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The DECCAN PLATEAU is a large plateau in southern India
India
. It rises to 100 metres (330 ft) in the north, and to more than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) in the south, forming a raised triangle within the downward-pointing triangle of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
's coastline.

It extends over eight Indian states and encompasses a wide range of habitats , covering most of central and southern India
India
.

The plateau is located between two mountain ranges, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats , each of which rises from its respective nearby coastal plain, and almost converge at the southern tip of India. It is separated from the Gangetic plain to the north by the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges , which form its northern boundary. The Deccan produced some of the major dynasties in Indian history Pallavas , Satavahana , Vakataka , Chalukya , and Rashtrakuta dynasties; the Western Chalukya , Kakatiya Empire, Vijayanagara and Maratha empires; and the Muslim Bahmani Sultanate , Deccan Sultanate , and the Nizam of Hyderabad .

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Extent

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Climate

* 4 The Deccan Traps * 5 Geology * 6 Fauna * 7 People * 8 History * 9 Economy * 10 Gallery

* 11 Notes

* 11.1 References

* 12 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The name Deccan is an anglicised form of the Prakrit word dakkhin, itself derived from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word dákṣiṇa (meaning "southern"), as the Deccan Plateau
Plateau
is located in southern part of subcontinent .

EXTENT

The Deccan region has historically lacked an enduring geo-political centre, and has been defined in various ways. Geographers have attempted to define it using indices such as rainfall, vegetation, soil type or physical features. When considering physical features, it is taken to be the area bounded by the Narmada River , the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats
Western Ghats
. The 16th century historian Firishta defined Deccan as the territory inhabited by the native speakers of Kannada , Marathi , and Telugu languages. Richard M. Eaton (2005) also settled on this linguistic definition.

GEOGRAPHY

Topographic map of the Deccan plateau showing the locations of major cities and towns. Hogenakal Falls , Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Near Hampi, Karnataka Rock formations at Hyderabad, Telangana Hills of granite boulders are a common feature of the landscape on the Deccan plateau. Deccan Traps in Maharashtra

The Western Ghats
Western Ghats
mountain range is very tall and blocks the moisture from the southwest monsoon from reaching the Deccan Plateau, so the region receives very little rainfall. The eastern Deccan Plateau
Plateau
is at a lower elevation spanning the southeastern coast of India. Its forests are also relatively dry but serve to retain the rain to form streams that feed into rivers that flow into basins and then into the Bay of Bengal .

Most Deccan plateau rivers flow south. Most of the northern part of the plateau is drained by the Godavari River
Godavari River
and its tributaries, including the Indravati River , starting from the Western Ghats
Western Ghats
and flowing east towards the Bay of Bengal. Most of the central plateau is drained by the Tungabhadra River
Tungabhadra River
, Krishna River and its tributaries, including the Bhima River , which also run east. The southernmost part of the plateau is drained by the Kaveri River
Kaveri River
, which rises in the Western Ghats
Western Ghats
of Karnataka
Karnataka
and bends south to break through the Nilgiri Hills
Nilgiri Hills
at the island town of Shivanasamudra and then falls into Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
at Hogenakal Falls before flowing into the Stanley Reservoir and the Mettur Dam
Mettur Dam
that created the reservoir, and finally emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

CLIMATE

The climate of the region varies from semi-arid in the north to tropical in most of the region with distinct wet and dry seasons. Rain falls during the monsoon season from about June to October. March to June can be very dry and hot, with temperatures regularly exceeding 40 °C. The Deccan plateau is a topographically variegated region located south of the Gangetic plains-the portion lying between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal-and includes a substantial area to the north of the Satpura Range , which has popularly been regarded as the divide between northern India
India
and the Deccan. The name derives from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
daksina ("south"). The plateau is bounded on the east and west by the Ghats, while its northern extremity is the Vindhya Range . The Deccan's average elevation is about 2,000 feet (600 m), sloping generally eastward; its principal rivers, the Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery, flow from the Western Ghats
Western Ghats
eastward to the Bay of Bengal. The plateau's climate is drier than that on the coasts and is arid in places. Although sometimes used to mean all of India
India
south of the Narmada River, the word Deccan relates more specifically to that area of rich volcanic soils and lava-covered plateaus in the northern part of the peninsula between the Narmada and Krishna rivers.

Having once constituted a segment of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland , this land is the oldest and most stable in India. The Deccan plateau consists of dry tropical forests that experiences only seasonal rainfall

On the western edge of the plateau lie the Sahyadri , the Nilgiri , the Anaimalai and the Elamalai Hills, commonly known as Western Ghats. The average height of the Western Ghats, which run along the Arabian Sea, goes on increasing towards the south. Anaimudi Peak in Kerala
Kerala
, with a height of 2,695 m above sea level, is the highest peak of peninsular India. In the Nilgiris lie Ootacamund, the well-known hill station of southern India. The western coastal plain is uneven and swift rivers flow through it that forms beautiful lagoons and backwaters, examples of which can be found in the state of Kerala. The east coast is wide with deltas formed by the rivers Godavari, Mahanadi and Kaveri. Flanking the Indian peninsula on the western side are the Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep
Islands in the Arabian Sea and on the eastern side lies the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
in the Bay of Bengal.

The eastern Deccan plateau, called Telangana
Telangana
, is made of vast sheets of massive granite rock, which effectively traps rainwater. Under the thin surface layer of soil is the impervious gray granite bedrock. It rains here only during some months.

Comprising the northeastern part of the Deccan Plateau, the Telangana Plateau
Plateau
has an area of about 148,000 km2, a north-south length of about 770 km, and an east-west width of about 515 km.

The plateau is drained by the Godavari River
Godavari River
taking a southeasterly course; by the Krishna River, which divides the peneplain into two regions; and by the Pennai Aaru River flowing in a northerly direction. The plateau's forests are moist deciduous, dry deciduous, and tropical thorn.

Most of the population of the region is engaged in agriculture; cereals, oilseeds, cotton, and pulses (legumes) are the major crops. There are multipurpose irrigation and hydroelectric-power projects, including the Pochampad, Bhaira Vanitippa, and Upper Pennai Aaru. Industries (located in Hyderabad , Warangal , and Kurnool ) produce cotton textiles, sugar, foodstuffs, tobacco, paper, machine tools, and pharmaceuticals. Cottage industries are forest-based (timber, firewood, charcoal, bamboo products) and mineral-based (asbestos, coal, chromite, iron ore, mica, and kyanite).

THE DECCAN TRAPS

Main article: Deccan Traps

The northwestern part of the plateau is made up of lava flows or igneous rocks known as the Deccan Traps. The rocks are spread over the whole of Maharashtra and parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, thereby making it one of the largest volcanic provinces in the world. It consists of more than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) of flat-lying basalt lava flows and covers an area of nearly 500,000 square kilometres (190,000 sq mi) in west-central India. Estimates of the original area covered by the lava flows are as high as 1,500,000 square kilometres (580,000 sq mi). The volume of basalt is estimated to be 511,000 cubic km. The thick dark soil (called regur) found here is suitable for cotton cultivation.

GEOLOGY

The volcanic basalt beds of the Deccan were laid down in the massive Deccan Traps eruption, which occurred towards the end of the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
period between 67 and 66 million years ago. Some paleontologists speculate that this eruption may have accelerated the extinction of the dinosaurs . Layer after layer was formed by the volcanic activity that lasted many thousands of years, and when the volcanoes became extinct, they left a region of highlands with typically vast stretches of flat areas on top like a table.The volcanic hotspot that produced the Deccan traps is hypothesized to lie under the present day island of Réunion
Réunion
in the Indian Ocean.

Typically the Deccan Plateau
Plateau
is made up of basalt extending up to Bhor Ghat near Karjat . This is an extrusive igneous rock . Also in certain sections of the region, we can find granite , which is an intrusive igneous rock . The difference between these two rock types is: basalt rock forms on eruption of lava, that is, on the surface (either out of a volcano, or through massive fissures—as in the Deccan basalts—in the ground), while granite forms deep within the Earth. Granite is a felsic rock, meaning it is rich in potassium feldspar and quartz . This composition is continental in origin (meaning it is the primary composition of the continental crust ). Since it cooled relatively slowly, it has large visible crystals. Basalt, on the other hand, is mafic in composition—meaning it is rich in pyroxene and, in some cases, olivine , both of which are Mg -Fe rich minerals. Basalt
Basalt
is similar in composition to mantle rocks , indicating that it came from the mantle and did not mix with continental rocks. Basalt
Basalt
forms in areas that are spreading, whereas granite forms mostly in areas that are colliding. Since both rocks are found in the Deccan Plateau, it indicates two different environments of formation.

The Deccan is rich in minerals. Primary mineral ores found in this region are mica and iron ore in the Chhota Nagpur
Nagpur
region, and diamonds , gold and other metals in the Golconda
Golconda
region.

FAUNA

The large areas of remaining forest on the plateau are still home to a variety of grazing animals from the four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis), chinkara (Gazella bennettii), and blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) to the large gaur and wild water buffalo (Bubalus arena).

PEOPLE

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The Deccan is home to many languages and people. Bhil and Gond people live in the hills along the northern and northeastern edges of the plateau, and speak various languages that belong to both the Indo-European and Dravidian families of languages. Marathi , and Indo-Aryan language , is the main language of the north-western Deccan in the state of Maharashtra . Speakers of Telugu and Kannada , the predominant languages of Telangana
Telangana
, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and Karnataka respectively, occupy those states' portions of the plateau. The city of Hyderabad is an important center of the Urdu
Urdu
language in the Deccan; its surrounding areas also host a notable population of Urdu speakers. The Urdu
Urdu
dialect spoken in this region is also known as Dakhini or as Deccani, named after the region itself. North of Andhra is the state of Odisha. People speak the language Oriya here.

The chief crop is cotton ; also common are sugarcane , rice , and other crops.

Apart from the states already mentioned, the state of Chhattisgarh is found in the northeast corner of the plateau. The large cities in the Deccan are Hyderabad , the capital of Telangana, Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka
Karnataka
and Pune
Pune
, the cultural hub of Maharashtra. Other major cities include Mysore
Mysore
, Gulbarga
Gulbarga
and Bellary in Karnataka
Karnataka
; Nagpur
Nagpur
, Amravati , Kolhapur
Kolhapur
, Latur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra; Vijayawada
Vijayawada
, Guntur
Guntur
, Kakinada
Kakinada
, Eluru , Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh; and Warangal , Karimnagar
Karimnagar
, Ramagundam , Nizamabad , Mahbubnagar in Telangana
Telangana
.

HISTORY

See also: History of India
India

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The Deccan produced some of the most significant dynasties in Indian History like the Chola dynasty
Chola dynasty
, Satavahana dynasty , Vakataka dynasty , Chalukya dynasty
Chalukya dynasty
, Rashtrakuta dynasty , Western Chalukya Empire , Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
and Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire
. Of the early history, the main facts established are the growth of the Mauryan empire (300 BC) and after that the Deccan was ruled by the Satavahana dynasty which protected the Deccan against the Scythian invaders. Prominent dynasties of this time include the Cholas (3rd century BC to 12th century AD), Chalukyas (6th to 12th centuries), Rashtrakutas (753–982), Hoysalas (10th to 14th centuries), Kakatiya (1083 to 1323 AD) and Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
(1336–1646). Ahir Kings once ruled over the Deccan. A cave inscription at Nasik
Nasik
refers to the reign of an Abhira prince named Ishwarsena , son of Shivadatta. After the collapse of the Satavahana dynasty the Deccan was ruled by the Vakataka dynasty from the 3rd century to 5th century.

From the 6th to 8th century the Deccan was ruled by the Chalukya dynasty which produced great rulers like Pulakesi II who defeated the north India
India
Emperor Harsha
Harsha
or Vikramaditya II
Vikramaditya II
whose general defeated the Arab invaders in the 8th century. From the 8th to 10th century the Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled this region. It led successful military campaigns into northern India
India
and was described by Arab scholars as one of the four great empires of the world. In the 10th century the Western Chalukya Empire was established which produced scholars like the social reformer Basava
Basava
, Vijñāneśvara , the mathematician Bhāskara II and Someshwara III who wrote the text Manasollasa. From the early 11th century to the 12th century the Deccan Plateau
Plateau
was dominated by the Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola dynasty
Chola dynasty
. Several battles were fought between the Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola dynasty
Chola dynasty
in the Deccan Plateau
Plateau
during the reigns of Raja Raja Chola I , Rajendra Chola I , Jayasimha II , Someshvara I and Vikramaditya VI and Kulottunga I .

In 1294, Alauddin Khilji , emperor of Delhi, invaded the Deccan, stormed Devagiri, and reduced the Yadava rajas of Maharashtra to the position of tributary princes (see Daulatabad ), then proceeding southward to conquer the Telangana
Telangana
and Carnatic . In 1307, a fresh series of Muslim
Muslim
incursions led by Malik Kafur
Malik Kafur
began in response to unpaid tributes, resulting in the final ruin of the Yadava power; and in 1338 the conquest of the Deccan was completed by Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq . The imperial hegemony was brief, as soon Telingana and Karnataka
Karnataka
reverted to their former masters. These defections by the Hindu
Hindu
states was soon followed by a general revolt of the Muslim governors, resulting in the establishment in 1347 of the independent Muslim
Muslim
dynasty of Bahmani . The power of the Delhi sultanate evaporated south of the Narmada River . The southern Deccan came under the rule of the famous Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
which reached its zenith during the reign of Emperor Krishnadevaraya . Jahangir receives Prince Khurram on his return from the Deccan (10 October 1617).

In the power struggles which ensued, the Hindu
Hindu
kingdom of Telingana fell bit by bit to the Bahamani dynasty, who advanced their frontier to Golkonda in 1373, to Warangal in 1421, and to the Bay of Bengal in 1472. Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
defeated the last remnant of Bahmani Sultanate power after which the Bahmani Sultanate collapsed. When the Bahmani empire dissolved in 1518, its dominions were distributed into the five Muslim
Muslim
states of Golkonda , Bijapur , Ahmednagar , Bidar
Bidar
and Berar , giving rise to the Deccan sultanates . South of these, the Hindu
Hindu
state of Carnatic or Vijayanagar still survived; but this, too, was defeated, at the Battle of Talikota (1565) by a league of the Muslim
Muslim
powers. Berar had already been annexed by Ahmednagar in 1572, and Bidar
Bidar
was absorbed by Bijapur in 1619. Mughal interest in the Deccan also rose at this time; Ahmadnagar was partially incorporated in the Empire in 1598 and as fully in 1636, Bijapur in 1686, and Golkonda in 1688.

In 1674, Shivaji
Shivaji
laid the foundation of the Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire
which within 75 years of his death covered territory of over 250 million acres (1 million km²) or one-third of the Indian sub-continent . Marathas under Shivaji
Shivaji
directly challenged the foreign rule of the Bijapur Sultanate and ultimately the mighty Mughal empire . Once the Bijapur Sultanate stopped being a threat to the Maratha Empire, Marathas became much more aggressive and began to frequently raid Mughal territory. The Marathas had conquered part of central and western India
India
by Shivaji's death in 1680. After Shivaji, Sambhaji defended the Maratha empire from the Mughal onslaught led by Aurangzeb. Marathas defeated Mughals in the prolonged war. After 1707, the Marathas acquired the right to levy tribute in southern India. After the death of Chhatrapati Shahu , the Peshwas became the de facto leaders of the Empire from 1749 to 1761, while Shivaji's successors continued as nominal rulers from their base in Satara . The Marathas kept the British at bay during the 18th century. By 1760, with the defeat of the Nizam in the Deccan, Maratha power had reached its zenith. However, dissension between the Peshwa and their sardars (army commanders) saw a gradual downfall of the Empire leading to its eventual annexation by the British East India
India
Company in 1818 after the three Anglo-Maratha wars .

A few years later, the Aurangzeb 's viceroy in Ahmednagar, Nizam-ul-Mulk , established the seat of an independent government at Hyderabad in 1724. Mysore
Mysore
was ruled by Hyder Ali . During the contests for power which ensued from about the middle of the 18th century between the powers on the plateau, the French and British took opposite sides. After a brief course of triumph, the interests of France
France
declined, and a new empire in India
India
was established by the British. Mysore
Mysore
formed one of their earliest conquests in the Deccan. Tanjore and the Carnatic were soon annexed to their dominions, followed by the Peshwa territories in 1818.

In British India
India
, the plateau was largely divided between the presidencies of Bombay and Madras . The two largest native states at that time were Hyderabad and Mysore
Mysore
; many smaller states existed at the time, including Kolhapur
Kolhapur
, and Sawantwari .

After independence in 1947, almost all native states were incorporated into the Republic of India
India
. Hyderabad refused to join, and was annexed by the Indian Army in Operation Polo in 1948. In 1956, the States Reorganisation Act reorganized states along linguistic lines, leading to the states currently found on the plateau.

ECONOMY

Deccan plateau is very rich in minerals and precious stones. The plateau’s mineral wealth led many lowland rulers, including those of the Mauryan (4th–2nd century BCE) and Gupta (4th–6th century CE) dynasties, to fight over it. Major minerals found here includes, coal, iron ore , asbestos, chromite, mica, and kyanite. Since March 2011, large deposits of uranium , has been discovered in the Tummalapalle belt and in the Bhima basin at Gogi in Karnataka
Karnataka
. The Tummalapalle belt uranium reserves promises to be one of the top 20 uranium reserves discovery of the world.

Low rainfall made farming difficult until the introduction of irrigation. Currently, percentage area under cultivation is quite low, ranging from 60% in Maharastra to about 10% in Western Ghats
Western Ghats
. Except in areas of certain developed river valleys, double-cropping is rare. Rice
Rice
is the predominant crop in high-rainfall areas and sorghum in low-rainfall areas. Other crops of significance includes cotton, tobacco, oilseeds , and sugar cane. Coffee, tea, coconuts, areca, pepper, rubber, cashew nuts, tapioca, and cardamom are widely grown on plantations in the Nilgiri Hills
Nilgiri Hills
and on the western slopes of the Western Ghats. Cultivation of Jatropha
Jatropha
have recently got more attention due to the Jatropha
Jatropha
incentives in India
India
.

GALLERY

*

Deccan style *

Calligraphic emblem of sculpted sandstone – 16th century *

Nimmatnama-i Nasiruddin-Shahi (the Book of Recipes)

NOTES

* ^ Page 46, Dr. Jadoan, Atar Singh (September 2001). Military Geography of South-East Asia. India: Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd. pp. 270 pages. ISBN 81-261-1008-2 . Retrieved 2008-06-08. * ^ A B "The Deccan Peninsula". sanctuaryasia. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-05. * ^ "The Deccan Plateau". rainwaterharvesting.org. Retrieved 2007-01-05. * ^ Henry Yule, A. C. Burnell. Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive Glossary of British India. Oxford. ISBN 9780191645839 . * ^ Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p. 498 (scanned image at SriPedia Initiative): Sanskrit
Sanskrit
dakṣiṇa meaning 'southern'. * ^ Richard M. Eaton 2005 , p. 2. * ^ World Wildlife Fund (2001). "South Deccan Plateau
Plateau
dry deciduous forests". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2007-01-05. * ^ "South Deccan Plateau
Plateau
dry deciduous forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2007-01-05. * ^ "Eastern Deccan Plateau
Plateau
Moist Forests". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2007-01-05. * ^ "Deccan". * ^ History of Asia by B.V. Rao p.288 * ^ The Castes and Tribes of H.E.H. the Nizam\'s Dominions, Volume 1, by Syed Siraj ul Hassan-page-12 * ^ Portraits of a Nation: History of Ancient India
India
by kamlesh kapur p.584-585 * ^ The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300 by Romila Thapar
Romila Thapar
: p.365-366 * ^ Ancient Indian History and Civilization by Sailendra Nath Sen: p.383-384 * ^ A B Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2008). India
India
and Its Neighbors, Part 1, p. 335. Tarreytown, New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. * ^ Richard M. Eaton 2005 , p. 83. * ^ Richard M. Eaton 2005 , p. 88. * ^ Benichou, Lucien D. (2000). From Autocracy to Integration: Political Developments in Hyderabad State (1938—1948), p. 232. Chennai: Orient Longman Limited. * ^ Ottens, Berthold (1 January 2003). "Minerals of the Deccan Traps, India". HighBeam Research. Retrieved 8 August 2016. * ^ "Deccan Plateau, India". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 8 August 2016. * ^ Subramanian, T. S. (20 March 2011). "Massive uranium deposits found in Andhra Pradesh". news. Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 8 August 2016. * ^ Thakur, Monami (19 July 2011). "Massive uranium deposits found in Andhra Pradesh". International Business Times. USA. * ^ Bedi, Rahul (19 July 2011). "Largest uranium reserves found in India". The Telegraph. New Delhi, India. * ^ "Peninsular India". ita. September 1995. Retrieved 8 August 2016.

REFERENCES

* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh,