Arunachal Himalayas, Tribes Practice Jhum Cultivation and the Northern Plains

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Arunachal Himalayas

  • From Bhutan Himalayas to Diphu pass in the east.
  • Direction: Southwest to Northeast
  • Peaks: Kangtu and Namya Barwa
  • Rivers: Brahmaputra, Kameng, Subansiri, Dihang, Dibang and Lohit.
  • These rivers are perennial and have the highest hydro-electric power potential in the country.
  • Tribes: Monpa, Daffla, Abor, Mishmi, Nishi and Nagas
  • These communities practice shifting cultivation known as Jhumming.
  • Eastern Hills and Mountains
  • Direction: North to South
  • Ranges: Patkai Bum, Naga hills, Manipur hills, Mizo or Lushai hills
  • These are low hills

Tribes Practice Jhum Cultivation

  • Rivers: Barak. Most of the Nagaland rivers form a tributary of Brahmaputra. Rivers in eastern Manipur are the tributaries of Chindwin, which in turn is a tributary of the Irrawady of Myanmar.
  • Lake: Loktak
  • Loktak Lake: is an important lake in Manipur which is surrounded by mountains on all sides. It is the largest freshwater lake in northeaster India. Also called the only Floating Lake in the world due to floating masses of organic matter on it. It serves as a source for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply.
  • Keibul Kamjao National Park located in the Bishnupur district of Manipur is the only floating park in the world and is an integral part of the Loktak Lake. Home to the endangered Manipur Eld՚s Deer or Brow-antlered Deer or Sangai or Dancing Deer.
  • Mizoram is also known as the ‘Molassis basin’ which is made up of soft unconsolidated deposits.

The Northern Plains

Formed by the alluvial deposits of rivers – Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra.

Length: 3200 KM; Width: 150 - 300 KM

Three main zones:

  • Bhabar
  • Tarai
  • Alluvial Plains (Khadar and Bangar)


  • Narrow belt. 8 - 10 KM wide.
  • Parallel to Shivalik at the break-up of the slope. Hence, streams and rivers deposit heavy rocks (and at times disappear) in this zone.


  • South of Bhabar. 10 - 20 KM wide.
  • Rivers re-emerge and create marshy and swampy conditions known as Tarai.
  • Alluvial Belt
  • South of Tarai.
  • Features of mature stage of fluvial erosional and depositional landforms such as sand bars, meanders, ox-bow lakes and braided channels. Riverine islands in Brahmaputra.
  • Brahmaputra takes a turn an almost 90 degree turn at Dhubri (Assam) before entering Bangladesh.

Peninsular Plateau

  • Bounded by the Delhi ridge, Rajmahal Hills, Gir range and Cardamom hills.
  • Made up of a series of patland plateaus: Hazaribagh, Palamu, Ranchi, Malwa, Coimbatore, Karnataka etc.
  • One of the oldest and most stable landmasses of India.
  • Rivers?
  • Physiographic Features: Tors, block mountains, rift valleys, spurs, bare rocky structures, hummocky hills and quartzite dykes offering natural sites for water storage.
  • Black soil in western and north western parts.
  • Bhima fault in this region has frequent seismic activity (Lathur earthquake)
  • NW part also has ravines and gorges: Chambal, Bhind and Morena.

Three broad regions:

  • Deccan Plateau
  • Central Highlands
  • North-western Plateau

Deccan Plateau

  • Bordered by Eastern Ghats, Satpura, Maikal range and Mahadeo hills
  • Important ranges: WG: Sahyadri, Nilgiri, Anaimalai and Caradamom hills; EG: Javadi hills, Palconda range, Nallamala Hills, Mahendragiri hills
  • EG and WG meet at Nilgiri hills.
  • Highest peak: Anaimudi (2695 m) on Anaimalai hills; Dodabetta (2637 m) on Nilgiri hills.
  • Rivers: Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri etc.

Central Highlands

  • Bounded by the Aravali and Satpura range.
  • Relic mountains, highly denuded and form discontinuous ranges.
  • Near Jaisalmer it is covered by the longitudinal sand ridges and crescent-shaped sand dunes called barchans.
  • Elevation: 700 - 1000 m
  • Banas, a tributary of Chambal, originates in the Aravalli. Other tributaries of Yamuna originate from the Vindhyan and Kaimur ranges.
  • Minerals in Chotanagpur plateau.

North-Eastern Plateau

  • Extension of the main Peninsular plateau.
  • Meghalaya and Karbi Anglong plateau.
  • Megahalaya plateau: Garo hills, Khasi hills and Jaintia hills (named after the Tribals inhabiting the region)
  • Rich in minerals like coal, iron, sillimanite, limestone and uranium.
  • Receives maximum rainfall from SW monsoon. Hence, Meghalaya plateau has a highly eroded surface. Cherrapuni and Myswarnam.

Indian Desert

  • Aka Marusthali
  • Northwest of the Aravali hills
  • Dotted with longitudinal dunes and barchans.
  • Low rainfall:> 150 mm per year Low vegetation cover
  • Evidence that this area was under the sea during the Mesozoic era.
  • Features: mushroom rocks, shifting dunes and oasis.
  • Rivers are ephemeral: Luni. Brackish lakes. Inland drainage.

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