaries of Peninsular Plateau whereas Western Ghats or Sahyadri ranges are the Western boundaries and Eastern Ghats are the Eastern boundaries.

    • North-Eastern Plateau consists of Shillong plateau and Karbi Anglong plateau. The Shillong plateau is further divided into 3 parts, namely Garo hills, Khasi hills and Jaintia hills.

    • The Central Highlands consists of Aravalli ranges, Malwa Plateau, Chota Nagpur Plateau, Rajmahal Hills and Vindhya ranges.

    • The Deccan Plateau consists of Satpura ranges, Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats and many other smaller plateaus.
      • Western Ghats

        • Western Ghats are continuous in nature and they stretch from river Tapti to Kanyakumari and are parallel to the Western coast.

        • They have intermittent Passes like Bhorghat Pass between Nashik and Mumbai, Thalghat Pass between Mumbai and Pune, Shenkotta Pass between Kollam and Madurai and Palghat Pass between Coimbatore and Palakkad.

        • They are narrower than Eastern Ghats and their average width is 50-80 km. Their altitudes are high when compared to Eastern Ghats and are canonical in shape. The height of Western Ghats raises from North to South.

        • They are the source for many rivers like Godavari, Krishna, etc.

        • They lie perpendicular to the South West monsoons and cause heavy rainfall in the west coast plains.

      • Eastern Ghats

        • Eastern Ghats are somewhat discontinuous in nature and appear continuous only between Mahanadi delta and Godavari delta. They are divided into several parts. Beyond Vijayawada they are known by different names.

        • Eastern Ghats run parallel to the Eastern coast and they stretch from Odisha to the Nilgiri hills.

        • They are wider than the Western Ghats and their average width varies from 100-200 km.

        • There are no major rivers that originate from Eastern Ghats and they lie almost parallel to the North East Monsoon in India and hence do not cause much rainfall.

    Some Facts about Peninsular Plateau

    • Highest peak in Aravallis is Guru Shikhar peak.

    • Amarkantak is the highest peak in Maikal range and is the source for river Narmada.

    • Dhupgarh is the highest peak in the Satpura Range.

    • Sadbhavna Peak is the highest peak of Vindhya Range. Sadbhavna Peak is also called Goodwill Peak or Kalumar Peak or Kalumbe Peak.

    • Anaimudi or Anamudi remains the highest peak of Western Ghats as well as Peninsular India.

    • Mahendragiri is the highest peak of Eastern Ghats.

    • Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats merge at Nilgiri Hills. Doddabetta is the highest peak of Nilgiri Hills.

    • Mahabaleswar is the source point of river Krishna.

    • Trimbak is the source point of river Godavari.