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Indian Geography / Settlements in India

Classification of Human Settlements


    Classification of human settlements can be done on the basis of many factors like size, function, population, pattern, location, etc. A settlement is a group of dwellings or structures separated by roads and streets. A settlement points towards a settled way of life. Settlements in rural areas are in the form of hamlets and villages and settlements in urban areas are in the form of a town or city.



    Various stages in the growth of cities are Eopolis, Polis, Metropolis, Megalopolis, Tyranopolis and Necropolis. These are a chain of series of urban clusters developed one after another. These stages are a characteristic feature of North East USA, Japan, Germany.

    A Tyranopolis is a city or urban agglomeration where there is a breakdown of civil infrastructure. A Necropolis is a city in the process of disintegration. It is a form of ghost city.

    An Acropolis is a settlement, generally located in a security point, e.g. Hilltop settlement like Gwalior, Chittorgarh, Athens.

    Functional Human Settlements

    Based on the function, Settlements can be -

    • Administrative towns, e.g. Gandhi Nagar, Chandigarh, Dispur, etc.

    • Educational towns, e.g. Roorkee, Pilani, Harvard (USA), Oxford and Cambridge (UK), etc.

    • Transport towns, e.g. Itarsi (largest railway junction in India), Jolarpettai (Tamil Nadu), Guntakal and Renigunta (Andhra Pradesh), Frankfurt (Germany), etc.

    • Lumbering towns, e.g. Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh), Dimapur (Nagaland), etc.

    • Tourist centres - Hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal, Darjeeling and Pilgrimage towns like Rameshwaram, Haridwar, Vatican city, Mecca, Medina, etc.

    • Mining towns, e.g. Dhanbad, Medininagar, Godavarikhani, Kotthagudem, Khetri, Kolar, etc.

    • Manufacturing or Industrial towns, e.g. Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Bhilai, Bokaro, etc.

    • Commercial towns, e.g. Solapur (centre for cotton manufacturing), Erode (Turmeric), Guntur (Tobacco, Chillies), etc.