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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.
    • 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.