Terrain shapes and bedrock
India has three topographical major regions with
completely different landform type and geological
development history. At the far north, the high mountain
masses of the Himalayas rise and at the far south the Indian
Plateau forms the triangular peninsula which is so dominant
in the general image of India. The third region is the North
Indian Plain, a water-rich and fertile part of India,
although it also contains desert and steppe areas.
COUNTRYAAH, most of India's bedrock was part of the southern
continent of Gondwana, which was split up some 125 million
years ago, with India sliding north to later collide with
the Eurasian plate. In this way, the large amounts of
sediment accumulated at the southern edge of Eurasia were
folded and pressed and the Himalayas formed. This process is
not over yet. Weathering and river erosion have loosened
material from the newly formed mountain range, brought it
down and deposited it in the area between the other two
parts, and thus the North Indian plain has been created.
The Himalayas are the world's highest mountain
system, about 2,500 km long, 200-400 km wide and very high
barrier to Central Asia, especially important from a
climatic point of view. In the main chain, which has an
average height of 6,000 m above sea level, there are rising,
within Indian territory, about ten snow-covered peaks above
7,500 m above sea level. The bedrock consists partly of
Precambrian crystalline shales, penetrated by granites and
partly of younger sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and
Kenozoic times. At the far south are the suburbs, which are
south-facing schools, which rise steeply across the plain.
See further Himalayas.
plateau areaoccupies about 2/5 of India and is
mainly built up of crystalline rocks from the Precambrian
period (older than 570 million years). It is one of the
world's most stable shield areas, but in 1967 it was hit by
a powerful earthquake in its western part. The plateau area,
which has an altitude of 500-1000 m above sea level, is
covered by a number of mountain ridges such as the Vindhya
and Satpur mountains and the Aravali mountains in the north.
The plateau is bounded by a fairly wide coastal plain within
the Koromandel Coast to the east of the Eastern Ghats
mountain range, which has an average altitude of 500 m above
sea level. The Western Ghats, a significantly steeper and
900-2700 m high strip chain, have a narrow coastal plain to
the Malabar coast on the Arabian Sea. These two randberg
mountains meet on the southern part of the peninsula, where
the Nilgiriber and Cardamom mountains rise. The northwestern
part of the region is dominated by Deccan's plateau basins.
They occupy large parts of western Madhya Pradesh and
Maharashtra. The peninsula slopes slightly from west to
east, which As a result, most of the rivers flow eastwards
and end up in the Bay of Bengal, eg. Coleroon, Krishna,
Godavari and Mahanadi. However, some rivers flow west, such
as Narmada and Tapti, while the northernmost are tributaries
to the Ganges.
The northern Indian plain consists largely of
flat areas, less than 50 m above sea level, which are mainly
dewatered by Ganges but also by Indus in the west and
Brahmaputra in the east. It is covered by thick layers of
river sediment, which in turn rests on tertiary sand and
clay layers, which were deposited on the Indian continental
shelf's northern continental shelf (part of the Tethys Sea).
The plain covers most of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,
Haryana and Punjab.
The soils vary from desert soils in the northwest
(Tharöknen) and mountain soils in the north to lateritic
soils in the northeast as well as brown soils and vertisols
on most of the peninsula. A fertile weathering soil has been
formed on the Deccan Plateau, suitable for cotton
cultivation. India has relatively few lakes: in the
Himalayas glaciated ice lakes, in the plains in the form of
extended river courses and in the plateau area some crater
Most of India has tropical climate with pronounced rainy
season and dry season. It is also called monsoon climate, as
it is the summer and winter monsoons that dominate.
The monsoons are also used as a subdivision for the four
seasons. The cool season is called the period from
mid December to February, when the northeast monsoon (winter
monsoon) reigns. It enters dry air but gives some rainfall
in the southeast and northwest of the country. The average
temperature for January in the lowland region is 15-20 ～ C
but rises south to about 30 ～ C.
The warm season is a transitional period between
the dry season and the rainy season from March to mid-June.
The temperature then rises in line with the sun's elevation
and already reaches an average of 30-35 ～ C in the middle of
the country as early as May. A change in the air pressure
conditions takes place so that the winter high pressure over
Asia is exchanged for a heat low pressure over northern
The rainy season falls from June to
mid-September beginning in the south. It is the humid
southwest monsoon that then brings plenty of rain and
thunder. The Western Ghats thus get 2,000-3,000 mm in
June-October on their western side. At the southern border
of the Himalayas, the monsoon winds are being pushed up with
ample rainfall as a result. Cherrapunji on the Khasi
Mountains north of the Ganga Delta receive an average of
11,400 mm per year. The temperature during the rainy season
is slightly lower than in the spring.
The withdrawal summer monsoon time from
mid-September to mid-December means that the winter monsoon
begins to take off. The average temperature this season is
about 27 ～ C over most of India.
Plant-and animal life
India's wildlife is rich. The richness of the species is
related to the vastly diverse biotopes that exist in the
country, with everything from the Himalayan mountains, via
rainforest in Assam, to dry forests, swamps and pure desert.
Add to this the special wildlife of the Andaman and Nicobar
Islands as well as a very rich marine fauna in and around
the Indian coastal coral reefs (limited distribution),
mangrove forests and surrounding seas.
Along the Malabar coast along the Indian Ocean in
southwestern India, mangrove vegetation and tropical
rainforests occur with large elements of palm trees, bamboo,
figs and species in the family banana plants. Parallel to
the coast extends the Western Ghats, a unique 1,600 km long
mountain range. The mountain range captures the monsoon
rains during late summer, which creates great variation in
vegetation. The western slopes are dominated by moist
tropical forests while drier, deciduous forests grow in the
eastern rainforest. At levels above 1,000 m, grass-dominated
plains often propagate. The variation in climate and
topography has given rise to a large variety of plants and
animals with a large element of endemic species; more than
half of all trees, fish, amphibians and reptiles live here.
Also among the mammals are a couple of endemic species:
lion tail macaque (Macaca silenus),
nilgiritahr (Hemitragus hylocrius, see picture goat
animal) and the acutely endangered viverrider Viverra
civettina. The Asian elephant (see elephants) has one
of its strongest mounts here with around 11,000 individuals,
which corresponds to 20-25 percent of the world population.
Tiger was formerly widespread across the country, but as
a result of unrestrained hunting and biotope destruction, it
disappeared from large areas. In order to save the species,
1974 Project tiger was started, which has produced very good
results. In the Western Ghats, there is an estimated
population of over 500 individuals out of about 1,700 in
total across India. Many national parks, forest reserves and
special tiger reserves have been allocated to protect the
species, including the three national parks Bandipur,
Mudumalai and Nagorhole.
Bandip迂r National are leopard, dhole, Nilgiri Tahr,
sambar, axis deer, Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjac),
Indian moschiola (Moschiola meminna), oxdjuret
gaur, four-horned antelope, striped hyena, a species of
apgruppen gray langur (Semnopithecus hypoleucos),
bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata), bear, rusty cat (Prionailurus
rubiginosus), wild boar and Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa
indica). Among the snakes are king cobra, the world's
largest poison worm that can grow up to 5.5 m long, and
tiger python. In the rivers lives the large swamp crocodile.
The acutely endangered Asian white-backed vulture (Gyps
bengalensis) has a strong attachment here.
Another famous tiger sanctuary is Periyar southwest of
Kochi, which is also one of India's most visited bird areas.
Visitor attractions include nilgiriduva (Columba
elphinstonii), malabarparakit (Psittacula
columboides), malabartoko (Ocyceros griseus),
black-headed flycatcher (Ficedula nigrorufa),
vitbukad cyornis (Cyornis pallipes),
nilgiripiplärka (Anthus nilghiriensis) and the now
threatened Indian yarns (Gypsum indicus). Among the
many wintering birds of the Himalayas, you will find the
rare woodpecker (Gallinago nemoricola).
In the state of Gurajat in northwestern India not far
from the Arabian Sea lies Gir, one of the country's most
famous national parks. Here is the only remaining tribe of
Asian lions, which were once widespread all the way to
Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and the Caucasus.
Nowadays, there is only a small isolated tribe of around 350
individuals, most of whom live within the reserve. Predators
such as nilgau, sambar deer, axis deer, four-horned antelope
and gazelle Gazella bennettii form the food base
for the lion. Other predators include leopard and striped
hyena. The National Park has run a successful program to
favor the swamp crocodile. Among the more than 300 species
of birds found are muddy pelican, spotted beak pelican (Pelecanus
philippensis), amurdykand (Aythya baeri),
larger scream eagle, emperor eagle, stairs less florican (Sypheotides
indicus), Indian scissors beak (Rynchops albicollis)
and the world's largest crested sarustrana (Grus
Further north in the state lies the Little Rann of Kutch
reserve, a flat area with saline flood zones. This is the
last site for the half-ashes in its former range, which
previously included southern Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
In connection with the monsoon rains created temporary
wetlands that attracts large amounts of water birds, such as
white pelican (see pelicans), Dalmatian Pelican, spot-billed
pelican, flamingo, lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor),
coot, tailed godwit, avocet, black legged Plover, shoveler,
pintail, oriental ibis stork (Mycteria leucocephala),
Asian beak (Anastomus oscitans), cranberry and
In the southern part of Kutchviken is India's first
marine national park with coral reefs. Mangrove areas and
tidal zones attract many different birds (including egrets,
flamingos and waders) as well as dugongs, moths (Delphinus
capensis), Asian porpoises (Neophocaena
phocaenoides) and caskets. At deeper water, whale
sharks sometimes appear.
In the state of Rajasthan rainfall areas, there are
sparse deciduous forests and savanna. The flora here has a
partial Arab-African connection, including acacias and
tamarisk. In Desert National Park, one of India's few desert
areas is protected, including the rare and urgently
threatened Indian staircase (Ardeotis nigriceps).
Other animals include bees antelope (Antelope
cervicapra), wolf, Asian wild cat (Felis silvestris
ornata), Indian fox (Vulpes bengalensis) and
Egyptian long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus).
During the winter you will find many different bird species
from northern areas such as gray-legged, goose-gum, bigger
screaming eagles and maidens.
South of New Delhi is the world famous bird sanctuary
Bharatpur (also known as Keoladeo National Park). Hundreds
of thousands of birds are attracted to the lakes, wetlands
and ponds, especially during the winter months. Among
breeding species are Oriental ibis stork, Asian beak stork,
black-tailed stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) and
Indian snake bird (Anhinga melanogaster). The
winter guests are many, not least the collection of birds of
prey is impressive, where the concentration of species such
as large scream eagle, emperor eagle, savanna eagle and
Indian tufa eagle (Spilornis cheela) is
In the middle of India lies the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Here are some of the most famous tiger reserves, such as
Ranthambhore, Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha, where as a
tourist you have great chances to see and experience tigers.
Pench tiger reserve is considered to have inspired Rudyard
Kipling to write the Jungle Book.
Northern India (Himalayas)
At Indus spring flows in Kashmir and Ladakh lies India's
largest national park, Hemis, located along the northern
slopes of the Himalayas with peaks up to 6,000 m. It is a
high alpine and rain-poor park with sparse pine forests at
lower levels. The National Park is best known for snow
leopards with an estimated population of 75-120 individuals.
The most important prey is blue sheep, but other ungulates
such as urial, (Tibetan) argala sheep, and Siberian
Capricorn (Capra sibirica) are also included in the
menu. Among the predators are the wolf, asian wild dog,
brown bear, lice and otters. The bird fauna is typical of
the Himalayas with species such as lambs, king eagle,
snowmobile, alp crow and a number of hen birds: Himalayan
snow hen, mountain hen, cockroach pheasant (Pucrasia
macrolopha), western tragopan (Tragopan
melanocephalus) and himalayamonal (Lophophorus
In the central Himalayas near the border with Nepal lies
the Great Himalayan National Park, which, because of its
great natural values, has been designated a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. Here you will find a large concentration of
pheasants and other hen birds, especially in the largest,
remaining mixed forests in the western Himalayas. Among the
species are the caste class pheasant, western tragopan,
Himalayan monal, potassium pheasant, rock pheasant and
brown-crowned song hen. On the high plains nest ibis beak.
Among the mammals are leopard, snow leopard, brown bear,
goral, blue sheep, musk, Himalayatahr (Hemitragus
jemlahicus) and Indian Muntjak (Muntiacus muntjak).
In Sikkim on the border with Nepal lies the world's third
highest mountain, Kanchenjunga (8,586 m). In order to guard
the spectacular mountain scenery and valleys with large,
untouched forests of different species of oaks, fir trees,
birches, maples and salesmen, a national park and a
biosphere reserve of the same name have been established.
Especially the mammal fauna is interesting with kiang,
collar bear, cat bear, taki, blue sheep, musk deer, wolf and
Northeast India (Assam)
In the state of Assam and at the foot of the eastern
Himalayas up to about 2,000 meters above sea level. grows
dense mountain rain forest with, among other things, palm
trees and giant bamboo. Coniferous forest occurs in areas
approximately 3,000 m above sea level, higher up it is
replaced by dense, low fog forest dominated by rhododendron
species and with epiphytic ferns and mosses.
Assam's most famous natural area is the Kaziranga
National Park, which is located along the southern beach of
Brahmaputra and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fauna is similar to that in the Western Ghats in
southwestern India with tiger, leopard, Asian elephant, wild
boar, Indian dwarf beast, sambar deer and ax deer.
Panzarnoshorn, formerly widespread across northern
India's floodplains, has been forced back and is now found
mainly here, with over half of the total world population
within the boundaries of the national park. Also wild water
buffalo is endangered with over half of the world population
Nine of India's total 14 monkeys live in Kaziranga,
including two species of langur and holok. In Brahmaputra,
the rare Ganges dolphin lives. Bird life is extremely rich
with almost 500 species found, making Kaziranga one of
India's absolute best bird areas. About 200 of the species
hurdles, including spot-billed pelican, lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos
javanicus), marsh Francolin (Franco Linus gularis),
bands eagle, Gray-headed fish eagle (Haliaeetus
ichthyaetus), black-necked stork and the endangered
bengalflorikan (Houbaropsis bengalensis) and
Emperor heron (Ardea insignis). The National Park
is an important wintering site for many waterfowl from
northern areas such as strip geese.
Another important natural area in Assam is Namdapha -
Kamlang on the border with Burma.
In the westernmost part of the gigantic Ganges Delta,
with most of it located in Bangladesh, lies Sundarban
National Park, tiger reserve and biosphere reserve. In the
mangrove forests, one of the world's densest populations of
tigers lives, and the area is perhaps best known for its
There is also the delta crocodile and the rare, acutely
endangered batagur turtle (Batagur baska). There
are three species of sea turtles: southern bastard turtle (Lepidochelys
olivacea), true bay turtle and mushroom turtle. The
Ganges dolphin is found in the freshwater zone, while five
species of dolphins, including irrawadid dolphin (Orcaella
brevirostris), screw dolphin (Stenella longirostris),
and betel dolphin (Stenella attenuata), live in the
Hundreds of thousands of waders winter in the Sundarbans,
including the extremely rare spoonbill (Eurynorhynchus
pygmeus) that breed in northeastern Siberia. Asian
swimming (Heliopais personatus) is another rare
inhabitant of the delta. A further five coastal wetland
areas have been set aside as national parks and bird
sanctuaries (Nalabana, Bhitarkanika, Coringa/Codavari,
Lake Pulikats and Point Calimere) along the eastern coast of
India, for the benefit of nesting and overwintering herons,
ducks, waders and other waterfowl.
Andaman and Nicobar
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal have
a flora and fauna that in most respects differ from the rest
of India. Among the approximately 2,200 plants, 200 are
endemic and 1,300 do not occur at all on the Indian
About fifty different mammal species are described, half
of which are rodents. There is an endemic fly dog (Pteropus
faunulus) and wild boar has been implanted by man. Crab
cakes are widely distributed. In the sea around the islands
live dugong, delta crocodile and four species of sea
turtles: mushroom turtle, sea-turtle turtle, southern
bastard turtle and true bay turtle. The world's largest
arthropod, coconut thief, is found on several of the
islands. Among the 20 different endemic birds can be
mentioned nikobar metropole (Megapodius nicobariensis),
nikobar parakeet (Psittacula caniceps), nikobar
hawk (Accipiter butleri), southern nikobar helminth
(Spilornis klossi)), northern Nicobar helminth (Spilornis
minimus), andaman helminth (Spilornis elgini)
and andamanduva (Columba palumboides).
India has a well-developed conservation organization, led
by the Department of Environment, Forest and Wildlife. In
2009, there were 96 national parks and a large number of
nature reserves, spread across the country's zones,
representing more than 4% of the country's area.