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Plateaus in India, Types, Formation and Importance

The Peninsular Plateau, Chota Nagpur Plateau, Bundelkhand Upland, and Central Highland are only a few examples of the plateaus in India. Any area of land with a flat top and has height less then 1000 m are called a plateau. It is a sizable area of level upland that is occasionally encircled by mountains. Escarpments, or extremely steep hills, usually surround this region. Plateaus must have a low relative relief and some altitude. In India’s Deccan region, one of the earliest plateaus may be found around the world. Plateaus are especially useful since they have a lot of mineral resources. As a result, plateau areas are where many mining activities are located.

Plateaus in India Map

Plateaus in India can be studied as part of the Geography in the UPSC Syllabus. Plateaus are a type of Secondary Landforms  which also include mountains, plains, and hills.

Plateaus in India Overview

Plateau in Indian are the large, flat region of land, sometimes surrounded by mountains but typically surrounded by escarpments. Typically, plateaus are formed when magma rises to the surface from a deep region of the earth but cannot pierce the crust. Certain plateaus are located distant from mountain ranges, like the Deccan plateau in central India. The Overview of Plateaus in India have been provided below:

Plateaus in India Overview
Particulars Details
Largest Plateau in India Deccan Plateau
How many Plateaus are there in India There are a total of seven Plateaus in India.
Major Plateaus in India The Marwar Plateau, Central Highland, Bundelkhand Upland, Malwa Plateau, Baghelkhand, Chota Nagpur Plateau, Meghalaya Plateau, Deccan Plateau, and Maharashtra Plateau

Plateaus in India

The peninsular plateau of India is composed of Different types of Rocks as crystalline, igneous, and metamorphic materials. As a result of the breakdown and drift of the Gondwana continent, it is one of the oldest landmasses. There are shallow, wide valleys and rounded hills on the plateau. This plateau is divided into the Central Highlands and the Deccan Plateau.

  • Mineral Resources abound on India’s plateaus.
  • India’s Chota Nagpur plateau contains enormous deposits of iron, coal, and manganese.
  • The river drops from a tremendous height in the plateau regions, so there can be more than one waterfall there. The Hundru Falls on the river Subarnarekha on the Chota Nagpur plateau and the Jog Falls in Karnataka are two examples of these waterfalls in India.
  • On the lava plateaus, the majority of the black soil is rich and suitable for farming.
  • The patch of black dirt known as the Deccan Trap is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Peninsular plateau. The rocks are igneous because they are made of Volcanic Eruption.
  • On the Peninsular Plateau’s western and northern edges lie the Aravalli Hills.
  • These have hills that have degraded and look fractured. They go in a southwest-northeast route from Gujarat to Delhi.

Also ReadTibetan Plateau and Its Geographical Importance

Plateaus in India – Peninsular Plateau

One of India’s plateaus is the Peninsular Plateau. It has a roughly triangular shape, with the southernmost tip of the vast North Indian plain serving as its base and its apex being close to Kanyakumari. The plateau is more than 16 lakh square kilometers in size, and it is typically 600–900 meters above sea level.

  • The Peninsular Plateau is one of Earth’s oldest geographical landforms.
  • The peninsula’s basic slope is indicated by the fact that the majority of its rivers flow from west to east.
  • An unusual river that flows in a fissure from east to west is the Narmada-Tapti.
  • Numerous smaller plateaus, hilly terrain, river basins, and valleys make up the Peninsular Plateau.
  • This incredibly solid block is composed primarily of Archaean gneisses and schists.

Types of Plateaus in India

There are seven Plateaus in India in total. The seven plateaus are referred to as the Marwar Plateau, Central Highland, Bundelkhand Upland, Malwa Plateau, Baghelkhand, Chota Nagpur Plateau, Meghalaya Plateau, Deccan Plateau, and Maharashtra Plateau. All these Types of Plateaus in India have been discussed below.

Deccan Plateau

  • The Deccan Plateau spans an area of about 500,000 square kilometers.
  • Its triangle-shaped shape is defined by the Satpura and Vindhya in the northwest, the Mahadev and Maikal in the north, the Western Ghats in the west, and the Eastern Ghats in the east.

  • The Deccan Plateau is typically 600 meters above sea level. From 500 meters in the north to 1000 meters in the south, the elevation changes.
  • Its main rivers’ current direction provides a reliable indication of its general slope, which flows from west to east.

Maharashtra Plateau

  • The Maharashtra Plateau, which is situated in Maharashtra, makes up the northern part of the Deccan Plateau. Most of the region is composed of basaltic rocks that were created by lava.
  • The area has taken on the look of a rolling plain due to weathering.
  • The horizontal lava sheets produced the step-like topography of the Deccan Trap.
  • The broad and shallow basins of the Godavari, Bhima, and Krishna are surrounded by flat-topped, steep-sided hills and mountains.
  • Regur, a soil of black cotton, covers the whole region.

Marwar Plateau

  • The Marwar plateau is located in eastern Rajasthan. The Marwar plateau is to the east of Aravalis, and the Marwar plain is to the west.
  • The Marwar plateau dips down to the east and is typically between 250 and 500 meters above sea level.
  • Its components are limestone from the Vindhayan age, sandstone, and shales.
  • Before joining the Chambal River in the northwest, the Banas River and its tributaries, the Berach River and the Khari River, originate in the Aravali Range.
  • The plateau top appears to be a rolling plain due to the action of these rivers’ erosion.

Malwa Plateau

  • The Malwa Plateau, which is generally shaped like a triangle based on the Vindhyan Hills, is surrounded by the Aravali Range in the west, Madhya Bharat Pathar in the north, and Bundelkhand in the east.
  • The Narmada, Tapi, and Mahi rivers flow into the Arabian Sea from this plateau’s two drainage basins, while the Chambal and Betwa join the Yamuna to empty into the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is drained in the north by the Chambal and numerous of its right bank tributaries, such as the Kali, Sindh, and Parbati. The Ken, Betwa, and upper courses of the Sindh are also included.
  • It is covered in black soil and is composed of a huge lava flow.
  • The sloping surface of this plateau is traversed by rivers. The plateau’s distinguishing feature is the Chambal ravines in the north.

Central Highland

  • East of the Marwar or Mewar Upland is the Central Highland, also known as the Madhya Bharat Pathar or Madhya Bharat Plateau.
  • The plateau is mostly composed of the basin of the Chambal river, which flows in a rift valley.
  • The Kali Sindh, which rises from Rana Pratap Sagar, the Banas, which traverses the Mewar plateau, and the Parwan and Parbati, which rise from Madhya Pradesh, are some of its primary tributaries.
  • It is a gently undulating plateau with rounded hills built of sandstone.
    The ravines or badlands of the Chambal River are to the north. There are thick woodlands located here.

Bundelkhand Upland

  • The Yamuna River, the Madhya Bharat Pathar, the Vindhyan Scarplands, the Malwa Plateau, and the Yamuna River all abut the Bundelkhand Upland to the north and west, respectively.
  • The Plateau is an old dissected upland of the Bundelkhand gneiss, comprised of granite and gneiss, that descends down from the Vindhyan Scarp toward the Yamuna River.
  • The Bundelkhand Upland is made up of four districts in Madhya Pradesh and five in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The area’s distinguishing characteristic is a collection of granite and sandstone hillocks.
  • Due to the erosive activity of the rivers that stream through it, it has an undulating (wave-like) surface that makes it unsuitable for farming.
  • The plateau is traversed by a number of streams, including Betwa, Dhasan, and Ken.


  • North of the Maikal Range is the Baghelkhand plateau. It is made of granite on the east and of limestone and sandstone on the west.
  • The Son river defines Baghelkhand’s northern border.
  • In the center of the plateau, a body of water divides the Mahanadi river system from the Son drainage system in the north.
  • The Bhanrer and Kaimur are located not far from the trough axis.
  • The strata’s overall horizontality suggests that there haven’t been any major upheavals.

Chota Nagpur Plateau

  • The Chotanagpur plateau, the northeastern extension of the Indian Peninsula, is largely composed of Gondwana rocks.
  • The region includes Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh’s northern region, and West Bengal’s Purulia district.
  • The Son river flows into the Ganga to the northwest of the plateau.
  • Because it is drained by numerous rivers and streams that run in different directions, the plateau has a radial drainage pattern.
  • Rivers including the Damodar, Subarnarekha, North Koel, South Koel, and Barkar have formed sizable drainage basins.
  • The Damodar river is located in a rift valley that cuts through the middle of this region from west to east. The primary source of coal for India is located here, in the Gondwana coal fields.
  • On the northeastern side of the Chotanagpur Plateau lies the Rajmahal Hills, which are mostly made of basalt and covered in lava flows.

Meghalaya Plateau

  • The peninsular plateau continues eastward across the Rajmahal Hills till it reaches Meghalaya or the Shillong plateau. Shillong (1,961 m) is the highest peak on the plateau.
  • The Garo-Rajmahal Gap separates this plateau from the main block.
  • This gap was produced by down-faulting. Later, it was filled with the Ganga and Brahmaputra’s sedimentary deposits.
  • The Meghalaya plateau slopes northward toward the Brahmaputra valley and southerly toward the Surma and Meghna rivers.
  • Its western boundary closely lines up with Bangladesh’s border.
  • The western, central, and eastern sections of the plateau (700 m) are referred to as the Khasi-Jaintia Hills (1,500 m), the Mikir Hills (900 m), and the Garo Hills (900 m), respectively.

Importance of Plateaus in India

Plateaus in India is one of the significant feature of the Physiography of India and it possesses abundance of natural resources, which has increased the country’s geographic and biological diversity. The plateau has always been a stunning element of nature that allows you to connect to several historical events and discover the biodiversity with old rocks. India has a vast variety of peninsular plateaus that are spread over many areas and boundaries. These triangle occurrences take the form of little hills surrounded by lovely scenery and various animal and plant species.

The Plateaus in India has a lot of noteworthy characteristics. India’s natural habitat is diverse and variable because of these characteristics.

Reservoirs of Minerals

The majority of the minerals in the world are located in plateaus. Plateaus make it simpler to collect minerals than mountains do.
The majority of the raw materials utilized in manufacturing come from plateaus. The plateaus of Western Australia, Africa, and India are where we get our gold. India’s Chottanagpur Plateau is a source of mica, iron, coal, and other metals.

Hydro Power Production

Plateaus are the home many waterfalls in India Jog and Hundru are the major one. The edges of plateaus, which resemble waterfalls, make great locations for generating hydel electricity. Koyna Hydroelectric Project is the largest completed hydroelectric power plant in India, with a power capacity of 1960 MW. Shivanasamudra Hydroelectric Power plant is isdias first powerstation in India on Kaveri river in Karnataka.

Agriculture and Animal Rearing

Large grassland expanses on plateaus make them ideal for growing animals, especially sheep, goats, and cattle. The lava plateaus are used for agriculture since the soil is so fertile and they are richer in minerals than other plateaus. Plateau in India is rich in black soil due to the presence of Iron in it and we know black soil is good for cultivation hence they help in agriculture.

Plateau in India UPSC

The Peninsular Plateau, which stretches from the Aravallis in the north-west to the Shillong plateau in the north-east and Kanyakumari in the south, is the largest physiographic unit in India. It has a triangular form. It is made up of various tiny plateaus and mountains, covering an area of about 16 lakh square kilometers, and makes about 50% of the Indian continent. It is a prehistoric tabular block made up of Dharwar rock system, Schist, and Archean Gneiss. In addition, igneous Basalt rocks can be found in the Deccan plateau.

One of India’s oldest and most stable landmasses is this one. Since its establishment, it has only slightly changed structurally. Except for the few localized locations where marine infractions have occurred, it has never been submerged beneath the sea.

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Plateaus in India FAQs

What are the 4 types of plateaus?

There are generally 4 types of plateaus in the world namely, Piedmont plateaus, Volcanic plateaus, Intermontane plateaus and Continental plateaus.

Which part of India is a plateau?

The entire southern peninsula of India south of the Narmada River, marked centrally by a high triangular tableland.

Which is the oldest plateau in India?

The Peninsular Plateau is the oldest landmass of the Indian subcontinent and it was also part of the Gondwana land.

Which is the largest plateau in India?

Deccan Plateau is the largest plateau in India.

How many plateaus are there in India?

There are a total of seven Plateaus in India. Check these 7 plateaus in the article above.

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