Physiography of Peninsular India – Plateaus

Malwa Plateau:

  • Situated in the North of Vindhyachal
  • It is a basalt lava plateau and has spread of black soil.
  • Highest peak – Sigar peak
  • Rivers like Chambal, Betwa, Sindh, Parvati etc. flows through its northern slopes.

Chhotanagpur Plateau:

  • Mainly spread in Jharkhand but some portions are also present in Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
  • Damodar river flows through this in a rift valley. It divides the Chhotanagpur in two parts:
  • Northern part -> Hazaribagh plateau (Koderma and Giridih plateaus)
  • Southern part -> Ranchi plateau (Iron ore)
  • Gondwana coal deposits are found here in abundance.
  • Plateau has gone through several rejuvenation processes and hence river terraces are found.
  • Parasnath peak -> Highest peak of Jharkhand is in Northern Chhotanagpur. Followers of Jainism call is ‘Sammed Shikhar’.
  • Rajmahal hills are present in the Northeastern border of Chhotanagpur.

Meghalaya Plateau:

  • It is the Northeast extension of the Chhotanagpur plateau separated by a fault basin (Rajmahal – Garo gap or the Malda fault) which later on got filled by Ganga-Brahmaputra sediments.
  • It starts from the Garo hills in the west and extends to the Mikir hills in the northeast.
  • It extends into Meghalaya and Assam.
  • Three important hills are- Garo, Khasi and Jaintia (from West to East)
  • Highest peak of Garo -> Nokrek (Nokrek national park)
  • Highest peak of Khasi -> Shillong (highest peak of Meghalaya plateau)
  • Cherrapunji and Mawsynram are situated in Khasi hills.

Deccan Plateau:

  • It consists of three major plateaus:
  • Deccan lava plateau
  • Telangana plateau
  • Karnataka plateau

Plate Tectonics & formation of Deccan Plateau: 

image 124

During the northward march of the Indian plate towards the Eurasian plate, a major event that occurred was the outpouring of lava and formation of the Deccan Traps. This started somewhere around 70 million years ago and continued for a long period of time. The area of long-term eruption (the hotspot), known as the Réunion hotspot, is suspected of both causing the Deccan Traps eruption and opening the rift that once separated the Seychelles plateau from India. Seafloor spreading at the boundary between the Indian and African Plates subsequently pushed India north over the plume, which now lies under Réunion island in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India. It was formed when molten lava solidified and turned to rock. The Deccan Traps date back to around 65 million years ago, when magma from deep inside Earth erupted to the surface.

Telangana Plateau: Upper surface is like ‘Peneplain’ (a level land surface produced by erosion over a long period, undisturbed by crustal movement).

Karnataka Plateau: Its Southwestern part is called as ‘Plateau of Mysore’ and South eastern part is called as ‘Plateau of Bangalore’. Baba Budan hills are present over the Northwestern portion.

The hill areas are called as ‘Malnad’, and the low relief areas are called as ‘Maidan’.

Raichur doab: Area between Krishna and Tungabhadra.

Difference between Western ghats and Eastern ghats:

Western GhatsEastern Ghats
They are relatively continuous and can be passed through passes only.They are not continuous and intersected by several big rivers.
Their average elevation is around 1500 m.Because of denudation, they are shorter. Their average elevation is 600-700 m. 
Average width – 50-80 KmAverage width – 100-200 Km
They experience the onset of SW monsoonThey experience mostly NE retreating monsoon.
They experience relatively lesser cyclones They experience higher number of tropical cyclones originating in the Bay of Bengal.
Highest peak is Anaimudi (2695 m)Highest peak is Arma Konda/Jindhagada Peak (1690 m)
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