Simplified Fundamentals

Physical Features of India – ‘Northern Plains’


The Northern Plains also known as the Indo-Gangetic plains occurs in the northern part of India and stretches over an area of approximately 700,000 square kilometres. The geographical feature is located in the south of the Himalayas mountain range and in the north of the Deccan plateau; from the Punjab state in the west to the state of Assam in the east.Screenshot 2024 06 10 172559

Geological Formation

The Northern Plains were also formed by the deposition of alluvial soil carried from the Himalayan foothills by river deposition that occurred millions of years ago. 

  • Tectonic Activities: This consists of the area between Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate tectonically active area, the actual collision has resulted in the formation of Himalaya and deposition of sediments in the plain.
  • Riverine Deposits: The alluvial formation of the Northern Plains is classified into two groups that are the Bhangar, also known as the older alluvial deposits, and Khadar the newer alluvial deposits that have greatly enriched the soil type of the region.

Major Rivers and Their Tributaries

Northern Plains are also irrigated by several major rivers making the region rich and capable of supporting heavy population density.

  • The Ganga River System: Some of the major profiles that can be identified in the Noun-verb connection are as follows:- Its major affluents are Yamuna, Ghaghra, Gandak, and Koshi.
  • The Yamuna River: The Yamuna River rises south of Delhi and is the major affiliate of Ganga, flows through various large cities such as Delhi and Agra.
  • The Brahmaputra River: Braided river system: The Brahmaputra is said to be one of the largest rivers in the world as it passes through Assam where it is characterized by numerous tributaries.

Climatic Conditions

There are seasonal variations in the Northern Plains but the terrain is characterised by hot or very hot summer seasons followed by cold winters.

  • Summer Season: Autumn mainly is dry with occasional light showers after mid-September while the summers are hot with temperatures rising beyond forty degrees Celsius, particularly in the arid regions of the west.
  • Monsoon Season: Warmer months are full of monsoon and the area can get considerable amounts of precipitations, suitable for agriculture between June and September.
  • Winter Season: Cold is experienced especially in the north western regions of the country in winters and in some years frost also falls.

Soil Types and Fertility

The quantity of set forth fertilization in the Northern Plains is therefore attributed to alluvial soils that are nutrient packed and capable of supporting a variety of crop production.

  • Alluvial Soil: Khadar alluvial soil is relatively younger while the other one, bhangar alluvial soil, is much older in formation.
  • Loamy Soil: Deep, well-drained loamy soils with gently rolling topography that is moderately sloping to level, with a considerable amount of sand, silt, clay, and other subsoils and improved, highly productive and some of the best agricultural soils in the world.
  • Black Soil: Moreover, some types of soil, for example black soil used for planting crops due to its water holding capacity is available in eastern areas.

Agricultural Practices

Most of the agriculture in the Northern Plains is special and special practices involved include:

  • Traditional Farming: Traditional practices involve the use of animal draft power such as ploughs and manual practices where people use their bare hands and energy.
  • Modern Techniques: The modern practices include the use of tractors, harvesters or other implements, tools and modern ways to irrigate the plants.

Irrigation Methods

Due to the significance of efficient irrigation for the Northern Plains’ agriculture, water resources carry a special importance in the region.

  • Canal Irrigation: It is widely used for irrigation where canals are being developed through the water of river Ganga and Yamuna.
  • Tubewell Irrigation: Tube wells are extensively utilised while extracting water from the ground and is largely practised in Punjab and Haryana.
  • Drip and Sprinkler Systems: Recently, newer forms of irrigation like drip and sprinkler systems are being incorporated in an effort to make the use of water more effective.

Demographic Profile

The Northern Plains region is very populated and it has a variety of people from all parts of the country.

  • Population Density: There is quite a large population density in the area, especially given Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among the most populated ones in India.
  • Rural and Urban Distribution: Though most citizens live in rural areas, the nation has experienced an increase in the urbanization rate.
  • Literacy and Education: Concerning literacy levels, the states are in different stands with some improving literacy through education.


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