North Indian Plains



  • Ganga Plains
  • Brahmaputra Plains
  • Rajastan Plains
  • Punjab Plains


  • Plains: A plain is a broad area of relatively flat land.
  • Doab: Doab is a tract of land between two rivers.


The Great Northern Plains:

  • The northern plain has been formed by the interplay of three major river systems, namely the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra, as well as their tributaries.
  • It is mostly flat and low lying area.
  • They cover one-fifth of the area but house half of South Asia's population. These plains are the focal point of its political, economic, and cultural activities.
  • The plain is between 240 to 320 kilometres wide and 2,400 kilometres long. From east to west, it widens. Its area is more than 7 lakh square kilometres.
  • This plain is formed of alluvial soil. This fertile plain was formed over millions of years by the deposition of alluvium in a vast basin at the foothills of the Himalaya.
  • It is an agriculturally productive part of India due to its rich soil cover, adequate water supply, and favourable climate.
  • The Northern Plains of India are divided into four major regions based on sediment deposition by various rivers and topographical features:
    1) Ganga Plains
    2) Brahmaputra Plains
    3) Rajastan Plains
    4) Punjab Plains

Northern Plains 

1. Rajasthan Plains:

  • The Thar desert is divided into two main regions. The Actual Desert Region (Marusthali) and the Semi-Desert Region are the names of these areas (Bhangar). 
  • Rajasthan Plains is situated west of the Aravalli range. 
  • It has an area of approximately 1,75,000 square kilometers. 
  • The river Luni and the long vanished river Saraswati have deposited sediment that has created the Rajasthan plain.
  • Rajasthan is home to various salt lakes. Near Jaipur, the most notable lake is Pushkar Lake, also known as Sambhar Salt Lake.
  • The Thar desert, often referred to as the Great Indian desert, is a large arid region in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent.
  • It has a total area of 2,00,000 km2, and it serves as a natural border between Pakistan and India. It is the 7th largest desert on earth.
  • The desert occupies `2/3` of Rajastan state and is located in the western portion of the Aravalli range.

2. Punjab - Haryana Plains:

  • The Western part of the Northern Plain is referred to as the Punjab Plains.
  • These plains are located in Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh in India.
  • About 1.75 lakh square kilometres are covered by this plain.
  • The majority of this plain is in Pakistan, formed by the Indus and its tributaries including the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Satluj.
  • The plains are sloping in a westward direction.
  • The plain serves as a water - divide (doab). It separates two major watersheds: the Yamuna - Sutlej and Ganga - Yamuna.
  • The doabs of the lndus' five tributaries − Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas − are a notable feature of these plains. In fact, the name Punjab is derived from these, i.e., the land of five rivers.
  • Agriculture is widely practiced in this area due to the rich soil conditions.

3. Ganga Plains:

  • It extends from Bangladesh in the east to the Yamuna River in the west.
  • Approximately 3.75 make up this plain. It covers the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Delhi, and a portion of Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • This enormous plain in India was formed by the sediments of the Ganga and its tributaries, including the Ghaghra, Gandak, Kosi, Yamuna, Chambal, Betwa, and others.
  • It is the largest plain in India.
  • The upper, middle, and lower Ganga plains all have an east to south-east slope.

4. Brahmaputra Plains:

  • The Brahmaputra plain is located in the east, specifically in Assam.
  • It is formed by the deposits of river Brahmaputra.
  • It has a land area of approximately 56,275
  • These plains give rise to alluvial fans and marshy areas.
  • There are also a number of riverine islands, including Majuli, the world's largest river island.
  • The majority of the West Bengal State in both India and Bangladesh makes up the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta. It's called the Sundarbans. It is regarded as the biggest delta in the entire world.
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