The Great Plains of India

The Great Plains of India

This plain is located between the Himalayas and the peninsular India. The rivers originating from the Himalayas (e.g. the Ganga the Yamuna, the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Kosi etc.) and those originating from the peninsular India (e.g. the Son, the Chambal etc.) have created this fertile plain by depositing alluvial soil there. It extends approximately 3,200 km from the east to the west. Average width of these plains varies between 150-300 km.

On the basis of structural characteristics and slope, this plain can be divided into four parts:

  1. The Bhabar
  2. The Tarai
  3. The Khadar and
  4. The Bhangar


The bhabar lies all along the foothills of the Shiwaliks. lt is a porous and pebbled plain. It has been created by the deposition of granules and pebbles brought by the rivers descending from the Himalayas. It is also known as the ‘alluvial fan’ of the Shiwaliks. The rivers flowing through this region disappear i.e., they flow under the pebbles because of too much porosity and are invisible on the ground.


This region is exactly to south of the bhabar region. The river that disappear in the bhabar region re-appear in the terai region. Since this region is very much plane, the river water spreads here and there, and makes it a marshy land. This region which was covered with dense forests is now being changed into agricultural land after cutting them.

Bangar (Bhangar)

It Is made of old alluvial soil. It is a higher region than khadar. Normally, the flood water does not reach this region. The expansion of the bangar region is found in the region between two rivers (doab). The Ganga-Yamuna doab and the plain of the Satluj are its examples.


This plain has been made by the deposition of new alluvial soil and is rather low land, Here the flood water reaches almost every year making this plain fertile. These regions of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal adjacent to the river valleys come under khadar region. The delta of the Ganga-Brahmaputra is also an example of Khadar.

On the regional basis this great plain can be divided into following sub-heads:

  1. Indus Plain
  2. The Plain of Punjab.
    • The significant characteristics of this plain are Panch-doabs (doabs of five rivers) which have special names
    • (a) Bist doab—doab between the Beas and the Satluj.
    • (b) Bari doab—doab between the Beas and the Ravi.
    • (c) Rachna doab—doab between the Ravi and the Chenab.
    • (d) Chhaj doab—doab between the Chenab and the Jhelum
    • (e) Sindh sagar doab—doab between the Jhelum-Chenab and the Indus.
  3. The Plain of Rajasthan
  4. The Gangetic Plain
    • (a) The Upper Gangatic Plain
    • (b) The Middle Gangatic Plain
    • (c) The Lower Gangatic Plain
  5. The Brahmaputra Plain

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