The Peninsular Plateau: Complete Features

The Peninsular plateau stands as a pinnacle of the geographical beauty of India. It covers large states of India like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha, Karnataka, Tamil, Nadu, and Kerala.

Formation:  The peninsular plateau made from crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks observes as the oldest landform created due to shifts in the tectonic plates in Gondwanaland. It is triangular with general elevation from west to east.

Location:  It stands above 900 meters above sea level to the coordinates of 14.0000° N, 77.0000° E. It stretches from Delhi ridge in the northwest, Rajmahal hills in the east, Gir range in the west, and cardamom hills in the south along a small part extending towards the northeast in the form of Karbi plateau and Shillong plateau.  

Geographical features: One of the most stable landmass houses physiographic features such as tors, hummocky hills, quartzite dykes, spurs, block mountains, ravines, bare rock structures, etc. It surrounds itself with three mountain ranges, The Aravallis, The Satpuras, and The Vindhyas. The peninsular plateau divides itself into three groups based on relief:

  1. The Deccan plateau: The Deccan plateau surrounds itself with Satpura in the north, western ghats in the west, and eastern ghats towards the east. The highest peak is located on the Anaimalai Hills of the western ghats. The most popular ranges in this plateau include Javadi hills, the Placonda range, the Nalllamanda hills, and the Mahendra Giri hills. A dense network of rivers Kaveri, Krishna, Godavari, and Indravati provide hydroelectric power, irrigation to crops, and fertile soil to cultivate popular food crops such as oilseeds, pulses, legumes, cereals, cotton. The region is rich in asbestos, mica, iron, and kyanite.
  2. The Central Highlands: The central Highlands stretch from the Aravalli hills west to the Satpura range in the south. After going through metamorphic processes, this region is rich with metamorphic rocks such as slate, marble, gneiss, etc. Black soil is prevalent in the areas of the plateau containing a considerable amount of sand. A bed of tropical dry teak forests along with Grewia, Woorfordia, Butea trees covers it.

            Tapi, Narmada, and Mahi rivers en route for the Arabian sea and Chambal and Betwa rivers towards the bay of Bengal comprise the dual drainage river system in the central highlands. 

  1. The Northeastern plateau: The northeastern plateau extended from the central Peninsular plateau due to exertion by the northeastward movement of the Indian plate during the origin of the Himalayas. The Meghalaya plateau standing detached from the center has three subdivisions of Garo hills, The Khasi hills, and the Jaintia hills. The Meghalaya plateau is rich in mineral resources such as coal, Sillimanite iron ore, limestone, Uranium, etc.

Cultural and recreational: The Deccan plateau was under some of the most prominent dynasties like The Satvahanas, The Pallavas, The Marathas, The Delhi sultanate, and the Nizam of Hyderabad. It was inherently under the influence of Dravidian culture reflected in the architecture of various temples and shrines embedded in the rich history of the tableland.

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Bordered by western and eastern ghats, it is rich in scenic beauty, and the ambient climate attracts tourists from across the world. Many hill stations such as Mahabaleshwar, Ooty, and Pachmarhi are on the Peninsular block.  

Flora and fauna:  Rich soil and sooting temperatures invite a variety of species to the tableland. The block sports a covering of thick forests ranging from thorny shrubs forests in Rajasthan to Tropical dry and moist deciduous forests in temperate areas of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand to tropical evergreen forests in Odisha.

Trees like Sheesham, sandalwood, teak, sal provide high commercial value. Find Animals such as Gaur, Tigers, Sloth bears, Antelopes, Blackbuck here.

Peninsular plateau standing holds prominence in India’s biodiversity with its high economic, social, agricultural, and geographical value. Characterized by rivers, Abundant minerals, fertile soil, and rich wildlife, it is indeed the heart of India.

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