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The INDO-GANGETIC PLAIN, also known as the INDUS-GANGA PLAIN and the NORTH INDIAN RIVER PLAIN, is a 255 million hectare (630 million acres) fertile plain encompassing most of northern and eastern India
India
, the eastern parts of Pakistan
Pakistan
, and virtually all of Bangladesh . The region is named after the Indus
Indus
and the Ganges
Ganges
, and encompasses a number of large urban areas. The plain is bound on the north by the Himalayas
Himalayas
, which feed its numerous rivers and are the source of the fertile alluvium deposited across the region by the two river systems. The southern edge of the plain is marked by the Chota Nagpur Plateau
Chota Nagpur Plateau
. On the west rises the Iranian Plateau .

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Geography * 3 Fauna * 4 Agriculture * 5 Cities * 6 Administrative divisions * 7 See also * 8 References

HISTORY

The region is known for the Indus
Indus
Valley Civilization , which was responsible for the birth of ancient South Asian culture. The flat and fertile terrain has facilitated the repeated rise and expansion of various empires, including the Gupta empire , Kanauj , Magadha
Magadha
, the Maurya Empire , the Pala Empire , the Mughal Empire and the Sultanate of Delhi
Delhi
– all of which had their demographic and political centers in the Indo-Gangetic plain. During the Vedic and Epic eras of Indian history, this region was referred to as " Aryavarta
Aryavarta
" (Land of the Aryans ). According to Manusmṛti (2.22), 'Aryavarta' is "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges , from the Eastern Sea ( Bay of Bengal ) to the Western Sea ( Arabian Sea )". . During the Islamic period, the Turkish , Afghan and Iranian rulers referred to this region as " Hindustan
Hindustan
" (Land of the Hindus ), deriving from the Persian term for the Indus
Indus
River. This term was later used to refer to the whole of India
India
but even into the modern generation, the dialect of Hindi
Hindi
- Urdu spoken in this region is called Hindustani , a term which is also used for the local music and culture.

GEOGRAPHY

A part of the Indo-Gangetic Plain
Plain

Some geographers subdivide the Indo-Gangetic Plain
Plain
into several parts: the Sindh
Sindh
, Punjab
Punjab
, Doab , and Bengal
Bengal
regions. By another definition, the Indus- Ganga Plain
Plain
is divided into two drainage basins by the Delhi Ridge
Delhi Ridge
; the western part consists of the Punjab
Punjab
Plain, and the eastern part consists of the Ganga– Brahmaputra
Brahmaputra
drainage systems . This divide is only 350 metres above sea level , causing the perception that the Indus- Ganga Plain
Plain
appears to be continuous between the two drainage basins.

The middle Ganga plain extends from the Yamuna River in the west to the state of West Bengal
Bengal
in the east. The lower Ganges
Ganges
plain and the Assam Valley are more verdant than the middle Ganga plain. The lower Ganga is centered in West Bengal, from which it flows into Bangladesh. After joining the Jamuna , a distributary of Brahmaputra
Brahmaputra
, both rivers form the Ganges
Ganges
Delta . The Brahmaputra
Brahmaputra
rises in Tibet
Tibet
as the Yarlung Zangbo River and flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam
Assam
, before crossing into Bangladesh .

As a large plain, the exact extent can vary from source to source. Roughly, the Indo-Gangetic Plain
Plain
stretches across:

* Kashmir in the north; * the Punjab
Punjab
a provincial region of Pakistan
Pakistan
and the Aravalli Range ; * the Himalayan foothills of Assam
Assam
and Bangladesh in the east; and * the Chota Nagpur Plateau
Chota Nagpur Plateau
in the south.

The fertile Terai region is the Nepalese extension of the Plain. The rivers encompassed are the Beas , the Chambal , the Chenab , the Ganga , the Gomti , the Indus
Indus
, the Ravi , the Sutlej and the Yamuna . The soil is rich in silt , making the plain one of the most intensely farmed areas of the world. Even rural areas here are densely populated .

The Indus- Ganga plains, also known as the "Great Plains," are large floodplains of the Indus
Indus
and the Ganga– Brahmaputra
Brahmaputra
river systems. They run parallel to the Himalaya mountains, from Jammu and Kashmir and odisha in the west to Assam
Assam
in the east and draining most of northern and eastern India. The plains encompass an area of 700,000 km² (270,000 mile²) and vary in width through their length by several hundred kilometres. The major rivers of this system are the Ganga and the Indus
Indus
along with their tributaries; Beas, Yamuna, Gomti, Ravi, Chambal, Sutlej and Chenab.

Extent of the Indo-Gangetic plain across South Asia.The great plains are sometimes classified into four divisions:

* The BHABAR BELT — is adjacent to the foothills of the Himalayas and consists of boulders and pebbles which have been carried down by the river streams. As the porosity of this belt is very high, the streams flow underground. The bhabar is generally narrow about 7–15 km wide. * The TERAI BELT — lies next to the Bhabar region and is composed of newer alluvium. The underground streams reappear in this region. The region is excessively moist and thickly forested. It also receives heavy rainfall throughout the year and is populated with a variety of wildlife. * The BANGAR BELT — consists of older alluvium and forms the alluvial terrace of the flood plains. In the Gangetic plains, it has a low upland covered by laterite deposits. * The KHADAR BELT — lies in lowland areas after the Bangar belt. It is made up of fresh newer alluvium which is deposited by the rivers flowing down the plain.

The Indus- Ganga belt is the world's most extensive expanse of uninterrupted alluvium formed by the deposition of silt by the numerous rivers. The plains are flat and mostly treeless, making it conducive for irrigation through canals. The area is also rich in ground water sources.The plains are the world's most intensely farmed areas. The main crops grown are rice and wheat that are grown in rotation. Others include maize, sugarcane and cotton. The Indo-Gangetic plains rank among the world's most densely populated areas with a total population exceeding 400 million.

FAUNA

Until recent history, the open grasslands of the Indus- Ganga Plain were inhabited by several large species of animal. The open plains were home to large numbers of herbivores which included all three of the Asian rhinoceros ( Indian rhinoceros
Indian rhinoceros
, Javan rhinoceros
Javan rhinoceros
, Sumatran rhinoceros ). The open grasslands were in many ways similar to the landscape of modern Africa. Gazelle, buffalo, rhinos, elephants, lions, and hippo roamed the grasslands as they do in Africa today. Large herds of Indian elephants , gazelles , antelopes and horses lived alongside several species of wild cattle including the now-extinct aurochs . In the forested areas there were several species of wild pig , deer and muntjac . In the wetter regions close to the Ganga, there would have been large herds of water buffalo grazing on the riverbanks along with extinct species of hippopotamus .

So many large animals would have supported a large population of predators as well. Indian wolves , dholes , striped hyenas , Asiatic cheetahs and Asiatic lions would have hunted large game on the open plains, while Bengal
Bengal
tigers and leopards would stalk prey in the surrounding woods and sloth bears hunt for termites in both of these areas. In the Ganges
Ganges
there were large concentrations of gharial , mugger crocodile and river dolphin controlling fish stocks and the occasional migrating herd crossing the river.

AGRICULTURE

Farming on the Indus- Ganga Plain
Plain
primarily consists of rice and wheat grown in rotation . Other crops include maize , sugarcane , and cotton .

The main source of rainfall is the southwest monsoon which is normally sufficient for general agriculture. The many rivers flowing out of the Himalayas
Himalayas
provide water for major irrigation works.

Due to a rapidly growing population (as well as other factors), this area is considered at high risk for water shortages in the future.

The area constitutes the land between the river Brahmaputra
Brahmaputra
and Aravli mountain ranges. The famous river Ganga and others such as Yamuna , Ghaghara
Ghaghara
and Chambal flow through the area.

CITIES

Among the largest cities of the Indo-Gangetic plain are:

In Nepal
Nepal
: Biratnagar , Janakpur , Lumbini
Lumbini
and Kapilavastu .

In India
India
: Ludhiana
Ludhiana
, Chandigarh , Bathinda , Jalandhar
Jalandhar
, Amritsar
Amritsar
, Patiala , Ambala , Panipat , Gurgaon
Gurgaon
, Faridabad
Faridabad
, Delhi
Delhi
, Jaipur
Jaipur
, Ghaziabad , Meerut
Meerut
, Agra , Bareilly , Moradabad , Jhansi
Jhansi
, Kanpur , Lucknow
Lucknow
, Gorakhpur , Allahabad , Varanasi , Patna
Patna
, Gaya , Muzaffarpur , Motihari , Bhagalpur
Bhagalpur
, Siliguri , Barddhaman , Baharampur , Durgapur
Durgapur
- Asansol , Kolkata
Kolkata
- Howrah , Agartala , Dibrugarh , Guwahati , Silchar
Silchar
, Dhubri , Tezpur
Tezpur
and Jorhat , Gwalior .

In Bangladesh : Dhaka
Dhaka
, Chittagong , Gazipur , Mymensingh , Sylhet
Sylhet
, Narayanganj , Rajshahi
Rajshahi
, Rangpur , Dinajpur
Dinajpur
, Comilla , Barisal , Jessore and Khulna

In Pakistan
Pakistan
: Lahore
Lahore
, Faisalabad , Gujranwala , Rawalpindi - Islamabad
Islamabad
, Multan , Hyderabad and Karachi
Karachi

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Because it is not fully possible to define the boundaries of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, it is also difficult to give an exact list of which administrative areas are part of the plain.

The areas that are completely or more than half in the plain are:

* Bangladesh (almost the whole country) * Bhutan
Bhutan

* India
India

* Arunachal Pradesh * Assam
Assam
* Bihar * Chhattisgarh * Delhi
Delhi
* Gujarat
Gujarat
* Haryana * Jammu ">

* ^ Taneja, Garima; Pal, Barun Deb; Joshi, Pramod Kumar; Aggarwal, Pramod K.; Tyagi, N. K. (2014). Farmers preferences for climate-smart agriculture: An assessment in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Intl Food Policy Res Inst. p. 2. * ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India
India
through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 70. * ^ Michael Cook (2014), Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective, Princeton University Press, p.68: " Aryavarta
Aryavarta
is defined by Manu as extending from the Himalayas in the north to the Vindhyas of Central India
India
in the south and from the sea in the west to the sea in the east." * ^ "India". CIA – The World Factbook. Retrieved 2007-12-14. * ^ "Hindustani Classical Music". Indian Melody. Retrieved 2007-12-14.

* v * t * e

Geography of India
India

CLIMATE

* Climate * Climatic regions

GEOLOGY

* Fossil Parks * Geology of India
India
* Indian Plate * Stones

LANDFORMS

* Beaches * Canals * Desert * Extreme points * Glaciers * Islands * Lakes * Mountains * Rivers * Valleys * Volcanoes * Waterfalls

* Plains

* Indo-Gangetic * Eastern Coastal * Western Coastal

REGIONS

* North India
India
* Northeast India
India
* East India
India
* South India
India
* West India
India
* Central India
India

SUBDIVISIONS

* Autonomous administrative divisions * States and territories * Districts * Cities * Towns * Municipalities

ENVIRONMENT

* Biogeographic classification * Ecoregions * Fauna * Flora * Forests * Issues * Protected Areas * Wildlife

* v * t * e

Geography of South Asia

MOUNTAINS AND PLATEAUS

* Himalayas
Himalayas

* Mount Everest

* Western Ghats * Eastern Ghats
Eastern Ghats
* Aravalli Range * Nilgiris * Vindhya Range * Satpura Range * Garo Hills * Shivalik Hills * Mahabharat Range * Khasi Hills * Annamalai Hills * Cardamom Hills
Cardamom Hills
* Sulaiman Mountains
Sulaiman Mountains
* Toba Kakar Range * Karakoram
Karakoram
* Hindu Kush * Chittagong Hill Tracts * Deccan Plateau * Thar Desert * Makran * Chota Nagpur * Naga Hills
Naga Hills
* Mysore Plateau * Ladakh Plateau * Gandhamardan Hills * Malwa

LOWLANDS AND ISLANDS

* Indo-Gangetic plain * Doab * Indus
Indus
Valley * Indus
Indus
River Delta * Ganges
Ganges
Basin * Ganges
Ganges
Delta * Terai * Atolls of the Maldives
Atolls of the Maldives
* Coromandel Coast * Konkan * Lakshadweep
Lakshadweep
* Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
* Sundarbans Reserve Forest * Greater Rann of Kutch * Little Rann of Kutch * Protected areas in Tamil Nadu

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