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Chapter 01: Interpretation of Topographical Maps 1

Chapter 01: Interpretation of Topographical Maps


→ Topographical Maps
→ Scale
→ The Statement of Scale
→ The Linear Scale
→ The Representative Fraction
→ Distance Measurement
→ Direct
→ Indirect
→ Representation on directions
→ Cardinal Points
→ Directions
→ Bearing
→ Magnetic Bearing
→ True Bearing
→ Representation of Relief
→ Pictorial or Qualitative Methods
→ Mechanical or Quantitative Methods
→ Eastings and Northings
→ Grid Reference
→ Four Grid Reference
→ Six Grid Reference
→ Measurement of Area
→ Settlement and different Patterns of Settlement
→ Nucleated or Clustered Pattern
→ Dispersed or Scattered Settlements
→ Linear or Ribboned Pattern
→ Radial Pattern
→ Rectangular Pattern
→ Drainage Pattern
→ Trellis Pattern
→ Drendritic drainage Pattern
→ Parallel drainage Pattern
→ Radial Drainage Pattern
→ Disappearing Drainage Pattern
→ Map reading Practice

Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography 1


2

Topograph
hical Ma
aps:
™ Top
pographic ma aps show mu uch greater details
d about small areas..
™ Top
pographical maps
m of an area
a are issu
ued by the Department
D o Survey in every counttry. In our
of
country they are
e issued by the departm ment called ‘S
Survey of Ind
dia’ at Dehra
a Dun. Thes
se are the
mapps which sho
ow the detailss of natural as
a well as maan-made features of an aarea.

Scale:
¾ Map ps are alwayys drawn to scale.
s The sccale of a map p denotes the relationshiip that exists
s between
a length on the map and the e actual distaance on the ground. The ere are three ways of rep presenting
this proportion. It
I can be exp pressed by
 The
T Stateme ent of scale
 The
T Linear or Plain scale e
 The
T Represe entative Fraction (R.F.)
z The State ement of sca ale expresse es the relatio
onship of mapp to ground iin words, suc ch as one
centimetree to five kilom
metres. It is expressed
e ass 1 cm: 5 km
m.
z The Linear scale rep presents the same relationship by meansm of stra
aight line div
vided into
lengths eaach of which represents a certain distance on the e ground. Linnear scale is drawn on
map as sh hown in fig.

z The Reprresentative Fraction expresses the proportion ofo map to gro ound numerically. It is
usually ab a R.F. The numerator of
bbreviated as o the fractio
on is alwayss 1 and reprresents a
length on the map while the denom
minator indic
cates the actu
ual distance on the groun
nd.

Dista
ance Me
easurem
ment:
¾ Mea asurement of
o Direct (Sttraight) disttances: The
e measureme
ent of distance along any straight
line on the map presents no difficulty.

Steps
s:
 M m between which the diistance is to be measured.
Mark two points on the map
 Measure
M the distance witth the help off a divider orr a piece of paper
p betweeen the given points on
t map.
the
 Now
N place th
he divider or strip of paper on the linear scale dra awn on the m
map. This will
w directly
g
give the dista
ance on the ground
g between the two points.
Measuremen
nt of Indire
ect (curved) distanc
ces:
z Some diffficulty lies in the measure
ement of the length of irre
egular / curve
ed lines on a map.
Ste
eps:
z Take a pieece of thread
d and mark the point with
h pen which shows
s the sttarting point.
z Spread th
he thread along the line fo
ollowing each curve till th
he last point.
z Now strettch the thread
d along the scale
s to give the length.

2 Universal Tuto
orials – X ICS
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ume 1 of 2
Chapter 01:
0 Interpretattion of Topogrraphical Maps
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š Fin
nd the direect distance e between
se
ettlement Seelwara and settlement
s
Dh
handpur, if the
t scale off map is 2
cm
m to 1 km.
Sol. Direct distance betw
ween the
se
ettlement Sellwara and Dhandpur is
4 cm. 1 cm ono the map represents
00 m on the ground or 2 cm on the
50
maap equals 1 km on the ground. 4
cm
m on the map p representss 500 × 4 =
20
000 m or 2 kmm.

š Finnd out the e indirect distance


ong cart-trrack between the
alo
seettlement Dadarla and
seettlement Dhhann.
Sol. Ind
direct distan
nce along cart
c track
beetween settllement Dad darla and
Dhhann is 8.5 cm
c 1 cm on n the map
reppresents 500
0 m on the ground
g or
2 cm on the map
m equals 1 km on
the
e ground. 8.5
8 cm on the map
rep 0 × 8.5 = 425
presents 500 50 m or 4
km
m 250 m.

Reprresentattion of Direction
D ns:
¾ Disttance and direction are thet two fundamental com mponents of a map. Knowledge of diirection is
obtaained from thhe rotation off the earth. We
W know thatt earth rotatees around its axis.
¾ Thee northern en nd of its axis is called Norrth Pole and its southern end is know
wn as South Pole.
P Any
line at right angles to the North-South line indicates East-West
E direction.
¾ Thus, we have four main directions
d of North, Soutth, East and West. Thesse four direcctions are
know wn as cardinal points. There is an nother set ofo four direcctions betweeen these fo
our major
directions. Theyy are:
 North-East
N (NNE) between n North and East.
E
 North-West
N (NW) betwee en North and West.
 South-East
S (S
SE) between n South and East.
 South-West
S (
(SW) betweeen South and d West.

Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tuto


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š Fin
nd out the direction
d of:
a) Jolpur from
m Rampura
b) Hara Magra a from Wark
ka
c) Open scrub b from Wark
ka.
Sol. a) North–east
b) South–east
c) East

4 Universal Tuto
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Chapter 01:
0 Interpretattion of Topogrraphical Maps
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Bearring:
¾ Beaaring of an object
o is the
e clockwise angle meas sured from the north-
soutth line to a line
l connectiing the obse
erver’s positioon with the object. In
otheer words, it iss an angle be
etween the object
o and the observer and
a north-
soutth line. In figure,
f O is the positionn of the observer. The line OP
connects the objject P with O and makess a clockwise e angle of 60° with the
nortth-south line (NS) passing through the e observer.
¾ Thus, the bearing of objectt P with refe erence to the observer O is 60°.
Similarly the po oint Q make es a clockw wise angle of o 330° with h NS line
passsing through h O. Hence e, the beariing of Q with w referencce to the
obse erver O is 3330°.
¾ Mag gnetic Beariing: A bearin ng with reference to mag gnetic north-ssouth line
is ca
alled Magnettic Bearing.
¾ True e Bearing: A bearing measured
m witth reference to geograph hic north-
soutth line is called True Bea aring.

Reprresentattion of re
elief:
¾ The e chief metho
ods by which
h relief featurres may be indicated on the flat surfa
ace of the map are as
follo
ows
Pic
ctorial or Qualitative
Q e Methods
s:
z Hachures s: These are
e broken liness following th
he direction of
o slope.
z Layer-tinting / Colou
uring: In thiss method, a colour sche eme is used to show reliief on the
map.
z Hill shad
ding: This method
m is used to show slopes with the help off shading. The sunny
ppear brighter in this meth
slopes ap hod.
Mechanical or
o Quantittative Meth
hods:
z Contours s: The metho od of showin ng relief
through contours
c is perhaps the most
accurate, common and popu ular. A
contour iss an imagin nary line dra awn on
map joining the pointts having the e same
elevation above mean m sea level.
Contours are also kn nown as ‘iso ohypes’,
where ‘isso’ means equal and ‘hypes’
means he eights.
z The fig. below represe ents an islannd with two hills linked byy a lower ridg
ge. The dotte
ed lines in
this diagraam represen nt the levels on the hillsid
des at which heights of 100 metre, 20 00 metre,
300 metre e and 400 metre respectiively are atta ained. They therefore,
t represent conttour-lines.
If the island were to sink
s or the sea
s to rise 100 metre, th he 100 metre e contour lev
vel would
become th he new coasst-line and would
w represe ent sea-level. In the diagram a contou ur map of
the area has
h been dra awn.
z Form Lines: These are broken lin nes between contour liness to indicate minor details.
z Spot heig ghts: These are marked on the map by a dot and d an associatted number eg.e .341.
z Bench marks:
m These e are marks on buildings s or other pe
ermanent stru uctures. The
ese marks
are shown n by letters BM
B along with height e.g.. BM 580.
z Trigonom metrical stattions: These e points sho ow height an nd are markked by a tria angle and
height e.gg. Δ 866.

Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tuto


orials – X ICS
SE – Geograph
hy 5
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Easttings and Northings:


¾ Theese are the parallel
p lines drawn horizoontally and vertically
v on the
t toposhee et. Along the
e margins,
the values of the Eastings anda Northing gs are indicaated. The neetwork of the ese lines form
ms a grid
pattern that help
ps in the find
ding of exact location of places
p and feeatures with the assistannce of six-
figure reference. The grids of
o eastings and
a northings s also help to
o find out the
e approximatte area of
the region showwn on the map p.

6 Universal Tuto
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Chapter 01:
0 Interpretattion of Topogrraphical Maps
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Grid referen
nce:
¾ We use grid, syystem in the topographiccal sheets. Itt consists off network of parallel lines running
from
m north to so
outh (Easting
gs) and from m east to weest (Northing gs). These liines enclosee squares
knowwn as Grid Squares.
S Grid
d lines are sh
hown on the Topo-sheet..
Fou
ur Figure Grid Reference:
z In the fou
ur figure grid reference th he intersectin
ng points of Easting andd Northing is taken as
originating
g point. First two digits off the Grid Re
eference are the easting a
and the last two digits
are the noorthing. By using this method we can locate an arrea of one sq quare km (i.e
e. 1000 m
× 1000 m) on the map p.
Six
x Figure Grid Refere
ence:
z The six figure grid refference givees exact loca ation of a fea
ature. In six figures the first
f three
digits are the Eastingss and the lasst three digits
s are the Norrthings.
Ste
eps for finding Six Figure
F Grid
d Referen
nce:
z Locate thee four figure grid referencce by using first
f two digitts of easting and northing
g.
z Divide eacch side of the grid into te
en parts both vertically an
nd horizontally.
z Now markk the division ns of Eastings and the div visions of No
orthings.
z The interssecting point is the locatio erence point.
on of the refe
š Fin
nd the four figure grid reference
r off village Marrol from the
e given figurre.
Sol. Th
he four figure
e grid refere
ence of villag e village lies between
ge Marol is 0308. It means that the
Ea
astings 03 an
nd 04 and No orthings 08 and
a 09.
š Fin
nd the four figure grid reference
r off spot heigh
ht .242 from the given figure.
Sol. Th
he four figure
e grid referen s 0410. It means that the given spot height
nce of spot height .242 is h lies
be
etween Eastings 04 and 05 0 and North hings 10 and 11.

Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tuto


orials – X ICS
SE – Geograph
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šFin
nd the six-figure grid
refference off the follo owing
loc
cations.
Sol. 1) Six figure grid referen nce of
spot heightt .591 Eastinng 3rd
division off (91) kilo ometre
grid. Northing 6th division of
(87) kilometre grid.
â Location of .591
= 913876.
2) Six-figure grid
g reference e of Δ
217. Eastin ng 1st divisiion of
(89) kilomeetre grid. Noorthing
7th division of (88) kilo
ometre
grid.
â Location of Δ 217
= 891887

Meas
suremen
nt of are
eas:
¾ Thee area on th he topographical map iss
cove ered by a number
n of grid
g squaress.
Eacch square me easures 2 sq q. cms (2 cmm
× 2 cm) or 1 sq.. km (1 km × 1 km) since e
two centimetress on map is equivalent of o
one kilometre on n the groundd. Thus, each h
grid square mea asures 1 sq. km area.
¾ Thee area of the e map can be b calculated d
by counting the e number of o grids in a
give
en area.
 Count
C the co omplete con ntained withinn
t area.
the
 Square
S inclu
uded more than half of o
a
area concerrned are ta aken as 2/3 3
s
squares.
No. of complete squares: 10 Sq.km
No. of 1/2 sqquares: 2 1 Sq.km
No. of 2/3 sqquares: 5 3.33 Sq.km
No of 1/3 squares: 8 2.6 2 Sq.km
T
Total Area = 16.9 sq. km m
 Squares
S uded half of the area is ta
inclu aken as 1/2 square.
s
 In addition all squares of which less th han half area
a is covered are taken ass 1/3 square..
 Add
A all the sq quares and you
y will get th he total area
a of the conce
erned portion
n.

8 Universal Tuto
orials – X ICS
SE – Geograph
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ume 1 of 2
Chapter 01:
0 Interpretattion of Topogrraphical Maps
s 9

Settllement and
a Diffe
erent Pa
atterns of
o Settle
ement:
¾ Setttlement means a cluster of inhabited houses, may y be rural or urban.
 Nucleated
N o Clustered
or d pattern: In es are very close to
n this house
e
each other and
a are connstructed in a compact manner. So ource of
w
water, need of
o defence, collective
c comforts and privileges
p have been
t basic rea
the asons for the growth of nu ucleated setttlements.

 D
Dispersed or o Scattere ed settlemeents: Scatteered settlements are
f
found in the areas of spparse popula
ation, shelterred valleys or
o at foot
h
hills. Here buildings are far away froom each oth her. They arre almost
issolated. The
ere are large farm-housess.

 L
Linear or Ribboned
R p
pattern: When houses s or buildin ngs are
c
constructed a
along the roa
ad, canal, rivver or railway
y line, the pa
attern of
s
settlement em
merged is knnown as linea ar pattern.

 R
Radial patte
ern: In this pattern, buildiings or hous
ses spread out
o from
a central point generallyy a water bo ody, temple, palace or a road
junction.

 R
Rectangularr pattern: Where
W two or more main n roads crosss each
o
other, housess built accord
dingly give a rectangular pattern.

Drain
nage pa
attern:
¾ A drainage systtem refers too the origin and
a develop pment of stre eam through time, while drainage
pattern means spatial
s arrang
gement and form
f of strea
ams.
 Trellis
T Patte
ern (Rectang gular Pattern attern, the tributaries can
n): In this pa n be seen me
eeting the
m
main stream at right angle.

Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tuto


orials – X ICS
SE – Geograph
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Practice

Trellis or Rectangular
Drainage Pattern
 Dendritic drainage pattern: In this pattern, the tributaries come from all directions, to meet
the main river. Like the branches of a tree, the small streams meet larger streams and the
larger streams meet still larger streams and in the end meet the main river.
Practice

Dendritic Drainage Pattern


 Parallel drainage pattern: Parallel drainage pattern comprises numerous rivers which are
parallel to each other and follow the regional slope.
Practice

Parallel Drainage Pattern


 Radial drainage pattern: Radial drainage pattern also known as centrifugal pattern is formed
by the streams which diverge from the central higher point in all directions.
Practice

 Disappearing drainage pattern: In this drainage system, the streams and tributaries before
reaching the main river disappear into the soil of porous nature.

Practice

Disappearing Drainage Pattern


10 Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography Volume 1 of 2
Chapter 01: Interpretation of Topographical Maps 11

REVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWES:


1) What is a map?
Ans: A map is defined as the representation of the earth’s surface as a whole or a part of it, with
conventional symbols. It is drawn to a scale so that each and every point on it corresponds to the
actual ground position.
2) What are topographical or ordinance survey maps?
Ans: These maps show natural as well as man-made features of an area. They are usually drawn on
large scales, so it is possible to show considerable details of natural and man-made features,
such as hills, rivers, forests, towns, villages, roads, railways, canals, bridges and telegraph lines
etc.
4) What are cadastral maps?
Ans: These maps are drawn for showing individual landed property and land registration.
5) What do you understand by ‘scale’ of a map?
Ans: The scale of a map denotes the relationship that exists between distance on the map and the
actual distance on the ground.
6) What is statement of scale?
Ans: It expresses the relationship of map to ground in words, such as one centimeter to five
kilometers. It is expressed as 1 cm : 5 km.
7) The distance between two settlements is 6.5 cm on the map while the actual distance
between them is 52 km. Find out the scale of the map.
52
Ans: 6.5 cm on the map represent 52 km â 1 cm represents = = 8 km
6 .5
It means 1cm on map represents 8 km on the ground.
Map dis tan ce
∴ R.F. =
Ground dis tan ce
Now, 1 cm on map represents 8 km on the ground.
1 1
â R.F. = =
8 × 1,00,000 8,00,000
8) What is bearing?
Ans: Bearing is the clockwise measurement of the angle formed between the north-south line and the
line joining the two given points (i.e. object and observer).
9) What are conventional signs or symbols?
Ans: These are standard symbols used on a map and explained in the legend to convey a definite
meaning.
10) What is contour lines?
Ans: An imaginary line on the map, all points of which are at the same elevation above a specified
datum surface.
11) What are spot heights? Why are they widely used in hilly regions?
Ans: Spot heights are marked on the map by a dot accompanied with a number eg. .341. They
represent positions on the ground of which the height has been accurately determined, and the
number indicates the height in feet or metres. They are generally marked on bill summits or
along roads.
12) How are Bench marks shown on the map?
Ans: On a map, these are shown by letter BM followed by the height in feet or metres eg. BM 610.
13) What is the shape of the contours representing ‘plateau’?
Ans: Plateau is an elevated plain with relatively level surface which falls down rapidly. Contours
showing plateau are mostly concentrated on its sides and its central part is almost without
contours.
Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography 11
12

14) What is an escarpment? How is it shown by contours on maps?


Ans: It is the abrupt, comparatively long and regular, steep face of any hill or ridge. Such escarpments
are commonly seen on the face of plateaus. The one side of escarpment has steep slope while,
another has gentle slope. On a map the contours in an escarpment are closer towards the scarp
slope (Steep) and farther apart towards the dip slope (Gentle).
15) How do you identify a ‘cliff’ in the toposheet?
Ans: A cliff is a very steep side of rock. These are commonly seen on the rocky coast. There is a
sudden steep fall to the sea below. The contours seem to run into the sea and they merge into
one another on the face of the cliff.
16) What is contour interval?
Ans: The difference in elevation between successive contours is called the contour interval. It is a
vertical interval or difference between two adjacent contour lines.
17) What is Grid? Give the importance of National Grid.
Ans: An imaginary network of equidistant lines printed on map. It enables in locating the position of a
place to be accurately defined in a simple way than by using latitudes and longitudes. National
Grid is a co-ordinate used for map reference by ordinance survey.
18) What is Easting? How is it shown on the map?
Ans: Easting is the distance due east in longitude from the preceding points of measurement. It is
shown red-lines running vertically.
19) What is Northing? How is it drawn on the map?
Ans: Northing is the distance due north in latitude from the preceding points of measurement.
It is shown in red coloured lines running horizontally.
20) By which colours are the following shown on the toposheet?
a) Agriculture land b) Forest land c) Barren land
Ans: a) Agriculture land – Yellow.
b) Forest land – Green.
c) Barren land – White.
21) What is four-figure grid reference?
Ans: In the four-figure grid reference the intersecting point of Easting and Northing is taken as
originating point. First two digits of the Grid reference are the Easting and the last two digits are
the northing.
22) What is six figure grid references?
Ans: In six figure reference the first three digits are the Eastings and the last three digits are the
Northings. It gives exact location of a feature.
23) What is Grid Square?
Ans: It is an area of 1 sq km demarcated on the toposheet by the intersection of Grid lines. Each grid
square measures 2 sq cm distance of map.
24) What do you understand by ‘brackish’?
Ans: It is water which is salty and is unfit for drinking. In dry regions, due to extreme heat excessive
evaporation occurs leaving high mineral content in the water.
25) Give the meaning of ‘fireline’.
Ans: It is found in the forest areas. This is a 5 metre wide passage or path, clear of all vegetation,
around the forest to prevent forest fire from spreading.
26) What is the meaning of ‘Broken Ground’?
Ans: It is a feature generally found along the banks of a seasonal river in arid region and formed due
to alternating dry and wet seasons. Land is submerged by flood water during wet season, and
rapid evaporation due to intense heat in the dry season cause weathering to occur.
12 Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography Volume 1 of 2
Chapter 01:
0 Interpretattion of Topogrraphical Maps
s 13

27) Giive the mean ning of the following


f te
erms:
a) Kiln b) Relative height c) Sheet rock.
Ans: a) It is a large outdoor ove en for drying and baking bricks,
b limesttone, stone, pottery etc.
b) The height which is nott taken from the sea level but with re espect to thee surroundin ng area. It
may be the e height at a dam, bridge e, sand dune e or it can be
b the depth of a well, ta ank, river,
channel etcc.
c) These are wellw polished d hard rock’s which are exposed to th he surface.
28) What is dendrritic drainag ge pattern?
Ans: In this pattern,, the tributariies come fro om all directioons to meet the main rivver. Like the branches
of a tree, the small
s streams meet large er streams an nd the largerr streams me eet still larger streams
annd in the end meet the ma ain river. This drainage pattern
p is also
o called Pinnnate.
29) What is disap ppearing dra ainage patte ern?
Ans: In this drainage e pattern, thee streams an s before reacching the main river disap
nd tributaries ppear into
thee soil of poro
ous nature. Streams
S mayy also disappear due to high evaporattion.
30) What is the ge eometry of nucleated
n settlement pattern?
Ans: Nuucleated setttlements ha ave a numbe er of house es built close er to one a another along narrow
strreets. The size of the com mpact settlement depend e soil. It varies from a
ds upon the fertility of the
haamlet of 6–12 2 huts to setttlement of 50 00 to 1000 pe ersons.
31) What is radiall settlementt pattern?
Ans: In this type off settlement pattern, the e lanes of bu uildings and houses are e diverging in various
dirrections from
m a common point. Such types of setttlements are e developed around the perennial
so
ource of wate er like tanks or
o pond and around the road r junction
n.
32) What is Repre esentative Fraction
F (R.FF.)?
Ans: In this method scale is give en in a fractioon or in a rattio form, such as 50,000 or 1:50,000. Here the
nuumerator den notes the disstance on the map and the t denomin nator denotess the distanc ce on the
groound.
33) Frrom the give en map extra act answer thet followin ng questions s?
a) Identify the e main sourrce of irrigattion shown by map extrract.
b) Which mod de of transpport links Ina arla to Dhan nu and Dang gri?
c) List variou us types of trees
t shown n on the map p
d) What is the e meaning of o sheet rock north of Dangri?
D
Ans: a) The main source of irrig gation is pereennial lined well.
w
b) Cart–track links Indarla to Dhanu an nd Dangri
c) Palm and Plantation
P Pa
alms.
d) These are wellw polished d hard rocks which are ex xposed to the e surface

Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tuto


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34) Sttudy the give en map extrracts and annswers the following
f quuestions:
a) Name the geographica
g al feature giiven in grid square 8498 8 and how itt is formed? ?
b) Identify the e settlementt pattern of village Pantthawada.
c) What is the e main occu
upation of thhe people?
d) List three man–made
m f
features in grid
g square 8199.
Ans: a) Broken ground. It is form med due to alternating
a drry and wet se
easons. Landd is submerg ged by
flood water during wet season,
s and rapid evaporation due to o intense hea
at in the dry season
s
cause weatthering to occur.
b) It is compacct or nucleated settlemen nt pattern.
c) The main occupation
o off the people is agriculture
e because off extensive ye
ellow wash ono the
map extracct which show ws agriculturaal land. A gro
oup of people are also enngaged in ba aking of
(lime kiln) liime.
d) Post office, settlement, police station.

14 Universal Tuto
orials – X ICS
SE – Geograph
hy Volu
ume 1 of 2
Chapter 01: Interpretation of Topographical Maps 15

Map Reading Practice:


Question 1)
Study the Survey of India Map sheet No. 1 and answer the following questions:
a) Give the six figure grid reference of: (i) A lined perennial well 20 m deep near Rajkot.
(ii) Triangulated height 198 near Jegol.
Ans: i) 891950 ii) 854905.
b) Name two perennial sources of water available in the area represented in the map extract.
Ans: Well irrigation and river waters are the two perennial sources of water.
c) Define scale. State the scale of the given map extract.
Ans: Scale is a ratio between the distance of any two points on the map and the actual distance of the
same points on the ground. The scale of the given map extract is 2 cm: 1 km or 1: 50,000.
d) Identify the drainage pattern around Gangudra. Name the two rivers which drain the area
shown in the map extract.
Ans: Trellised or Rectangular drainage pattern. The two rivers which drain the given area are Sipu
river and Varka Nadi.
e) State the shortest distance between Δ 198 and Δ 225.
Ans: Two kilometer.
f) Name one man–made and one natural feature shown in grid square 8496.
Ans: Man made feature is temple and natural feature is river.
g) Define contour interval. State the contour interval of the map extract provided to you.
Ans: The difference in elevation between successive contours is called the contour interval. In the
given map extract the contour interval is 20 m.
h) What inference can be drawn about the occupation of the people of Bhadli (Jhat)? Justify
your answer with a suitable reason.
Ans: Agriculture and limestone making are the main occupation of the people of Panswala and Bhadli.
This is indicated by the presence of agricultural land (in yellow colour), perennial wells and
presence of lime kilns.
i) Calculate the area of the land represented by the map extract.
Ans: 80 sq. km
On topographical maps, each grid square measures 2 cm × 2 cm or 1 km × 1 km, since the map
scale is 2 cm: 1 km. Therefore, the area of each square is 1 sq. km. To calculate the area find
the number of grid squares.
Total Eastings 85 – 93 = 8
Total Northings 90 – 80 = 10
∴ 8 × 10 = 80 Grid squares.
If 1 grid square represents 1 sq. km area
80 grid squares represent 80 sq. kms.
j) Mention two main modes of transport used by people of the area shown in the map
extract.
Ans: Two main mode of transport are cart track and Pack track.

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Question 2)
Study the Survey of India Map sheet No. 2 and answer the following questions:
a) Give the four–figure grid reference of: (i) Dadarla (ii) Bhamra.
Ans: i) The four–figure grid reference of Dadarla is 1020.
ii) The four–figure grid reference of Bhamra is 0420. [1 each]
b) Which is the largest settlement shown on the map extract? Which one communication
facility is exclusively available to this settlement?
Ans: Dantrai is the largest settlement shown on the map extract.
The one communication facility exclusively available to this settlement is a cart track (road).
c) What does R.F. stand for? State the RF of the map provided to you.
Ans: The words R.F. stand for Representative Fraction. The R.F. of the map provided is 1 : 50,000. It
means 1 cm on the map represents 500 m on the ground.
d) What is the total area of the actual ground represented on the map extract? (Show with
the help of simple calculation).
Ans: Area is calculated by multiply its length with its breadth.
Length of this map is ten grid squares. Breadth of this map is also ten grid squares.
Each grid square is of 2 cm or 1 km. It means length is 10 × 2 = 20 cm or 10 km.
Similarly, breadth is 10 × 2 = 20 cm or 10 km.
∴ Total area of map = Length × Breadth = 20 × 20 = 400 cm2
Total area of the ground = 10 × 10 = 100 km2.
e) What is meant by ‘contour interval’? State the contour interval of the toposheet provided
to you.
Ans: The contour interval is the vertical distance between two consecutive contours on a map.
Contour interval in this map extract is 20 m. This information has been given at the foot of the
map.
f) State the highest and the lowest spot heights found of the map extract. Also mention
whether they are in metres or in feet.
Ans: The highest spot height is 339 and the lowest spot height is 289. They are in metres.
g) Give the six–figure grid reference of:
i) spot height 339 ii) permanent hut located near Dhad Talao.
Ans: i) The six–figure grid reference of spot height 339 is 043276.
ii) The six figure grid reference of permanent hut located near Dhad Talao is 078225.
h) What, according to you is the main i) occupation, and ii) religion of the people of the
above area?
Ans: i) The main occupation of the people of the above area is agriculture.
ii) The main religion of the people of the above area is Hinduism.
i) Name one ‘natural’ and one ‘man–made’ source of irrigation used in this region.
Ans: Streams and lined–wells are respectively ‘natural’ and ‘man–made’ sources of irrigation in this
region.
j) Name the general mode of transportation used in this region. What special feature of this
mode is mentioned in the map extract?
Ans: The general mode of transportation used in this region is road (cart track). The special feature of
this mode mentioned in the map extract is that they are ‘motorable in dry season’.

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Chapter 01: Interpretation of Topographical Maps 17

Question 3)
Study the Survey of India Map sheet No. 3 and answer the following questions:
a) What is the compass direction of Sunset point from the settlement of Anadra? [1]
Ans: The compass direction of Sunset Point from the settlement of Anadra is south. [1]
b) What is the pattern of drainage in grid square 2315? [1]
Ans: The drainage pattern is Radial. [1]
c) Mention any two features seen in the map extract which indicate that the region has
seasonal rainfall. [1]
Ans: i) Presence of Dry River channels on the eastern parts.
ii) Dense concentration of settlements around lakes. eg. Abu [½ each]
d) Calculate the distance in kilometers along the metalled road from the causeway in grid
square 1715 to the distance stone marked 20 in grid square 1818. [1]
Ans: 3 km. [1]
e) What advantage does a Representative Fraction have over a verbal scale? [1]
Ans: It can be converted easily in any unit of measurement. [1]
f) Give the six figure grid reference of (i) Anjani Devika Mandir (ii) Hamimam Ka Pahav. [2]
Ans: The six figure grid reference are i) 229160 ii) 217105 [1 each]
g) Name the three different kinds of roads in grid square 2411 and the one in grid square
2515. [2]
Ans: The different types of roads are metalled, unmetalled and pack–track. [1+1]
h) Mention two occupations of the people living in the northern part of the region in the map
extract. Give reasons to support your answer. [2]
Ans: i) Agriculture, due to presence of agriculture land (yellow tint).
ii) Forestry, due to presence of dense mixed jungle in the north. [1 each]
i) What is the difference left the slope in grid sq 2115 and the one is 1811. Give a reason for
your answer. [2]
Ans: The slope is gentle in grid square 2115 and it become steep in grid square 1811.
j) What is the purpose of: i) the fireline in grid sq. 2316. ii) the pipeline in grid sq. 2209? [2]
Ans: i) The purpose of fireline is to prevent the spread of fire in forest. It is an open patch of land
without any tree cover.
ii) It is used to carry water from the lake to adjoining settlement. [1 each]
k) What do the following represent? [2]
i) The Red Sq in grid Sq 2514 ii) 4 r in grid square 1612.
Ans: i) It shows temporary huts.
ii) It means the height of embankment along the tank is 4 metre [1 each]
l) Abu is a popular holiday resort. Mention any three features seen in the map extract which
attract holiday makers to Abu. [3]
Ans: i) Number of tourist spots like temples, sunsets point etc.
ii) Scenic beauty in the shape of forests, lake and mountains.
iii) Pleasant weather during extreme season. [1 each]

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Question 4) [20]
Study the Survey of India Map sheet No. 4 and answer the following questions:
a) Give the six figure grid reference of:
i) Δ 364 ii) The temple at Rampura
Ans: i) 957744 ii) 954806 [1 each]
b) Mention any two features seen in the map extract which show that the region has
seasonal rainfall.
Ans: Two features that show that the region has seasonal rainfall are: (i) presence of dry or seasonal
streams (ii) presence of broken ground (iii) presence of dry tanks. [any 2, 1 each]
c) Calculate the distance in kilometers along the cart–track linking Moti Bhatamal (928758)
and Antroli (953764)
Ans: 3 kms. [2]
d) Which is the chief form of irrigation shown in the map extract? Give an evidence to justify
your answer.
Ans: i) The chief form of irrigation shown in the map extract is lined perennial wells.
ii) Evidence–presence of a large number of blue dots. [1 each]
e) Give one reason to explain why the streams in grid square 9478 do not join a river.
Identify another grid square in the map extract that has similar streams.
Ans: Streams do not join a river in grid square 9478 because the area is an area of sandy soil where
the streams are disappearing stream.
Another grid with similar stream––9575, 9375, 9674, 9577 (any one) [1 each]
f) What do the following represent?
i) Black broken lines in 9575.
ii) Black curved lines in 9879
Ans: i) Disappearing stream ii) Broken ground [1 each]
g) Identify two landforms shown by the contours in grid square 9876.
Ans: Two landforms in grid square 9876–Ridge, conical hill, steep slope, heatershed. [any 2, 1 each]
h) i) What is the general direction of the Balaram Nadi?
ii) Which bank of the main river does the Balaram nadi join?
Ans: i) SE to NW ii) Left Bank [1 each]
i) What is the main occupation of the people living in the area shown in the map extract?
Give one reason to support your answer.
Ans: Agriculture is the main occupation of the people living in the area shown in the map extract.
Reason–Presence of yellow wash. [1 each]
j) What is meant by scale of a map? What is the scale of the map extract provided to you?
Ans: It is the ratio between the distance on the map and the corresponding distance on the ground.
Scale – 2cm to 1 km or 1 cm to 500 m [1 each]

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Chapter 01: Interpretation of Topographical Maps 19

Question 5)
Study the Survey of India Map sheet No. 5 and answer the following questions:
a) What is the area (in square kilometres) of the region enclosed by Eastings 92 and 96 and
Northings 78 and 82? [1]
Ans: The area enclosed by the eastings 92 and 96 and northings 78 and 82 is
length × width = 4 × 4 = 16 sq. km. [1]
b) What is the compass direction of Bantiwada (9978) from Arniwada (9481)? [1]
Ans: The compass direction of Bantiwada from Arniwada is south east. [1]
c) How is direction shown on map? [1]
Ans: Direction is usually indicated on a map by a North–South line with North direction represented by
an arrowhead. [1]
d) Name the geographical feature represented by the brown dots in the southern region of
the map extract. [1]
Ans: The geographical feature represented by the brown dots are sand hill or sand dunes or seifs or
longitudinal dunes and other sand features. [1]
e) In grid square 9379, there is the number 217. What does this indicate? [1]
Ans: In grid square 9379 the number 217 means triangulated height or triangulated station. [1]
f) What are the conventional signs located at the points, the six-figure grid reference of
which are: (i) 992824 (ii) 989775? [2]
Ans: At grid reference 992824 one can see the conventional sign of a survey tree and at grid
reference 989775 one can see the conventional sign of a permanent hut. [1 each]
g) Generally, in which direction does the Balaram Nadi flow? Which bank of the main river
does it join? [2]
Ans: Direction of the flow of Balaram Nadi is from South East to North West.
It joins the left bank. [1 each]
h) Why is there no habitation in the northwest corner of the map? [2]
Ans: There is no habitation in the North West corner of the map because it is a mountainous region
having steep slopes. The land is highly uneven or rugged and has an uneven topography. [2]
i) In what way is the pattern of settlement in grid square 9886 different from that in grid
square 9580? [2]
Ans: Pattern of settlement in grid square 9886 is scattered or dispersed whereas the pattern of
settlement in grid square 9580 is nucleated or compact or clustered. [1 each]
j) What difference do you notice in the pattern of drainage in grid square 9684 and the
drainage in grid square 9782? [2]
Ans: The patterns of drainage in grid square 9684 is trellised whereas in grid square 9782 the pattern
is radial. [1 each]
k) Give two reasons why the streams in grid square 9478 do not join the river? [2]
Ans: The reasons why the streams do not join the river are: (i) the soil could be porous or sandy (ii) it
could be a small seasonal stream (iii) it could have been exposed to the heat of the sun (iv) It
could be a dry area. [any 2, 1 each]
l) What special feature is depicted by the contour pattern in the following grid squares:
(i) 9185 (ii) 9785 (iii) 9977? [3]
Ans: The special features depicted by contour pattern in the following grid squares are: (i) 9185:
Escarpment or steep slope. (ii) 9785: Saddle or col or pass. (iii) 9977: Ridge or water shed or
water divide. [1 each]

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Question 6)
Study the Survey of India Map sheet No. 6 and answer the following questions:
a) Give the six-figure grid reference of: [2]
i) Triangulated height 225; ii) A lined well near Ganguwada
Ans: i) 876950/877950 ii) 915967 [1+1]
b) Name the most important perennial source of irrigation shown on the map extract. [2]
Ans: The most important perennial source of irrigation shown in the map extract is lined wells and
perennial wells. [2]
c) i) What does 6r in the grid square 8495 mean?
ii) What do you mean by 20r in the grid square 8994? [2]
Ans: i) It means that the relative height of the sand dune is 6m.
ii) It means that the relative depth is 20m. [1 each]
d) Give two points in evidence to show that the region in the map extract has seasonal
rainfall. [2]
Ans: The different evidences that show this region has seasonal rainfall are as follows, wells; large
number of dry streams; open scrub; dry tank; broken ground. (Any two evidences) [1+1]
e) i) What does the blue line in the Varka N indicate?
ii) What is the general direction of the Varka N? [2]
Ans: i) The blue line in Varka N indicates that there is a narrow water channel or that a small stream
of water is still flowing.
ii) The general direction of Varka N is Southeast to West, / Westwards, / West. [1 each]
f) i) What is the meaning of 1:50,000 printed below the map extract? [1]
ii) Calculate the distance in kilometres along the cart track between Jegal in the grid
square 8590 and Odhava in the grid square 8892. [2]
Ans: i) 1:50,000 printed on the map, means that one unit on the map is equal to 50,000 units on the
ground.
ii) The distance along the cart-track between Jegal in the grid square 8590 and Odhava in the
grid square 8892 is around 3.5 to 3.8km. [1 each]
g) Which part of the map is more developed in agricultural occupation? Give a reason for
your answer. [1]
Ans: The south–western part of the map is more developed, the reason being that we find less of
open scrub and more wells. Yellow colour also indicates that the southern part is better
developed as far as agriculture is concerned. [1]
h) i) Give the four-figure grid reference of the confluence of Sipu River and Varka N. [1]
ii) Name two types of vegetation in the given map extract. [2]
Ans: i) The four-figure grid reference of the confluence of Sipu River and Varka N. is 8392.
ii) The two types of vegetation in the given map extract are: open mixed jungle, open scrub,
open jungle. [1 each]
i) What is the pattern of drainage in the grid square 8599? [1]
Ans: Dendritic pattern of drainage is seen in the grid square 8599. [1]
j) i) How many types of tracks are shown in the map extract? Name them. [1]
ii) What is the common mode of transportation in the southern part of this map? [1]
Ans: i) Two types of tracks are shown in the map extract. They are cart tracks and pack tracts.
ii) The common mode of transportation in the southern part of this map is by carts/ bullock carts/
cart tracks. [1 each]
Note: Related topo–sheet will be in last page.

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 21

Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India


→ India
→ Location
→ Extent
→ Area
→ Common Features
→ Physical Features of India
→ The Northern Mountain
→ The Great Northern Plain
→ Indian Plateau or Peninsular India
→ The Coastal Plain
→ The Indian Desert
→ The Islands

India:
™ India occupies a major part of South Asia, i.e. 73.4 per cent of the region. India shares its political
borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the west, and Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east. In
the north, India has a common border with China, Nepal and Bhutan.
™ India is surrounded with water masses – the Arabian Sea in the south-West, the Bay of Bengal in
the south-east and the Indian Ocean in the south.
Location:
z Latitudinal Extent: 8°4′ N to 37°6′ N
z Longitudinal Extent: 68°7′ E to 97°25′ E
Extent:
z 4000km from east to west
z 3200km from north to south
Area:
z 4.5 million sq. km. approximately (4, 4, 91 thousand sq. km) covers 10% of the total area of
the continent of Asia.
z Area occupied by India: 78.4% of the Indian sub–continent
Physical Features:
z The Indian subcontinent is isolated from the rest of Asia by:
z Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges in the west.
z Hindukush, Karakoram and the Himalayas in the north.
z North–East Himalayas in the east.
z It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal to the south.
Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography 21
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z The entire subcontinent is influenced by the monsoon winds.
Common Features:
z The countries are developing.
z The region is poor and overpopulated.
z The countries have a colonial past and are underdeveloped
z There is predominance of agriculture and dependence on South–West Monsoons.
India:

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 23

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Facts and Figures


Capital New Delhi
Area 3,287,590 sq kilometre
Population(2003) 1065 million
ST Meridian 82° 30′ E (hrs ahead – 5½ hrs)
Largest cities Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kanpur,
Pune, Nagpur, Lucknow, Jaipur
Principal rivers Ganges (Ganga) Brahmaputra, Sutlej, Yamuna, Tapti, Godavari, Krishna,
Cauvery
Highest point Kanchenjunga, 8,598m (28.208 ft.)
Monetary unit Rupee
Principal Hindi (official), Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani,
Languages Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil,
Telugu, Urdu, Dogri, Maithili, Bodo and Santhali. English is an associate
language
Literacy rate 65.38% (census 2001)
Type of Federal Republic
Government
National Name Bharat

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 25

Physical Features of India:


¾ The Indian subcontinent can be broadly divided into five physiographical regions:
 The Northern Mountain Wall
 The Northern Plains
 The Peninsular Plateau
 The Desert region
 The Coastal plains

1) The Northern Mountain Wall:


 The Northern Mountain Wall is situated on the northern boundary of India in the form of a
convex arc. From west to east, they extend 2500 km long from Kashmir to Assam.
 The average breadth of the Himalayas is between 250 km to 400 km. The Himalayas consist of
three parallel ranges: the Himadri, the Himachal, and the Shiwalik.
Himadri or greater Himalayas.
z The Himadri or the Great Himalayas is the loftiest of the three ranges of Himalayas with an
average height of 6000 m. Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, lies in these
mountains in Nepal. Some of the important passes in this range are Zozila, Jolpala and
Lingshila.
z The Himadri range is covered with snow throughout the year. These snow-covered
mountains give birth to many glaciers. The River Ganga originates from these glaciers. The
rivers Sharda, Ghagra, Kosi and Gandak also originate from this range.
The Himachal, or Lesser Himalayas:
z The Himachal runs parallel to the Himadri and lies to its south. It stretches from Jammu and
Kashmir across Himachal Pradesh and into Uttaranchal. This range of Himalayas is about
60 km to 80 km wide and its average height ranges between 3500 m to 4500 m.
z Many peaks of this region have elevation of more than 5050 m above sea level and are
covered with snow throughout the year.
z Some tourist centres like Srinagar, Gulmarg, Shimala, Mussoorie Dalhousie, Chakrata,
Ranikhet, Darjeeling, and Nainital are located in this region at about 1500 m to 2000 m
above sea level. The Jhelum River and Dul Lake are its major attractions. The Kathmandu
valley to the north of Himadri is another important feature of this area.
The Shiwalik or the Outer Himalayas:
z The Shiwalik is the southernmost and the third parallel range of the Himalayas with an
average height of 900 m to 1200 m above sea level. It extends from the Power plateau on
the west to Brahmaputra valley on the east. Its breadth is only 20 km to 50 km.
z Shiwalik range is broader in the west. The slopes facing the subcontinent are steep while
those facing north are gentle. It is known by different names in different places – Jammu
Hills in Jammu, and Miri, Bor and Mishmi Hills in Arunachal Pradesh.
Important Peaks of Himalaya:
z Mt. Everest (8,848 m) Kanchanjanga (8,598 m), Daulagiri (8,172 m), Nanga Parbat
(8,126 m), Nanda Devi (7,817 m), Namcha Barwa (7,756 m)

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Important Passes:
z Zoji–La, Shipkila, Nathula, Bomdila
Important Glaciers:
z The Gangotri and Jamunatri
Natural Boundaries Separating the Subcontinent:
z On the North, the Hindukush, Karakoram and Himalayas separate it from Tibet and China.
z On the West, the highlands of Iran and Afghanistan.
z On the East, the Arakan Yoma separates it from Myanmar.
z On the South, lies the Indian Ocean.
Divisions of Himalayas on the basis of Location:
z The Western Himalayas
z The Central Himalayas
z Eastern Himalayas
z Purvanchal Hills
Important Features of the Himalayas:
z Doons (or Duns): they are flat valleys that lie between the Himachal range and the Siwalik
range. These valleys are covered with silt and rock deposits e.g. The Dehra Dun valley.
z Bhabhar areas: They are areas along the Outer Himalayas where the range joins the North
plains.
z The areas are covered with the deposits of gravel, sand and pebbles. Marked by swift–
flowing rivers and dry small rivers.
z Terai: They are swampy regions south of the Bhabhar plains .The water that seeps down in
the Bhabhar areas reappear where the land levels out and the flat plains begin. It is formed
by the deposition of fine silt or alluvium which makes the land swampy.
z The Terai region is ill drained and heavily forested, wild animals abound the forests.
z Terai areas are more widespread in the eastern region than in the west because the
Eastern Himalayas get heavier rainfall than the western Himalayas. The Terai areas have
now been drained, cultivated and developed for growing sugarcane, wheat, tea etc.
Khadar and Bhangar:
„ To the south of the Terai plain, the area with gentle slope and older alluvium is called
Bhangar.
„ The floodplains of the rivers have newer alluvium brought down by the rivers This is
called Khadar

2) The Nothern Plains:


 The Northern Plains also called Indo-Gangetic Plains lie to the south of the Himalayas and
extend about 2500 km in length from east to west. They are divided into four sub-divisions.
 The Rajasthan Plains or the Great Indian Desert, locally called Marusthali, lies to the west of
Aravalli range. It extends over major part of Rajasthan and Sind in Pakistan. The area north to
Luni is a sandy plain and is called Thali.
 The Punjab – Haryana Plain, a part of Indus, is drained by five tributaries of Indus – Jhelum,
Chenab, Ravi Sutlej, and Beas.
 The Ganga plains from the largest lowland drained by the Ganga and its tributaries. The
Yamuna is the most important tributary of the Ganga. The Ghaghra, the Gandak, the Kosi are
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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 27
other tributaries of the Ganga. The Chambal and the Betwa, the distributaries of Yamuna as
well as the Son and Damodar, rise in the hills on the edge of Deccan plateau.
 The Ganga plain has an extremely gentle slope. Parts of the plain are subjected to flood in
rainy season. In the lower course, the Ganga divides itself into tributaries to from a large delta
away with the Brahmaputra.
 The Brahmaputra plain is also known as Brahmaputra valley or Assam valley or Assam plain
as most of its area is in Assam. The Brahmaputra is a braided river as it carries a heavy load of
sediment. The sediment that the river deposits in the valley of Assam, makes the region fertile.
z The Brahmaputra Basin: River Brahmaputra and its tributaries, Buri, Dihing, South
Dhansari, Subansiri, Barali, Manas, North Dhansari.
z The Indus Basin the River Indus and its five tributaries; Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and
Sutlej.
z Rivers Flowing into the Bay of Bengal: (East Flowing Rivers) Mahanadi, Damodar,
Godawari, Krishna, Kaveri.
z Rivers Flowing into the Arabian Sea: (West flowing rivers) Narmada, Tapi, Sabarmati,
Mahi, Luni.

Significance of Northern Plains:


 Largest alluvial tract in the world.
 Most densely populated lowlands.
 The rivers are perennial and navigable.
 Region is flat, hence easily irrigable.
 Transport and communication is easy.
 Rivers are fed by the glacier and the monsoons rains.

3) The Peninsular Plateau:


 It is the largest and oldest physiographic division. It is made up of old metamorphic rocks.
 The plateau region is bounded by the Aravali range in the north (which is a remnant of one of
the oldest fold mountains in the world).
 The Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats in the West and East respectively
 It has an elevation of 300 m to 900m and an area of 1.6 million sq.km.
The Peninsular Plateau can be Divided into Three Regions:
z The Central Plateaus
z The Eastern plateaus
z The Deccan plateaus
The Central Plateau:
„ The Malwa plateau between the Aravallis and Vindhya in Madhya Pradesh, formed by
lava flows, Rivers: Chambal, Yamuna, Banas.
„ The Mewar upland, 250–500m high, composed of Shales, limestones and sandstones.
The Bundelkhand upland 100–300 m high between river Yamuna and the Vindhya
ranges.
The Eastern Plateaus:
„ Marked by synclinal valleys and anticlinal hills.
„ Rivers: Rihand and Son.
„ The Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand is 700m high with steep borders.

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„ Rivers: Damodar and Suvarnarekha
„ The Ranchi Plateau to the west of Chota Nagpur Plateau and the Meghalya Plateau
further east.
„ The Dandakarahya upland (or Bastar) and Rajmahal Hills are part of the region
The Deccan Plateau:
„ Lies south of the Narmada River. It is triangular in shape bounded by the Satpura and
Vindhyas ranges in the North, the Eastern and Western Ghats.
„ Average height 600m, slopes from west to east.
„ The Deccan Plateau Consists of:
– The Maharashtra Plateau, the Deccan trap region of volcanic origin.
– The Andhra or Telangana Plateau
– The Karnataka Plateau
The Peninsular Mountains:
The Western Ghats:
„ Run along the west coast, south of the Tapi river valley upto Kanyakumari.
„ The Ghats have passes: the Thal Ghat and Bhor Ghat – east of Mumbai.
„ Palghat, south of the Nilgiris.
„ Important peaks: Salher and Kalsubai in the northern part, Vembadi Shoal in the Palni
Hills; Makurti and Doda Betta in the Nilgiris, Anaimudi in the Anaimalai Hills.
„ Doda Betta peak is the highest point at the meeting point of the Eastern and Western
Ghats.
„ Rivers arising from the Western Ghats and flowing towards the Bay of Bengal are:
Godavari, Kaveri and Krishna.
The Eastern Ghats:
„ They stretch from northern Orissa to the Nilgiris.
„ Highest peak is Mahendragiri in Andhra Pradesh.
„ The ranges are dissected by the rivers Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and Penner
The Vindhya Range:
„ Running from Sasaram in Bihar to Jobat in Gujarat, separates Northern India from the
southern mainland.
„ It runs almost parallel to the Narmada valley in east–west direction covering about
1200km
„ Composed of sand stones, quarzites and shales.
The Satpura Range:
„ Extends from the Narmada valley in the north to Tapi valley in the South.
„ Comprises of the Rajpipla hills in the west (Gujarat), Pachmarshi, Ranchi upland,
Hazaribagh Hills and the Maikala range.
„ Highest point–Dhupgarh near Pachmarhi
The Aravali:
„ 800 km long range stretching from N–E to S-W of India. Separates semi–desert region
of Rajasthan from the fertile Udaipur and Jaipur regions.
„ They are one of the oldest fold mountains.
„ Highest point–Gurushikhar peak of the Abu Hills.

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 29

Significance of Peninsular Plateau:


z It is the oldest landmass of the Indian subcontinent, part of the ancient Gondwanaland.
z It has large mineral deposits and energy resources
z The north–west plateau region has fertile black soil, suitable for growing cotton.
z The southern hills are suitable for cultivation of tea, coffee, rubber tobacco and spices. The
coastal regions are suitable for growing rice and millets.
z The highlands forests are a source of sandal wood and other forest products.
z Hydro–electric projects are possible on the rivers of the Deccan plateau.
z The plateau region provides many hill resorts.
Drainage System of Peninsular India:
z East flowing rivers, which flow into the Bay of Bengal:
z Mahanadi rising from the northern foothills of Dandakaranya near Siawa in Raipur district
z Forms an enormous delta.
z The Godavari originates in the Western Ghats near Trimbak in Nasik District. It is the
largest river of the Deccan. Causes seasonal flooding in its lower course.
z The Krishna originates in the Western Ghats north of Mahabaleshwar, flows across the
Deccan plateau.
z The Cauvery known as ‘Ganga of the South’ Rises from the Brahmagiri Hills in the Coorg
district of Karnataka. It receives water both in summer and winter from monsoon rains and
hence is almost perennial.
z The West flowing rivers which flow into the Arabian Sea do not form deltas.
z The Narmada originates from Amarkantak plateau in the Maikala Range. It flows in the
west in a south–west direction in a depression between the Vindhya and Satpura Ranges–
enters the Gulf of Cambay by a broad estuary.
z The Tapi arises near Multai on the Satpura range, flows west into the Gulf of Cambay.
z Other important rivers are Sabarmati, Mahi and Luni.

4) The Coastal Plains:


 The coastal plains are narrow strips of flat land on the eastern and western coasts, known as
the Eastern coastal plains and the Western coastal plains.
 The Western coastal plains lie between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats.
z They stretch from Rann of Kutch in the north to Kanyakumari in the south they are narrow
coastal plains with an average width of about 65 km. There are a number of lagoons,
backwaters and small lakes. States of the Western coastal plains; Gujarat, Maharashtra,
Goa (Konkan coast) Karnataka (Kanare coast) and Kerala (Malabar Coast).
 The Eastern coastal Plains stretch from the mouth of the river Ganga to Kanyakumari
between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal.
 The Eastern Coastal strip is broad with deltas formed by the rivers Mahanadi, Godavari,
Krishna and Kaveri. Back water lakes/lagoons offshore bars and spits are also found. Lakes
such as the Chilka in Orissa Kolleru and Pulicat in Andhra Pradesh are also present.
 States: Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu.
Significance of Coastal Plains:
z They are sources of precious minerals.
z Salt is produced in Gujarat.
z Kerala coast has large quantities of Monazites which is used for nuclear power.

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z Large deposits of mineral oils are found in the sedimentary rocks
z The ports handle 98% of the international trade.
z Coconut and rice cultivation is carried out in the fertile tracts.

5) Desert Region:
 The Great Indian Desert or the Thar Desert lies mainly in Rajasthan.
 It is a sandy waste with sandy ridges and shifting sand dunes
 It is an area of inland drainage and saline lakes such as Sambar Lake.
 Luni is the largest river.
 Rain fall is less than 25 cm.

6) The Islands:
 The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
 The Lakshdweep Islands lies 350 km off the Kerala coast. They are of coral origin.
 The ten degree channel separates the Andaman group of islands from the Nicobar group.
 Indira Point in the Nicobar Islands is the southern most point of the Indian union
 The Maldives lies in the Indian Ocean.
 Sri Lanka is an island country to the south of India, separated from the mainland by the Palk
Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.
REVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Name the Following:
1) a) Mention the total geographical area of India.
Ans: 3287590 Sq Km
b) Name the capital of India.
Ans: New Delhi
2) Name the water bodies that surround India in its 3 sides.
Ans: India’s three sides are guarded by oceans i.e. Bay of Bengal in the south east, Indian Ocean in
south and Arabian Sea in the south west.
3) Which important parallel divides India in to halves? Name the two different zones.
Ans: The tropic of cancer (23½° N) passes almost through the middle of the country and divides India
into halves. The two different zones are tropical zone in the south and sub tropical zone in the
north.
4) Name the island groups of India along with their location.
Ans: The island groups of India are Lakshadeep and Andaman Nicobar.
Lakshadeep – is located off the western coast in the Arabian Sea.
Andaman and Nicobar Island – is located in the eastern part in Bay of Bengal.
5) Name the countries with which India shares its boundary.
Ans: Pakistan, China, Nepal Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.
6) Name the standard meridian of India.
Ans: The standard meridian of India is 82½° E.
7) The two rivers which join to give rise to the river Ganga.
Ans: The River Bhagirathi arising from the Gangotri Glacier and the river Alaknanda arising from the
Alkapuri Glacier.
8) The most important tributary joining the river Ganga, and the place where it joins.
Ans: The most important tributary of the river Ganga is river Yammuna. It joins the river Ganga at
Prayag near Allahbad.
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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 31

9) The mountain range that the river Ganga crosses before entering the northern plains.
Where does it enter the northern plains?
Ans: The Ganga crosses the Siwaliks before entering the northern plains. The river Ganga enters the
northern plains at Haridwar.
10) The tributaries of the Ganga arising from the Himalayas.
Ans: The Rivers Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak and Kosi arise from the Himalayas.
11) Two tributaries of river Yammuna. Where do they arise from?
Ans: The Rivers Chambal and Betwa are tributaries of the river Yammuna. They arise from the hills
on the edge of the Deccan Plateau.
12) Two tributaries of the river Ganga, not arising from the Himalays.
Ans: The Rivers Son and Damodar are tributaries of the Ganga, not arising from the Himalayas.
13) The rivers draining the Upper Ganga Plain.
Ans: The Upper Ganga plain is drained by the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Sharda the Gomti and the
Ghaghar.
14) The states of India forming the Upper Ganga plain.
Ans: The states forming the upper Ganga plain are Uttranchal, Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh.
15) The rivers draining the Middle Ganga plain.
Ans: The middle Ganga plain is drained by the Ghaghara the Ghandak the Kosi and the Son rivers.
16) The states of India occupying the Middle Ganga plain.
Ans: Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Northern Bihar occupy the Middle Ganga plain.
17) The states of India lying in the lower Ganga Plain.
Ans: Bihar and West Bengal lie in the lower Ganga Plain.
18) Eastward extension of the Karakoram Range.
Ans: The Kailash range is an east ward extension of the Karakoram Range.
19) Two ranges running parallel to the Karakoram Range.
Ans: The Ladakh range and the Zaskar range run parallel to the Korakoram range.
20) Two mountain ranges to the south of the Malwa Plateau.
Ans: Vindhya and Satpura ranges.
21) The Upland region between the river Yamuna and the Vindhya Range.
Ans: Bundelkhand uplands.
22) The rivers running through the Malwa Plateau.
Ans: The Rivers are Chambal, Yamuna, Banas and Betwa.
23) The plateau region extending through Madhya Pradesh.
Ans: The Malwa Plateau.
24) The mountain range between the rivers Narmada and Tapi.
Ans: The Satpura range.
25) The mountain range rising north of the Narmada valley.
Ans: The Vindhya Range.
26) The rivers cutting through the Bundelkhand plateau.
Ans: The Rihand and the Son Rivers.
27) The highest peak in the Aravallis.
Ans: Mount Gurushikar (1,722 m).
28) The type of valleys formed by the Narmada and Tapi rivers.
Ans: Rift valleys.
29) Two rivers flowing into the Arabian Sea
Ans: The Rivers Narmada and Tapi.
30) Two rivers arising from the Western Ghats and flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
Ans: The Rivers are Godavari and the Krishna

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31) The Plateau region lying in Jharkhand


Ans: The Chota Nagpur plateau.
32) The rivers draining the Chota Nagpur Plateau.
Ans: The rivers Damodar and the Suvarnarekha.
33) The hills located to the east of the Chota Nagpur plateau.
Ans: The Rajmahal Hills.
34) The Plateau region to the south of the Satpura Range.
Ans: The Deccan Plateau.
35) The hills comprising the southernmost part of the Deccan plateau.
Ans: Palni, Nilgiri, Cardmom and Annamalai.
36) The highest peak in Peninsular India.
Ans: Anaimudi (2,695 m) in the Annamalai Hills
37) The highest peak in the Nilgiris.
Ans: Dodabetta (2,637 m)
38) The highest peak in the Northern part of the Western Ghats.
Ans: Kalsubai peak (1,645 m)
39) The northern half of the Western Ghats.
Ans: The Sahyadri.
40) The highest peak in the Eastern Ghats
Ans: Mahendragiri (1,500 m) in Andhra Pradesh.
41) The mountain range that runs in the east–west direction, separating northern India from
the southern mainland.
Ans: The Vindhya Range.
42) The highest point of the Satpura Range.
Ans: Dhupgarh (1,350 m) near Panchmarhi.
43) The highest point of the Aravali range.
Ans: The Gurusikhar peak of Abu Hills.
44) The mountain range separating the desert region of Rajasthan from the fertile region.
Ans: The Aravali range
Section I: [2 Marks]
1) What is a sub continent? Give the latitudinal and longitudinal extent of the Indian
subcontinent.
Ans: A subcontinent is a large, relatively self–contained land mass forming a sub–division of a
continent. The Indian subcontinent extends from 37°6’ latitude to 0°42’S latitude and 61°E
longitude to 97°E longitude.
2) Why is the south Asian subcontinent called the Indian subcontinent?
Ans: India forms the major part of the South Asian subcontinent, covering 73.4% area. Since it is the
largest country in the region hence, the subcontinent is called the Indian subcontinent.
3) State the origin of Peninsular India.
Ans: Peninsular India is a part of the ancient Gondwanaland.
i) It is the oldest part of the Indian subcontinent consisting of plateaus and hills.
ii) The region is a stable terrain formed originally through volcanic eruptions.
4) Name the hills that make up the Purvanchal Ranges in India.
Ans: The hills that make up the Purvanchal ranges in India are: Garo Hills, Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills,
Mizo Hills, Lushai Hills, Naga Hills; Patkai Bum Hills:
5) Name the mountain ranges that separate the subcontinent from central Asia on the north.
Ans: The mountain ranges separating the Indian subcontinent in the north are:
The Ladakh and Zaskar ranges, the Hindu Kush and Sulaiman ranges and the Kunlun range.

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 33

6) What separates the Indian subcontinent from South–East Asia?


Ans: The eastern hills, comprising of the Arakan Yoma, Patkai and Naga–Mizo Hills separate the
subcontinent from South–East Asia.
7) Name two mountain ranges arising from the Pamir Knot and extending eastward. In which
direction do the Himalayas extend?
Ans: The Karakoram Range and the Kunlun range arise from the Pamir knot and extend eastward.
The Himalayas originate from the Pamir Knot and extend in a south east direction.
8) Name the highest mountain in the Karakoram Range. Name a glacier found in this range.
Ans: Mt. K2 is the highest peak in the Karakoram Range. Battoro glacier is found in the Karakoram
range.
9) Name the three important ranges of the Himalayas.
Ans: The three ranges of the Himalayas are the Greater Himalayas or Himadri, the Lesser Himalayas
or Himachal; and the outer Himalayas or Shiwalik
10) Name the main peaks of the Himalayas.
Ans: The main peaks of the Himalayas are: Mount Everest; Kanchenjunga; Nanga Parbat, Nanda
Devi and Namcha Barwa.
11) Name two important peaks and two glaciers of the Himadri.
Ans: Two important peaks are Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga.
Two important glaciers are the Gangotri and the Yamnotri glaciers.
12) Name the rivers having their source in the Himadris.
Ans: The rivers having their source in the Himadri are: The Ganga, Yamuna, Sharda, Ghagra, Kosi
and Gandak rivers.
13) Name three mountain ranges and valleys in the Himachal range.
Ans: The three ranges in the Himachal are Pir Panjal, Mussoorie Range and Dhalula Dhar range The
Kashmir valley and Kathmandu valley lies in this region.
14) State the location of the Pir Panjal range and the Mahabharat range.
Ans: The Pir Panjal range is a part of the Himadris or Lesser Himalayas .It lies in Kashmir between
the Jhelum and Beas rivers.
The Mahabharat range is a part of the Himadris .It lies in southern Nepal and is a continuation
of the Mussoorie range
15) Name the important hill stations located on the slopes of the Lesser Himalayas.
Ans: The hill stations located on the southern slopes of the Himachal (Lesser Himalayas) are
Mussoorie, Nainital, Chakrata, Darjeeling, Ranikhet, Shimla and Dalhousie.
16) Where is the Kashmir valley located? State two major attractions of the Kashmir valley.
Ans: The Kashmir valley is located in the Lesser Himalayas or Himachal, between the Pir Panjal
Range and the Zaskar Range. The Jhelum River and the Dal Lake are the two major attractions
of the Kashmir valley.
17) Name the three main rivers forming the northern plains.
Ans: The three main rivers forming the Northern Plains are rivers Indus, the Ganga and the
Brahmaputra and their tributaries.
18) Name the rivers draining the Indus basin.
Ans: The Indus Basin is drained by the River Indus and its five tributaries – Chenab; Jhelum, Ravi
Beas and Sutlej.
19) State the sources of the river Indus and its tributaries.
Ans: The River Indus has its source in the Kailash range of the Himalayas in the southwest Tibetan
plateau. The Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Beas have their source in the glaciers of the Karakoram,
Zaskar and Ladakh ranges. The Sutlej originates in the Lake Mansarovar region in Tibet.
20) Name the largest river basin of the Indian subcontinent. Name the main river.
Ans: The Ganga, Brahmaputra plain is the world’s largest river basin. It is drained by the river Ganga
and its tributaries and the river Bhahmaputra and its tributaries.

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21) Name the water–shed region between the Punjab plains and the Ganga plains Name the
states comprising the Punjab plains in India.
Ans: The Aravali–Hills forms the watershed between the Ganga Basin and the Punjab Plains.
The Punjab plains in India comprise of the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
22) Name the right bank tributaries of the river Ganga.
Ans: The right bank tributaries of the Ganga are the rivers Yamuna, Chambal, Betwa, Ken and the
Son.
23) Name the left bank tributaries of the Ganga.
Ans: The left bank tributaries of the river Ganga are the Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak and Kosi.
24) Name some important towns/cities located on the Ganga plain.
Ans: Many important cities are located on the Ganga plain such as Kedarnath, Rishikesh; Hardiwar,
Prayag, Kashi (Varanasi), Kanpur, Mirzapur, Mongyr, Bhagalpur, Patna and Kolkata.
25) Name the river known as the ‘Sorrow’ of ‘Bihar’. Give reason.
Ans: The River Kosi is called the “Sorrow of Bihar’ as it is prone to flooding which causes widespread
damage.
26) Name the States of India lying in the Lower Ganga plain. What is the characteristic
Geographical feature of the delta region?
Ans: The Lower Ganga Plain occupies Bihar and West Bengal in India and Bangladesh. The Ganga
and Brahmaputra together from the largest delta in the world. The delta region has thick
evergreen forests called the Sundarbans.
27) Name the tributaries of river Brahmaputra.
Ans: The tributaries of the Brahmaputra are as follows: the right bank tributaries are Subansiri, Barali,
Manas and North Dhansari; the left bank tributaries are Buri, Dihing and South Dhansari.
28) State the location of the Thar Desert.
Ans: The Thar Desert is located in North–west India in Rajasthan and eastern Pakistan. It lies
between the Sutlej in the northwest, the Indus valley in the west, the Aravalli range in the east
and the Rann of Kutch in the south.
29) Name the main river and the largest lake in the Thar Desert. What is the characteristic of
the lake?
Ans: Luni is the largest river in the Thar Desert. The Sambhar Lake is the largest lake situated 65km.
west of Jaipur.
The Sambhar Lake is a salt water lake formed as a result of inland drainage in the desert region.
30) State the composition of the Peninsular Plateau.
Ans: The Peninsular Plateau is mainly made up of igneous metamorphic rocks. It is a remnant of one
of the oldest fold mountains and is of volcanic origin.
31) Name the landforms that form the boundaries of the Peninsular Plateau.
Ans: The Peninsular Plateau is bounded by the Bundelkhand highlands in the north, the Aravali range
in the north–west, the Western Ghats in the west and the Eastern Ghats in the east.
32) Name the important passes in the Western Ghats.
Ans: Thal Ghat and Bhor Ghat in east of Mumbai and Palghat, south of the Nilgiri Hills are the
important passes.
33) Name the rivers flowing into the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Cambay.
Ans: The Rivers Narmada and Tapi flow into the Arabian sea. The Luni flows into the Gulf of Kutch
the Sabarmati and Mahi drain into the Gulf of Cambay.
34) Name two rivers of Peninsular India which form deltas. State their places of origin.
Ans: The rivers Mahanadi and Godavari flow into the Bay of Bengal forming large deltas. The River
Mahanadi originates in the northern foot hills of Dandakaranya in the Maikal Hills near Sihawa in
Raipur district. The river Godavari originates in the Western Ghats near Trimbak in the Nasik
district.
35) Name four hill resorts in the Peninsular Plateau.
Ans: Hill resorts in the Peninsular Plateau are Kodaikanal, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Mount Abu
Ooty, Pachmarhi etc.

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 35

36) State the importance of Cape Comorin. Name the southernmost part of the Western
coastal Plains.
Ans: The Western Coastal plains and the Eastern coastal plain meet at the tip of the Peninsula at
Cape Comorin.
37) Name the rivers forming deltas on the East coast. Name the lakes formed on the coastal
strip.
Ans: The Mahanadi, Krishna, Godavari and Cauvery form prominent deltas.
The lakes formed on the East coast are Chilka in Orissa, Kolleru and Pulicat in Andhra Pradesh.
38) Why is the Deccan system of rivers unsuitable for navigation?
Ans: The rivers in the Deccan region are fed only by the monsoon rains and do not have a constant
supply of water, hence are not navigable during the dry season. They are swift flowing rivers with
rapids and waterfalls hence not suitable for navigation.
39) Name the important ports/ harbours on the a) East coast and b) West coast.
Ans: a) The important ports on the East coast are Kolkata, Haldia, Vishakapatnam, Paradeep,
Chennai and Tuticorin.
b) The important ports on the West Coast are Kandla, Mumbai, Jawarharlal Nehru Port,
Marmagoa, New Mangalore and Kochi.
40) State the latitudinal and longitudinal extent of India.
Ans: Latitudinal extent is from 68°7′ E to 97°25′ E.
Longitudinal extent of India is from 8° 4′ N to 37° 6′ N.

Section II: [3 Marks]


1) State the location of the following passes: (i) The Karakoram Pass; (v) The Zoji–La Pass
(vi) Shipki–La; (vii) Bomdi–La.
Ans: i) The Karakoram pass lies in the Karakoram Range of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It
connects Srinagar and Tibet,
ii) The Zoji–La pass lies in Jammu and Kashmir in India and connects Srinagar with Tibet;
iii) The Shipki–La is located in the Sutlej valley in Himachal Pradesh in India. It connects Tibet
and Punjab plains;
iv) The Bomdi–La is located in Arunachal Pradesh in India.
2) Name the source of the Brahmaputra River. What are the different names given to river
Brahmaputra as it flows through Tibet and into Bangladesh?
Ans: The River Brahmaputra arises in a glacier about 100 km south–east of Manasarovar Lake in the
Tibetan Plateau.
The river is known as Tsang–Po in Tibet, Dihang when it enters north–east Assam, it is known
as Jamuna in Bangladesh and after joining the Ganga it is known as Meghna.
3) Name the river which is known as the Ganga of the South’. Name its source and state two
characteristic features of the river.
Ans: The River Kaveri (or Cauvery) is known as the ‘Ganga of the South’. It arises from the Western
Ghats in the Brahmagiri Hills in the Coorg district of Karnataka. The Kaveri has several rapids
and waterfalls in its course, such as the Shivasundaram Falls which is 100 m high. The river is
almost perennial as its catchment areas receive rainfall from the south west monsoon as well as
the north–east monsoons.
4) Name the divisions of the Western coastal plains.
Ans: The divisions of the Western coastal plains are:
z The Gujarat plains, south of the Thar Desert.
z The Kutch Peninsula in Gujarat covers the region of Rann of Kutch.
z The Kathiawar Penisula lies to its south.

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z The Konkan coast in Maharashtra.
z The Kanara coast in Karnataka.
z The Malabar coast in Kerela.
5) Name the physiographic region that the Indian subcontinent can be divided into.
Ans: The Indian subcontinent can be broadly divided into five physiographic regions:
i) The Northern Mountain Wall. ii) The Northern plains
iii) The Peninsular plateau. iv) The Coastal plains
v) The Islands.
6) What are the natural boundaries separating the Indian subcontinent?
Ans: The natural boundaries separating the subcontinent are as follows:
i) On the North lies the Hindu Kush, KaraKoram range and the Himalayas, which separate the
subcontinent from Tibet and China.
ii) On the West, the highlands of Iran and Afghanistan separate it.
iii) On the east, the Arakan Yoma separates it from Myanmar.
iv) On the South is the Indian Ocean.
7) State the location of the Karakoram Range. State two features of the range.
Ans: The Karakoram Range extends from the Pamir Knot eastward into Tibet. It runs parallel to the
river Indus.
The Karakoram Range consists of very high mountains e.g. Mount K2 or Godwin Austin which is
the second highest peak in the world.
There are many large snow fields and glaciers in the Karakoram Range. The Siachen glacier is
the largest in the region.
8) Explain in short the terms Khadar and Bhangar.
Ans: Khadar: The newer alluvium brought down by the rivers and deposited on the flood banks of
rivers is known as Khadar. It occurs at the lower levels along the rivers.
Bhangar: To the south of the Terai plain, the area of gentle slope and older alluvium is called
the Bhangar.
9) How do the Himalayas influence the climate of the Indian subcontinent?
Ans: The Himalayas prevent the cold winds from central Asia in the north from blowing into India, thus
protecting it from severe winters. The Himalayas also intercept the moisture laden south west
monsoon winds, forcing them to shed their moisture within the subcontinent.
10) How have the Himalayas influenced the population of the Indo–Ganetic plain?
OR Why is the Indo Gangetic plain densely populated?
Ans: The Himalayas are source to perennial rivers which flow through the Indo–Gangetic plain joining
the river Ganga. The silt brought down by these rivers deposited on the flood plains has made
the Indo–Gangetic plain very fertile, making it one of the most densely populated regions of the
world.
11) State two geographical features of the lower course of the river Ganga.
Ans: i) In the lower course, i.e. in the delta region, the river Ganga divides into a number of
distributaries, the largest being the river Hoogly.
ii) The seaward face of the delta has tidal estuaries, sandbanks and islands known as the
Sundarbans.
12) State two features of the Ganga Plains
Ans: i) The Ganga plain slopes gently from Uttaranchal to the Bay of Bengal and is covered by thick
alluvial sediments brought down by the meandering rivers.
ii) Floods are quite common due to shifting water channels. This also makes the plains very
fertile.

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13) Name the tributaries of the Ganga in the Middle Ganga plain. State two characteristics of
the middle course of the Ganga.
Ans: The middle Ganga plain is drained by the Ghaghara, the Kosi and the Son rivers.
The middle course of the Ganga River is marked by the formation of oxbow lakes, levees,
marshes and ravines. The Rivers are prone to flooding as they keep on shifting their course.
14) Explain the following terms: (i) Thali (ii) Rohi.
Ans: i) Thali is an area of sandy plain to the north of the river Luni in the Thar Desert. It is an area of
inland drainage as rivers do not have sufficient water to reach the sea and dry up or
disappear into the sand.
ii) Rohi refers to the fertile tracts of the Rajasthan Bhagar, which is a semi–arid plain on the
eastern side of the desert. Streams originating from the Aravali during the rainy season
support agriculture here in some patches.
15) What are the salient characteristics of the Shiwaliks?
Ans: The Shiwaliks, the southernmost range of the Himalayas are also known as the Outer
Himalayas.
This range is formed by the accumulation of river deposits eroded from the higher areas. It is not
a continuous range.
It is more prominent in the western parts than in the eastern part of the Himalayas.
This range is prone to landslides and earthquakes. It is also a storehouse of timber.
16) Name the four parts of the Peninsular Plateau of India.
Ans: The Plateau region can be divided as follows:
i) The Central plateaus comprising of the Mewar uplands, the Bundelkhand uplands and the
Malwa plateau.
ii) The Eastern Plateaus comprising of the Bundelkhand plateau and the Chota Nagpur plateau.
iii) The Kathiwar and the Kutch made up of tertiary rocks.
iv) The Deccan Plateau, lying south of the Narmada river, between the Eastern and Western
Ghats,
17) State the location of the Deccan Plateau. What are the characteristics features of this
region?
Ans: The Deccan plateau is situated between the Western and Eastern Ghats and south of the
Mahadeo, Maikal and the Satpura ranges.
The north part of the plateau in Maharashtra is formed by thick, nearly horizontal lava sheets,
displaying flat and steep hills, ridges and shallow broad valleys.
It is composed of old hard crystalline rocks.
18) Name the important passes in the Western Ghats. What is the Deccan trap region?
Ans: The important passes in the Western Ghats are Thal Ghat and Bhor Ghat in Maharashtra and
Palghat south of the Nilgiri Hills.
The Deccan Trap region constitutes the northern portion of the Western Ghats. It is
characterized by flat topped ridges. The region is formed by thick horizontal lava sheets making
a series of steps and is composed of old hard crystalline rocks.
19) State the extent of the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats. Name the main rivers
cutting across each Ghat region.
Ans: The Western Ghats stretch from the mouth of the river Tapi to Kanyakumari, parallel to Western
coast. They are about 1,600 km long.
The Eastern Ghats stretch from the Mahanadi Valley upto the Nilgiri hills.
The rivers flowing through the Western Ghats are the Narmada and Tapi.
The rivers that cut across the Eastern Ghats are the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and
Penner.

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20) State two characteristics of the Eastern Ghats.


Ans: The Eastern Ghats are not a continuous chain of mountains. They are broken by the rivers
cutting through them. The ranges are uniform in the northern portion, but are characterized by
individual ranges towards the south.
21) State the extent of the Western coastal Plains .State two characteristic feature of these
plains.
Ans: The Western Coastal plains are located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. They
extend from Kutch in the North to Kanyakumari in the south.
The Western coastal plains are narrow with an average width of 64 km.
Most of the coastal region is rocky as the Western Ghats rise abruptly from them. The Malabar
Coast region is dotted with lagoons, parallel to the coast.
The western coast has many natural ports.
22) In which state are the Kutch Peninsula and the Kathiawar Peninsula? State two features
of each.
Ans: The Kutch Penisula and Kathiwar Peninsula are located in the state of Gujarat,
i) The Kutch Peninsula consists of very low and level land which once formed a shallow part
of the sea. Now, due to silting it is a tidal flat. It forms salt marshes during the dry season and
is covered in a few meters of water in the rainy season.
ii) The Kathiawar peninsula lying between the Gulf of Kutch and the Gulf of Khambat is a
plain, interrupted by some hills such as the Girnar Hill. It is covered with wind–blown sand in
the coastal area. But further south it is covered with alluvium brought by streams from the
Western Ghats.
23) Which coastal region are the southern extensions of the Konkan coast. State two feature
of this coastal region.
Ans: The Kanara coast in Karnataka and the Malabar Coast in Kerala are the southern extensions of
the Konkan coast in Maharashtra.
The Konkan, Kanara and Malabar coasts belong to the western coastal plains. They are narrow
and rocky in the northern section.
The region is drained by numerous swift flowing streams with catchment areas. There are also
numerous lagoons and back water lakes.
24) Name the rivers which form deltas along the Eastern coastal plains. State two features of
the plains.
Ans: The Rivers Mahanadi, Godavari Krishna and Kaveri form prominent deltas along the Eastern
coastal plains.
The Eastern coastal plains are broad and continuous marked by large deltas, which are not
suitable for harbours as their mouths are full of silt.
Several depositional features such as spits, lagoons and offshore bars are found along the
coast. The plain is very fertile.
25) What are the names given to the northern and southern halves of the Eastern coastal
plains? State their extent?
Ans: The northern part of the Eastern coastal plain is known as the Northern Circars, while the
southern part is known as the Coromandel coast.
The Northern Circars lie between the Mahanadi and Krishna Rivers.
The Coromandel Coast extends from Nellore to Kanya Kumari, lying in Andhra Pradesh and
Tamil Nadu.
26) Name the river which flows through the Chattisgarh plains. Trace the course of the river.
Ans: The River Mahanadi flows through the Chattisgarh plains.
The river Mahanadi originates in the northern foothills of Dandakaranya near Sihawa in Raipur
district of Chattisgarh plains. In its lower course, it enters the the Bay of Bengal after forming an
enormous delta.

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 39

Give Reasons for the Following:


1) The Brahmaputra is called the ‘Red river’
Ans: Brahmaputra is prone to flooding as it enters the low lying plains of Assam. The water of the
Brahmaputra looks reddish in colour after mixing with the red soil of Assam. Hence, it is also
known as the ‘Red river’.
2) The northern frontier of India is practically an impossible barrier.
Ans: The Himalayan ranges form a great barrier to transport due to their height. The valleys formed
by the great ranges run parallel to the ranges, i.e. from west to east. This makes the Himalayas
a great barrier which is almost impossible to cross.
3) The Deccan system of rivers is unsuitable for navigation.
OR) The Peninsular Rivers are not navigable.
Ans: Most of the peninsular rivers are seasonal in character, due to which they flow only when they
are fed by the monsoons. The peninsular rivers are swift flowing rivers as they cut across the
Ghats and the Deccan plateau, forming rapids and waterfalls. Thus, they are not suitable for
navigation.
4) The Ganga is navigable from its mouth right up to Haridwar.
Ans: The Ganga enters the Northern plains at Haridwar. The river flows through flat land and hence
has a flat and broad bed right upto its month.
It is a slow flowing river and easily navigable.
The Ganga is fed by the monsoon rains during June–September and by the melting snow in
summer.
This makes the river perennial and hence navigable throughout the year from its mouth right up
to Haridwar.
5) The rivers of South India are less suitable for irrigation than rivers of North India.
Ans: The rivers of South India are rain–fed, specially by the monsoon rains. They are not perennial
and dry up after the monsoon season.
The rivers of North India are fed by the melting of snow from the Himalayas throughout the year.
The rivers of South India are non–perennial and less suitable for irrigation as compared to the
rivers of North India which are perennial and have a constant supply of water.
6) Access through the Western Ghats is difficult.
Ans: The Western Ghats run along the west coast from the south of the river Tapi to Kanyakumari,
about 1600 km. The hills are continuous with few gaps.
The Western Ghats constitute of steep hills with an average elevation of 900m to 1100m. Hence,
access through the Western Ghats is thus difficult.
7) The Peninsular plateau of India is rich in mineral resources.
Ans: The Peninsular plateau of India is the oldest landmass of the Indian Subcontinent, made up of
old igneous and metamorphic rocks of volcanic origin.
z There are large deposits of metallic minerals such as iron, copper, bauxite, manganese
chromium, mica, gold etc.
z Non–metallic minerals such as shale, sand stones and marble are found. Large deposits of
coal are also available in the Gondwana coal fields.
8) The Western Ghats are covered by thick evergreen forests, while the Eastern Ghats are
covered by deciduous type forests.
Ans: The Western Ghats have higher altitude than the Eastern Ghats. The moisture–laden Arabian
Sea branch of the south–west monsoon is forced to rise above the Western Ghats. In the
process, the windward side of the Western Ghats receives heavy rainfall of about 200–250cm.
The Western Ghats thus are covered with thick evergreen forests.
On the other hand the Eastern Ghats and Coastal plains do not receive rainfall from the south
west monsoon winds, as they fall on the Leeward side of the high lands. The winds have already
deposited their moisture on the Western Ghats.
The Eastern Ghats fall on the windward side of the retreating north–east monsoon winds. They
do not receive heavy rainfall, hence the eastern coastal plains and the Eastern Ghats are
covered by deciduous forests, which require less rainfall.

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9) The Northern plains of India are one of the most densely populated regions of the world.
Ans: The Northern plains of India are the largest alluvial tract in the world. The deep alluvial soil has
made the region highly fertile.
The assured source of water from major perennial rivers has made this plain a rich agriculture
land.
The plains thus support the largest density of population in the world.
The level and flat land suitable for easy transportation and the navigable rivers also attracts a
large population as the plains are easily accessible.
10) The Deccan plateau is highly dissected.
Ans: The Rivers arising in the Western Ghats flow across the Deccan plateau region and fall into the
Bay of Bengal.
These rivers cut deep valleys in the plateau region. Hence, the Deccan plateau is highly
dissected. The rivers are fast flowing in their upper course.
11) The delta region of the Indus is largely a wasteland.
Ans: The River Indus flows through the Thar Desert in its lower course before entering the Arabian –
sea.
Though it is a perennial river it loses much of its water as it flows through the desert region. The
Indus reaches the Arabian Sea in a delta which is largely a wasteland because it is usually
flooded with brackish water.
12) The Damodar is called the “Sorrow of Bengal”.
Ans: The Damodar is called the ‘Sorrow of Bengal’ because it gets flooded frequently. It flows through
Bengal and causes widespread destruction of life and property.
13) The Terai region is swampy.
Ans: The Terai region lies to the south of the Bhabhar plains. The water that seeps down in the
coarse sand and pebbles in the Bhabhar areas reappear where the land levels out and the flat
plains begin.
The land is ill drained. The fine alluvium and the water make the land swampy.
14) The course of small rivers remains dry in the Bhabhar region.
Ans: The Bhabhar region lies at the foothills of the Outer Himalayas. Many rivers flow through these
areas. They bring with them gravel, sand and pebbles which are deposited in this region. The
water of the rivers seeps through the coarse sand and pebbles, hence the small rivers remain
dry.
15) Saline lakes are formed in the Desert regions. Give an example.
Ans: In the desert region there are areas of inland drainage. The rivers which do not have sufficient
water to reach the sea dry up and disappear into the sand. This gives rise to several saline lakes
in the desert region towards the eastern edge, which shrink or disappear in the dry season. The
Sambhar Lake and the Didwana Lake are examples of saline lakes.
Differentiate Between The Following:
1) The Western Himalayas and the Eastern Himalayas.
Western Himalayas Eastern Himalayas
The Western Himalayas are located between The Eastern Himalayas are located between
the Indus and the Kali rivers; west of 86° E the Tista and Brahmaputra Rivers to the east
longitude. of 88°E longitude
The Western Himalayas lie in Jammu and The Eastern Himalayas lie in West Bengal,
Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.
They consist of three distinct ranges–the The Himadri and Shiwalik ranges merge into
Himachal, Himadri and Shiwalik. one another.
The Western Himalayas are of higher altitude The Eastern Himalayas are lower in attitude
and are covered with Coniferous forests. and are covered with thick evergreen forests.
They receive an average rainfall of 100 cm. They receive an average rainfall of 200cm.

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2) Difference between the Himalayan Rivers and the Peninsular Rivers.


Himalayan Rivers Peninsular Rivers
The Himalayan rivers are perennial as The Peninsular rivers are seasonal rivers as they
they are fed by the melting snow as well are only rain fed. There are no snow–bound
as by the monsoon rains. They are mountains the south.
susceptible to flooding.
They are longer rivers, are numerous, The Peninsular rivers are shorter, fast flowing and
slow moving expect in the mountainous accessible, therefore more useful for generating
region, where they are inaccessible. They HEP.
flow mainly along stretches of flat land and
are not suited for generation of hydel
power (HEP)
The rivers are commercially important as The rivers are not navigable as they are seasonal,
they are navigable, perennial and gently fast flowing, not long enough and not deep
flowing. enough. The hilly nature of the plateau and
danger of hidden rocks and rapids make transport
difficult.
The Himalayan rivers are suitable as a These rivers are not suitable for irrigation as they
source of irrigation as they are perennial. are seasonal.
They help in increasing the fertility and
productivity of the flood plains as the rivers
bring down a large amount of slit which
they deposit on the plains.
The catchment area of the Himalayan The catchment area of the Peninsular rivers is
rivers is very extensive. very limited.
They flow through deep gorges and They flow in deep rift valleys due to resistant
canyons in the Himalayan regions. terrain.
3) Distinguish between eastern coastal plains and the western coastal plains
Eastern Coastal Plains Western coastal Plains
The Eastern coastal Plain lies between the The Western coastal plains lie between the
Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal with an Western Ghats and the Arabian sea. They are
average width of 80 km 100 km. narrower, spanning upto 64 km on an average
It is drained by several large rivers such as The Western coastal plain is drained by
Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and the Cauvery several short and swift streams which do not
which form deltas. form deltas.
The eastern strip of the coastal plains is not The Western strip is more fertile than the
very fertile. eastern strip.
Eastern coastal plain receives an average This strip receives an average annual rainfall
100–125 cm of rainfall annually which is less of about 200 cm.
than the western coast.
It gets most of its rainfall from the north – east The Western plain gets rainfall mostly in
retreating monsoons in winter, and some rain summer from the south–west monsoons.It
in summer from the south – west monsoon. does not receive winter rain.
The coast line is not very indented with few The coastline is indented with a number of
natural ports and harbours. natural ports and harbours.
The Eastern plains are wider and regular. The western coastal plains are narrow and
irregular.
It has fertile deltas of rivers. It has lagoons and estuaries.

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4) Compare the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.


Western Ghats Eastern Ghats
Western Ghats rise steeply from the west They rise gently from the East coast. They
coast. They extend from the river Tapi to extend from Orissa to the Nilgiri Hills.
Kanyakumari.
They are higher with an average height of The Eastern Ghats are lower with an average
900m 1,100m. The highest peak is Anaimudi height of about 600m.The highest peak is
(2,595 m). Mahendragiri (1,500m).
The hills are a continuous range. The average The Eastern Ghats are broken and
width is 50km to 80 km. discontinuous the average width varies from
100m to 200m.
They are a source of all the rivers of the No rivers rise here, but the rivers rising from
Deccan Plateau. the Western Ghats cut valleys here and flow
into the Bay of Bengal.
They are perpendicular to the south–west They are parallel to the Bay of Bengal Branch
monsoon winds and receive heavy rainfall on of the South–West Monsoon winds and do not
their windward side. They do not receive receive rainfall in the monsoon season. They
rainfall in winter. receive winter rainfall from the retreating
monsoon winds on their leeward side to the
south west monsoon.
5) Distinguish between the plains of North India and the Coastal plains.
Plains of North India The Coastal Plains
The Northern plains lie to the south of the The coastal plains lie as narrow strips in
Himalayas, stretching in a continuous Peninsular India along the Bay of Bengal and
expanse from east to west. the Arabian Sea.
They are drained by perennial navigable rivers The coastal plains are drained by non –
perennial rivers
The Northern Plains consist of large alluvial The coastal plains are not very fertile but are
tracts of fertile agriculture lands rich in minerals and mineral oil
6) How do you differentiate between a delta and an estuary?
Delta Estuary
A delta is a triangular tract of sediments at the An estuary is a deep valley formed at the
mouth of a river mouth of a river.
A delta is formed due to gentle slope of land When the slope of the land is prominent,
where the river becomes sluggish and mud water swiftly joins the sea and there develops
deposits in its channels. a deep valley or an estuary at the mouth of
the river.
Strong tides and ocean current do not allow Strong tides and ocean currents cut through
the formation of a delta as sediments are the bed and embankments of rivers and
washed away. estuaries are formed.

PREVIOUS YEARS BOARD QUESTIONS


1) How does the soil of the Ganga–Yamuna plain differ from that of Coastal Maharashtra? [2000]
2) Which parallel of attitude divides India into the northern and southern halves [2001]
3) State the latitudinal and longitudinal extent of India. Which important line of latitude passes
through the middle of India? [2003]
4) State two reasons why the rivers of the Deccan plateau are non–perennial and non–navigable.
5) Name the hills that make up the Purvanchal Ranges in India [2005]
6) State the climate significance of the Himalayas to the people of south Asia. [2005]
7) Differentiate between the western Coastal Plains and eastern coastal plains of India [2005]

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Chapter 02: Location Extent and Physical Features of India 43
8) Distinguish between the rivers of the Northern Indian Plains and those of Peninsular India.[2006]
9) Name the four mountain ranges ascending from the Pamir Knot. [2006]
10) Name the source of the river Ganga where does this river enter the plains [2007]
11) What is Delta, Name two deltas in south Asia [2007]
12) State three reasons for the importance of the Peninsular Plateau. [2007]
13) Mention three differences between the western Himalayas and eastern Himalayas [2007]
14) Mention three differences between the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. [2008]
15) Mention three benefits of the long coastline of India [2008]
16) Give reasons for the following: [2008]
i) The Deccan Plateau is a highly dissected one
ii) Most of the rivers in south India flow into the Bay of Bengal.
iii) The Ram of Kutch is not cultivated.
17) Mention two favourable effects of the Himalayas on the economy of India [2008]

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Map of India:

Map No.: 1

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Practice Map No.: 1

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Map No.: 2

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Practice Map No.: 2

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Map No.: 3

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Practice Map No.: 3

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Map No.: 4

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Practice Map No.: 4

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Map No.: 5(i)

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Practice Map No.: 5(i)

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Map No.: 5(ii)

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Practice Map No.: 5(ii)

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Map No.: 6

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Practice Map No.: 6

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Map No.: 7(i)

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Practice Map No.: 7(i)

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Map No.: 7 (ii)

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Practice Map No.: 7(ii)

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Map No.: 8

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Practice Map No.: 8

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Map No.: 9

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Practice Map No.: 9

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MAP PRACTICAL EXERCISES:


I) On the outline map 1 of India mark the following:
1) Shade an important area where Iron is found in India.
2) Shade and name the Plateau in India known for black soils.
3) Shade and name the area getting less than 25cm of rainfall in India.
4) Mark and name the Indian Standard Meridian.
5) Mark and name the Plains of the Indus.
6) Shade and name the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills.
7) Mark with arrows the cyclone, which gives rainfall In winter season over the north-western parts
of India.
8) Mark and name
i) Srinagar; and ii) Kochi.

II) On the outline map 2 of India mark the following:


1) Mark and name Sundarbans.
2) Mark the town of Chennai.
3) Mark and name the Himalayas.
4) Mark with a thick line and name the Satpura Range.
5) Mark and name
i) River Indus and ii) River Brahmaputra.
6) Shade and name the Rajasthan Plains.
7) Mark and name the Kosi River.
8) Mark and name with arrows the direction of winds blowing in Kerala during summer season from
the Arabian Sea.
9) Shade and name the Chotanagpur Plateau.

III) On the outline map 3 of India mark the following:


1) Name and mark with arrows the direction of the tropical cyclone over the Bay of Bengal.
2) Mark and name two regions each in India, rich in
i) Coal ii) Petroleum iii) Iron ore iv) Bauxite
v) Manganese.
3) Mark and name Karakoram range and the Western and Eastern Ghats.
4) Mark and name one region in India with each for the following:
i) Alluvial soil ii) Laterite soil iii) Red soil.
5) Shade an area in India receiving 100-200cm of annual rainfall.
6) Mark and name
i) Delhi and ii) Vishakhapatnam.
7) Mark and name Mount Everest and the Eastern Ghats.
8) Mark and name the River Mahanadi and River Yamuna.
9) Mark the Karakoram and Nathu La Passes.
10) Mark the Tropic of Cancer and Standard Meridian.
11) Mark the direction of South West and North East Monsoon.

IV) On the outline map 4 of India mark the following:


1) Mark the following towns
i) Hyderabad ii) Allahabad iii) Kolkata.
2) Mark and name two rivers in India draining into the Arabian Sea.
3) Shade and name an area in India that receives maximum rainfall from North-East Monsoon.
4) Shade and name Aravalli ranges.
5) Shade the level plains of Northern India.
6) Mark and name the Nilgiris.
7) Mark with arrows the direction of winds blowing during the winter season in India.
8) Shade and name the area in India which receives rainfall from three sources.

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Chapter 03: Climate of India 67

Chapter 03: Climate of India


→ Introduction
→Contrasting Climate
→ Factors Affecting Climate of India
→ Distribution of rainfall
→ Monsoon and its mechanism
→ Hot and dry summer (March–May)
→ South west Monsoon (June–Sept)
→ Retreating Monsoon (Oct–Nov)
→ Cool and dry winter (Dec–Feb)

Introduction:
™ India’s climate is monsoon type, but their characteristics vary from place to place. Due to the
vastness of the country and a variety of relief features, there are regional variations in the climate
of India. The interior of the country, especially in the north, has a continental type of climate.
™ The coastal areas have a more equable climate. In mountainous areas, altitude determines the
climate. There is a great deal of variation in the amount of annual rainfall. The following
examples will confirm this variety and diversity in the annual rainfall. The following examples will
confirm this variety and diversity in the climate.

Contrasting Climate:
¾ In June, the highest temperature in Rajasthan may go up to 50°C, whereas in Drass and Kargil,
the night temperature in January may go down to –45°C.
¾ Mawsynram near Cherrapunji in Meghalaya have an annual rainfall of 1200 cm, whereas in the
Thar Desert, the annual rainfall is less than 13 cm.
¾ Kerala has tropical climate with warm and moist air, whereas Punjab has continental climate with
severe heat alternating with severe cold.
¾ The Coromandel Coast remains dry in the months of July and August, whereas the Ganga delta
and the coastal plains of Orissa are hit by strong storms almost every third or fifth day during
these months.

Factors Affecting Climate of India:


¾ Latitude extent of the Indian Subcontinent are as under. Tropic of Cancer passes half–way
through the subcontinent. Most of the subcontinent lies in the tropical and sub–tropical zones.
Consequently, the temperature is generally high throughout the year.
¾ Influence of the Himalayas: The east–west extension of the lofty Himalayas stands as a barrier
against the cold winds from Central Asia. They also force the monsoon winds to shed most of their
moisture within the country. Similarly, the Western Ghats force the rain–bearing winds from the
Arabian Sea to shed their moisture on the western slopes.

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¾ Altitude: With increase in height, temperature decreases. Places located in the hills and
mountains are cooler than the places in the plains. Ooty in the Nilgiris is pleasant throughout the
year though it is relatively close to the Equator.
¾ Distance from the Sea: Places situated near the sea experience a moderate climate, i.e. neither
very hot nor very cold such as Chennai. Places situated in the interior of the country, such as
Delhi and Amritsar, experience continental climate, i.e. very hot in summer and very cold in winter.
¾ Surface winds: Monsoon winds cause abundant rainfall in the Indian Subcontinent. Winds
blowing in from the north–west during the winter cause cold waves in northern India. During
summer, hot and dry winds (loo) sweep over the northern plains of India causing a phenomenal
increase in temperature. During winter, the monsoons retreat and bring rain only to certain parts of
Tamil Nadu.
¾ Western disturbances: During winter, there is a low pressure depression, called western
disturbance, in north–west India. The rainfall in the northern states such as Punjab and Haryana is
due to western disturbances or the cyclones which originate over the Mediterranean Sea.
¾ Jet streams: The air currents, called jet streams, in the upper layers of the atmosphere are
believed to determine the arrival and departure of the monsoons. However, research is going on
to study the extent to which monsoons may be affected by these air currents.

Distribution of Rainfall:
¾ Rainfall is not evenly distributed. It mostly depends upon the relief and the direction of monsoon
winds.
¾ Rainfall more than 200 cm annually is received in the following regions:
 The Western Ghats and the West Coast Plain
 Parts of north–east India (Assam and Meghalaya)
¾ Annual rainfall of 100 cm to 200 cm is received in the following areas:
 The Himalayan region
 The Ganga plains in Bihar and West Bengal
 North–eastern parts of Peninsular Plateau
 Parts of Eastern. Coast
 Assam valley and Purvanchal Hills
¾ Rainfall from 60 cm to 100 cm is recorded in the interior of India in the north–south belt from
Punjab to north of Tamil Nadu. These regions are away from the coast and are not in the path of
moisture laden winds
¾ Less than 60 cm rainfall is received in the regions of Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir and
Peninsular India.

Monsoon and its Mechanism:


¾ Throughout the country, there are four main seasons: Hot and dry summer season lasts from
March to May. During this season, the sun is shining vertically over the Tropic of cancer and the
belt of maximum temperature moves North West. The heat is intense. The temperature increases
steadily from south to north with highest in the interior. The highest average temperatures are
38°C to 40°C in south, 40°C to 45°C in Central India and 45°C to 50°C in Rajasthan. The highest
temperatures are recorded in Thar Desert of India and Pakistan as well as on the Indus Plains.
¾ It is during May that the low pressure areas begin to develop over the land. But during this time,
the winds do not blow from the sea and, therefore, the weather remains dry.

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Chapter 03: Climate of India 69
¾ The low pressure over Northern Plains draws winds from the surrounding areas and gives rise to
thunderstorm with dusty winds. The thunderstorms accompanied with strong winds and heavy
rainfall occurs in Assam and West Bengal.
¾ These local winds are called Kal Baisakhi, meaning ‘the calamity of the mouth of Baisakh. This
rain in the month of April/May is good for tea in Assam and jute and rice in West Bengal. The
little rainfall caused by thunderstorms along the Kerala and Karnataka coasts is very important for
mango and is called mango shower, such rains are also called cherry blossoms in Karnataka.

South–west monsoon season or Rainy season:


 South–West monsoon season or Rainy season also called begins in June with the South–West
monsoons and ends in September. The winds blow from high pressure areas over the sea
to the low pressure areas over the land.
 These winds bring heavy rainfall accompanied by violent thunder and lightning. This sudden
violent onset of rainfall is termed as the Burst of the Monsoon. The south–west monsoon
winds are divided into two branches – the Arabian Sea branch and the Bay of Bengal
branch.
 The Arabian Sea branch of south–west monsoon strikes the western coast of India in Kerala. It
gives very heavy rainfall along the windward side of Western Ghats. The alignment of
Aravalli is parallel to rain–bearing south–west monsoon winds. Moreover, Aravalli are very
low.
 After picking moisture from Bay of Bengal, the Bay of Bengal branch moves towards north–
east, the coasts of Myanmar and Bangladesh. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the first to
receive rainfall from this branch Moreover, Mawsynram (near Cherrapunji) in Meghalaya
stands at the end of a funnel–shapped valley which acts as a trap for rain–bearing Bay of
Bengal branch of south–west monsoon forcing them to shed moisture.

Retreating monsonon season:


 Retreating monsoon season lasts from October to November. During this period, monsoons
start retreating or withdrawing first from the north and then from the south.
 In north–west India, the intensity of low pressure decreases by the middle of September and
the monsoon retreats from most parts of north India.
 Due to high temperature in day time and high humidity, and comparative low in night
temperature the weather becomes oppressive. This oppressive weather is commonly known as
October Heat.

Cold and dry winter season:


 Cold and dry winter season commences at the end of November and continues till March.
During this season, the weather remains cool and dry.
 This season is dry because the winds blow from the land which is without moisture.
 This is the time of north–eastern monsoon. At this time, the eastern coast of India receives
some rainfall because the winds pick up some moisture as they pass over the Bay of
Bengal.

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REVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Section I: [2 Marks]
1) Name the area in India which receives rainfall from the western disturbances. State the
importance of this rainfall.
Ans: The North–West part of India, including parts of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir
Himachal Pradesh, northern Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and western Uttar Pradesh receive light to
moderate rainfall in the winter months, from the western Disturbances.
These are cyclonic rains which are beneficial to the Rabi crops such as wheat and barley.
2) Though Mangalore and Mysore are on the same latitude, Mangalore experiences more
rainfall than Mysore. Why?
Ans i) Mangalore lies on the windward side of the Western Ghats and hence experiences heavy
rainfall
ii) On the other hand, Mysore lies on the leeward side or rain shadow side of the Western
Ghats, hence receives less rainfall.
3) What are ‘Western Disturbances’? How do they affect the climate of India?
Ans The weather conditions during winter are generally influenced by the distribution pattern of
pressure in Central and West Asia. A low pressure known as the Western disturbance
originates over the eastern Mediterranean region in winter. It moves towards India after it passes
over Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This low pressure intensifies over northwest India and
moves eastward. It causes rain in Punjab and Haryana and snowfall in the Himalayan belt.
4) Why does Kanyakumari experience an equable climate?
Ans Kanyakumari experiences an equable climate because:
a) It is located close to the equator (0° Latitude). On the equator the sun rays are almost vertical
throughout the year, hence there is not much difference in the temperature.
b) Kanyakumari is located on the sea coast; hence it has a moderating effect on the climate.
5) How are the sources of rainfall in the North–West part of India different from the rainfall
experienced on the coastal areas of Eastern India in winter?
Ans During winter, the source of rainfall in the North–West of India is Western disturbances from the
Mediterranean Sea.
The coastal areas of Eastern India gets rainfall from North–East Monsoons which arises from
Bay of Bengal, as well as the North–East Trades winds.
6) i) What is meant by a “Rain Shadow” area?
ii) Give two examples of “Rain Shadow” areas in India.
Ans i) Area which gets little or no rainfall is called the “Rain Shadow” area. It is on the “Leeward
side’ of a mountain range. This side is completely opposite to the windward side of the
mountain, which faces the rain bearing winds.
ii) Eg. (a) Eastern side of the Western Ghats, (b) Shillong plateau, which lies on rain shadow
area of Khasi hills.
7) What is the general direction of winds prevailing over the Indian Sub–continent: (i) In
April–May? (ii) In July?
Ans i) In April–May, general direction of winds prevailing over the Indian Subcontinent is north–east
ii) In July, general direction of winds prevailing over the Indian Subcontinent is from south–west
to north–east or north.
8) i) What is the most commercially important natural vegetation belt of India?
Ans The most commercially important natural vegetation belt of India is the tropical deciduous
forests.
ii) In what rainfall range is this vegetation belt located?
Ans The rainfall range of this vegetation belt is between 140 cm to 200 cm.
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Chapter 03: Climate of India 71

9) What is meant by ‘the season of retreating monsoon?


Ans The period of transition between the withdrawal of south–west monsoons in the months of
October to November and the onset of the North coast monsoon is called the season of
retreating monsoon.
10) In which season do cyclonic depressions originate in the Andaman Sea? Give one reason
for such depression
Ans Depressions originate in the Andaman Sea during retreating monsoon season i.e. October and
November. During the months of October–November, due to local variations of heat and
moisture, tropical cyclones are caused over the sea surrounding the Andaman islands.
11) Name the four states on the eastern coast which are frequently struck by tropical
cyclones. State the characteristic features of the tropical cyclones.
Ans Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh; West Bengal and Orissa are struck by tropical cyclones. They are
characterized by strong winds; torrential rainfall and high waves along the coast. They are often
very destructive to life and property.
12) How do the Western Ghats affect the rain bearing winds that blow in the region? Name
the winds.
Ans The Arabian Sea branch of South–West Monsoon winds is moisture laden. As the winds blow on
shore, they reach the barrier of the Western Ghats, are forced to rise and condense. Thus they
shed all their moisture on the windward side, as a result of which, the western coasts gets heavy
rain.
The rain bearing winds are the Arabian sea branch of the south–west monsoons
Section II: [3 Marks]
1) Study the climatic data given below and answer the question.
Stn Month Jan Feb March April May Jun Jul Aug Set Oct Nov Dec
Temp. in
A 12.7 15.0 22.1 31.8 37.2 39.1 37.2 33.4 28 26.7 16.1 13.6
Degree C
Rainfall in
2.1 2.3 1.0 0.9 1.5 5.6 18.3 18.9 15.1 0.6 0.3 1.8
cms
B Tem.° C 23.1 24.8 26.5 29.3 32 32.8 33.1 32.1 30.5 29.3 28.7 26.1
Rain cms 15.3 10.1 0.3 0.1 1.3 4.5 6.1 10.2 10.5 20.1 16.8 19.0
i) Calculate the annual rainfall of station A.
Ans Annual rainfall station A = 68.4 cm. (Total of rainfall from January to December)
ii) What is the annual range of temperature in station B?
Ans Annual range of temperature in station B = maximum temperature – minimum temperature
= 33.1°C – 23.1°C = 10.0°C (or 23.1°C to 33.1°C)
iii) Name the winds that bring most of the rainfall to station B. State one reason for your
answer.
Ans: Station B gets most of its rainfall from the North–East monsoon.
These winds bring rainfall to the East coast of India during the months of October to January.
Station B receives most of its rainfall and during the months of October to January,which is the
season of retreating monsoons.
iv) The Indian subcontinent experiences contrasts in climatic conditions. Explain with at
least two examples.
Ans: The Indian subcontinent experiences contrast in climate due to the various relief features such
as the Himalayas, the Western and Eastern Ghats, the presence of the seas surrounding
peninsular India and the vastness of the subcontinent. eg.:
i) Punjab has a continental climate with severe heat alternating with severe cold, while Kerala,
situated on the coastal belt has tropical climate with uniformly warm and moist air.

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72
ii) Cherrapunji in the north eastern part of India receives an annual rainfall of 1080 cm while in
the Thar Desert the annual rainfall is about 13 cm.
2) a) State two differences between tropical cyclones and temperate cyclones.
Ans:
Tropical cyclones Temperate cyclones
These types of cyclones are thermal in origin. This type of cyclones are frontal in origin.
The winds velocity is very high; attaining 300 The wind velocity is very low, travel at a
km/hr and active in summer season. speed of 35 to 70 km/hr and active in winter
season.
They are small in size and cause heavy rain. They are bigger in size and cause less rain
and destruction.
3) Study the climatic data given below and answer the question.
Stn Months Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Temp in Degree C 16.8 19.2 26.6 29.8 33.3 33.9 31.3 29 20.1 27 20.1 14.9
A
Rainfall in cms 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.3 1.0 3.1 10.8 13.1 5.7 0.8 0.3 0.2
Temp in Degree C 24.5 25.7 27.7 30.4 33 32.5 31 30.2 29.8 28 25.9 24.7
B
Rainfall in cms 4.6 1.3 1.3 1.8 3.8 4.5 8.7 11.3 11.9 30.6 35.0 13.9
i) Calculate the Average Annual Rainfall for station B
Ans: 128.7 ÷ 12 = 10.72 cms
ii) Which of the two stations is located away from the sea? Give a reason to justify your
answer.
Ans: Station A is located away from the sea, because there is high difference in temperature range
and climate is extreme.
iii) Calculate the Annual Ranges of temperature for station A
Ans: Annual range of Temperature Ranges is 33.9–14.9 = 19° C
iv) Which is the driest month in station A as shown in the table?
Ans: December is the driest month at station A.
4) Study the climatic data given below and answer the question.
Stn. Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
A Temp. in °C 14.4 16.7 23.3 30.0 33.3 33.3 30.0 29.4 28.9 25.6 19.4 15.6
Rainfall in cms 2.5 1.5 1.3 1.0 1.8 7.4 19.3 17.8 11.9 1.3 0.2 1.0
B Temp. °C 24.4 24.4 26.7 28.3 30.0 28.9 27.2 27.2 27.2 27.8 27.2 25.0
Rainfall cms 0.2 0.2 – – 1.8 50.6 61.0 36.9 24.8 4.8 1.0 –
i) Calculate the annual rainfall for station A.
Ans: Annual rainfall for station A is
2.5 + 1.5 + 1.3 + 1.0 + 1.8 + 7.4 + 19.3 + 17.8 + 11.9 + 1.3 + 0.2 + 1.0 = 67.0 cm
ii) What are the annual ranges of temperature at station B?
Ans: Annual range of temperature at station B is 30°C – 24.4° C= 5.6°C
iii) In which hemisphere do you think station A lies?
Ans: Station A lies in Northern Hemisphere.
iv) Which of these stations has an equable climate?
Ans: Station B has an equable climate, because the annual range of temperature is small
5) Name any two local winds which blow in India and write briefly about each.
Ans: i) Loo: These are hot dry westerly winds that blow during May and June in the afternoons in
the northwestern parts of India, with temperatures rising to 45°C – 50°C.
ii) Kalbaisakhi: They are local winds which bring very heavy showers in the month of April/ May
caused by the north–westerly and northerly winds in West Bengal and Assam. They originate
over the Chhota Nagpur plateau and are carried eastward by westerly winds. The rain is
good for the tea crop of Assam and jute and rice in West Bengal.
iii) Mango Shower: Thunder storms which cause rainfall along the Kerala and Karnataka
coasts. The little rainfall that they bring is important for mango, tea, and coffee plants. They

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Chapter 03: Climate of India 73
are known as mango showers as they are important for the mango crop. They are also
known as cherry blossom showers in Karnataka.
6) i) Name the place in India which receives the heaviest rainfall.
Ans: Mawsynram
ii) Name the state where the place is located
Ans: Meghalaya.
iii) Name the winds which are responsible for this heavy rainfall.
Ans: Bay of Bengal branch of the South – West Monsoons.
7) Name two important features of the Indian Monsoon
Ans: i) Seasonal reversal of wind system: In the rainy season, it is south westerly (June to
September) providing bulk of the rain on the western coast and eastern region. The retreating
monsoon is north–easterly, providing rain only to the south–east coast of India
ii) Rainfall by the monsoon winds is mainly induced by the relief (mountains) features of the
country (orographic rainfall).
8) Explain why:
i) Mumbai is warmer than Kanpur in December?
Ans: Mumbai experiences the maritime influence (moderating) by the Arabian Sea as it is near the
coast. Kanpur is situated in the heart of the Northern Plain and experiences continental climate
with extremes of temperature (very cold in winter and very hot in summer). Mumbai is nearer to
the equator than Kanpur, hence it is warmer throughout the year.
ii) Account for the winter rain in northern India?
Ans: The Mediterranean cyclones bring the winter rain in Northern India. These cyclones are also
called the western disturbances or Temperate Cyclones.
9) What is meant by ‘Burst of Monsoon’?
Ans: i) The south–east trade winds after crossing the Equator are deflected towards the right
because of the Coriolis force and reach the west coast as south–west monsoon.
ii) These winds bring heavy rainfall accompanied by violent thunder and lightning.
iii) This sudden violent onset of rainfall in the first week of June is termed as the Burst of the
Monsoon.
10) State two important characteristic features of monsoon rainfall in India.
Ans: i) South–West monsoon blows continuously from June to September bringing rainfall for the
whole of the Sub–continent,
ii) The rainfall by these winds is unequally distributed on account of various geographical
factors.
iii) Maximum rainfall takes place in one month, it is not well distributed.
11) Chennai has lower annual range of temperature than Lucknow. Give one reason.
Ans: Chennai has lower annual range of temperature than Lucknow because Chennai experiences
oceanic equable climate, due to its location near the sea. Lucknow is located in the interior and it
experiences the continental type of climate. Therefore, annual range of temperature of Chennai
is lower than that of Lucknow.
12) What is the cause of winter showers in western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab?
Ans: Western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab get winter showers by the westerly depression or Western
Disturbances which originate India from the Mediterranean Sea region and enter India from the
North West. The low pressure depression intensifies over northwest and moves east ward
causing rain in Punjab and Haryana.
13) Why does central Maharashtra have only a light rainfall?
Ans: Greater parts of Central Maharashtra receives light rainfall because this region is located in the
leeward side or rain shadow area of the Western Ghats. South–west monsoon winds shed their

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moisture on the windward side of the Western Ghats, with little moisture left as they reach
central Maharashtra.
14) A Cricket match at Chennai (Madras) from October 24 to 28 had to be abandoned because
of bad weather all through. As a student of Geography provide an explanation for this
happening. Ensure that your explanation provides the technical name of this season in
India, the atmospheric pressure conditions over the Bay of Bengal during this part of the
year and the typical regime experienced in Chennai (Madras) city.
Ans: October–November is the period of retreating monsoon in India, during which the Eastern
coastal region receives rainfall. A high pressure begins to develop over the mainland and a low
pressure builds up over the sea in the Bay of Bengal region. The monsoon winds retreat to the
south. They pick up moisture over the Bay Bengal and are checked by the southern range of the
Eastern Ghats, bringing rain to the Eastern portion of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and
Tamil Nadu. Thus, Chennai receives winter rain from the retreating monsoon during the months
of October to November.
15) a) Name the season during which the North–East Trade winds dominate the Indian sub–
continent
Ans The North–East trade winds dominate over the Indian Sub–continent during the winter season.
b) In which season do the above mentioned winds get completely reversed? Name the
four months covered by this season.
Ans: The trade winds are completely reversed during the south–west monsoon season. These
monsoon winds blow during the months of June, July, August and September.
16) a) Why does the Coromandel Coast receive most of its rain during winter season?
Ans: The Coromandel Coast receives rainfall in winter because its location is on the windward side of
the Eastern Ghats. This region receives rainfall from the north – east retreating monsoon winds
b) Why is the diurnal range of temperature during summer, greater at Bikaner (Rajasthan)
than at Panjim (Goa)?
Ans: Bikaner is located in the dry, interior area where day temperature is very high and at night, it
falls. It experiences continental type of climate. Panjim is located near the coast where climate is
moderate.
17) a) Give two reasons to explain each of the following:
i) Inspite of the Aravali Hills, many parts of Rajasthan do not receive much rain.
Ans Rajasthan receives a little rainfall because:
a) The Aravali Hills are parallel to south–west winds; they do not intercept the monsoon winds.
b) The Aravali Hills are lower in height. The Aravali range is unable to stop the moisture laden
winds.
ii) The Malabar Coast has less rainy months but more rainfall than the Coromandel Coast.
Ans: a) The Malabar Coast lies on the windward side of the Western Ghats. It receives heavy rain
(250–300 cm) from the south–west monsoon winds during June to September. Coromandel
coast lies on the leeward side of the Deccan plateau. The south–west winds progressively
deposit less rainfall from west to east, Coromandel Coast thus receives only 30–40 cm of
rainfall during these months.
b) The Coromandel Coast also receives rainfall during October–November from the retreating
monsoon winds, but this is not very heavy.
Malabar Coast does not receive winter rains. Thus Malabar coast has less rainy months but
more rain.
iii) Name two factors affecting the temperature at a place.
Ans The Altitude and distance from the sea affect the temperature of place.
iv) Name the months of retreating monsoons. Explain how these winds are different from
the north–east Trade winds.
Ans: The retreating monsoons take place in October to November. These are the same winds of
summer which come back due to the migration of the sun. North–east trade winds return

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Chapter 03: Climate of India 75
between the months of December to February when north–western part becomes cold and
winds give rainfall on Tamil Nadu coast after collecting moisture from the Bay of Bengal.
18) Mention the important factors that influence the climate of the subcontinent of India.
Ans: The following factors influence the climate of the Indian subcontinent:
i) The Himalayas, ii) Distance from the sea,
iii) The latitude iv) Altitude (height above sea level)
v) Relief of the region vi) Western disturbances
vii) Conditions over the oceans viii) Jet streams (air currents)
19) What is meant by October heat?
Ans: i) The Indian subcontinent by 23rd September i.e. the Autumn Equinox experiences an apparent
shift of the sun southwards. The southwest monsoon begins to withdraw as a high pressure
builds in the land. It is a transition period between the hot rainy season and cold dry season.
ii) The southwest monsoons retreat towards the south. They pick moisture from the Bay of
Bengal and shed it on the eastern side of the Eastern Ghats. Chennai gets 60 cms rainfall
from the Retreating Monsoons.
iii) During this time tropical cyclones originate in the Bay of Bengal, causing heavy rains in the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands. By October the rest of India experiences clear cloudless
skies, high temperatures and humidity. This sultry and oppressive weather is referred to as
‘October heat’.
20) What is the importance of the South–West monsoon to the sub–continent?
Ans: The economy depends on south–west monsoon due to the following reasons:
i) Agriculture is the main occupation.
ii) Agro–based industries like food are the main industries.
iii) It provides water for various purposes.
iv) It provides HEP for domestic and industrial purposes.
21) Name one part of India that has its rainfall both in winter and summer.
Ans: Tamil Nadu coast or Coromandel Coast gets rainfall both in the winter and summer.
It receives little rain from the Arabian Sea Branch of the South West monsoon winds.
The region receives some rain from the north–east retreating monsoon.
22) What are trade winds? How do they affect South Asia?
Ans: i) The trade winds are typical planetary surface winds blowing in lower latitudes i.e. tropical
zone. They blow from the subtropical high pressure belts towards the low pressure tropical
belts. They are north–east trade winds in the north and the south–east winds in the south, in
the Northern and southern hemispheres.
ii) The subcontinent in the summer season, in May, has high temperatures and the surrounding
seas are cooler. So they develop high pressure conditions. The south–east trade winds,
which blow from south–east in the Southern Hemisphere get deflected. As they cross the
equator they get attracted to the low pressures in the continent, thus blowing from southwest
to northeast. They are the South West monsoon winds bringing monsoons to the
subcontinent
23) State three features of the distribution of rainfall in India?
Ans: In India the rainy season is from the month of June to September. India gets rainfall from the
South West Monsoons which divides into two branches:
i) The Arabian Sea branch: It brings rainfall on the western coast of India giving heavy rainfall
on the windward side of the Western Ghats while the leeward side is comparatively dry. The
rainfall is orographic. The duration and amount decreases as we go northward. These winds
are also parallel to the Aravallis. Thus, Thar is a desert.
ii) The Bay of Bengal branch: These winds advance northeastward and strike against Garo,
Khasi, Jaintia Hills, thus giving heavy rain on the windward side of the mountain. This type is
known as the relief rainfall. Shillong on the other side has little rain. The winds are then
deflected towards the Ganga plain thus they do not have much moisture. The Gangetic plains
receive less rainfall.

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iii) The retreating monsoons blow towards the sea. Depressions occur in the north bringing
rainfall due to the westerly winds.
iv) Also, in the south, tropical cyclones occur in the Bay of Bengal giving winter rain in Tamil
Nadu.
24) Distinguish between Precipitation and Rainfall.
Ans:
Precipitation Rainfall
Precipitation is a wider term. Rainfall is a specific term.
Precipitation has its many forms which occur due to varied Rainfall is only one form of
temperature viz. snow–fall, sleet, hail and even rainfall. precipitation.
In precipitation, water vapour may change into liquid or In rainfall water vapour changes
solid form. into liquid form only.

25) Distinguish between Equable and Extreme or continental climates


Ans:
Equable Climate Extreme / continental climate
Annual range of temperature is small. Annual range of temperature is high.
The summers and winters are moderate with Characterised by very hot summers and very
little variation in temperature. cold winters.
eg. The coastal regions of Mumbai and eg. Cities in the interior, such as Delhi,
Chennai Lucknow
26) Why does Kaniyakumari enjoy an equable climate? Give two reasons.
Ans: i) Kaniyakumari in Tamil Nadu at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent enjoys an equable
climate. It receives the first onset of the monsoon rains from the southwest monsoon winds.
The duration and rainfall goes on decreasing as we go northwards.
Being near the sea, it enjoys a maritime climate i.e. moderate type. The type of rainfall is
orographic.
ii) The temperatures average 25° C throughout the year. Kanyakumari also receives rainfall
from the retreating monsoon winds in October–November which bring winter rainfall to the
area.
Due to the wind conditions and moderating affect of the sea, there are no extremes of
temperature, so Kanyakumari has an equable climate.
27) What are the prevailing weather conditions over northern plains between April to June?
Explain the reasons for such conditions.
Ans: During the months of April to June the northern plains experience hot dry weather conditions
with temperature touching 40°C to 45°C.
This is accompanied by dust storms and strong dry and hot winds known as “Loo”.
Due to the apparent movement of the sun northwards, the sunrays fall vertically on the Tropic of
Cancer. The belt of maximum temperature moves northward during April–May creating a low
pressure area over the Northern Plains.
28) Name the regions of the subcontinent which receive scanty rainfall (50–100 cm) Give
reasons
Ans: The upper Ganga valley, eastern Rajasthan, parts of Punjab and Haryana and Jammu and
Kashmir receive very little rainfall.
They experience a very short rainy season as they are last to receive the monsoon and the first
to see it retreat.
The monsoon winds are almost devoid of moisture by the time they reach these regions.
Large parts of the Deccan plateau, the Indus plains, western Rajasthan also receive scanty
rainfall as they lie in the rainshadow area of mountains or parallel to mountain ranges.
29) Name the place in India which receives the heaviest rainfall. Give one reason.
Ans: Cherrapunji and Mawsynram in Meghalaya receive heaviest rainfall, with an average annual
rainfall of 1080 cm.
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Chapter 03: Climate of India 77
The Bay of Bengal branches of the monsoon are deflected by the Arakan Yoma and the Garo–
Khasi Hills. They pass over the Ganga–Brahmaputra Delta and approach the Lower Himalayan
Ranges in Meghalaya. This region receives heavy rainfall as it lies on the windward side of the
mountains.
Give reasons for the following:
30) Why does Punjab receive rainfall in winter, though it does not lie on the path of the
retreating monsoon?
Ans Punjab is situated in the North Western region of the country; hence does not receive rain from
the north–east retreating monsoon. It receives rainfall during winter from the Western
Disturbances, which is a low pressure depression in northern India. It originates from the eastern
Mediterranean region in winter and moves eastwards towards India. The low pressure intensifies
over northwest India and moves eastward, thus causing rain in Punjab and Haryana.
31) Kolkata receives 144 cm of rainfall, while Delhi gets only 55 cm of rainfall annually from
the south–west monsoon winds.
Ans Kolkata and Delhi lie on the path of the Bay of Bengal branch of the south west monsoon winds,
as it proceeds from east to west. The amount of rainfall decreases as the winds proceed
westwards. Thus Kolkata receives about 144 cm of rainfall as the moisture content is more while
the winds blow over Kolkata. By the time they reach Delhi the monsoon winds have already shed
most of their moisture hence Delhi receives only about 55 cm of rainfall.
32) Why does Delhi receive more rainfall than Jodhpur?
Ans Delhi receives rainfall from both the branches of the monsoon winds. Jodhpur lies further west
which does not fall in the path of the Bay of Bengal branch of the monsoon winds. It lies in the
rainshadow area of the Aravalli hills. A feeble branch of the Arabian sea Monsoon does pass
over the area but causes little rainfall as there is no barrier to it and the land is too heated.
33) Mawsynram receives the highest rainfall in the world. Explain why?
Ans The location of Mawsynram in Meghalaya is responsible for the highest rainfall (1080 cm) in the
world. Mawysnram is located in the valley surrounded by Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills which look
like a big funnel. The moist winds coming from the Bay of Bengal enter this valley or funnel from
beneath and are forced to rise up. This rising of winds causes further cooling and precipitations
in the form of heavy rainfall.
34) Annual range of temperature at Thiruvanantapuram is 3°C while it is above 35°C in Delhi
and surrounding areas.
Ans: i) Thiruvanantapuram lies on the coast and is hence influenced by the ocean winds which make
the climate uniformly warm and moist. Trivandrum thus has a maritime climate.
Delhi on the other hand is situated in the interiors of India which have extremes of climate or
continental climate. The moderating influences of the sea are limited to the coastal region
only as the winds are blocked by the Western Ghats,
ii) The Tropic of Cancer (23½° N) divides the country into two halves: The North Temperate
Zone and the South Tropical zone. Thiruvanantapuram lies in the South Tropical zone,
nearer to the Equatorial region, hence the range of temperature is low.
Delhi lies in the North Temperate Zone, thus experiencing extreme weather conditions, with wide
annual range of temperatures.
35) Ooty is a cold place inspite of being near the Equator.
Ans: The climate of a place is also affected by the altitude above sea level apart from other factors.
Ooty though situated near the equator is a cold place because it is situated at a height of above
2000 m.
Temperature decreases with increases in altitude at the rate of 1°C for every 166m (6°C for
every 1000m). Hence, Ooty is cooler than the places on the plains situated on the same latitude.
36) Shillong gets about 250 cm of rainfall in a year, whereas nearby Cherrapunji gets more
than 1,080 cm of rainfall.
Ans: The Bay of Bengal branch of the south west monsoons is deflected by the Arakan Yoma
Mountains and the Garo and Khasi hills. The windward side of the Garo Khasi hills, gets heavy

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78
rainfall. Cherrapunji lies on the windward side of the north–eastern hills and hence receives
heavy rainfall, an average of more than 1,080 cm annually.
On the other hand, Shillong which is twenty miles from Cherrapunji lies on the leeward side of
the mountain range hence gets only about 250 cm of rainfall annually.
37) Why is the Thar region arid? Give three reasons.
Ans: The Thar region receives very little summer rain, less than 25 cm annually.
i) The Arabian Sea Branch of the south–west monsoon does not give much rainfall as the
Aravallis which are parallel to these winds do not form barriers to intercept them. The
monsoon winds thus do not shed their moisture in this region.
ii) The Bay of Bengal Branch of the south–west monsoon has little or no moisture by the time it
reaches the Thar region, after traversing the Ganga valley.
iii) The Thar region lies in the rainshadow of the Aravalli range, hence does not receive rain from
the Bay of Bengal branch of the south west monsoon.
iv) A part of the Arabian sea Branch which passes over the western part of Rajasthan reaches
the western Himalayas. While crossing over the Thar Desert, these winds become warmer
and increase their capacity to hold moisture instead of shedding them.
The Thar region thus receives little rainfall and is arid.
38) Why does the peninsular India record lower summer temperatures than Northern India?
Give two reasons.
Ans: Peninsular India, stretching from the Rann of Kutch in the west to the Ganga–Brahmaputra delta
in the East comprises of the Deccan Plateau, the Eastern and Western Ghats and the coastal
regions.
i) The peninsular plateau is a hilly region Due to higher altitudes the temperatures are lower
than in the Northern plains. Temperature decreases with rise in altitude.
ii) The peninsular region is also closer to the effect of the maritime climate, hence making the
summer temperatures lower than in northern India.
iii) The Peninsular region receives heavy rain from the south–west monsoon winds in summer
and some rain from the North East monsoon during winter. The northern plains on the other
hand receive less rainfall from the south–west monsoon and do not fall in the path of the
moisture bearing north–east monsoon winds.
The Peninsular region thus, has lower summer temperatures than the northern plains.
39) Why Vishakhapatnam gets heavier rainfall than Hyderabad?
Ans: Vishakapatnam is located on the eastern coast of India. It receives rainfall from the Bay of
Bengal branch of south west monsoons. The Eastern Ghats also get rainfall from the north–east
monsoon winds.
Hyderabad, on the other hand, is located in the interior of South India on the Deccan Plateau
which is a rain–shadow area of the Western Ghats. South–west monsoons after crossing
Western Ghats become dry and give less rainfall. Hence, Vishakhapatnam gets heavier rainfall
than Hyderabad.
40) Why is the Arabian Sea branch of the monsoon winds more powerful than the Bay of
Bengal Branch?
Ans: The Arabian Sea Branch of the monsoon is more powerful than the Bay of Bengal branch
because:
i) The winds of the Arabian Sea Branch enter the Indian landmass after crossing a vast open
sea, the Arabian Sea, which is larger than the Bay of Bengal. The winds originate over the
Indian Ocean.
ii) The Arabian Sea Branch faces the Western Ghats as it enters land, forcing it to shed most of
its moisture–causing heavy rain. The Bay of Bengal branch meets mountain barriers after
travelling a long distance over land.
iii) The entire Arabian Sea branch goes over India whereas only a part of the Bay of Bengal
Branch enters India, the rest going towards Myanmar and Thailand.

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Chapter 03: Climate of India 79

41) When and where does cyclonic rainfall occur in north India?
Ans: i) In the north during the winter months although the sky is clear, sudden cyclonic storms
appear with rainfall or in the form of snow in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. In
Punjab, Haryana they give 15 cms of rainfall.
ii) These storms occur due to the cyclonic depressions in the Mediterranean Sea. The low
pressure area originates over the eastern Mediterranean regions and moves eastward
towards India. The low pressure depression intensifies over northwest India and moves
eastward causing rain in Punjab, Haryana and surrounding areas. They are also known as
the Westerly Depressions.
42) What is the economic importance of:
i) Mango showers in Kerala and Karnataka ii) Cyclonic rainfall in Punjab,
iii) Relief rainfall in Tamil Nadu, and iv) Kalbaisakhi in West Bengal and Assam
Ans: i) Mango showers on the Kerala coast are early rain showers of the south-west monsoons
which are good for the mango trees.
ii) Cyclonic rainfall in Punjab during winters is highly useful for rabi crops in Punjab, Haryana
and Western Uttar Pradesh. These cyclones come from the Mediterranean Sea.
iii) Relief rainfall in Tamil Nadu is beneficial for the millets and rice crops.
iv) Kal Baisakhi in West Bengal and Assam is good for tea crop in Assam and for jute and rice
crops in West Bengal.

MISCELLEOUS QUESTIONS / HOME WORK


1) Why does India have Monsoon type of climate?
2) Name the place in India which receives the heaviest rainfall.
3) Name the factors which affect the climate of a place.
4) What is ‘monsoon’?
5) Describe the process of retreat of the Summer Monsoon.
6) Why is western part of India a desert region?
7) What is meant by ‘Burst of Monsoon’?
8) What is the direction of the summer monsoon in the Indo-Gangetic Plain?
9) Name two regions which get very little rain from the summer monsoon.
10) Name the place in India which receives most of its rain during winter season?
11) Why does the Coromandel coast receive most of its rain during winter season?
12) Name any two local winds blow in India during the summer season.
13) Name any two states that receive rain in January-February.
14) What causes the winter rain?
15) What are western disturbances?
16) Name an area which gets sufficient rainfall from the winter monsoon.
17) Name one region which gets rainfall from the Retreating Monsoon.
18) Name two areas which get more than 200 cm of rainfall in India.
19) Name the winds that bring rain to the Tamil Nadu Coast.
20) Which winds are responsible for the rainfall experienced over the greater part of India?

PREVIOUS YEARS BOARD QUESTIONS:


1) Name two states which receive rain in January and February. [2000]
2) What causes the winter rain? [2000]

Volume 1 of 2 Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography 79


80
3) Exxplain why:
a) Mumbai is warmer
w than Kanpur in December.
b) Account for the winter raain is northerrn India. [2001]
4) a) Name the place
p in India
a which receiives the heav viest rainfall.
b) Name the state
s where the
t place is situated.
s
c) Name the winds
w which are responsiible for this heavy
h rainfalll [2001]
5) Naame two imp portant featurres of the Ind
dian monsoons. [2001]
6) Why are there great variations in the climate of Indiian Subcontinent? [2002]
7) Naame any two o local winds which blow in i India and write
w briefly about
a each. [2002]
8) Unnder what rainfall conditio
ons are the Tropical
T Rain
n Forests fouund? [2002]
9) Study the climaate data giveen below and d answer the e questions th hat follow: [2003]

a) Calculate th
he annual rainfall for Statiion A.
b) What is the annual range of tempera
ature at Station B?
c) In which hem
misphere do you think Sttation A lies?
?
d) Which of the
ese Stations has an equa
able climate?
?
10)
Station Months J F M A M J J A S O N D
Temp, in 16.8 19.2
2 26.6 29.8 33.3 33.9
3 31.3 29 20.1 27 20.1 14.9
Degree C
A
Rainfall in 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.3
3 1.0 3.1
3 10.8 13.1 5.7 0.8 0.3 0.2
cms.
Temp, in 24.5 25.7
7 27.7 30.4 33 32.5
3 31 30.2 29.8 28 25.9 24.7
Degree C
B
Rainfall in 4.6 1.3 1.3 1.8
8 3.8 4.5
4 8.7 11.3 30.6 35.6 35.0 13.9
cms
a) Calculate th
he Average Annual
A Rainfa
all for station
n B.
b) Which of the
e two stations is located away from th
he sea? Give
e a reason to
o justify your answer.
c) Calculate the Annual Ra
ange of Temp
perature for station
s A.
d) Which is the
e driest montth in station A as shown in
i the table? [2004]
11) State two differences betw
ween tropical cyclones and temperate cyclones [2004]
12) Naame the areea in India which receives rainfall from the Western
W Disturbances. State
S the
mportance of this rainfall.
im [2005]

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Chapter 03:
0 Climate of
o India 81
13) Give reason: Though
T Manngalore and Mysore
M are on the same
e latitude, Ma
angalore exp
periences
mo
ore rainfall th
han Mysore. [2005]

14) Study the table e given below w and answe er the questioons that follo
ow:
a) Calculate th he annual rainfall in statioon A.
b) What is the annual range of tempera ature in statio
on B?
c) Name the winds
w that brin
ng most of th he rainfall to Station B. State one reasson for your answer.
15) Give reasons forf the followwing:
a) It is cooler on
o the mounttain slopes th han in the plaains during summer.
s
b) Mumbai is warmer
w than Kanpur in December.
c) Rajasthan re eceives veryy little rainfall. [2006]
16) Study the table e given below w and answe er the questioons that follo
ow:

a) Calculate th
he annual rainfall in statio
on A
b) What is the annual range of tempera ature in statio
on B?
c) Which of the
e two stations has an equ uable climate e?
17) a) Explain twoo factors thatt influence the climate of South Asia.
b) Which type e of climate e is experiennced in the Northern PlainsP of Ind
dia? State one
o main
characteristtic of this typ
pe of climate..
c) Give a reasson: Western n coastal plaiins receive more
m rainfall than
t the Easstern coastal plains.
d) Given below w is the clim matic data of a station. Study
S the tab
ble and answ wer the quesstions that
follow:
M
Month Jan Fe
eb Mar Apr
A May Jun
J Jul Aug Sep Oct Novv Dec
Temperature °C
T C 13.7 16.6 21.6 25.5 33.2 33.5 30.8 29.8 29.2 25.5 19.6
6 15.2
R
Rainfall cm 2.5 2.0
0 1.5 0.9 1.5 7.5 17.8 18.5 12.5 1.0 0.2 1.5
i) Calculatee the annual range
r of tem
mperature.
ii) What is the
t total rainffall experiencced by the sttation?
iii) Which iss the driest month?
m [2007]

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82
18) a) Name the source of winter rain in Tamil Nadu. How does Tamil Nadu benefit from it?
b) Give a reason for each of the following:
i) Patna gets a heavier rainfall than Varanasi.
ii) The Arabian Sea branch of the South West Monsoon does not shed any moisture in
Western Rajasthan.
iii) India has varied climatic conditions.
d) Study the climatic data provided below and answer the questions that follow:
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Station A
Temperature °C 24.4 28.4 20.7 29.3 30.0 29.9 29.8 27.8 26.9 26.3 25.1 24.8
Rainfall cm 0.1 0.1 0.5 0.6 3.8 26.6 26.6 30.5 26.5 11.9 1.1 0.2
Station B
Temperature °C 8.1 8.9 15.6 20.1 25.2 24.3 24.1 22.7 20.6 18.4 14.1 9.6
Rainfall cm 0.4 0.3 0.3 1.1 1.3 3.2 7.7 10.3 5.8 0.7 0.4 0.3
i) Calculate the annual range of temperature of Station A Suggest a reason why the range is
small one.
ii) Which of the two Stations has the lower temperature? Why?
iii) Calculate the annual rainfall of Station B. [2008]
19) a) Mention two main features of the Indian Monsoon.
b) Mumbai receives rainfall in the summer season while Chennai receives rainfall from October
to December. Why?
c) Give reasons: Jaipur has a higher annual range of temperature than Mumbai.
d) Given below is the climatic data of a station. Study the table and answer the questions that
follow.
i) Calculate the annual rainfall experienced by the station.
ii) What is the annual range of temperature?
iii) Name the wettest month. [2009]
20) a) Name the soil which is formed due to high temperature and heavy rainfall with alternating wet
and dry periods. Name two states where this type of soil is found.
b) Write any two characteristics of red soil.
c) What is conservation of soil? Name any two farming techniques which help in soil
conservation.
d) Explain the following terms:
i) Transported soil ii) In Situ iii) Humus. [2009]
21) a) Mention two differences in the climatic conditions which prevail over Kerala and Uttar
Pradesh in the month of June.
b) Name the source of the winter rain to Tamil Nadu.
c) Give reasons for the following:
i) The North East Monsoons bring almost no rain to most of India.
ii) The mango showers are beneficial local winds.
iii) The latitudinal extent of India is responsible for the variation in the climatic conditions
which prevail in the country.
d) Study the climatic data provided below and answer the questions that follow.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Station A
Temperature °C 21.0 22.6 26.3 29.2 29.7 27.5 25.1 24.5 24.8 25.5 22.5 20.5
Rainfall cm 0.1 0.1 0.5 1.5 2.7 11.4 16.7 9.0 13.4 9.0 2.7 0.3
Station B
Temperature °C 24.4 24.4 26.7 28.3 30.0 28.9 27.2 27.2 27.2 28.3 27.2 25.0
Rainfall cm 0.2 0.3 0.3 1.7 1.9 50.2 61.0 37.0 27.0 4.8 1.4 0.3

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Chapter 03: Climate of India 83
i) Calculate the annual range of temperature of Station B.
ii) Calculate annual rainfall of Station A.
iii) Presuming that both the stations are located in West India, state giving a reason as to
which of the two lies on the windward side of the Western Ghats. [2010]
22) a) Give two important characteristics of the summer monsoon rainfall in India.
b) ‘Rainfall in India is Orographic in nature.’ Give an example with reference to the distribution of
rainfall and the effect of relief on its distribution.
c) Give a reason to explain why:
i) the coastal areas of India do not experience a significant variation in temperature between
summer and winter months.
ii) the annual rainfall in Rajasthan is less than 25 cm.
iii) die Coromandel coast gets most of its rain during the winter season.
d) Study the climatic data given below and answer the questions that follow:
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature °C 24.5 25.7 27.7 20.4 30.0 32.5 31.0 30.2 29.8 28.0 25.9 24.7
Rainfall cm 4.6 1.8 1.3 1.8 3.8 4.5 8.7 11.3 11.9 30.6 35.0 13.9
i) Name the driest month.
ii) Calculate the annual rainfall experienced by the station.
iii) What is the annual range of temperature? [2011]
23) a) i) Name the type of climate prevailing over India.
ii) Mention any two factors responsible for it.
b) What is the direction of the summer monsoon? Why?
c) Give geographical reasons for the following:
i) Even in summer Shimla is cooler than Delhi.
ii) The northern plains of India do not freeze in winter.
iii) Kochi has a lesser annual range of temperaute than Agra.
d) Study the climate data given below and answer the questions that follow:
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature °C 23.8 25.0 27.7 28.3 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.3 30.0 30.3 25.5 24.2
Rainfall cm 0 0 1.1 1.5 2.1 45.3 46.5 45.4 43.3 20.1 3.0 0.1
i) Calculate the mean annual temperature.
ii) What is the total rainfall during the mansoon season?
iii) Does the station have a maritime or a continental climate? Give a reason for your answer.
[2012]
24) a) Name two types of cyclonic systems that affected India and two areas that receive rainfall
from these systems.
b) Give two important characteristics of the Sourth West Monsoon rainfall.
c) Give reasons for the following:
i) When the Malbar coast is receiving heavy rainfall in July, the Tamil Nadu coast is
comparatively dry.
ii) The Northern Plains of India have a Continental type of climate.
iii) Central Maharashtra receives little rainfall.
d) Study the climate data given below and answer the questions that follow:
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature °C 23.1 24.8 26.5 29.3 32 32.8 33.1 32.1 30.5 29.3 28.7 26.1
Rainfall cm 15.3 10.1 0.3 0.1 1.3 4.5 6.1 10.2 10.5 20.1 16.8 19.0
i) Calculate the annual rainfall experienced by the station.
ii) Suggest a name of this station, giving a reason for your answer.
iii) Name the season during which the rainfall is heaviest. [2013]

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84
25) a) Mention the different sources of rain in Punjab and Tamil Nadu during the winter season.
b) State the benefits that are derived from the local winds that blow in summer in the following
states:
i) Kerala ii) West Bengal
c) Mention a geographical reason for each of the following:
i) Patna receives heavier rain than Delhi.
ii) Western Rajasthan receives no rain from the Arabian Sea branch of the South West
Monsoon winds.
iii) Mangalore is not cold even in the month of December.
d) Study the climate data given below and answer the questions that follow:
Month JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
°C 25.0 25.5 26.3 27.1 30.0 36.2 36.0 35.9 30.3 28.4 27.0 24.6
Cm 24.5 23.1 15.0 2.4 0.1 11.0 9.3 7.2 4.0 9.4 14.5 20.4
i) Calculate the annual temperature range.
ii) What is the total annual rainfall?
iii) Presuming that the station is located in India, give a reason for its location being on the
east coast or the west coast of India. [2014]

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Chapter 04: Soil in India 85

Chapter 04: Soils in India


Chapter Map:
→ Soil
→ Characteristics of Fertile soil
→ Soil profile
→ Soil Classification
→ Major Soil types
→ Soil Erosion
→ Types of Soil erosion
→ Soil Erosion in India
→ Causes
→ Effects
→ Regions
→ Soil conservation

Synopsis:
¾ Soil is the thin, uppermost layer of earth’s crust. It supports all forests, grasslands and crops
which support life. It consists of fine particles composed of silica, clay, chalk and humus.
¾ Evolution of soil is affected by forces of nature such as changing temperature, running water,
wind, along with chemical and organic changes taking place in soil.
¾ Soil Fertility is the power of the soil to support plant life
¾ Humus is the fine vegetal and animal remains which add to the fertility of the soil.

Characteristics of Fertile Soil:


 It has sufficient depth to allow aeration of roots which allows full root development
 It has sufficient quantities of moisture to supply adequate nutrition to plants.
 It should contain adequate quantity of humus.
 Fertility can be improved by adding fertilizers make up for the missing nutrients.

Soil Profile:
 Soil consists of two major layers:
z Top soil
z Sub soil

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86

Top–Soil
z Top–soil is the most important layer of the soil since it contains humus. It contains all kinds
of bacteria, insects and decayed plant life. It takes years to form top–soil but gets easily
washed.
Sub–Soil:
z Sub–soil is the next layer below, consisting of parent materials which are further reduced to
form soil. It also contains moisture, mineral constituents but no humus. Below this layer is
the solid rock materials

Soil Classification:
 According to the formation, soil can be categorized as:
z Residual Soil or ‘In Situ’: These are found where they are formed e.g. Black soils
z Transported Soil: These soils are carried down by the agents of gradation like rivers and
winds: eg. alluvial soils.

86 Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography Volume 1 of 2


Type of soil Formation of soil Occurrence/States where they occur Composition of soil Characteristic features of Crops grown in soil

Volume 1 of 2
Soil

Alluvial By silt deposition brought by River valleys, deltas of rivers and coastal strips Yellow in colour In texture, it is coarse in Wheat, rice sugarcane,
rivers of Peninsular India Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Rich in potash and lime but upper region medium in cotton jute and oil –
Pradesh, Bihar Jharkhand and West Bengal deficient in nitrogen, phosphoric middle region and fine in the seeds.
Chapter 04: Soil in India

acid and humus.(The Ganga lower region


delta is rich in humus) There is two types of Alluvial
Major Soil Types:

Soils
(i) Bhangar (old) (ii) Khodon
(new)

Black By weathering of lava– flow Deccan Plateau, valleys of Krishna and Colour: Black / Chestnut brown When wet it is fine grained, Sugarcane, cotton
rocks Godavari Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Rich in iron, lime, aluminium, moisture retentive and sticky jowar, tobacco wheat,
Pradesh, M.P., Chattisgarh, and Tamil Nadu potash, magnesium, calcium It Cracks and crevices develop and oil – seeds
lacks in nitrogen, phosphorous when it is dry
and humus

Red By decomposition of old Eastern parts of Deccan Plateau. Tamil Nadu, Red in colour because its high Acidic, porous and coarse Wheat, rice cotton
crystalline or metamorphic Goa, south Karnataka, Orissa and Meghalaya iron oxide sugarcane and pulse
rocks Rich in iron and deficient in (with the use of
lime, nitrogen,Potesh fertilizers)
phosphorus and humus of

Laterite By weathering of rocks under In patches in the Eastern and Western Ghats Rich in iron, and poor in silica, Highly acidic, porous crumbly Tea, coffe, rubber
monsoon climatic conditions and Assam hills. Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu, lime, nitrogen and humus and coarse cashew, tapioca and
such as heavy rainfall and West Bengal and Orissa millets
high temperature with

Universal Tutorials – X ICSE – Geography


alternating wet and dry
periods.
Desert By weathering of rocks due to West and north – west of India Rajasthan, Rich in salts and deficient in Loose, porous and Coarse Generally, unsuitable for
high diurnal range of north Gujarat and southern Punjab organic matter cultivation but with
temperatures and dryness irrigation useful for
wheat, gram bajra,
melon etc.

Mountain By weathering of sedimentary Hills of Jammu and Kashmir Slopes of Rich in iron and deficient in lime Acidic coarse, porous and With fertilizers tea
rocks mountains in Uttaranchal, Assam hills and thin plantati,on fruits and
West Bengal medicinal plants

87
87
88

Soil Erosion:
™ Soil erosion is the detachment and transportation of soil by agents of denudation such as
weathering running water and wind.

Types of Soil Erosion:


 Soil erosion by water: The main factor for soil erosion is running water. This includes; sheet
erosion, gully erosion, rill erosion, leaching, sea or shore erosion, stream bank erosion, slip
erosion.
z Sheet erosion: When there are torrential downpour of rain in hilly regions such as the
Himalayas, hills of north–east India and the Nilgiris, the steep slopes stimulate the erosive
power of the rain causing sheet erosion over vast stretches of land. On the plains, which
are more or less level, the speed is slower and erosion is comparatively much less.
However, where rivers overflow their banks and flood the surrounding plains, as in the case
of the rivers Brahmaputra (Assam), Kosi (Bihar) and Chambal (Rajasthan, Damodar and
Ganga (West Bengal), the damage done to the soil is tremendous, resulting in rugged
topography. In fact, heavy rainfall is more destructive than the same amount of precipitation
spread over a longer period.
z Gully Erosion: Gully erosion takes place when water runs down or gushes in distinct
paths, forming rills, which deepen to form ravines or gullies leading down to the bedrock.
This gully erosion creates areas of ‘badlands’ which cannot be put to any use till soil
restoration takes place. Such a type of gully erosion is prevalent in the plateau country,
especially the Chambal valley.
 Soil erosion by wind: Wind is the most powerful agent of soil erosion in desert and semi–
desert regions where there is little or no vegetation.
 Soil erosion due to human action:
z Deforestation, construction, ploughing, and overgrazing by cattle causes removal of
vegetation cover leading to soil erosion.

Soil Erosion in India:


Causes:
 Increasing population: More forests are being destroyed for construction of houses and to
feed the increasing population.
 Nature of rainfall: Heavy downpours during monsoon months and droughts in the remaining
months of a year affect the soil. Sudden heavy rainfall after a prolonged dry spell causes sheet
erosion.
 Overgrazing: The excessive grazing by cattle has resulted in the exposure of the topsoil to the
elements of denudation. Due to overgrazing, wind erosion occurs as the soil devoid of
vegetation is directly exposed to the wind.
 Improper farming techniques: Improper farming techniques such as absence of terracing,
contour cultivation, crop rotation and the improper used of chemical fertilizers etc. have caused
soil erosion.
 Topography: In hilly regions, steep slopes stimulate the eroding capacity of the rain water due
to gravitational force.
 Deforestation: The removal of forests and natural vegetation for human needs are also
responsible for soil erosion. Cutting of trees exposes the soil to water and wind which lead to
soil erosion.

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Chapter 04: Soil in India 89

Effects:
 Gradual loss of soil fertility and agricultural productivity.
 Lowering of the underground water table.
 Extension of arid lands, increase in drought and flood frequency.
 Recurrence of landslides, silting of river beds.

Regions:
 The worst affected regions are:
z The badlands of the Chambal and Yamuna rivers
z The Piedmont zone of the western Himalayas
z The Chhotanagpur plateau region
z The Tapi–Sabarmati valley region in Gujarat
z The regur soil area of Maharashtra and
z The dry areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana

Soil Conservation:
™ Soil conservation is an effort made by man to reduce the rate of destructive erosion of soil by
taking preventive measures.
™ Some of the measures taken for soil conservation are:
 Terrace farming, shelter belts, contour ploughing, strip cropping, construction of dams,
ploughing gullies and afforestation.
 Various schemes implemented by the government along with Indians forest policy are:
z Dryland development through an irrigation network.
z Integrated Watershed Management.
z Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP)
z Rural development.
z Agro – forestry
z Controlling shifting agriculture.
z Reclaimation and development of ravine areas.
z Awareness campaigns for ecological programmes, protection of mountain ecosystems.

Defference Between:
1) Differentiate between Khadar and Bhangar soils:
Ans:
Khadar soil Bhangar soil
Khadar is the newer alluvium Bhangar is the old alluvium
Found in the lower beds in the valleys near Found about 30 m above sea level in river
the rivers. terraces.
It is light coloured, non–porous clayey and It is dark grey in colour and comprises of
loamy in the river valleys and sandy in the calcareous clay. It is coarser and has
deltaic region. It is finer (contains sand & clay) Kankar granules.
It is more fertile as the soil is replenished by It is less fertile as it is not renewed.
deposition during monsoonal floods. However, crops can be grown using manure

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2) Distinguish between soils eroded by the action of wind and the action of water.
Ans:
Action of Wind Action of Water
Wind erosion removes the loose sand and It causes run off resulting in removal of top soil
topsoil, which is carried to a great distance or formation of deeper gullies.
It may carry sand from the arid land and Water erosion washes away the nutrients of the
deposit it on the fertile land, rendering it soil which is necessary for crops, thus rendering
infertile the land unproductive.
Wind erosion takes place during the dry Erosion by water is prevalent during heavy rains
season only

REVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Section I: [2 Marks]
1) State the factors which contribute to the evolution of soil.
Ans: Various forces of nature such as changing temperature, running water and wind affect soil
formation. These forces of nature along with chemical and organic changes that take place in the
soil contribute to the evolution of soil. Thus soil evolves in texture and composition over
thousands of years.
2) What do you understand by humus?
Ans: Humus is the organic matter formed by the decomposition of vegetal and animal remains.
Humus content determines the fertility of soil.
3) Differentiate between sheet erosion and gully erosion.
Ans: Sheet erosion takes place on gentle slopes due to rain water. It is a slow removal of a thin layer
of top soil. It occurs over vast areas of bare land where vegetation has been destroyed.
Gully erosion occurs during heavy downpour
Running water etches out deep gullies creating a badland topography, in an otherwise normal
landscape. It removes heavy load of loose soils making the soil unproductive.
4) Define leaching, in which region, south of the Tropic of cancer can one find soil formed
by Leaching?
Ans: Leaching is a form of soil erosion by water, which occurs due to heavy rain. It is the movement of
the organic matter and mineral salts from the upper layers of the soil into the lowers layers
because of percolation of rain water.
Laterite soils, formed by leaching are found in the highland areas of peninsular mountains, the
Western and Eastern Ghats.
5) Explain the following terms (i) Badlands (ii) Deforestation
Ans: i) Badlands: Large areas of agricultural land (in states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,
Rajasthan and Gujarat) are transformed into ravines and gullies due to the action of running
water. The removal of top soil leaves the land unproductive. These are called badlands.
ii) Deforestation: Cutting of trees exposes the soil to water and wind which leads to soil
erosion. Forests are destroyed recklessly in order to bring new lands under agriculture.
6) Differentiate between soil conservation and soil erosion
Ans: i) Soil erosion is the removal of soil by running water and wind as well as by human activities,
while soil conservation is an effort by man to reduce soil erosion.
ii) The rate of soil erosion increases due to deforestation, improper farming techniques and
overgrazing of land by animals.
Soil can be conserved by afforestation, using proper farming techniques and restricted grazing of
animals.

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7) Explain how the soil erosion in the Thar Desert affects the fertile Gangetic plain.
Ans: The Thar Desert is a dry, arid region affected by wind erosion. Wind carries sand from the Thar
desert and deposits it over the fertile soil areas rendering them infertile.
The winds blow in an eastward direction towards the western Gangetic plain, during the dry
months. The desert region is reported to be advancing towards the western Gangetic plain.
8) Why is there a need for soil conservation in India? Give two reasons.
Ans: In India the degradation of soil is most critical due to the following reasons:
i) The land of the northern plains has been ploughed for over thousands of years with demand
from it increasing rapidly. The southern plateau region being the oldest landmass, the rocks
are eroded and exposed.
ii) There are heavy monsoon floods in many parts of India. In some parts the underground
water is dependent on conduction of the soil and the water table is getting lower.
Soil conservation is needed to prevent desertification and ensure better ecological balance.
9) How can forest land be protected from erosion? Give two aspects.
Ans: i) Soil erosion is common in India, due to running water, winds, etc. The forest land has to be
protected. Thus afforestation is the best way to prevent soil erosion as also, to increase area
under forests. Indiscriminate felling of trees must stop.
ii) Overgrazing of forests and grasslands by animals, specially goats and sheep must be
checked. Separate grazing grounds should be provided. Also belts of trees and shrubs
should be planted to check the wind velocity and prevent wind erosion.
Section II: [3 Marks]
10) State any three factors that influence soil formation.
Ans: i) Soil is the loose material which forms the thin surface layer of the earth. Its formation is
related to parent rock material like black soil or regur. These soils are found ‘in Situ’ i.e.
formed where they are found. The parent rock has originated from the Deccan Plateau during
volcanic activity. So, weathering of the Deccan trap forms this soil.
ii) Soils formed due to relief: The mountain and hill soils are formed due to the relief features
and due to denudation as well as disintegration of rocks in mountains because of landslides.
iii) Climate and vegetation: The soils formed under climatic conditions are laterite soils. These
soils are formed under conditions of high temperature and heavy rainfall with alternate wet
and dry periods. Thus, its formation takes place under monsoon conditions.
11) What do you understand by soil fertility? State the characteristics of fertile soil
Ans: Fertility of a soil is the power of the soil to support plant life. It is determined by the humus
content and chemical composition of the soil.
Characteristics of fertile soil:
i) It has sufficient depth to allow aeration and full development of roots.
ii) It has sufficient quantities of moisture. It should be able to supply adequate nutrition to the
plant.
iii) It should contain adequate quantity of humus.
12) Place in two broad categories the soils of India on the basis of their formation
Ans: Two broad categories of soil found in India are:
i) Residual soil: These are found where they are formed. They are thus called ‘in situ’ soils.
Such soils are formed by weathering of the parent rock in the same place
Eg. red soil, black soil
ii) Transported soil: These soils are carried down by agents of gradation like rivers and winds.
Eg. alluvial soils.
13) Explain the following terms (i) Parent rock, ii) Soil profile, iii) loam.
Ans: i) Parent rock: It is the original or residual matter i.e. the bedrock from which the material of
the soil is formed. Through the process of break–up or wear and tear, disintegration of parent
rock forms soil. The main mineral matter or characteristic of soil is formed from the parent
rock.
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ii) Soil Profile: A soil profile is a section showing the successive layers of the soil which would
appear if you cut straight down into the soil. The soil consists of two layers as per its profile.
This is the vertical cross section of a soil that displays the various horizons or soil layers. Soil
profile has been classified as follows:
a) Top soil–the plant growth layer b) Sub soil– the weathering of parent rock
iii) Loam: Alluvial soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay called loam. They are found near the
river beds, neither very close to nor very high from the river level.
14) Differentiate between the alluvial soil of the Ganga valley and the alluvial soil of the
Deccan coastal strip.
Ans: The alluvial soil of the Upper Ganga valley is dry porous, sandy, faint yellow in colour, while it
is more compact in the lower course.
It is rich in potash, humus and lime.
The Coastal alluvium found in the Deccan coastal strip is non–porous, clayey, and darker in
colour. The Deccan Rivers flow through the region of black regur soil, carrying this alluvium to
the delta, thus giving it the dark colour.
It is deficient in nitrogen and humus.
15) Give two characteristic features of the soil found most suitable for growing cotton and
sugarcane in Maharashtra.
Ans: Black Cotton soil is most suitable for growing cotton and sugarcane.
Black soil or regur is found in the Deccan trap comprising a large part of Maharashtra.
Characteristics:
i) It is fine textured, clayey and rich in lime, potash, calcium and magnesium carbonates, and in
iron content.
ii) It is highly moisture retentive and becomes sticky when wet. On getting dry it forms long and
deep cracks and crevices which help in air circulation. The property of holding moisture which
is released to the plants during the dry periods is extremely useful in the unirrigated lava
tracts of Maharashtra. The deeper the soil the greater is the moisture held.
iii) The soil is very fertile even without manuring. These features make the soil suitable for
growing cotton and sugarcane in Maharashtra.
16) i) Name the soil formed due to atmospheric weathering
ii) State the conditions under which they are formed?
iii) Name two states where this type of soil is found
Ans: i) Laterite soil is formed as a result of atmospheric weathering of lateritic rocks.
ii) The minerals of the top soil get washed away due to excessive heat, heavy rainfall and
alternating wet and dry periods. Under these conditions the laterite soil is formed.
iii) They are found in patches in the highland areas of Peninsular Plateau. The states are,
Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala
and Tamil Nadu.
17) i) State the characteristics of laterite soils.
ii) Why is laterite soil unsuitable for agriculture?
Ans: i) Laterite soil is coarse in texture, soft and friable.
z It is red due to the presence of iron oxide which is formed by leaching
z The soluble plant foods are removed from the top soil leaving alumina and iron oxide.
z It is porous, from which silica is removed by chemical action.
z It is poor in lime and magnesium and deficient in nitrogen.
z It is acidic in nature as alkalis are leached.
z It is suited for cultivation of special crops such as tapioca, cashewnuts etc.
ii) Laterite soil has high acid content and low moisture retention which makes it unsuitable for
agricultural purposes. The soluble plant food is washed from the top soil leaving the soil
devoid of nutrition.
Cultivation of Tea, Coffee, Cashew nuts and Tapioca is possible with the use of fertilizers.

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18) Name the soil type formed from crystalline rocks. State the conditions of formation of
these soils and the states where they are found.
Ans: Red soil is formed from crystalline rocks. It is ‘in situ’, formed from the parent rock. Red soil is
formed by prolonged weathering by rainfall of ancient crystalline rocks of the Peninsular plateau.
The colour and composition differs from place to place depending on the parent rock material
and climatic conditions.
Red soil is found in Tamil Nadu, Southern Karnataka, Goa, North–eastern Andhra Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.
19) Give three reasons for the low fertility of Red soils.
Ans: Red soils are less fertile as,
i) They lack nitrogenous, phosphorous and organic matter
ii) In the uplands it possesses loose gravel which is less fertile.
iii) The coarse grains lack sustenance of fertility. They are porous and do not retain moisture.
20) i) Name the type of soil found in the Nilgiri Hills.
ii) Name the crop grown in this region.
iii) State the soil characteristics which support the crop mentioned.
Ans: i) The Nilgiri Hills in south India have mountain soils. The characteristics of the soil changes
according to the altitude.
ii) Tea is the main crop of this region. Tea plantations are widerspread on the hill slopes which
have suitable climatic and soil conditions.
iii) The mountain soil is rich in iron and humus due to the forest cover. It is deficient in lime and
potash.
The stagnant water near the roots of the tea plants drain off due to the slope of the land. This
makes the soils suitable for tea cultivation in the Nilgiri Hills. Tea plantations are also
prominent in the hill slopes of Eastern Himalayas.
21) i) What are desert soils?
ii) Where are desert soils found?
iii) What are its characteristics?
Ans: i) Desert soils are arid, sandy soils as well as wind blown loess. They are formed as a result of
wear and tear as well as mechanical weathering of rocks in deserts where there is hot and
dry climate.
ii) Desert soils are found in the arid zone in the north–western part of the country, i.e. in
Rajasthan (Districts of Bikaner, Ganganagari, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Churu and
Jalore), in Gujarat (Kutch region) and South Punjab.
iii) Characteristics:
z Desert soils are coarse, brown in colour, because the top soils has been blown away by
wind
z They are porous with low water retention capacity.
z They contain high soluble salts and often soluble organic matter.
z They are deficient in nitrogen and humus content and are not suitable for agriculture.
22) i) Name one soil of volcanic origin found in India. State the regions where they are found.
ii) Name the minerals found in this soil.
iii) Name one important crop grown on this soil.
Ans: i) Black soil known as Regur or Black cotton soil are formed from the weathering of volcanic
rocks. They are found in the Deccan trap, comprising of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,
southern Tamil Nadu, parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
ii) It is rich in iron, aluminium, calcium, potash, lime and magnesium.
iii) The most important crop grown in black soil is cotton (and sugarcane), due to its self
ploughing and moisture retaining characteristics.

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23) Name the following:


i) The soil found most suitable for growing coffee in Karnataka.
ii) The type of soil found in the summit of the Eastern Ghats.
iii) Name one crop widely grown on alluvial soil.
Ans: i) In Karnataka laterite soil is most suitable for growing coffee.
ii) Laterite soil is found on the summit of the Eastern Ghats.
iii) Wheat rice is widely grown on alluvial soil.
24) Name the soils which are:
i) Rich in iron but poor in silica, ii) rich in humus; iii) rich in potash but poor in
phosphorous iv) Rich in soluble salts but poor in organic matter
Ans: i) Laterite soil, ii) Alluvial soil of Ganga Delta, iii) Alluvial soil, iv) Desert soil.
25) Name two important crops cultivated in (i) Red soil; (ii) Desert soil; (iii) laterite soil; (iv)
mountain soil; (v) Deltaic alluvium
Ans: i) Wheat, rice, gram, pulses, sugarcane.
ii) Barley, bajra, melons, wheat with irrigation.
iii) Coffee, tapioca, cashew, rubber.
iv) Tea, coffee, medicinal plants.
v) Rice, Jute.
26) Give reasons for the following:
i) Alluvial soils are also called Riverine soil.
Ans: Alluvial soils are formed by the sediments brought down by the rivers and deposited on the flood
plains. They are also known as riverine soil because they are mainly found in the river basins.
ii) Leached soils are red in colour.
Ans: Leaching is the movement of organic matter and mineral salts from the upper layers of the soil
into lower layers because of percolation of rain water. The iron oxide formed in the process
imparts the red colour to the soil.
iii) Deltaic alluvium is more fertile than coastal alluvium.
Ans: The deltaic alluvium is rich in nitrogen and humus. It is fine in texture, compact and more moist.
It is mainly new alluvium which is newly enriched by deposits brought down by the rivers. This
makes deltaic alluvium very fertile. Coastal alluvium on the other hand consists of sand and clay
and is non porous. It lacks humus and nitrogenous compounds making it less fertile.
27) Name the type of soil found in the following places.
i) The arid parts of the Gangetic plain.
ii) The western part of Andhra Pradesh.
iii) The coastal strip of Peninsular India.
Ans: i) The arid parts of the Gangetic Plains: The older alluvial soils also known as Bhangar soil.
They are coarse in nature and contain ‘Kankar’, pebbles and gravel.
ii) The western part of Andhra Pradesh: The soils found here are Black or Regur soils. They
are rich, volcanic soils.
iii) The coastal strips of Peninsular India: These have coastal alluvium or Khadar. They are
new soils, flooded almost every year.
28) What do you understand by the following terms:
i) Soil erosion ii) Gully erosion iii) Sheet erosion iv) Rill erosion
Ans: i) Soil erosion: The removal of the top soil cover, either as single particles or ‘en masse’ by
water, wind and human activities is called soil – erosion.
ii) Gully erosion: When the bare soil is eroded by water flowing along definite paths downs the
slope or in channels, it is called gully erosion. Gully erosion removes nutrients and heavy
load of loose soils making the soil unproductive and the water muddy. It is common in the
Chambal Valley region.

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iii) Sheet erosion: It occurs on gentle slopes due to the slow removal of a thin layer of soil when
vegetation is destroyed. Rainwater washes away the thin layer of bare soil.
iv) Rill erosion: Small streams start downward cutting of soil. Finger like rills appear on the
surface due to the flow of water.
29) State three natural regions which are affected by soil erosion.
Ans: i) The prime factor of soil erosion is running water. The soils are washed away due to Gully or
Rill erosion. The water flows with force downhill developing into a channel flow, as seen in
laterite soils or in the mountain regions.
ii) Wind erosion occurs in sandy desert region where winds blow across the extensive flat land
devoid of vegetative cover. The upper layers become loose, and susceptible to wind erosion
due to lack of moisture.
iii) Faulty methods of agriculture practice lead to soil erosion like the practice of shifting
agriculture or Jhumming practiced in the northeast of India. The soil loses its fertility.
30) What are the causes of soil erosion in the following regions?
i) Flood plains of Ganga and Yamuna ii) Siwaliks or Outer Himalayas
iii) North–eastern parts of India iv) Arid region of western India
v) Hilly areas of South India.
Ans: i) Flood Plains of Ganga and Yamuna: Stream Bank Erosion is prevalent in the flood plains
of the Ganga and Yamuna. Banks of streams and rivers get severely eroded by fast flowing
flood waters. The streams and rivers often change their course and thus their beds get
widened.
ii) Siwaliks or Outer Himalayas: Destruction of vegetation cover due to deforestation by man
has left the soil bare and loose. Heavy monsoon rain has caused sheet, rill and gully erosion
along the steep slopes. The local population practice shifting cultivation. Heavy rains wash
away the bare soil from the slopes to the valleys below.
iii) North Eastern parts of India: Heavy rains and frequent floods cause stream–bank erosion
in Assam, West Bengal, and hilly regions of North – east. The rivers, Ganga, Brahmaputra
and its tributaries cause erosion of the river banks due to flooding caused by heavy rains.
iv) Arid regions of western India: Rajasthan and southern Punjab are subjected to severe soil
erosion due to winds blowing from the Thar Desert. Loose sand in the form of dust is lifted
and carried to a great distance by the wind. Due to removal of grass cover wind erosion
removes the top–soil.
v) Hilly areas of the south: In the hilly region of the South, the Deccan and the Nilgiris, soil
erosion has been caused due to steep slopes, defective methods of cultivation and heavy
rainfall. Leaching is common in these regions.
31) Where is plugging and ravine development practised? How is it practised?
Ans: Soil conservation methods are an effort made by man to reduce the rate of destruction caused
by erosion of soil. This is done by taking preventive measures.
i) Plugging is practiced in regions with heavy rainfall. The soil is washed away in gullies. These
gullies made in the soil are plugged with the deposition of silt during heavy rains.
ii) The government launched a scheme for reclamation and development of ravine areas. The
areas of ravines are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. The
components such as peripheral bunding to halt further ingress of ravines, tableland treatment
and afforestation of ravines and reclamation of shallow ravines were practiced.
32) Why is rural development an essential requirement for soil conservation in India? Give
three reasons.
Ans: Rural development is very essential for soil conservation,
i) In India there is heavy pressure on land due to increase in population. In the villages the
agricultural land gets fragmented. Also forests are being destroyed to feed the increasing
population.

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ii) Overgrazing: The number of domestic animals i.e. cattle are high. They freely graze in open
lands making them bare of vegetation. In many parts of Rajasthan excessive grazing has
resulted in exposure of the top soil to denudation.
iii) Bad farming techniques: The poor farmers plough fields in traditional ways. The small size of
land holding leads to soil erosion. Absence of terracing, contour cultivation, crop rotation and
improper use of manure and poor farming techniques leads to an undeveloped rural set up.
33) i) Name the type of soil widely distributed over the Ganga plain
ii) State the main characteristics of this soil type.
iii) Name the crops grown in this region.
Ans: i) The soils found in the Ganga plain are alluvial soils.
They are the inland alluvium, formed by the sediments brought down by the Ganga and its
tributaries. They form the largest and most important group of soils as they are very fertile
and contribute to the largest share of agriculture produce.
ii) Characteristics of Alluvial soil: It is a transported soil. It is formed by the deposition of river
load as it flows from the upper to the lower course.
z Soil particles are coarser in the upper section, medium in the middle section and finer in the
lower sections of the river course. They are found to a depth of 500 metres.
z The soils of Upper Ganga valley are dry, porous, sandy, faint yellow and consists of clay
and organic matter.
z The soil of the Lower Ganga valleys are more compact, less coarse and more moist.
z The soil is rich in potash, humus and lime.
z Deficient in nitrogen, tends to be phosphoric.
iii) The crops grown in this region are rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton, tobacco, gram and oil–
seeds. In the lower Ganga–Brahmputra valley they are useful for jute cultivation.
34) a) Which soil is affected by leaching and why is this disadvantage?
b) How can forest land be protected from erosion? Give two aspects.
c) Explain the terms: (i) Weathered rock (ii) Bed rock (iii) Exfoliated rock.
d) With regard to red soil, where is it found and what are its advantages and
disadvantages?
Ans: a) i) Laterite soil is formed by the weathering of laterite rocks. The minerals of the top soil get
washed down due to excessive heat and rainfall. This process is known as leaching. The
organic matter and mineral salts from the upper layers percolates to the lower layers.
ii) The disadvantage of these soils are that they are generally coarse in texture and friable.
They are poor in lime, magnesium, phosphoric acid and potash. Due to intensive leaching,
laterite soils lack fertility. They respond to manures. In some areas these soils support
grazing grounds and scrub forests.
b) i) Soil erosion is common in India due to running water, winds, etc. The forest land has to be
protected. Thus afforestation is the best way to prevent soil erosion. Indiscriminate felling
of trees must stop to increase area under forests.
ii) Overgrazing of forests and grasslands by animals, specially goats and sheep, must be
checked. Separate grazing grounds should be provided. Also belts of trees and shrubs
should be planted to check the wind velocity and prevent wind erosion.
c) i) Weathered rock: It is the process by which rocks are decomposed or disintegrated by
chemical means, due to exposure at or near the earth’s surface. These fragments help in
soil formation.
ii) Bed Rock: The solid rock underlying soils and exposed at the surface, without a cover. It
can also be solid rock layers of the earth’s crust that underlying soil and other
unconsolidated earth material.
iii) Exfoliated rock: The peeling off of the concentric slabs or sheets from the exposed
portions of massive rocks due to weathering are exfoliated rock. This generally happens in
the igneous rocks that are exposed to sun. It is caused by the expansion of rock due to
erosion.

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d) i) Red soils-are found in most parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
ii) This soil is light in texture, with a high iron content. The soils are porous and friable in
nature. They are rich in potash and lime and contain soluble salt in a small quantity. They
become fertile with proper use of fertilizers and irrigation. It is suited for dry farming.
iii) Disadvantages-They are thin and light coloured in highlands and thicker and darker in
valleys. They are loose gravel or loamy. The soils are deficient in nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, magnesia and humus.
35) Explain the methods of soil conservation used to prevent (i) erosion by water, (ii) erosion
by wind.
Ans: Following are some of the measures taken to conserve soils.
Erosion by water can be prevented by:
i) Terrace Farming: On hilly slopes, terraces act as bunds and do not allow the soil being
washed away by running water. Terrace farming is practised with successful results in Japan,
South-East Asia and U S A.
ii) Contour Ploughing: Ploughing along contours on a slope prevents soil being washed away
by rainwater or by surface run off. Contours act like bunds. Terraces are levelled into step-
like small fields with even slope. Contour ploughing is common in Japan, China and some
South-East Asian countries.
iii) Construction of dams: Rivers cause soil erosion. Dams are built in the upper course of
rivers to control erosion of soil.
iv) Plugging Gullies: The gullies made in the soil are plugged with deposition of silt during
heavy rains.
v) Planting Trees: The trees, like in the case of Shelter Belts in Prairies, are planted along the
edges of the fields, the waste land and on steep slopes to prevent soil erosion as well as to
enhance the capacity of the soil to retain water.
Erosion by wind:
i) Shelter Belts: In the Prairie grasslands of U S A farmers plant trees in several rows to check
wind erosion. They are known as wind breakers in the Prairies.
ii) Strip Cropping: Crops are grown in alternate strips of land to check the impact of the winds.
36) What are the main objectives of the soil conservation programmes?
Ans: The main objectives of the schemes in general are:
i) To slow down the process of erosion and land degradation;
ii) To restore degraded lands;
iii) To improve and ensure availability of water and soil moisture;
iv) To ensure regeneration, enhancing of internal fertility of soil through organic recycle;
v) To enlarge effective productive exploitation zone to the deeper soil profile by mixed farming
system;
vi) To increase aggregate bio-mass production;
vii) To ensure collective security against recurring droughts and floods.
The programmes under the State Plan aim at conservation of soil mainly on agricultural lands
with some components of land reclamation, soil and land use survey, raising of utility trees on
private and common lands.

MISCELLEOUS QUESTIONS / HOME WORK


1) Give two characteristic features of the soil found most suitable for growing cotton and
sugarcane in Maharashtra.
2) Which soil is suitable for growing coffee in Karnataka?
3) What are laterite soils? Why is laterite soil unsuitable for agriculture?
4) How were the soils of Gangetic Plains formed?
5) Name any four types for soils in India. Which one of them is the most important for agriculture?
6) Name the States in which black soils are found.

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7) How were the laterite soils formed? Name one important crop grown on laterite soil.
8) How are alluvial soils formed?
9) Which minerals are found in regur soil? Name the most important crop grown on it.
10) Name one soil of volcanic origin commonly found in India. Name one crop widely grown on this
soil.

PREVIOUS YEARS QUESTIONS:


1) State two methods of soil conservation [99, 2006]
2) State two disadvantages of the red soil. [2000]
3) How does the soil of the Ganga–Yamuna plain differ from that of central Maharashtra? [2000]
4) Name the state in India which mostly has red soil [2000, 2001]
5) Name the soil known for its self ploughing quality and capacity to hold moisture. Name one cash
crop for which it is most suited. [2001]
6) What is the advantage of ‘clay’ contents in black soils? [2002]
7) How was black soil or regur soil formed? Where is this soil found in India? [2002, 05, 07]
8) State two main differences between alluvial solid Red soil. [2005]
9) Explain the formation of red soil. [2006]
10) Name two important crops associated with the following types of soil. [2007]
i) Alluvial soil ii) Black soil iii) Desert soil iv) Laterite soil
11) Explain the formation of alluvial soil [2007]
12) What is laterite soil? [2007]
13) Why red soil is red in colour? [2008]
14) Why is laterite soil unsuitable for agriculture? [2008]
15) Explain the formation of soil. [2008]
16) Man is largely responsible for soil erosion. Give reason. [2008]
17) Write three characteristics each of ‘Khadar’ and ‘Bangar’ soil. [2008]
18) a) Name two states in India where Regur soil is found. In what way does Regur soil help
agriculture?
b) Mention two main characteristics of Laterite soil.
c) State the difference between Alluvial soils found in the lower cources and the upper courses
of rivers.
d) Name two important agents of erosion. For each, state one method of controlling the erosion
caused. [2011]
19) a) State two methods of controlling the erosion of soil caused by running water.
b) Mention two differences in the alluvial soil of the northern plains and the alluvial soil on the
coastal plains of India.
c) Mention any three characteristics of black soil which makes the soil fertile.
d) Give geographical reasons for the following:
i) Laterite soil is not suitable for cultivation.
ii) Red soil is red in colour.
iii) Khadar soil are preferred to Bangar soils. [2012]
20) a) Differentiate between Transported soil and In Situ soil, quoting a suitable example for each.
b) State two differences between Bhangar and Khadar.
c) Name the process by which Laterite soil is formed. Mention one disadvange of this soil.
d) With reference to Red soils in India, answer the following questions:
i) Name two states where it is found.
ii) State two advantages of this type of soil.
iii) Mention two important crops grown in this soil. [2013]
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21) a) State any two methods of controlling soil erosion.
b) Mention two differences between alluvial soil and red soil.
c) Give a geographical reason for:
i) different regions in India having different kinds of soil.
ii) black soil being suitable for growth of cotton.
iii) the conservation of soil as a natural resource.
d) Name the soil which –
i) is good for the cultivation of cashew nuts.
ii) covers almost all of West Bengal.
iii) is a result of leaching. [2014]

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Chapter 05: Natural Vegetation of India


→ Natural Vegetation
→ Definition
→ Geographical Factors
→ Forest in India
→ Tropical Evergreen Forests
→ Tropical deciduous or Monsoon Forests
→ Tropical Dry Forests
→ Tidal or Delta Forests
→ Forest Conservation
→ Objectives of Forest Conservation

Natural Vegetation:
Definition:
 Natural Vegetation which grown without the interference of man, adopted itself to the
limitations of the natural environment. Natural vegetation now a day is most by found in parts of
Himalayas, the debuts and the sidebars delta.

Geographical Factors:
 Climate, Soil, topography is the main factors of natural vegetation. The main climatic factors
are temperature and rainfall. Drainage pattern also modified repetition to a greater extent.

Forest in India:
¾ Indian forests can be divided into following categories:
 Tropical Evergreen Forests
 Tropical deciduous or Monsoon Forests
 Tropical Dry Forests
 Delta or Tidal Forests
 Mountain Forests

Tropical Evergreen Forests:


Climatic Condition:
z Temperature: between 25°C to 27°C
z Rainfall: More than 250 cms
Characteristics:
z Dense growth of trees because of high rainfall.
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z Due to the thick growth, light does not penetrate through as a result forest floor is quite
dark.
Important Trees:
z Mahogany, Rosewood, ebony, Sisam bamboos and canes.
z Rose wood: fine grained and hard, used for expensive furniture, floor boards and wagon
parts.
z Sisoo: Hard and brown patches, used for furniture, agricultural implements, railways,
sleepers.
z Ebony: Musical instruments, sports goods, piano keys.
Area:
z Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Meghalaya, western slopes of western Ghats Manipur,
Assam, and west Bengal, Tripura

Tropical Deciduous or Monsoon Forests:


Definition:
z The deciduous trees are shed their leaves for about 6–8 weeks in the hot weather when
they face water shortage. Economically, these are our most important trees.
Types:
z Moist deciduous
z Dry deciduous
Climatic conditions (Moist):
z Temperature: between 24°C to 27°C and
z Humidity: 60% to 80%
z Rainfall: between 100 cms to 200 cms.
Climatic conditions (Dry):
z Temperature: between 23°C to 27°C and
z Humudity: 51% to 58%
z Rainfall: between 70 cms to 100 cms.
Important trees:
Sal:
„ Characteristics: Its wood is hard and heavy and immune to the attack of white ants
„ Use: Its timber is useful for railway sleepers and house contraction.
„ Area: Bihar, M.P., Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Tripura, Assam, West Bengal
Teak:
„Characteristics: Hard and durable timber.
„Use: Ship building, house construction and furniture making.
„ Area: M.P., Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra
Sandalwood:
„ This tree provides sandal wood for handicrafts, sandal woods oil used for making
perfumery. It is found in Karnataka

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Semal:
„ Its timber is soft and white. It is used for making packing cases. Match boxes and toys.
Semal is found in Assam, Bihar and Tamil Nadu.
Amaltas:
„ Medicinal value, cure asthma, leprosy and heard diseases.

Tropical Dry Forests:


Climatic Conditions:
z Temperature: average 25°C to 27°C
z Rainfall: less than 50 cms.
Characteristics:
z This tree consists of small size Kikar, acacias, and thorny bushes. These trees have long
roots, small leaves, hard thorns and sharp spines to enable them to face the dry climate
and protect themselves from animals.
Important trees:
z Hiker, Acacias, Babool, neem and thorny bushes.
„ Babool: Medicinal value, gum.
„ Neem: Skin infection, treating diabetes, allergies, ulcers.

Area:
z Rajasthan, Kutch and Saurashtra in Gujrat, South Western Punjab and parts of Deccan.

Tidal or Delta Forests (Littoral):


 Tidal and delta region have a special type of forest known as “tidal forest”.
Characteristics:
z The trunks of these trees are supported by a number of stilted roots which are under water
during high tide. At low tide, their roots can be seen. In west Bengal, it is called Sundari.
Area:
z Deltas of the Ganga (Sunderban in West Bengal), Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri.
z Important trees: Gorjan, Hintal, sundari, keora used as a fuel wood.

Mountain Forests (Montane):


 Mountain forests are found in the mountain areas, stretching from Kashmir to Assam. The
vegetation varies from mixed to deciduous and coniferous types depending on elevation and
rainfall.
z Important Trees: Spence, silver fir, cedar, pine, deoder birch and elm, ceder.
z Chir Pine: It is useful for extraction of resin and turpentine tea chests also. It is found
mainly in Kashmir UP and Punjab.
z Deodar: It is a very, large coniferous tree. Its wood is durable and oily, and used for making
railway sleepers and house constriction

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Forest Conservation:
 Forests are a unique gift from nature to man they play an important role in the national
economy of India. Forest is a renewable resource.
Definition:
z Forest conservation means the proper use of forest resources without causing any adverse,
effect on our economy and environment.
z Now a day, forest enervation programmed is very important for environmental protection.
z Vanamahotsava and Chipco movement are very good examples of public awareness.
Objectives of forest conservation:
z Check indiscriminate deforestation
z Reforestation should be carried out in quick succession.
z Shifting cultivation needs to be controlled.
z Prevention of overgrazing
z Fresh a forestation programme is very important to take care of forest courses ovation.
REVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Section I: [2 Marks]
1) What is flora? What is its importance?
Ans: It refers to natural vegetation growing in a particular area
2) What is the requirement of rainfall for tropical rain forests?
Ans: 200 cm and above
3) What is the requirement of rainfall for tropical rain forests?
Ans: It is above 24°C
4) What is virgin vegetation?
Ans: Natural vegetation grown without human aid or interference / disturbance
5) What is endemic vegetation?
Ans: It is purely Indian vegetation.
6) What is exotic vegetation?
Ans: The vegetation came from the places outside India.
7) Where can we see natural vegetation in India?
Ans: Only in some inaccessible regions like the high peaks of the Himalayas and the interior of the
Thar desert.
8) Name the important trees of the thorn and scrub forests.
Ans: These are (i) Babul. (ii) Kikar, (iii) Khair and (iv) Datepalm.
9) Name major vegetation regions to which Acacia and Teak trees belong.
Ans: (i) Acacia: Thorn forest, (ii) Teak: Tropical deciduous forests.
10) Which are Tropical Forests?
Ans: The forests located in regions at southwards to the Tropic of cancer are tropical forests. These
are of two types (i) Tropical rain or evergreen forests and (ii) Tropical deciduous forests.
11) Where are the Thorny and Shrubby forests located?
Ans: These are located in Kutch, parts of Saurashtra (Gujarat), Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and low
rainfall regions of Maharashtra state.
12) Where are located the sub–tropical and temperate forests?
Ans: These are located in the Himalayan mountainous region.

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13) Where are seen the tropical deciduous forests?


Ans: These are seen in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and
Kerala.
14) Mention the percentage of forest cover in India
Ans: It is 21.2% of total land area of India. It means approx. 12% less than desired area.
15) Name two sub–divisions of tropical deciduous forests.
Ans: These are (i) Moist deciduous and (ii) Dry deciduous.
16) What is the period of shedding leaves of tropical deciduous forests?
Ans: It is six to eight weeks in summer.
17) Name the famous mangrove tree the Ganga–Brahmaputra delta.
Ans: It is Sundari tree.
18) What is meant by natural vegetation?
Ans: Natural vegetation is meant by plant cover that grows in natural conditions an has not been
disturbed over a long time.
19) What do you understand by flora?
Ans: Flora refers to plants of a particular region of period, listed as species and considered as a
group.
20) Distinguish between flora and vegetation?
Ans: Flora refers to plants of a particular region or period, listed as species and considered as a
group. Whereas vegetation refers to the assemble of plant species living in association with each
other in a given environmental set–up
21) Name the types of Tropical Deciduous forests.
Ans: Types of Tropical Deciduous forests are as under:
i) The Moist Deciduous Forests
ii) The Dry Deciduous Forests
22) Name the types of Mountain forests.
Ans: Types of Mountain Forests are as under:
i) The Northern Mountain Forests
ii) The Southern Mountain Forests
23) What are the characteristic features of Littoral forests? Where are they found in India?
Ans: The Littoral forests have mainly evergreen species of varying density and height. Usually
associated with wetness. The tree trunks are supported by a number of stilt like roots which are
submerged under water and profuse growth with tangel of climbers. These forests are found in
West Bengal and coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.
24) What are the economical values of the Northern Mountain forests?
Ans: The Northern mountain forests include the Himalayan ranges. The Himalayan trees provide fine
durable wood for commercial uses. They provide timber which is used for construction work, for
railway sleepers, for making light furniture, packing boxes, wood pulp, paper, etc. They also
provide resins, gums, fruit, roots, medicinal plants, herbs, etc.
25) Mention the uses of the mangrove and the sundry trees.
Ans: The mangrove trees are utilized for fuel and the sundry trees provide hard durable timber for
construction, building purposes and boat making.
26) Write the importance of forests?
Ans: The forests are one of the most significant features of land. They are prime sources of energy
required for all life forms. Forests provides a number of resources to mankind like food, wood
and medicines.
27) Name the conservation measures based on National Forest Policy?
Ans: i) Social forestry ii) Agro forestry.

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28) What is social forestry? Give another two names of social forestry?
Ans: Social forestry refers to the management and protection of forests and afforestation on barren
lands with the purpose of helping in the environmental, social and rural development.
29) Why is it necessary to increase the area under forest in India?
Ans: Area under forest is very rapidly decreasing. It is now 21% of land are in India. It should be at
best 33% of the land area. So, it is very necessary to increase the area under forest in India. Our
population is increasing. We need wood, fruit, roots, and barks from industries. Thus, forests
should be necessarily increased.
Section II: [3 Marks]
30) Distinguish between the moist and dry deciduous forests.
Ans:
Moist Deciduous Forests Dry Deciduous Forests
These are found in areas receiving annual These forests are found in areas receiving
rainfall between 100 cms and 200 cms. annual rainfall between 70 cm and 100 cms.
Trees found in these forests are teak, sal, In the open stretches of dry deciduous
shisham, sandalwood, Khair and bamboos. forests teak and palash etc. trees are grown.
These forests are generally found in These forests are found in dry regions of
Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand, Orrisa states and
west Orissa, Chhattisgarh and on the eastern rainier Parts of Deccan plateau.
slopes of the Western Ghats.

31) Distinguish between Tropical deciduous forests and temperate forests with grasslands.
Ans:
Tropical Deciduous Forests Temperate Forests with Grassland
These are the most dispersed forests of India. These are confined to mountainous areas.
These are spread over a region receiving These are spread over snowfall regions and
rainfall between 200 cms and 100 cms. high altitudes.
These are found in north–eastern states along These are grown in southern slopes of the
the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, Himalayas and places of high altitudes in
Orissa, Chhattisgarh and on the eastern southern and north–east India.
slopes of the western Ghats.
Trees of these forests–type shed their leaves Evergreen broad leaf trees are found here.
for about six to eight weeks in dry summer.
The trees found in these forests are: sal, teak, Here are grown apples, pears, cherries etc.
plash, arjun, mahua, peepal, sandalweed and fruit trees. Oaks, chestnuts, pine, cedar,
bamboo. silver fir are the other common trees.
The animals found in these forests are: lion, Kashmiri stag, spotted deer, wild sheep, jack
tiger, pig, deer, elephants. rabbit, yak, snow leopard, antelope are the
common animals found here.
32) Distinguish between reforestation and afforestation.
Ans:
Reforestation Afforestation
It is practiced in areas where forests have New forests are planted in the new areas
been destroyed.
Two saplings are planted to replace every One sapling is planted to get one tree.
felled tree.
It is practiced to avoid the evils of jhumming It is practiced to bring more area under
agriculture. forests

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33) Give four characteristics of tidal forests.


Ans: Characteristics of Tidal Forests:
i) These forests are found in the deltas.
ii) The trees grown here are able to survive in both fresh and saline waters.
iii) Mangrove are the common varieties with roots of the plants submerged under water Eg.
Sundari trees in Sunderban.
iv) Apart from Sundari trees, palm, coconut, keora, agar, screw pine and amor are also found in
tidal forests.
34) How much natural is the natural vegetation of India today?
Ans: i) In order to answer this question, we would first state what vegetation is. It actually, refers to
plant life in general and grown at a particular place or types its specific meaning. It include of
algae, lichen, numerous type of grasses, the shrubs and scrubs and different types of trees.
All plant species, flowering and non–flowering including medicinal plants are covered under
plantation.
ii) The natural vegetation is meant by a plant community that has been left undisturbed over and
left undisturbed. It is also called virgin vegetation. The cultivated crops and fruit orchards,
form part of vegetation but we can not say them natural vegetation.
iii) Again the virgin vegetation purely Indian are called endemic and those which have come
from outside India are termed as exotic vegetation or plant species. When we consider the
point in this view, we see vegetation cover in most parts of India is no more natural in the real
sense.
35) Why is it important to raise the land area under forests?
Ans: i) A survey done in 2003 reveals that out of the total 32.87,782 sq. kms, India has now been left
with only 6.8 lakh sq. km. land under forest cover which account for only about 21% of total
area. It is not good indication for healthy living of organisms. It merely shows disturbed
picture of ecological balance.
ii) The optimum forest cover of 33% to the total area of any country has been reported by an
international convention on environment. Owing to this dismal state of affair has become
necessary to raise the land area under forests to maintain or restore ecological balance.
Extension of forest land will in turn provide habitat to wildlife and help their preservation.
iii) It will minimize incidence of droughts, more and more rainwater will percolate in the subsoil
as also regulate the flow of river water in both rainy and dry seasons. This effort will conserve
the soils from erosion and help in reducing the volume of flood waters and their fury.
36) How do the forests play both a productive and protective role?
Ans: Productive Role:
i) The forests supply us wood, pulp, cellulose, packaging material etc. to run a number of
industries like paper industry, packaging industry
ii) A number of consumer goods like fuel wood, timber, medicinal herbs, resins, gums, lac and
honey we obtain from our forests.
iii) These provide livelihood for many communities.
iv) Forests control the wind force and temperature and cause rainfall.
Protective Role:
i) Forests help in maintaining the ecological balance and providing pollution free air.
ii) These provide natural habitat to wildlife.
iii) These help in checking soil erosion and raise the water table receding presently at a faster
speed.
iv) These provide humus to the soil and make it fertile.
v) These provide manure to the plants as their leaves and stems after they die, decompose in a
natural way.

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37) Describe the altitudinal zones of vegetation In the Himalayan regions.


Ans: Type of vegetation changes according to altitude in the Himalayan region. This is so because
temperature decreases with increasing altitude i.e. 1°C after every 165 mts.
i) In the foothills, tropical deciduous forests especially Sal trees are found.
ii) Between 1000 to 2000 mts. above the sea levels, evergreen forests and trees of beech,
chestnut, oak, etc. are found.
iii) Between 1600 to 3300 mts. above the sea level, coniferous forests are found. Here are seen
trees of pine, cedar, silver fir and spruce.
iv) Above 3600 mts. forests yield place to Alpine grasses and Alpine grasses through shrubs
and scrubs.
38) Describe the major zones of vegetation in India.
Ans: Vegetation means the original land cover consisting of forest vegetation. India even today
possesses a great variety of natural vegetation which can be divided in following vegetation
regions:
i) Tropical Rain Forests: These forests are found on the western slopes of Western Ghats,
Assam, Meghalaya along with the adjoining states of north-east India. These are generally
evergreen forest because no definite time for trees to shed their leaves. Trees reach great
heights upto 60 mts. or even above in these forests. All kinds of trees, shrubs and creepers
give it a multiplier structure. They thrive in areas having more then 300 cm. rainfalls every
year. The forests along the west coast of India and north-east side are less dense and have
deciduous and evergreen trees. As these forests are inaccessible, they are of little
commercial use. Ebony, Mahogany, Rosewood, Rubber, Shisham, Sal, Bamboo are grown in
these forests. Animals like elephants, monkey, several species of birds, lemur, bats, sloth,
reptiles, deer, scorpion, snails and one horned rhinoceros are found in these forests.
ii) Tropical Deciduous Forests: These are the most dominant and wide-spread vegetation
type in India.
Characteristics:
a) These forests are found in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa. Bihar, Jharkhand,
Maharashtra and Kerala states.
b) The trees in these forests shed their leaves during the dry summers.
c) Trees of teak, sal, palash, arjun, mahua, peepal, sandalwood and bamboo and thick
undergrowth are found in these forests.
d) The moist deciduous forests are found in areas receiving annual rainfall between 200 and
100 cm. while the dry deciduous forests are found in areas receiving annual rainfall
between 100 and 70 cm.
e) These forests are economically very useful for India.
iii) The Thorn Forests and Scrubs Characteristics
a) These forests are grown in areas which have less than 70 cm of rainfall.
b) These consists of thorny trees and bushes.
c) These are found in Kachchh parts of Saurashtra, Rajasthan, U.P., Punjab, Haryana and
low rainfall regions of Maharashtra.
d) Trees of babul, cacti, acacias, palms, euphorbias, thorny bushes and short grasses are
grown in these forests.
iv) Alpine and Tundra Vegetation Characteristics
a) It is found at high altitudes, generally more than 3600 mts. above sea level.
b) Silverfir, junipers, pines and birches are the common trees found here.
c) These are used extensively for cattle grazing by nomadic tribes (i.e. Gujjars & Bakarwals)

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v) Tidal Forests:
a) These are found in areas of tide influence coasts viz. in deltas of peninsular rivers
including Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
b) Mangrove trees like Sundari are found here
c) In some parts of deltas, palm, coconut, keora, agar, screw pine. amor are found.
d) The trees grown here are useful for manufacture of perfumed oil, perfumes, papers etc.
39) Write the uses of important trees of the Dry Deciduous forests.
Ans: The important trees of the Dry Deciduous forests are teak, tendu, sal, rose wood, palas, amaltas,
bel, khair, axlewood, etc. The uses of these trees are as under.
i) Tendu leaves are used as wrappers for bidi making.
ii) The wood sal is used for making beams, doors, window posts of houses, railway sleepers,
etc.
iii) Palas leaves are used in rearing shellac worms.
iv) The fruit, seed, pulp and roots of amaltas have medicinal value. It helps in relieving the
symptoms of asthma, leprosy, ringworms, fever and heart related diseases.
v) The wood of khair is used for making rice pestles, hookahs, ploughs, etc. The wood extract is
used for tanning and dyeing.
40) Distinguish between social forestry and agro–forestry?
Ans: .
Social Forestry Agro–Forestry
It refers to the management and protection of It refers to the sustainable system of
forests and afforestaton on barren lands. managing a piece of land through combined
production of agricultural crops, forests
crops and animal rearing, to ensure the most
efficient land use under a management
system
It aims to help in the environmental, social It aims to provide conservation of the land
and rural development and its improvement
41) Explain the important features of social forestry.
Ans: The important features of social forestry include the following.
i) Raising plantation by local people’s participation.
ii) Taking the pressure off the forests and making use of all unused and fallow land.
iii) Letting local socio–economic condition govern the structure and function of the forestry.
iv) Ensuring quick benefits, sustainable forestry along with short crop rotation is applied.
v) Making use of easily implementable technology.
vi) Distributing the benefits derived from such projects equally among the people and socio–
economically backward people.
42) Describe the objectives of National Forest Policy?
Ans: The objective of National Forest policy are:
i) Preservation of ecological balance and conservation of natural heritage.
ii) To control erosion of soil, denudation in catchment areas and extension of sand dunes in the
north–west desert region and along the coasts.
iii) To provide rural and tribal people their requirement of forest products.
iv) Utilizing products of forestry in the best manner possible.
v) Increasing the productivity of forests as well as the forest cover by afforestations programmes
among others.
vi) Involving the people to meet the objectives.

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MISCELLEOUS QUESTIONS / HOME WORK


1) What is meant by natural vegetation?
2) What do you understand by forest?
3) What do you understand by flora?
4) What do you understand by vegetation?
5) Distinguish between flora and vegetation.
6) What are the main types of vegetation found India?
7) What is the role of forest in carbon cycle?
8) Why are the Sundarbans so called?
9) Name the types of Tropical Deciduous forests.
10) Write the characteristic features of the Tropical Evergreen forests.
11) Write the climatic conditions of the Tropical Desert forests.
12) Under what climatic conditions do the Littoral forests develop?
13) Name the area where the Moist Deciduous forests are found.
14) Name the types of Mountain forests.
15) Write the climatic conditions and important trees of the Himalayan Moist Temperate forests.
16) What are the characteristic features of Littoral forests? Where are they found in India?
17) Write the uses of important trees of the Dry Deciduous forests.
18) Describe the Tropical Desert forests.
19) What do you understand by Dry Deciduous forests?
20) What are the economical values of the Northern Mountain forests?
21) Distinguish between the Tropical Evergreen forests and the Tropical Desert forests.
22) Distinguish between the Moist Deciduous forests and the Dry Deciduous forests.
23) Mention the uses of the mangrove and the sundri trees.
24) Write the importance of forests.
25) Explain the causes of overexploiting of forests.
26) Name the conservation measures based on National Forest Policy.
27) Write a short note on correlation of the forests with environment.
28) What is social forestry?
29) Give another two names of social forestry.
30) Define agro-forestry.
31) Distinguish between social forestry and agro-forestry.
32) State any four objectives of social forestry.
33) Explain the important features of social forestry.
34) State any four objectives of agro-forestry.
35) Describe the objectives of National Forest Policy.
36) Explain-how is agro-forestry different from the traditional forestry.

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PREVIOUS YEARS BOARD QUESTIONS:


1) a) What are ‘Tidal forests’? Name two typical trees found there.
b) Write two main characteristics of the Deciduous Monsoon Forests.
c) Name the type of forests found in the western part of the Western Ghats. Give two reasons
why these forests are so named.
d) Mention three methods for the conservation and development of forests in India. [2011]
2) a) Mention two reasons why Tropical Evergreen Forests are difficult to exploit for commercial
purposes.
b) Give two characteristics of tidal forests.
c) Mention three reasons why forests must be conserved.
d) Name any three trees found in monsoon deciduous forests and state one use of each of
these trees. [2012]
3) a) Mention two main characteristics of Tropical Rain Forests.
b) Name the tree, the timber of which could be used for the following:
i) A soft and white timber used for making toys and match boxes.
ii) A hard durable timber used for ship building and furniture making.
iii) A sweet smelling timber which yields on oil, used for making handicrafts.
c) i) Name one region in India for each of the following:
(1) Tidal forests (2) Thorn and Scrub
ii) Explain why Thorn and Scrub forests are found in the above mentioned region.
d) Briefly explain two reasons for forests being an important natural resource. [2013]
4) a) Write two reasons why monsoon deciduous forests are commercially more valuable than
other types of forests.
b) How do forests –
i) have a favourable effect on the climate of the region?
ii) act as a flood control measure?
c) Give one important use of each of the following types of trees:
i) Sundri ii) Sandalwood iii) Rosewood
d) Name the natural vegetation largely found in the following regions:
i) The delta of the Ganga river.
ii) The windward side of the Western Ghats.
iii) The Deccan plateau. [2014]

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