Geographically India is divided into four main physical features divisions:(i) The Great Mountain Walls or the Mountain Ranges of the Himalayan. (ii) The great Indo-Gangetic Plains or Northern Plain. (iii) The great Deccan Plateau. (iv) The Coastal Ghats.
Following the unique geographical features of india explain -
(i) The Great Mountain Walls or the Mountain Ranges of the Himalayan :In the north the mighty Himalayan with its lofty mountain ranges and majestic peaks stretching from East to West is protecting the country from external aggression like a gigantic sentinel. The greats mountain wall is about 2500 km. long and it width varies from 240 km. to 320 km. Mount Everest is the highest peaks known to be the highest in the world with a height of 29,142 feet.
The ranges of Himalayan can be divided into two groups. The high mountain portions are covered with the snow round the year. The holy rivers like the Gangas, the Jamuna and the Brahmaputra have originated from the Snow Mountain. The Western off shoots of the Himalayas consisted of Hindu Kush, the safed Koh, the Sulaiman Koh, and the ‘Kirthar ranges’.
The height of the mountain in these regions are corporately low, the area is dry with scantily rainfall. In this belts there are several famous passes named the khyber, the Kuuram, the Tochi, the Gomal and the Bolan passes. Most of these passes are situated in low lying grounds and thereby has made the country accessible to the foreign invaders.
The Eastern off shoots included the Khasi, the Lushai, the Jaintia, and the Naga Hills and are extended up to the Bay of Bengal. The hilly area and around are covered with beautifully dance forest with abundant rainfall. Its fertile area, rich forest and forest products have made the area highly attractively. The protective character of the Himalayan has considerably guided the course of the Indian history. The insurmountable height of the Himalayan well fortified by thick snow and impossibility to establish any land route has made the Himalayas a formidable barrier. Such a natural obstruction automatically, forbidding the invaders to cross the colossal mountain and embarked upon on expedition.
Simultaneously it is protecting India from cold winds and adversities of the Siberians desert. Similarly in the Eastern side dense forest, in-congenial climates and continuous rainfall is equally preventing the outsiders from crossing the boundary. This natural frontier of India thus is giving security but not immunity from invasions separating India from the rest of Asia by well marked boundary lines.
The low lying mountain situated in the North-West with several convenient passes has provoked the rapacious invaders and mercenaries from the Central Asia to cross the border and invade India's. Through these routes, the Greeks, the Persians, the Kushanas, the Hunas and the Mughals came and indulges in bloody warfare and invasions. With the result a fusion with the existing culture of the land and the alien culture have further, enriched the Indians Culture.
The Himalayas is the source of many useful and holy river like the Indus, the Gangas, the Jamuna, the Brahmaputra, and their tributaries. The snow of the mountain and heavy rainfall are responsible to ensure flow of sufficient water throughout the year through these river. The rivers irrigate plain, make land fertile that ultimately add to the richness in agriculture's and abundant food supply.
The monsoon rising from the Indian ocean moving towards north-east, checked by eastern offshoots of the Himalayan causes heavy rainfall around Assam Hills and being checked by eastern hills thereby gives sufficient rainfall on the Indo-Gangetic plain. Thurs it cannot be denied that the fertility of the northern plain of India is mainly due to the impact of the Himalayan region on the monsoon.
(ii) The great Indo-Gangetic Plains or Northern Plain :It embraced the valleys of the Indus and the tributaries, the sandy deserts of Sind and Rajputana as well as the fertile region waterer by the Ganges, the Jamuna and the Brahmaputra. It has always been the core of the Indian Continents. The plain formed by the deposit of rich soil washed down during countless centuries from the vast Himalaya ranges on the north and from the hills and uplands of the Deccan of the South.
The river systems of Northern India namely the Indus and its tributaries—(the Sutlej, the Ravi, the Beas, the Chenab and the Jhelum), the Ganges and its affluent (the Jamuna, the Chambal, the Gomti, the Ghagra and the Sone) and the Brahmaputra and its feeders irrigated this wide plain.
These rivers played an importantly part in the evolution of Indian culture. It was in the valley of the river Indus that the earliest civilization of India flourishes (Mohanjodaro and Harappa). The river of the Punjab and the Ganges determined also the nature and the course of the Aryan settlements in India.
The vast natural resources of this plain explained the fertility and thereby the density of the population of this region. The richness and fertility of land here also account for the multiplicity of big urban centres and the centres of trade and the capital of ancients Kingdoms. All these factors have made this plain the lure of one invaders after another.
This extensive northern plain is divided into three components parts by wedges projecting northward from Rajasthan towards the west and the Santhal Parganas farther east. The Santhal Paraganas separately the region of Bengal from the main Gangetic plain. In the south of Delhi lies the waterless tract that creates a narrow corridors known in ancient India as Kurukshetra running between the desert of Rajasthan and the Himalayas.
Due to the fertility of the region the inhabitants could get sufficiently crops by minimum labour and spending minimum amount. As a matter of fact the people were confidential of their comfortable livelihood. Thus they, had ample of time and opportunity to devote to art, literature, and other kinds of progressively activities.
It is worth mentioning here that rights from the Vedic age the people of this region patronised creative and progressives art, and literature. Here famous poets, dramatists, philosophers like Kalidas, Barahamihira, Vanabhata took birth and left Mark's of their talent in literary field. It is in this plain regions many wars at Panipat and Kurukshetra were fought and the fate of India often has been decided.
Rajputana worker as a torch bearer of the Indian freedom by the Rajput kings when they carved out their independent states and fought back their foreign invaders with consummated Vigour. Thus the Indo-Gangetic plain contributed a maximum share in the processing of cultural awakening of India.
(iii) The great Deccan Plateau:The Deccan Plateaus lies in the south of Indo-Gangetic plain. On its north the Vindhya and the Satpura ranges separated it from Indo-Gangetic plain and slope-down to the Cape Comerin. In the east it started from the Bay of Bengal and spreads right up to Arabian Sea in the West. Rivers like the Godavari, the Krishna, the Kaveri, the Tungabhadra have swept the land and made the Plateaus highly covetous.
The sharp geographical feature has made the region distinctly different and considerably influences the course of our history. Geographical condition has created severally natural barriers which denied easy and smooth access from north to south. The Vindhynchal and the Satpura range, the dense forest around it have virtually preventer free- entry into the plateau.
Seas on three sides acted as strong hurdle forbidding uninterrupted intercourse from outsider. Thus the plateau practically remained isolates from the north and countries. However it enjoyed a special significances and proved useful in many ways in building Indian history.
At a time when the onslaughts of the repeated foreign invasions, rise of Jainism and Buddhism in one stage had cornered the Hinduism and brought it down, the South came forward as a Savior and extender all possible patronage. In fact in-spite of numerous odds the Hindus religion and culture remained intact in this region and flourished tremendously. Incidentally both Jainism and Buddhism failed to get desired responses from the South and evidently the impervious Deccan firmly held the blessings of Hindu religion and culture and overshadowed the religious imperialism of the Jainism and Buddhism.
On the arrival of the Aryans in the northern plain the existing populations was compelled to migrate towards the Deccan plateau. Without surrendering or embracing the new culture the migrants maintained their Cultural identify. Even though the Aryan civilization appeared vulnerable yet the Dravidian maintained their own cultural heritage and survived undisturbed.
Deccan is full of hills, mountains and forests that provided opportunity to build many hilly un-accessible forts and hide-outs and rouses patriotic spirit of the people to defend the motherland. It has made the inhabitants hardy brave and experts in Jungle warfare and strong enough to outwit the invaders by the tactics of Guerrilla Warfare. Indeed the Geographical conditions largely influences the people to take up arms against the invaders and fight for liberty and territorial integrity.
The natural outlet of seas on three sides has given scope to explore sea routes with other countries and developed social economics and cultural ties with them. The Portuguese, the Dutch, the Persian, the Arabians all utilised the seaports and hastened to the land for trade and commerce.
Simultaneously the sea outlets gave away incentives to the people to sail across the sea and established prosperous colonies in Java, Sumatra, Burma and Cambodia etc. The geographical demarcation between the North and the South was also responsible partly for generating two distinctly separately and independent types of civilizations.
In fact when crisis prevailed in the north the Hinduism and its culture were under suppression the south extender her generous arms and embraced the discomfited Hinduism and its culture and saved them from sure ruins. Thus the south played a vital role in preserving India originality and religious fervour of Hinduism.
(iv) Coastal Ghats :The Coastal Ghats broadly forms the coast-belt of East and West of the Deccan Plateau. On the eastern side of the plateau the hill range running from the north to the South almost parallel to the coast line is known as the Eastern Ghat. On the West the mountain range running parallel to the Arabian sea is known as the Western Ghat.
The length is about 1120 km. and 3000 to 8000 feet above sea levels. The lofty cliff has given positive advantages to build up a strong and formidable defences. This natural gift of nature has virtually helped the Maratha to defy the fierce Mughals and assert their superiority. The narrow strip of lands sometimes not more than 32 km. in width stretching between coast and foot of the Ghat is known as Konkan and Malabar.
It has a rich soil and is evergreen with rice plants and coconut tree. It is highly productives and thickly populated. In the absence of modern communication facilities it remained isolated for a long time from the rest of the Deccan India. Even now some of them practise custom found nowhere else in India.
On the other hand in the far north on the Western Coast the Narmada and the Tapti have broken through the Western scrap and cut wide valley across them, making easy paths leading to the north. It is in this region that great kingdom and civilized people have lived from early ages.
On the eastern side, the Coastal land which lies below the Eastern Ghat is much broader. The eastern scrap itself is of low elevation much less steep and it is broken in many places by the valley of the Deccan River flowing eastwards. This made the communication of the east coast with the upland of the Deccan easy. This resulted in building many cities, flourishing civilization and powerful kingdoms to exhibit the courage and gallantry of the Indian Community.