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Geography Notes for UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam 2024

Geography notes for UPSC

Indian Geography Notes for UPSC

Both the IAS (UPSC CSE) Prelims Syllabus and the UPSC Mains GS1 syllabus include Indian Geography as one of their key subjects. Indian geography is a challenge for many applicants. However, Indian geography can be a fascinating topic if studied from the correct source. In order to prepare for the IAS / UPSC Civil Service Examination, this article will discuss all aspects of Geography including Indian Geography.

Indian Geography Notes

Geography is the study of places and the interactions between people and their environment. Geographers study the surface of the Earth and the various human societies that live over it. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been considered as the bridge between natural science and social science disciplines. Geography as a discipline can be classified into three branches:

Classification Details
Physical Geography Physical geography is one of the three main branches of geography. Physical geography is the branch of natural science which deals with the processes and patterns in the natural environment such as the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.
Human Geography This is one of the major branches in geography and it mainly covers studies of the human race. Also known as anthropogeography, this field explores the social aspects of the earth, how it has evolved through the ages, and the dynamics that change our environment. This branch of geography has various domains, but the 4 important ones are- social, political, economic, and historical aspects.
Environment Geography These are the additional branches in geography such as regional geography, cartography, and integrated geography also known as environmental geography.

Geography Notes for UPSC

Geography is included in the General Studies paper in Prelims as well as GS Paper 1 in the UPSC CS(Main) examination. In the UPSC scheme of the syllabus, Geography establishes the relevance of the existence of humans, the elements that are conducive to life, and the elements that are not conducive to human life. Hence, studying these elements would make you better positioned to safeguard the elements that are necessary for life. The Geography notes have been mentioned below for the convenience of the students.

Universe and Solar System


Endogenic Processes and Their Outcomes

Exogenic Processes, Weathering and Erosion


Pressure and Winds


Humidity and Precipitation

Air Masses, Fronts and Cyclones

Climate and Climatic Regions around the World


Oceans, Seas, Straits and Bays around the World

Environment Geography

Economic Geography


Minerals and Resources

Green Energy

Indian Geography

  • India-A geographical Unit
  • The Frontiers of India
  • India’s Political Divisions
  • Geological Structure of India

Physiography of India

Rivers of India

Flood Disaster and Its Management in India

Indian Climate and Monsoon

Natural Vegetation of India

Agriculture in India


Irrigation and Multi-Purpose Project of India

Industries of India

  • Industries in India
  • Major Industrial Region of India
  • Iron and Steel Industry
  • Cotton Textile Industry
  • Jute Industry
  • Sugar Industry

Transport Sector of India

  • Road Transport in India
    • National Highway
    • State Highway
  • Rail Transport in India
  • Air Transport in India
  • Water Transport

Human Geography of India

  • Population Growth in India
  • Demographic Transition of India
  • Population Policy of India

Geography Preparation UPSC

The most crucial component of the UPSC geography syllabus is the Indian Geography syllabus. Additionally, they merit a score. StudyIQ presents a wide range of subjects in an understandable and clear way. The most important topics are never missed. At StudyIQ, we work together to fulfil your dream. You can review the Indian Geography topic for the UPSC Exam on the StudyIQ website to hone your fundamental understanding of the subject. At StudyIQ, we never fail to see the value of having the appropriate study materials and we never stop updating them.

Geography Importance in UPSC

  • Apart from all the significance connected to Indian geography, the biggest benefit for those studying for the UPSC test is that it is a fantastic subject for both the prelims and mains.
  • Knowledge Enhancement: Studying Indian geography as you prepare for the exam will not only help you get points but also broaden your understanding of India.
  • Knowledgeable Citizen: Acquiring knowledge of Indian geography can help you to be a more knowledgeable Indian citizen.

UPSC Geography Syllabus

For the UPSC Examination, Geography is broken into the following headings:

UPSC Geography Syllabus Topicwise
Basics of India

  • Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.
  • Neighbours of India
  • Important straits
  • States and their position
  • States with International boundaries
River Systems

  • Himalayan rivers and Peninsular rivers
  • River basins
  • Regional development and planning
  • Hydropower projects and Major Dams
  • West-flowing and east-flowing rivers
  • Interlinking of rivers
Physical Features

  • The Himalayas – geological formation, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, physiographic divisions, major passes, significance
  • The Great North Indian Plains – geological formation, physiographic divisions, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, significance
  • Peninsular Plateau – geological formation, Central Highlands, Deccan Plateau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats
  • Indian Desert
  • Coastal plains and islands

  • Land utilisation
  • Types of agricultural practices
  • Green Revolution
  • Soils and crops
  • Irrigation
  • Land reforms
  • Animal husbandry
  • Government schemes

Human Geography

  • Demographics
  • Recent census
Natural Vegetation and Fauna

  • Classification of natural vegetation
  • Rainfall distribution in India
  • Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
  • Red-listed species
Economic Infrastructure

  • Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.)
  • Power and energy sector
  • Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
  • Energy conservation
Minerals and Industries

  • Mineral distribution
  • Industrial policies
  • Location



  • Monsoons – driving mechanism, El Nino, La Nina
  • Seasons
  • Cyclones



Is Geography easy for UPSC?

It depends on the understanding of the candidates, as it is a scientific subject with number of facts.

Is NCERT enough for UPSC Geography?

No, NCERT just provides the foundation to the candidates preparation, you need to supplement it current affairs and some standard book as Study IQ Geography Books.

Is geography a scoring subject in IAS?

Geography is one of the most preferred and scoring optional subjects of the UPSC Mains exam.

Which NCERT we need to follow for Geography?

For the preparation of Geography, NCERT from class 6 to 12 is must.

How much time is required to prepare Geography for UPSC?

At maximum 1 to 2 months are required to cover the entire syllabus of Geography.

How to start preparing for Geography?

One should first go through the Previous Year Questions for understanding the demand of Geography as a subject in UPSC Exam.

Which website is best for geography for UPSC?

Study IQ is without a doubt the best site for preparing geography and other subjects as asked in UPSC.

Can a very weak student crack UPSC?

Yes there are several aspirants who were “average” students and yet cleared the exam proving that you need not be a topper to crack the IAS Exam.

How many questions come from Indian Geography in UPSC?

On an average 10 to 15 questions are asked in UPSC from Geography.

How much time is required to prepare Geography for UPSC?

At maximum 1 to 2 months are required to cover the entire syllabus of Geography.

Which subjects are included in the UPSC General Studies Paper 1?

The GS Paper 1 includes History, Art and Culture, Society, Geography.

How to start preparing for Geography?

One should first go through the Previous Year Questions for understanding the demand of Geography as a subject in UPSC Exam.