NCERT Class 9 Geography Chapter 2 - Physical Features of India

Chapter 2 - Physical Features of India

Question 1: Choose the right answer from the four alternatives given below:
i) A landmass bounded by sea on three sides is referred to as
a) Coast
b) Island
c) Peninsula
d) None of these
Answer:
c) Peninsula

ii) Mountain ranges in the eastern part of India forming its boundary with Myanmar are collectively called
a) Himachal
b) Uttarakhand
c) Purvachal
d) None of these
Answer:
c) Purvachal

iii) The western coastal strip, south of Goa is referred to as
a) Coromandel
b) Konkan
c) Kannad
d) Northern Circar
Answer:
c) Kannad

iv) The highest peak in the Eastern Ghats is
a) Anai Mudi
b) Kanchenjunga
c) Mahendragiri
d) Khasi
Answer:
c) Mahendragiri

Question 2: Answer the following questions briefly:
i) What is the bhabar?
ii) Name the three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south.
iii) Which plateau lies between the Aravali and Vindhyan ranges?
iv) Name the island group of India having coral origin.
Answer:

i) The Bhabar is narrow belt of the plain which is covered with pebbles and lies along the foothills of the Shiwaliks from the Indus to the Teesta.
ii) The Great or Inner Himalayas/Himadri, the Middle Himalayas/Himachal, the Outer Himalayas/Shiwaliks.
iii) Malwa Plateau lies between the Aravali and Vindhyan ranges.
iv) Lakshadweep islands is the island group of India having coral origin.

Question 3: Distinguish between:
i) Bhangar and Khadar
ii) Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats
Answer:

i)
• Bhangar
→ These are the older alluvium or old soil and form the largest part of the Northern plains.
→ Lies above the flood plains of rivers.
→ Contains calcerous deposits (kankar). Presents a terrace like feature.
→ Less fertile
• Khadar
→ The newer and younger deposits of the flood plains.
→ It is newer and younger deposit of flood plains.
→ Doesn't contain calcerous deposits (kankar).
→ More fertile

ii)
• Western Ghats
→ Marks the western edge of the Deccan Plateau.
→ Continuous, can be crossed through passes only.
→ Higher; average elevation is 900-1600 metres.
→ Soil is highly fertile.
→ The highest peaks of Western Ghats include the Anai Mudi (2695 m) and the Doda Betta (2637 m).
• Eastern Ghats
→ Marks the eastern edge of the Deccan Plateau.
→ Discontinuous, irregular and dissected by rivers draining into Bay of Bengal.
→ Lower; average elevation is 600 metres.
→ Soil is not as fertile as in Western Ghats.
→ The highest peak in Eastern Ghats in Mahendragiri (1501 m).

Question 4: Which are the major physiographic divisions of India? Contrast the relief of the Himalayan region with that of the Peninsular Plateau.
Answer:
The major physiographic divisions of India are:
• The Himalayan Mountains
• The Northern Plains
• The Peninsular Plateau
• The Indian Desert
• The Coastal Plains
• The Islands

• Himalayan Region
→ Young fold mountains made from the uplift of the strata formed by the sedimentary rocks.
→ Consists of the loftiest mountains and deep valleys.
→ It is the origin of perennial rivers.
→ From the point of view of geology, this region forms an unstable zone.
• Peninsular Plateau
→ Created from igneous and metamorphic rocks after the splitting of the Gondwana land.
→ Consists of broad and shallow valleys and rounded hills.
→ It has rain-fed and seasonal rivers.
→ From the point of view of geology, this region forms a stable zone.

Question 5: Give an account of the Northern Plains of India.
Answer:
The Northern Plains have been formed from the alluvium that the mountain rivers deposited here. This turned the soil on the surfaced land fertile for growing a rich harvest of variety of crops. This led to the development of the Indus River Valley Civilisation. The rich soil was further aided by favourable climate and constant water supply from the rivers. Between the mouths of the Indus and the Ganga-Brahmaputra, the Northern Plains covers a distance of 3200 km. It is 300-150 km wide at some places. The Northern Plains have the Indus river system in the west and the Ganga-Brahmaputra river system in the east. The first includes Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej. The Indus flows into the Arabian Sea. The second includes Ganga, its tributaries and the Brahmaputra which combine as Meghna as they drain into Bay of Bengal. They form the world’s largest and fastest growing delta. The difference in relief has led the Northern Plains to be divided into four zones:
• Bhabar
• Terai
• Bhangar
• Khadar

Question 6: Write short notes of the following:
i) The Indian Desert
ii) The Central Highlands
iii) The island groups of India
Answer:

i) The Indian Desert, which lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hill, is an undulating sandy plain covered with sand dunes called barchans. This region receives very low rainfall below 150 mm per year. It has an arid climate with low vegetation cover. Luni is the only large river in this area.

ii) The part of the Peninsular Plateau lying to the north of the Narmada river covering a major area of Malwa Plateau is known as the Central Highlands. The Vindhyan range is bounded by the Central Highlands on the south and the Aravali range on the northeast. The flow of the rivers draining this region, namely the Chambal, The Sind, The Betwa and Ken, is from southwest to northeast, thus indicating the slope. The Central Highlands are wider in the west but narrower in the east. The eastward extensions of this plateau are locally known as Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand. The Chottanagpur plateau marks the further eastward extension, drained by Damodar river.

iii) India has 2 main island groups, namely Lakshadweep & Andaman and Nicobar Island. The Lakshadweep consists of many small islands located opposite to the Kerala coast in the Arabian Sea. The islands of this group are formed of coral deposits called ‘atolls’ in Malayalam which refer to their horse-shoe shape. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, on the other hand, are larger in size. They are more in number and more widely scattered.

Question 7: Name the three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south. Explain briefly.
Answer:
The Himalayas are geologically young and structurally fold mountains. They stretch over the northern borders of India. The Himalayas consists of three parallel ranges in its longitudinal extent.
• Inner Himalayas/Greater Himalayas/Himadri
• Middle Himalayas/Lesser Himalayas/Himachal
• Outer Himalayas/Shiwaliks
→ Himadri
i) It is the most continuous range consisting of the loftiest peaks with an average height of 6000 metres.
ii) The core of this part of Himalayas is composed of granite and are asymmetric in nature.
iii) A number of glaciers descend from this range.

→ Himachal
i) The ranges are mainly composed of highly compressed and altered rocks.
ii) The altitude varies between 3700 and 4500 metres and the average width is of 50 km.
iii) Pir Panjal, Dhaula Dhar and Mahabharat are some of the prominent ranges. Famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh are some famous hill stations.

→ Shiwaliks
i) The outer-most range of the Himalayas is called the Shiwaliks. They extend over a width of 10-50 km and have an altitude varying between 900-1100 metres.
ii) These ranges are composed of unconsolidated sediments brought down by rivers. These valleys are covered with thick gravel and alluvium.
iii) The longitudinal valley lying between lesser Himalayas and the Shiwaliks are known as Duns. Dehra Dun, Kotli Dun and Patli Dun are some of the well-known Duns.

Question 8: Write short notes on the following:
a) North Plains
b) Peninsular Plateau
c) Indian Desert
d) Coastal Plains
v) Islands
Answer:
a)
• The Northern Plain is made by three major river system like the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries.
• This plain is formed of alluvial soil. It spreads over an area of 7 lakhs sq. km. This plain is 2400 km long and 240 to 320 km broad.
• It is agriculturally a productive part of India.
• The Northern Plain is broadly divided into three sections. The Western part of the Northern Plain is referred to as the Punjab Plains.
• The Indus and its tributaries - the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj, which originate in the Himalayas dominate the Punjab Plains.
• The Ganga plain extends between Ghaggar and Teesta rivers. It spreads over the states of North India, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and some parts of Jharkhand and West Bengal.
• Brahmaputra plain is spread over Assam and some other Eastern states.

b)
• The Peninsular Plateau is a tableland composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
• It was formed due to the breaking and drifting of the Gondwana land.
• This plateau consists of two broad divisions, the Central Highlands and the Deccan Plateau.
• The part of the Peninsular plateau lying to the north of the Narmada river, covering a major area of Malwa Plateau, is known as the Central Highlands.
• The Vidhyan range is bounded by the Satpura range on the south and the Aravalis on the northwest.
• The Central Highlands are wider in the west but narrower in the East. The eastern-ward extensions of this plateau are locally known as the Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand.
• The Chotanagpur plateau marks the further eastward extension.
• The Deccan Plateau is a triangular landmass that lies to the south of the river Narmada. Satpura range flanks to its broader base in the north, while the Mahadev, the Kaimur hills and the Maikal range form its eastern extension.
• The Deccan Peninsula is higher in the west and slopes gently eastwards.
• An extension of the Plateau is also visible in the north-east, locally known as Meghalaya, Karbi-Anglong Plateau, and North Cachar Hills.
• Three prominent hill ranges from west to east are the Garo, the Khasi, and the Jaintia Hills.

c)
• The Indian desert lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hills.
• It is a sandy plain covered with sand dunes.
• This region receives very low rainfall below 150 mm per year.
• It has arid climate with low vegetation cover.
• Luni is the only large river in this region.
• A group of barchans (crescent moon shaped dunes) can be seen in Jaisalmer region.

d)
• The narrow coastal strops, running along the Arabian Sea on the west and the Bay of Bengal on the East are coastal plains.
• The northern part of the western coast is called the Konkan (Mumbai - Goa region), the central stretch is called the Kannad Plain, while the southern stretch is referred to as the Malabar coast.
• The plain along the Bay of Bengal are wide and level. In the northern part of eastern coast, it is known as the Northern Circar, while the southern part is known as the Coromandel coast.
• Rivers like Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Kaveri have formed extensive delta on the eastern coast.
• Lake Chilika is an important feature along the eastern coast.

e)
• Lakshadweep Islands group lie close to the Malabar coast of Kerala. This island is group of 36 small islands which are all made up of corals.
• As a result, Lakshadweep islands are also known as the coral islands.
• It covers a small area of 32 sq. km. Kavaratti island is the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep.
• This island group has great diversity of flora and fauna. The Pitti island, which is uninhabited has a bird sanctuary.
• Andaman and Nicobar islands are bigger in size and are more numerous and scattered. This island is group of 572 islands.
• It is believed that these islands are an elevated portion of submarine mountains.
• These islands too have great diversity of flora and fauna.
• These islands lie close to equator and experience equatorial climate and has thick forest cover.
• Andaman and Nicobar islands are divided by each other by 10° latitude.

Question 9: Differentiate between
i) Bhangar and Khadar
ii) Western Ghat and Eastern Ghat
iii) Western Coastal plains and Eastern Coastal plains
Answer:
i)
• Bhangar
→ Bhangar is composed of old alluvial soil.
→ Bhangar contains calcareous deposits called kankar.
→ Bhangar is found away from the river and is higher than the ground level.
→ Bhangar is not renewed every year and hence it is less fertile.
• Khadar
→ It is composed of younger/newer soil.
→ Khadar is finer, more sandy and free from kankar.
→ Khadar is found near the river bank delta and in flood plains.
→ Khadar is fertile.

ii)
• Western Ghat
→ Western Ghats lie parallel to the western coast.
→ Average elevation of Western Ghats is 900-1600 m.
→ Western Ghats are continuous and can be passed through passes only.
→ Anai Mudi (2695 m) and Doda Betta (2637 m) are highest peaks in Western Ghats.
→ Western Ghats receive orographic rainfall.
• Eastern Ghat
→ Eastern Ghat lie parallel to the eastern coast.
→ Average elevation of Eastern Ghats is 600 m.
→ Eastern Ghats are discontinuous and irregular. They are dissected by rivers which drain into Bay of Bengal.
→ Mahendragiri (1501 m) is highest peak in Western Ghats.
→ Eastern Ghats don’t receive orographic rainfall.

iii)
• Western coastal plains
→ They lie between Western Ghats and Arabian Sea.
→ Western coastal plains are narrower.
→ Western coastal plains is divided into three sections (from north to south) - Konkan, Kannad plains, and Malabar coast.
→ No delta is formed in western coast.
• Eastern coastal plains
→ They lie between Eastern Ghats and Bay of Bengal.
→ Eastern coastal plains are broader.
→ Eastern coastal plain is divided into two sections (from north to south) - Northern Circar and Coromandel coast.
→ Many deltas are formed in eastern coast.

Question 10: “The diverse physical features of the land have immense future possibilities of development.” Justify the statement.
Answer:
• Each region complements the other and makes the country richer in its natural resources.
• The mountains are the major sources of water and forest wealth.
• The northern plains are the granaries of the country.
• The plateau is a storehouse of minerals, which has played a crucial role in the industrialisation of the country.
• The coastal region and island groups provide sites for fishing and port activities.
Thus, the diverse physical features of the land have immense future possibilities of development.

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