Physiography of Rajasthan

Physiography of Rajasthan – Introduction

Rajasthan is the largest state of India. Rajasthan covers a territory which has a very mature topography, developed during thousands of years of denudation and erosional process.

Rajasthan is the remaining of world’s oldest land blocks. In Pleistocene time, the world was divided into two parts – (i) Angaraland (ii) Gondwana Land. The Tethis Sea was in the middle of these two. The north-west sandy region and Eastern plain are the remaining of Tethis Sea while Aravalli range and south-east plateau are the remaining of Gondwana Land.

The Aravalli, one of the oldest mountain range, passes through the middle of Rajasthan. It divides the Rajasthan into two natural divisions. The Western part of the Aravalli, which covers the two-third part of the Rajasthan, is the Western Sandy Plain, while southern & eastern division of Aravalli has extensive hill ranges, beckoning valleys, dense forests and fertile plains.

The Western Sandy Plain is a wide expense of wind sand, poorly watered and sterile land surface. The western part of this is known as the Thar Desert, which is completely dry and full of sand wind.

While the Eastern plain is the one of the most fertile land by the Chambal, Banas and Mahi river.

On the basis of present landforms and climate, we can divide the Rajasthan into four following physiographic parts

1. Western Sandy Plains
2. Aravalli Range and Hilly Region
3. Eastern Plains
4. South-eastern Rajasthan Pathar (Hadoti Plateau)

Physiography of Rajasthan
Physiography of Rajasthan
The western Sandy Plains
  • The western Sandy Plains lies in the west of the Aravalli range of Rajasthan. It includes the Shri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Nagaur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Pali, Barmer, Jalore and Sirohi districts of the Rajasthan.
  • It is a wide expense of wind sand, poorly watered and sterile land surface. The western part of this is known as the Thar Desert, which is completely dry and full of sand wind.
  • Rain – 0cm to 50cm
  • Temperature – Maximum 49°C and Minimum -3°C
  • Population – 40% of total population of the Rajasthan State.
  • Indira Gandhi canal is the life line of this region. It greatly changed the landscape of this area, mostly Shri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh.
  • Area – 61% of total area of the Rajasthan State. It is approx. two-third area of the Rajasthan and extending for 640KM from North-East to South-West with an average width of 300KM.
  • The surface of this region covered with vast starches of sand interrupted occasionally by rocky outcrops.
  • The slope of this region is from North-East (general elevation 300m) to South-West (general elevation 150m), except Jalore-Siwana upland which has a general elevation of 300m.
  • The Western Sandy Plain further divided in two parts –
    [i] Sandy Arid Region
    [ii] Semi-Arid Plain or Rajasthan Bangar
Sandy Arid Region
  • The sandy Arid Region includes the complete Jaisalmer and Bikaner districts, western part of Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur and Churu districts, and south most part of Shri Ganganagar and Humangarh districts.
  • There are vast starches of sand and rock outcrops, mainly limestone.
  • The old rocky outcrops indicate that the Thar Desert is a part of the peninsular block.
  • The Sandy Arid Plain further divided into two parts on the basis of 25cm isohyet line –
    (a) Marusthali
    (b) Dune free Tracts
[a] Marusthali
  • The Marusthali covers the Jaisalmer and Bikaner districts, western part of Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur and Churu districts.
  • The west part of this Marusthali is known as the Thar Desert.
  • Generally, the length of the Sand dunes in this region is 3 to 5KM while height is 6 to 60meter.
  • Shifting of the Sand Dunes is locally known as ‘Dharians’.
[b] Dune free Tracts
  • The rocky, the Dune free tract, covers 65 Sq. KM around the Jaisalmer (Half of Pokaran Tehsil) and Jodhpur (Western and Southern parts of Phalodi Tehsil) districts.
  • There is no dunes in this area. However, small rocks can be found in this area.
  • The limestone and sandstone rocks present in this area, belongs to Jurrasic and Eocene formations.
  • The dry beds and banks could easily be trapped for ground water.
Semi-Arid Plain or Rajasthan Bangar
  • The Semi-Arid Plain includes northern parts of Shri Ganaganagar, Hanumangarh, Eastern parts of Churu, Jodhpur and Barmer, Western parts of Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Pali and Sirohi and Nagaur (except eastern and western parts of it).
  • The western boundary is marked by the 25cm isohyet line and Eastern boundary is marked by the 50cm isohyet line. Also, the western edge of Aravalli range marks the eastern boundary of the Semi-Arid Region or Rajasthan Bangar.
  • Due to Aravalli Range, eastern part of the Semi-Arid plain covered with mineral deposits.
  • The Semi-Arid Plain is further divided into four regions –
    (a) Luni Basin
    (b) Shekhawati Region
    (c) Nagaur Upland
    (d) Ghaggar Plain
[a] Luni Basin
  • The Luni Basin includes the Southern parts of nagaur, Eastern parts of Jodhpur and Barmer districts and Pali and Jalore districts.
  • The Luni River rises from Aravalli hills near Ajmer and flow towards South-West.
  • The Basin is the area drained by the Luni River and its tributaries. It covers the area from its source to Tilwara (Barmer District), where Sakari River meets it and delimits the boundary of basin.
  • The topography of this area ismarked by hills with steep slops and extensive alluvial plains.
  • Luni River is a seasonal river. The flood occurs in rainy season. This flood affected area is locally known as Naid (Rel) & is one of the best alluvial plains.
[b] Nagaur Upland
  • The Nagaur Upland includes the most parts of Nagaur district.
  • The rainfall in this area is 25cm in the West and 50cm in the East.
  • The average height of this area from sea level is 300meter to 500meter.
  • This region is full of sand hills and the landscape is full of several low depressions.
  • The rain water accumulates in these depressions. When temperature is height, these depression result in the deposits of salt and soda.
  • The important salt lakes, thus formed, are Sambhar, Deedwana etc.
[c] Shekhawati Region
  • The Shekhawati region includes Churu, Sikar, Jhunjhune and Nagaur districts.
  • The Aravalli hills runs through middle of this region from South to North, cutting into to equal half.
  • The topography of this region is characterized by smooth sandy terrain traversed by longitudinal sand dunes.
  • There is only one seasonal River, Kantli. It too lost in Sandy Terrain, near Churu border. So this region is an area of inland drainage.
[d] Ghaggar Plain
  • The Ghaggar Plain includes the Shri Ganganagar and Hanuman Garh Districts.
  • There is only one River, Ghaggar, which flow through the ancient bed of Ghaggar River. This river is also called the ‘Dead River’. This Region is also known as ‘Ghaggar Plain’.
  • The most of the sand dunes in this area is stabilized due to better irrigation facility by Canals.
  • The sand ridges, found at the banks of ancient rivers, have an height of 6 meter to 30 meter.
The Aravalli Range and Hilly Region
  • The Aravalli Range running across the Rajasthan state from South-West to North-East, bisecting the Rajasthan into two parts.
  • The Aravalli Range starts from Palanpur, Gujrat and ends at Raisana hill of Delhi. In Rajasthan, it starts from Brahm Kheda, Sirohi and ends at Khetdi, Jhunjhunu. After Jhunjhunu, is spread upto Delhi in non-continuous form.
    It also works as Great Indian Watershed.
  • The Aravalli range acts as a great check to the advancement of the sand into central India and Ganga Valley. However, there are gaps in the Aravalli Range and sand from western side, has advanced through them to the east of it.
  • The total length of Aravalli range is 692KM. However, the total length in Rajasthan is 550KM. The average height of Aravalli Range is 930KM.
  • Rain – 50cm to 90cm
  • Population – 10% of total population of the Rajasthan State.
  • Area – 9% of total area of the Rajasthan State.
  • The Aravalli range is one of the oldest mountain range of the world.
  • The Aravalli range and Hilly Region is divided into four parts –
    (i) North Eastern Aravalli Range or Alwar Range
    (ii) Central Aravalli Range
    (iii) The Mewar Rocky Region or Bharot Plateau
    (iv) Abu Block region
The North Eastern Aravalli Range or Alwar Range
  • The North-Eastern Aravalli Range starts from low rigids of Delhi to the isolated hills of Alwar via Sikar, Khetari, Neem Ka Thana etc.
  • It has and average elevation of 300-700 meter.
  • North of Beawar, the pitches of the alluvium intermingle with the ridges. These pitches increase in the size and depth towards the North occupying all the gaps between ridges and forms area of internal drainage. Lake Sambhar is an example of this.
  • North of Lake Sambhar, Malkhet & Khetri Group of hillsnad Torawati Hills ranges are prominent.
  • Northeast of the Alwar, the hills becomes the narrow and with decreasing elevation until it merges with the Ganga Yamuna Plain.
  • Main Peaks of this region –
    (a) Raghunathgarh (Sikar) – 1055 meters.
    (b) Koh (Jaipur) – 920 meters.
    (c) Bhairach (Alwar) – 792 meters.
    (d) Barwara (Jaipur) – 786 meters.
    (e) Babai (Jhunjhunu) – 780 meters.
Central Aravalli Range
  • Central Aravalli Range includes the Nagaur, southern part of Ajmer, Jaipur and South-Western Tonk districts of Rajasthan.
  • The Central Aravalli range extends from Sambhar lake to the Bhrote plateau. This upland is bounded by Sambhar basin in West, Banas plain in south, the Karauli table in the East and Alwar hills in North.
    The average elevation of this part is appx 700 meters.
  • The length of Central Aravalli Range is 100 KM with an width of 30 KM and valley with depth of 550 meters.
  • In this region, there are two or three parallel ridges raising with an average attitude of 600 meters.
  • Peaks of Central Aravalli regions –
    (a) Goramji (Ajmer) – 934 meters.
    (b) Taragarh (Ajmer) – 870 meters.
    (c) Naag Pahar (Ajmer) – 795 meters.
  • The Central Aravalli Region further divided into two regions –
    (a) Sambhar Basin or Shekhawati Lower hills.
    (b) Marwar hills.
[a] Sambhar Basin or Shekhawati Lower hills –
  • It includes the some parts of Nagaur and Jaipur districts of Rajasthan.
  • The average height of this region is 400 meter except west of Sambhar lake and Nawa tehsils of tonk where height reaches 500 meter.
  • This region is also marked by sand hills and low depression with inland drainage.
[b] Marwar hills –
  • It includes the some parts of Beawar, Ajmer and Kishangarh tehsils of Ajmer districts.
  • The average height of this region is 550 meters.
  • The Marwar hills appear in the parallel succession of hills in the vicinity of Ajmer city which itself is situated on a plateau.
The Mewar Rocky Region or Bharot Plateau
  • The Mewar Rocky Region includes South-eastern parts of Pali district, Udaipur district except eastern part and parts of Gujrat state situated between Banas Basin and Abu Block.
  • The highest portion of the Mewar Rocky Region lies north-wast of Udaipur district, between the forts of Kumbhalgarh & Gogunda in the form of plateau locally known as ‘Bhorat’.
  • Bhorat Plateau is the highest table like structure of Aravalli Range.
  • The average elevation of this region is 1225 meters.
  • This region is the most distinctive hilly region of Aravalli hills.
  • It also represent the great Indian watershed running from north of Udaipur district to south-west before turning to east of Udaipur City.
  • Main Peaks of Mewar Rocky Regions –
    (a) Kumbhalgarh (Rajsamand) – 1224 meters.
    (b) Dhoniya – 1183 meters.
    (c) Hrishikesh – 1017 meters.
    (d) Kamalnath (Udaipur) – 1001 meters.
    (e) Sajjangarh (Udaipur)- 938 meters.
The Abu Block
  • The Abu block covers the whole of Sirohi District.
  • Mount Abu is a 19 KM long and 8 KM narrow plateau, nearly 1200 meters above sea level.
  • It is an irregular plateau surrounded by several projected peaks.
  • It is separated from main Aravalli Range by the wide valley of the Banas.
  • The slopes of hills in this region are extremely precipitous.
  • Main Peaks of the Abu Block –
    (a) Guru Shikhar (Sirohi) – 1722 meters.
    (b) Ser (Sirohi) – 1597 meters.
    (c) Dilwara (Sirohi) – 1442 meters.
    (d) Jarga (Sirohi) – 1431 meters.
    (e) Achalgarh (Sirohi) – 1380 meters.
    (f) Kumbhalgarh (Rajsamand) – 1224 meters.
    (g) Raghunathgarh (Sikar) – 1055 meters.
Eastern Plains – Introduction
  • The Eastern plain includes the Alwar, Bhartpur, Jaipur, Sawai Madopur, Tonk, Bundi, Kota, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara and Dungerpur districts.
  • Population – 39% of total population of the Rajasthan State.
  • Area – 23% of total area of the Rajasthan State.
  • The average elevation of this region is 300 meters.
  • The Eastern plain is divided into three plains –
    (i) Chambal Basin.
    (ii) The Banas Plain.
    (iii) The Middle Mahi Plain
Eastern Plains – Chambal Basin
  • It includes the Kota, Bundi, Tonk, Sawai Madopur and Bhartpur districts of the Rajasthan State and some parts of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The most dominant is the Chambal belt extending over a length of 480 KM from Kota to Berach (MP).
  • It has average width of 10KM and total area appx 4500 Sq. KM.
Eastern Plains – The Banas Plain
  • It includes the Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Tonk, Jaipur, Alwar and Sawai Madhopur districts of the Rajasthan state.
  • It is an elevated peneplain plain drained by Banas & its tributaries.
  • The Banas Plain is further divided into two regions –
    (a) The Mewar Plain
    (b) The Malpura Karauli Plain
[a] The Marwar Plain –
  • Mewar plain is a dissected of Archaean gneiss.
  • The slope of the Marwar plain decreases toward east and north-east. The elevation of this plain is 280-500 meters.
  • The Banas & its tributaries Berach, Menal, Bandi, Mansi, Kothari, Khari etc flow through this plain.
[b] The Malpura Karauli Plain –
  • It is a flat upland which is also recognized as ‘Tertiary peneplane’.
  • It is composed of schist & guess with average elevation of 250-350 meters.
  • Alluvial deposits are thick in larger parts of Kishangarh and Malpura.
Eastern Plains – The Middle Mahi Plain
  • The middle Mahi Basin covers the Dungerpur district.
  • The regions lies to east of the Mewar hills & south of the Banas plain.
  • The weastern part of Mahi Basin is hilly but central & eastern parts are fertile plains with extensive cultivation. These plains are also known as Chhappan plains.
  • Average elevation of the region is bewteen 200-400 m.
  • This dissected plain along with hill tracts of Banswara are Dungarpur are locally known as Bagar.
Hadoti Plateau – Introduction
  • The region comprises of the eastern & southeastern part of the state & is known as Hadoti Plateau. It includes the Bhilwara, Karauli, Dholpur, Sawai Madhopur, Bundi, Kota, Baran & Jhalawar districts of Rajasthan.
  • Population – 11% of total population of the Rajasthan State.
  • Area – 9% of total area of the Rajasthan State.
  • The Great Boundary Fault of the Aravallis forms its northwest boundary, which extends eastward across the Rajasthan border.
  • River Chambal drains the large part of this area.
  • The Hadoti Plateau is further divided into two regions –
    (i) Vindhyan Scarplands
    (ii) Deccan Lava Plateau.
Hadoti Plateau – Vindhyan Scarplands
  • It covers the Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Bundi and Kota districts of Rajasthan.
  • The height of the scarplands in this region is between 350-550 meters.
  • The region presents an undulating topography strewn with boulders, blocks & depressions.
  • The scarps are facing towards the southsoutheast between the Banas and the Chambal and extend towards the east over Bundelkhand.
  • The scarp lands formed by massive sandstones.
Hadoti Plateau – Deccan Lava Plateau
  • It covers the Bundi and Kota districts of Rajasthan.
  • The western parts of the vindhyan plateau lie in the form of three concentric escarpments.
  • Formed by the exposed rocks of three main sandstones with slate-stones in between.
  • This physiography of south east of Rajasthan is also known as Uparmal (high or stony plateau)
  • Region is drained by Chambal and its tributaries Kali Singh, Parwan and Parvati.
  • Soil of the region is mostly black with visible deposits of Deccan Trap lava.
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