Peninsular Plateau

Rising from the height of 150 m above the river plains up to an elevation of 600-900 m is the irregular triangle known as the Peninsular plateau. Delhi ridge in the northwest, (extension of Aravalis), the Rajmahal hills in the east, Gir range in the west and the Cardamom hills in the south constitute the outer extent of the Peninsular plateau.

However, an extension of this is also seen in the northeast, in the form of Shillong and Karbi-Anglong plateau. The Peninsular India is made up of a series of patland plateaus such as the Hazaribagh plateau, the Palamu plateau, the Ranchi plateau, the Malwa plateau, the Coimbatore plateau and the Karnataka plateau, etc.

This is one of the oldest and the most stable landmass of India. The general elevation of the plateau is from the west to the east, which is also proved by the pattern of the flow of rivers.

Some of the important physiographic features of this region are tors, block mountains, rift valleys, spurs, bare rocky structures, series of hummocky hills and wall-like quartzite dykes offering natural sites for water storage. The western and northwestern part of the plateau has an emphatic presence of black soil.

This Peninsular plateau has undergone recurrent phases of upliftment and submergence accompanied by crustal faulting and fractures. (The Bhima fault needs special mention, because of its recurrent seismic activities). These spatial variations have brought in elements of diversity in the relief of the Peninsular plateau. The northwestern part of the plateau has a complex relief of ravines and gorges. The ravines of Chambal, Bhind and Morena are some of the well-known examples.

Deccan trap

Region formed by the outpouring of basalt over the peninsular surface through fissure eruption during cretaceous period


The Deccan Plateau

This is bordered by the Western Ghats in the west, Eastern Ghats in the east and the Satpura, Maikal range and Mahadeo hills in the north. Western Ghats are locally known by different names such as Sahyadri in Maharashtra, Nilgiri hills in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and Anaimalai hills and Cardamom hills in Kerala. Western Ghats are comparatively higher in elevation and more continuous than the Eastern Ghats.

Their average elevation is about 1,500 m with the height increasing from north to south. ‘Anaimudi’ (2,695 m), the highest peak of the Peninsular plateau, is located on the Anaimalai hills of the Western Ghats followed by Dodabetta (2,637 m) on the Nilgiri hills. Most of the Peninsular rivers have their origin in the Western Ghats.


Malwa Plateau

  • The Malwa plateau is enclosed in west by Vindhya Range
  • This mainly consists of the Deccan traps
  • Region has black soil

Bundelkhand

  • Drought stricken
  • Region is made of hard crystalline igneous rock
  • Region is charecterised by senile topography

Chota Nagpur Plateau

  • It is composed of Archean Granite and gneiss rocks with patches of Dharwar rock
  • This region has undergone series of upliftment,folding and denudation
  • The pat land of western margin are converted into laterite and bauxite due to weathering
  • ChotaNagpur consists of series of plateaus standing at different elevations known as pat lands
  • Region is drained by rivers like Damodar,Barakar,Subarnarekha,North Koel,South Koel
  • Region is known for numerous minerals like Iron,coal,Bauxite etc

The Northeastern Plateau

  • In fact it is an extension of the main Peninsular plateau. It is believed that due to the force exerted by the northeastward movement of the Indian plate at the time of the Himalayan origin, a huge fault was created between the Rajmahal hills and the Meghalaya plateau.
  • Later, this depression got filled up by the deposition activity of the numerous rivers. Today, the Meghalaya and Karbi Anglong plateau stand detached from the main Peninsular Block.
  • The Meghalaya plateau is further subdivided into three: (i) The Garo Hills; (ii) The Khasi Hills; (iii) The Jaintia Hills, named after the tribal groups inhabiting this region. An extension of this is also seen in the Karbi Anglong hills of Assam.
  • Similar to the Chotanagpur plateau, the Meghalaya plateau is also rich in mineral resources like coal, iron ore, sillimanite, limestone and uranium.
  • This area receives maximum rainfall from the south west monsoon. As a result, the Meghalaya plateau has a highly eroded surface. Cherrapunji displays a bare rocky surface devoid of any permanent vegetation cover.

Telangana Plateau

  • This region has two units a)Telangana and b)Rayalaseema
  • Telangana region is peneplain developed over gneiss rock
  • Semi arid region
  • Rayalaseema is extension of karnataka plateau and has cuddapah rocks

Karnataka Plateau

  • Dharwad and cuddapah rocks are found so minerally rich belt
  • Northern part is covered by basalt lava
  • Mulangiri is highest peak followed by Kudremukh
  • Northern uplands has monotonous plateaus while southern uplands are series of rolling plateaus

Dandakaranya

  • Densely forested region,know for left wing extremism
  • Region covers parts of Maharashtra,chhattisgarh and Andhra pradesh
  • It is drained by Mahanadi,Sabari and Sileru

Vindhya Range

  • It has Narmada Tapi rift at its north
  • It forms important watershed and constitutes northern boundary of Deccan
  • Western part of range is covered under Deccan lava
  • Rocks like limestone,shale sandstone are found
  • Easterm part of range has moist deciduous forest while west is dry deciduous

Satpura Range

  • Parallel to Vindhyas between valleys of Narmada and Tapi
  • It extends from Rajpipla in West to Maikal in east
  • Rajpipla is covered by Deccan lava and Maikala range has Amarkantak
  • Highest point is Dhupgarh near Pachmarhi
  • Southern slopes drained by Wainganga,Wardha,Tapi rivers

Western Ghats

  • It extends in 6 states from Tapi to Kanyakumari
  • Erosion of Basalt Lava gave it step like Topography
  • It has 4 important passes,Thalghat-Mumbai to Nashik,Bhor Ghat-Mumbai to pune,palghat ,shencottah gap
  • Western and Eastern ghats meet at Nilgiri,Doddabetta
  • They have steep slope towards west and gentle slope towards East
  • Highest point is Kalsubai while Middle range highest is Kudremukh and southern part highest is Anai mudi
  • Ecological sensitive zone
  • Known as Ecological hotspot
  • Its height decreases till goa and then again increases

Eastern Ghats

  • They are old fold mountains and now relict mountains
  • They hardly extend south of Nilgiris
  • They depict true mountainous character between Mahanadi and Godavari
  • Predominant rocks are Khondalites and Charnokites
  • Nallamala and palkonda hills are composed of cuddapah and kurnool rocks