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 , the
eastern parts of
Pakistan , and virtually all of
Bangladesh . The
region is named after the
Indus and the
Ganges , and encompasses a
number of large urban areas. The plain is bound on the north by the
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 .
* 1 History
* 2 Geography
* 3 Fauna
* 4 Agriculture
* 5 Cities
* 6 Administrative divisions
* 7 See also
* 8 References
The region is known for the
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 ,
Magadha , the
Maurya Empire , the
Pala Empire , the
Mughal Empire and the Sultanate
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 " (Land of the
Aryans ). According to Manusmṛti (2.22), 'Aryavarta' is "the tract
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 " (Land of the
Hindus ), deriving from the
Persian term for the
Indus River. This term was later used to refer to
the whole of
India but even into the modern generation, the dialect of
Urdu spoken in this region is called Hindustani , a term which
is also used for the local music and culture.
A part of the Indo-Gangetic
Some geographers subdivide the Indo-Gangetic
Plain into several
Doab , and
Bengal regions. By another
definition, the Indus-
Plain is divided into two drainage basins
Delhi Ridge ; the western part consists of the
and the eastern part consists of the Ganga–
systems . This divide is only 350 metres above sea level , causing the
perception that the Indus-
Plain appears to be continuous between
the two drainage basins.
Ganga plain extends from the
Yamuna River in the west to
the state of West
Bengal in the east. The lower
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 , both rivers
Ganges Delta . The
Brahmaputra rises in
Tibet as the Yarlung
Zangbo River and flows through
Arunachal Pradesh and
Assam , before
As a large plain, the exact extent can vary from source to source.
Roughly, the Indo-Gangetic
Plain stretches across:
* Kashmir in the north;
Punjab a provincial region of
Pakistan and the Aravalli Range
* the Himalayan foothills of
Bangladesh in the east; and
Chota Nagpur Plateau
Chota Nagpur Plateau in the south.
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 , 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
Ganga plains, also known as the "Great Plains," are large
floodplains of the
Indus and the Ganga–
Brahmaputra river systems.
They run parallel to the
Himalaya mountains, from Jammu and Kashmir
and odisha in the west to
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 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
* 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
* 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.
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.
Until recent history, the open grasslands of the Indus-
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 ,
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
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 there were large concentrations of gharial ,
mugger crocodile and river dolphin controlling fish stocks and the
occasional migrating herd crossing the river.
Farming on the Indus-
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 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
Aravli mountain ranges. The famous river
Ganga and others such as
Ghaghara and Chambal flow through the area.
Among the largest cities of the Indo-Gangetic plain are:
Lumbini and Kapilavastu .
Patna , Gaya ,
Jorhat , Gwalior
Rajshahi , Rangpur ,
Gujranwala , Rawalpindi
Multan , Hyderabad and
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)
* 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 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,
Aryavarta is defined by Manu as extending from the Himalayas
in the north to the Vindhyas of Central
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
* Climatic regions
* Fossil Parks
* Geology of
* Extreme points
* Eastern Coastal
* Western Coastal
* Autonomous administrative divisions
* States and territories
* Biogeographic classification
* Protected Areas
MOUNTAINS AND PLATEAUS
* Shivalik Hills
* Annamalai Hills
Toba Kakar Range
Chittagong Hill Tracts
* Chota Nagpur
* Gandhamardan Hills
LOWLANDS AND ISLANDS
* Indo-Gangetic plain
Indus River Delta
Atolls of the Maldives
Atolls of the Maldives
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Sundarbans Reserve Forest
* Greater Rann of Kutch
Little Rann of Kutch
* Protected areas in Tamil Nadu