Physical Features of South India

This article discusses the geographical and physical features of South India. Southern India is a peninsula. It is triangular in shape and is made up of very old residual hills, old plateaus, plain and a comparatively young lava plateau. To its north are the Vindhya. Satpura, Maikal and Mahadeo ranges running from east to west. There are two rivers—the Narmada and the Tapti, both flowing west in rift valleys, narrow and deep.

To the west of the plateau are the Western Ghats and to the east are the Eastern Ghats. These ranges come nearer to each other in the south and meet at the Nilgiris. The Western Ghats are more elevated than the Eastern Ghats and are continuous. In the Eastern Ghats there are wide gaps. The highest peak of the Deccans plateau, Anaimudi (2,701 in) is situated south of the Nilgiris. The Annamalai and Cardamon hills are situated near it. The Western and Southern Ghat together is called the Shyadri.

The Deccan plateau has a slope to the east. Therefore, the rivers rise in the Western Ghats and flow to the east through the Eastern Ghats.

The portion of the plateau which is situated to the north of the Vindhyas is called the Central Indian Highlands. The western part is called Malwa and eastern part Chhotanagpur. The Aravallis, from Delhi to Ahmedabad (800 km) forms the western margin of this highland. Here Mt. Abu (1,722 m) is the highest point. To the east the Chhotanagpur plateau extends up to the Meghalaya plateau. The Ganga alluvium has burned a part of this eastern arm between Rajmahal and Meghalaya.

The rain shadow plateau region is not as suitable for agriculture as for pas­toralism. Only in the coastal plains, deltas and river valleys agriculture is carried on. The Deccan plateau, especially Chhotanagpur is famous for min­erals. In the hills there is heavy rainfall. So these areas have dense forests.