Simplified Fundamentals

Physical Features of India – ‘Indo – Gangetic Plain’


Indo-Gangetic plain is a vast stretch of flat and extraordinarily fertile plain land in the northern limit of the Indian subcontinent starting from the Himalayan Range down to Bay of Bengal. It has a size of close to 3. of 75 lakh square kilometres and continues to be built up from the sediment carried to it by major river systems and their branches. It is formed by a plateau slightly sloping, with a few low hills; as such, the region is virtually flat.

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Features of the Indo-Gangetic Plains

  • The Indo–Gangetic Plains stretch from the southern slope of the Himalayas up to the northern part of the Peninsular Plateau that stretches 3,200 kilometers. 
  • The Himalayas spread from the mouth of Indus River in its west to mouth of Ganges River in the east while in the north the Shiwalik range exists and in the south Thar desert the Peninsular Plateu exists and in the east Purvanchal Hills exist. 
  • The plains have an area of about 780,000 sq. km 
  • The plains are broader in the western part and narrow towards the east. 
  • They possess deep and productive alluvial deposits brought by the northern rivers and are relatively flat, having designed elevation of approximately 200 meters and low gradient.

Formation of the Indo-Gangetic Plains

The plains were formed by deposition of huge quantities of sediments brought by Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers which filled a vast gap between the Peninsular and Himalayan systems. The formation of Himalayas was due to the optical movement of two plates India-Australian and Eurasia during Tertiary period The physiographic feature of this area is a deep valley occupied with river deposits.

Geographical Divisions of the Indo-Gangetic Plains


  • The Rajasthan Plain

    • Marusthali: Marusthali is classical desert with rocky land and mobile sand dunes popularly known as Dhrian while Rajasthan Bagar is considerable as a submerial arid zone, and has some fertile areas created by streams like Luni River. 
    • Rajasthan Bagar: To the east of the Thar Desert lies the semi-arid Rajasthan Bagar, drained by seasonal streams like the Luni River, creating fertile tracts known as Rohi.

The Punjab-Haryana Plain

    • The Punjab-Haryana Plain, also called the ‘Land of Five Rivers’ due to the five rivers that provide its soils, comprises lacustrine and alluvial watercourse sediments that are permeable due to the numerous deposits of five rivers. Bet lands, Dhayas and Chos are all depicted on it and these are fertile black soils and areas with high erosion rates.
  • The Ganga Plain

    • Upper Ganga Plain: The upper gangetic plain region is found from Delhi to Kolkata region where riverine geomorphologist like meanders, oxbow lakes exist. 
    • Middle Ganga Plain: The Middle Ganga Plain in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar remains highly susceptible to flooding due to such alterations in river course, more in particular the Kosi River. 
    • Lower Ganga Plain: The Lower Ganga Plain includes the geographically extensive Ganga-Brahmaputra Delta system or the Bengal Delta in eastern Bihar, Bengal, and Bangladesh that has mangrove forests and the Royal Bengal Tigers as prominent assets.
  • The Brahmaputra Plain: 

    • Also known as the Assam Valley, this region is distinct from the Ganga Plain, marked by riverine features like alluvial fans, sandbars, and Majuli Island, the largest riverine island globally. It is renowned for tea plantations.Screenshot 2024 06 08 181928


  • The general conditions during summer are very hot and there is a lot of humidity whereby temperatures may rise up to forty degrees Celsius or one hundred and four degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • It experiences a good deal of rainfall throughout the year, particularly from the monsoon in the Gangetic plains that play a significant role in sustaining agriculture through the replenishment of the water sources. 
  • The area referred to as the Ganga Plain is the largest part of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, which is very auspicious in terms of the richness of the soil and the agricultural productivity of the area. 
  • Some of these subregions include the Guinea Highlands, East African Highlands, the Ethiopian Plateau, the East African Coastal Plains, the Lake Victoria Basin, and the Rift Valley.


However, the region is faced with various problems including low population yield, low capacity in soil fertility, water rationing, and congestion. To secure this significant area for the future years, it is essential to pursue measures that encourage the practice of sustainable development to protect its natural and heritage assets.

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