Northern Plains

The Great Northern Plains of India

The interaction of the three major river systems, the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra, as well as their tributaries, has generated the northern plains.

To the south of the Himalayas are the Northern Plains. It is made up of silt deposited by the Himalayan Mountains and its streams. These plains are the world’s largest alluvial stretch. From west to east, these plains stretch for over 3200 kilometres. The plains’ typical breadth varies between 150 and 300 kilometres.

This plain has an extent of 7 lakh square kilometres. The plain, which stretches for around 2400 kilometres and is 240 to 320 kilometres wide, is a densely inhabited physiographic division.

It is an agriculturally productive portion of India, with a rich soil cover, enough water supply, and a pleasant climate.

Northern Plains in India Map.


Northern Plains of India - video Dailymotion


They are separated from the Shivaliks to the south by the Himalayan Frontal Fault (HFF). The southern boundary runs along the northern edge of Peninsular India in a wavy irregular line. The Purvanchal hills go parallel to the plains on the eastern side.

The deposits brought in by the three great Himalayan rivers (Ganga, Indus, and Brahmaputra) and their tributaries produced the Northern Plain. These rivers caused smaller rock particles to be transported and deposited in the Himalayan foothills. For millions of years, alluvium has been deposited in the Himalayan foothills. The rich Northern Plains are where these deposits are found.

Properties of  of Northern Plain

708 Northern Plains Stock Photos and Images - 123RF

  • The deposits brought in by the three great Himalayan rivers (Ganga, Indus, and Brahmaputra) and their tributaries produced the Northern Plain. These rivers caused smaller rock particles to be transported and deposited in the Himalayan foothills. For millions of years, alluvium has been deposited in the Himalayan foothills. The rich Northern Plains are where these deposits are found.
  • The northern plain of India is one of the country’s largest and most fertile plains. It is one of the most extensively farmed locations on the world.
  • Between the Himalayan rivers in the north and the Peninsular Plateau in the south, they are located.
  • It is densely populated due to its ideal farming features.
  • The terrain is mostly flat.
  • The Indus and Ganga Brahmaputra rivers run across the northern plains, with the Indus in the west and the Ganga Brahmaputra in the east.
  • Bhabar, Terai, Bhangar, and Khadar are the four regions that make up the Northern Plains.
  • This area has a very high water table.

Physiographic Divisions 

The Punjab Plains

  • The Punjab plains form the western part of the northern plain.
  • In the east, the Delhi-Aravalli ridge separates it from the Ganga plains.
  • This is formed by the Indus and its tributaries; like Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. A major portion of these plains is in Pakistan.
  • It is divided into many Doabs (do-“two” + ab- “water or river” = “a region or land lying between and reaching to the meeting of the two rivers”).

The Punjab Doabs

  • Sindh Sagar Doab
    • The Sindh Sagar Doab lies between the Indus and Jhelum rivers.
  • Jech Doabs
    • The Jech Doab (also Chaj Doab) (small portion of the Jech Doab is Majha lies between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers.
  • Rechna Doab
    • The Rechna Doab (considerable portion of the Rechna Doab is Majha lies between the Chenab and Ravi rivers.
  • Bari Doabs
    • The Bari Doab (considerable portion of the Bari Doab is Majha lies between the Ravi and Beas rivers.
  • Bist Doab
    • The Bist Doab (or Doaba) – between the Beas and Sutlej rivers.

The Ganga Plains

  • Between the Yamuna basin in the west and the Bangladesh border in the east are the Ganga lowlands.
  • The lower Ganga plain was formed by the downwarping of a section of Peninsular India between the Rajmahal hills and the Meghalaya plateau, followed by the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers’ sedimentation.
  • Bhabar, Tarai, Bhangar, Khadar, levees, abandoned courses, and other topographical changes can be found in these plains.
  • Almost all of the rivers are constantly changing their courses, leaving this area vulnerable to flooding. In this regard, the Kosi River is well-known. It’s been dubbed the ‘Sorrow of Bihar’ for a long time.
  • The Ganga plains encompass the northern states of Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, a portion of Jharkhand, and West Bengal in the east.
  • The Ganga-Brahmaputra delta is the world’s largest delta.
  • The Sunderbans, or tidal forests, cover a large portion of the coastal delta.
  • The Sundari tree, which thrives in marshes, gives its name to the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove swamp. The Royal Tiger and crocodiles call it home.

The Ganga Doab

  • Upper Doab
    • In Uttarakhand:
      • Dehradun and Haridwar
    • In Uttar Pradesh:
      • Saharanpur, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Bulandshahr
    • In Delhi
  • Central or Middle Doab
    • Etah, Kasganj, Aligarh, Agra, Hathras, Firozabad, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya and Mathura. Mathura is in the trans-Yamuna region of Braj.
  • Lower Doab
    • Kanpur, Fatehpur, Kaushambi and Allahabad.
The Rohilkhand Plain
  • On the upper Ganges alluvial plain, Rohilkhand is a low-lying alluvial region in northwestern UP.
  • Between the Ganga River (in the west) and the Avadh Plain (in the east) (East).
  • In the Mahabharata, it was known as Madhyadesh and was named for the Rohilla tribe.
  • The Yusufzai tribe’s Pathan highlanders were known as Rohillas.
The Awadh Plain
  • Between Purvanchal (E) and Rohilkhand (R), the central part of Uttar Pradesh (W)
  • Previously known as India’s granary
  • It is well-known for its own cuisines and culture.
  • Lucknow, Kanpur, Rae Barelly, and Faizabad are some of the cities in Uttar Pradesh.
The Rarh Plain
  • The Rarh region is located between the Chota Nagpur Plateau on the west and the Ganges River’s main flow (which is constantly shifting) on the east.
  • The lower Gangetic plains, to the south of the Ganges river and to the west of its Bhagirathi-Hooghly distributary, are known as the Rarh plains.
  • These plains are made up of alluvial deposits from the past.
  • The altitude varies between 75 and 150 metres.
  • Damodar is the main river.
  • A heavily industrialised area.
  • Previously, it was infamous for devastating floods.

The Malwa Doab

  • The Malwa region, which includes present states of Madhya Pradesh and parts of north-eastern Rajasthan, has doab regions such as Upper Malwa doab and Lower Malwa doab.

The Chhattisgarh Plain

THE NORTHERN PLAINS-Indian Physical Geography Part 3 – Rishi Upsc

  • In the Peninsular plateau, only the Chhattisgarh plain is worth mentioning.
  • The upper Mahanadi drains it into a saucer-shaped depression.
  • Between the Maikala Range and the Odisha hills, the basin is completely enclosed.
  • It is bordered on the north by the Chota Nagpur plateau, northeast by the Raigarh hills, southeast by the Raipur Upland, south by the Bastar plateau, and west by the Maikala Range.
  • The territory was originally held by the Haithaivanshi Rajputs, whose name is derived from the thirty-six forts (Chhattisgarh).
  • The limestone and shales strata in the basin are essentially horizontal.
  • The limestone and shales in the basin are almost horizontally laid out.
  • The ‘rice bowl of India’ is well-known.
  • Its development has been supported by extensive coal resources as well as significant deposits of iron ore, bauxite, manganese, and commercial clays.
  • The plain’s elevation varies from 250 metres in the east to 330 metres in the west.
  • The main commercial centres are Bhilai, Bilaspur, Raipur, Raigarh, and Durg.
  • Other emerging cities include Korba, Nandgaon, and Rajgarh.

The Raichur Doab

The Raichur Doab, named after the town of Raichur, is a triangular region in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states that lies between the Krishna River and its tributary, the Tungabhadra River.

The Brahmaputra Plain

It is the most important plain and lies in the state of Assam

Importance of Northern Plain
Fertile soil, numerous rivers, and a pleasant climate make it ideal for human habitation. Many multi-purpose dams have been built to provide water for irrigation as well as generate energy. They are culturally and religiously significant, with extensive literature, art, and architecture, as well as sacred rivers. The plains’ rivers are navigable, allowing for easy transportation and, as a result, promoting trade and commerce.

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