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Chapter 2

Physical Features of India

Class 9 - NCERT Geography Contemporary India 1 Solutions

Find Out 1

Question 1

The names of the glaciers and passes that lie in the Great Himalayas.


Glaciers — Gangotri, Yamunotri, Zemu, Satopanth, Pindari, Siachen.

Passes — Nathu La, Rohtang La, Shipki La, Karakoram, Bomdila

Question 2

The name of the states where the highest peaks are located.


  • Kanchenjunga — Sikkim
  • Nanda Devi — Uttarakhand
  • Kamet — Uttarakhand
  • Namcha Barwa — Arunachal Pradesh

Find Out 2

Question 1

Location of Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet from your atlas also name the state where they are located.


Mussoorie, Nainital and Ranikhet are located in Uttarakhand in lesser Himalayas.

Choose the right answer

Question 1

A landmass bounded by sea on three sides is referred to as

  1. Coast
  2. Island
  3. Peninsula
  4. None of the above



Question 2

Mountain ranges in the eastern part of India forming its boundary with Myanmar are collectively called

  1. Himachal
  2. Uttarakhand
  3. Purvachal
  4. None of the above



Question 3

The western coastal strip, south of Goa is referred to as

  1. Coromandel
  2. Konkan
  3. Kannad
  4. Northern Circar



Question 4

The highest peak in the Eastern Ghats is

  1. Anal Mudi
  2. Kanchenjunga
  3. Mahendragiri
  4. Khasi



Answer the following questions briefly

Question 2(i)

What is the bhabar?


The rivers, after descending from the mountains deposit pebbles in a narrow belt of about 8 to 16 km in width lying parallel to the slopes of the Shiwaliks. It is known as Bhabar.

Question 2(ii)

Name the three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south.


The three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south are:

  1. Himadri or the Great or Inner Himalayas
  2. Himachal or Lesser Himalayas
  3. Shiwaliks or Outer Himalayas

Question 2(iii)

Which plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhyan ranges?


Malwa Plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhyan ranges.

Question 2(iv)

Name the island group of India having coral origin.



Distinguish between

Question 3(i)

Bhangar and Khadar


1.Bhangar is made up of calcareous deposits called kankar.Khadar is formed of fine silt and clay.
2.Bhangar is older alluvium soil.Khadar is renewed almost every year.
2.Bhangar is less fertile.Khadar is very fertile.

Question 3(ii)

Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats


Western GhatsEastern Ghats
1.The Western Ghats mark the western edge of the Deccan plateau along the Arabian sea.The Eastern Ghats mark the eastern edge of the Deccan plateau along the Bay of Bengal.
2.The Western Ghats are continuous and can be crossed through passes only.The Eastern Ghats are discontinuous and irregular and dissected by rivers.
3.Western Ghats are higher. Their average elevation is 900–1600 metres.Eastern Ghats are lower with average elevation of 600 metres.

Answer the following questions

Question 4

Which are the major physiographic divisions of India? Contrast the relief of the Himalayan region with that of the Peninsular plateau.


The major physiographic divisions of India are:

  1. The Himalayan Mountains
  2. The Northern Plains
  3. The Peninsular Plateau
  4. The Indian Desert
  5. The Coastal Plains
  6. The Islands

Differences between the relief of the Himalayan region and Peninsular plateau are:

Himalayan regionPeninsular plateau
1.The Himalayan region comprises of relatively new young fold mountains.The Peninsular plateau is an ancient part of Earth's landmass.
2.The Himalayas were formed as a result of the collision between the Indo-Australian and Eurasian plates.The Peninsular plateau was formed due to breaking and drifting of Gondwana land.
3.The Himalayan region is the shape of an arc.The Peninsular plateau is in the shape of a triangle.
4.The Himalayan region has three parallel ranges : Himadri, Himachal and Shiwaliks.The Peninsular plateau has two parts : the Central highland and the Deccan Plateau.
5.The Himalayan region is composed of Sedimentary rocks.The Peninsular plateau is composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
6.The average elevation in the Himalayan region is much higher ranging from 3,000 meters to over 8,000 meters.The average elevation in the peninsular plateau is much lower ranging from 300 meters to 600 meters.
7.The Himalayan region is characterized by rugged terrain, deep gorges, high mountain peaks, and extensive river systems, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and their tributaries.The Peninsular plateau is generally flatter and has more gently rolling hills and plateaus, with the Western and Eastern Ghats forming prominent mountain ranges along its edges. It also contains tablelands like the Malwa Plateau and Deccan Plateau.

Question 5

Give an account of the Northern Plains of India.


  1. The Northern Plains has been formed by three major river system: the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries.
  2. The plain is formed of alluvial soil brought and deposited by the rivers. This makes this area very fertile.
  3. It spreads over an area of 7 lakh, stretching approximately 2400 km in length and 240 to 320 km in width. It's a densely populated region.
  4. Adequate water, favourable climate and fertile soil make the Northern Plains agriculturally very productive.
  5. The Northern Plain is broadly divided into three sections:
    1. Punjab Plains — Western part, mostly in Pakistan, formed by the Indus and its tributaries (Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Satluj) and dominated by doabs.
    2. Ganga Plain — Formed by the Ganga and its tributaries, it extends between Ghaggar and Teesta rivers. It is spread over North India.
    3. Brahmaputra Plain — Formed by the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, it lies in the East particularly in Assam.
  6. The Northern Plains can be divided into four regions: bhabar, terai, bhangar and khadar.

Question 6

Write short notes on the following.

(i) The Indian Desert

(ii) The Central Highlands

(iii) The Island groups of India


(i) The Indian Desert — The Indian desert lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hills. It is an undulating sandy plain covered with sand dunes. This region receives less than 150 mm rainfall per year. It has arid climate with low vegetation cover. Streams appear during the rainy season and then disappear. Luni is the only large river in this region. Crescent-shaped dunes or Barchans are common here but longitudinal dunes become more prominent near the Indo-Pakistan boundary.

(ii) The Central Highlands — The Central Highlands is one of the two parts of the Peninsular plateau. The Central Highlands is the part lying to the north of the Narmada river, covering a major area of the Malwa plateau. It is bounded by the Vindhyan range and the Satpura range on the south and the Aravalis on the northwest. The further westward extension gradually merges with the sandy and rocky desert of Rajasthan. The flow of the rivers draining this region, namely the Chambal, the Sind, the Betwa and the Ken is from southwest to northeast, thus indicating the slope. The Central Highlands are wider in the west but narrower in the east. The eastern extensions of Central Highlands are called Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand, while the Chotanagpur plateau extends further east and is drained by the Damodar river.

(iii) The Island groups of India — India has two groups of islands — the Lakshadweep islands group and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

  1. The Lakshadweep Islands Group — They are located in the Arabian sea close to the Malabar coast of Kerala. This group of islands is composed of small coral islands. It covers small area of 32 Kavaratti island is the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep. It has great diversity of flora and fauna. The Pitti island, which is uninhabited, has a bird sanctuary.
  2. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Group — It consists of an elongated chain of islands located in the Bay of Bengal extending from north to south. They are bigger in size and are more numerous and scattered. The entire group of islands is divided into two broad categories — the Andaman in the north and the Nicobar in the south. It is believed that these islands are an elevated portion of submarine mountains. They are rich in flora and fauna. They experience equatorial climate due to their location near equator and have thick forest cover.