NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Geography Chapter 2 Physical Features of India

The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Geography Chapter 2 Physical Features of India provides comprehensive answers to the exercises found at the end of the chapter. These exercises primarily focus on the various physiographic divisions of India, including the Himalayan Mountains, the Northern Plains, the Peninsular Plateau, the Indian Desert, the Coastal Plains, and the Islands.

The NCERT Solutions are designed to be easily understandable and accurate, ensuring that students can align their preparation with the types of questions asked in CBSE examinations. By utilizing these solutions, students will be well-equipped to comprehend and effectively answer questions related to the physical features of India.


Question 1. Choose the right answer from the four alternatives given below:

(i) A landmass bounded by the sea on three sides is referred to as
(a) Coast
(b) Island
(c) Peninsula
(d) None of the above

Ans. (c) Peninsula

(ii) Mountain ranges in the eastern part of India forming its boundary with Myanmar are collectivity called
(a) Himachal
(b) Uttarakhand
(c) Purvachal
(d) None of the above

Ans. (c) Purvachal

(iii) The western coastal strip, south of Goa is referred to as
(a) Coromandel
(b) Konkan
(c) Kannad
(d) Northern Circar

Ans. (c) Kannad

(iv) The highest peak in the Eastern Ghats is
(a) Anai Mudi
(b) Kanchenjunga
(c) Mahendragiri
(d) Khasi

Ans. (c) Mahendragiri

Question 2. Answer the following questions briefly.

(i) What are tectonic plates?

Ans. Tectonic Plates are large fragments of the earth’s crust torn due to the rising convectional currents.

(ii) Which continents of today were part of the Gondwana land?

Ans. South America, South Africa, Australia, and Antarctica are the continents that were a part of the Gondwana Lands.

(iii) What is the bhabar?

Ans. Contrary to the common perception of the northern plains as flatlands with no relief variations, these expansive plains actually exhibit diverse topographical features. Based on these variations, the northern plains can be categorized into four distinct regions. As the rivers descend from the mountains, they deposit pebbles in a relatively narrow belt spanning approximately 8 to 16 km in width, running parallel to the Shiwalik slopes. This specific region is referred to as the Bhabar.

(iv) Name the three major divisions of the Himalayas from north to south.


(a) The Greater Himalayas or Himadri or Inner Himalayas (Northernmost range)
(b) Himachal or Lesser Himalayas or Middle Himalayas
(c) The Shiwaliks or Outer Himalayas

(v) Which plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhyan ranges?

Ans. Malwa plateau lies between the Aravali and the Vindhyan range.

(vi) Name the island group of India having coral origin.

Ans. Lakshadweep Islands is an island group having coral origin.

Question 3. Distinguish between:

(i) Bhangar and Khadar

Difference Between Bangar and Khadar
Bhangar Khadar
Formation Bhangar refers to the older alluvial deposits found in the floodplains. Khadar refers to the newer alluvial deposits in the floodplains.
Soil Composition Bhangar consists of coarse-grained, sandy soil with a high concentration of gravel and pebbles. Khadar consists of fine-grained, fertile soil with a higher proportion of silt and clay.
Elevation Bhangar is situated at a higher elevation compared to Khadar. Khadar is situated at a lower elevation compared to Bhangar.
Permeability The soil of Bhangar has low permeability, which makes it less suitable for agriculture without proper irrigation. The soil of Khadar has higher permeability, allowing water to seep in and making it suitable for agriculture.
Vegetation Bhangar areas typically have scattered vegetation and are prone to waterlogging. Khadar areas are characterized by dense vegetation and are considered highly fertile for cultivation.
Age Older Younger
Location Above floodplains Below floodplains
Fertility Less Fertile More Fertile
  • Bhangar soils are more prone to waterlogging, while Khadar soils are less prone to waterlogging.
  • Bhangar soils are more resistant to erosion, while Khadar soils are less resistant to erosion.
  • Bhangar soils are more suitable for growing crops that require well-drained soil, such as wheat and barley.
  • Khadar soils are more suitable for growing crops that require moist soil, such as rice and sugarcane.

(ii) Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats

Difference between Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats
Feature Western Ghats Eastern Ghats
Location The Western Ghats run along the western coast of India, parallel to the Arabian Sea. The Eastern Ghats run along the eastern coast of India, parallel to the Bay of Bengal.
Length The Western Ghats are longer compared to the Eastern Ghats, stretching over approximately 1,600 kilometers. The Eastern Ghats are shorter compared to the Western Ghats, extending over approximately 1,750 kilometers.
Altitude The Western Ghats have higher peaks and greater average elevation compared to the Eastern Ghats. The Eastern Ghats have relatively lower peaks and average elevation compared to the Western Ghats.
Biodiversity The Western Ghats are recognized as a biodiversity hotspot and home to numerous endemic plant and animal species. While the Eastern Ghats also possess rich biodiversity, they are not as well-known as the Western Ghats in terms of endemic species.
Rainfall The Western Ghats receive heavy rainfall, leading to the formation of numerous rivers, waterfalls, and lush forests. The Eastern Ghats receive comparatively less rainfall than the Western Ghats, leading to a drier climate in certain regions.
Direction North-south Northeast-southwest
Elevation 900-1600 meters 600-900 meters
Origin Fold mountains Fault-block mountains
Economic importance Source of water, minerals, and tourism Source of water and minerals

Question 4. Which are the major physiographic divisions of India? Contrast the relief of the Himalayan region with that of the Peninsular plateau.

The major physiographic divisions of India are

  • The Himalayan Mountains

  • The Northern Plains
  • The Peninsular Plateau
  • The Indian Desert
  • The Coastal Plains
  • The Islands

The relief of the Himalayan region and the Peninsular Plateau can be contrasted as follows:

The Peninsular Plateau is a geologically ancient landmass and is considered one of the most stable blocks on Earth’s surface. In contrast, the Himalayas are relatively recent landforms and geologically unstable. The Himalayan mountains exhibit a youthful topography characterized by high peaks, deep valleys, and fast-flowing rivers. On the other hand, the northern plains are formed by alluvial deposits. The Peninsular Plateau is composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, featuring gently rising hills and wide valleys.

Question 5. Give an account of the Northern Plains of India.

The Northern Plains, formed by alluvial deposits, are the most recent landforms in India. These plains have been shaped by the interplay of major river systems such as the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra, along with their tributaries. Covering an area of 7 lakhs sq. km, the Northern Plains is a densely populated region known for its fertile soil, abundant water supply, and favorable climate. Despite being often described as flatlands, the Northern Plains exhibit diverse relief features. They can be divided into four regions based on these variations.

To the west, the Punjab Plains are formed by the Indus and its tributaries, mostly situated in Pakistan. The Ganga plain extends between the Ghaggar and Teesta rivers, covering northern states like Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and parts of West Bengal. The Brahmaputra plain lies in Assam towards the east. In these plains, the rivers deposit pebbles in a narrow belt called Bhabar, parallel to the slopes of the Shiwalik Mountains. South of this belt, the rivers re-emerge, creating a wet and marshy region known as terai.

Despite the plains’ overall flatness, these relief variations contribute to the diverse landscape and once heavily forested terai region, abundant with wildlife.

Question 6. Write short notes on the following:

(a) The Indian Desert
Ans. The Indian desert is located in the western part of the Aravali Hills. It is characterized by a sandy plain with rolling sand dunes. The region experiences minimal rainfall, averaging below 150 mm per year. The climate is arid, and vegetation is sparse. Temporary streams emerge during the rainy season but do not reach the sea due to insufficient water. The Luni River is the prominent river in this desert region.

(b) The Central Highlands
Ans. The Central Highlands and the Deccan Plateau are two distinct regions in the Peninsular Plateau of India. The Central Highlands refer to the portion of the plateau located north of the Narmada River, including the vast Malwa plateau. The Central Highlands are wider in the west and become narrower towards the east. The eastern extensions of this plateau are referred to as Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand. Further to the east lies the Chotanagpur plateau, which is drained by the Damodar River.

(c) The Island Groups of India

Lakshadweep Islands: The Lakshadweep group of islands consists of small coral islands, previously known as Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindive. In 1973, they were renamed as Lakshadweep. Covering a small area of 32 sq km, the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep is located on Kavaratti Island. These islands exhibit a rich diversity of flora and fauna, with Pitti Island serving as an uninhabited bird sanctuary.

Andaman and Nicobar Island: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an elongated chain of islands in the Bay of Bengal, stretch from north to south. These islands are relatively larger, numerous, and scattered. They can be broadly classified into two categories: the Andaman Islands in the north and the Nicobar Islands in the south. It is believed that these islands are elevated portions of submarine mountains. Apart from their geological significance, these islands hold great strategic importance for the country. They boast a diverse range of flora and fauna, with lush forests covering their land. Situated near the equator, these islands experience an equatorial climate.

Map Skills

On an outline map of India show the following.
(i) Mountain and hill ranges – the Karakoram, the Zaskar, the Patkai Bum, the Jaintia, the Vindhya range, the Aravali, and the Cardamom hills.
(ii) Peaks – K2, Kanchenjunga, Nanga Parbat and Anai Mudi.
(iii) Plateaus – Chotanagpur and Malwa
(iv) The Indian Desert, Western Ghats, Lakshadweep Islands.


NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Geography Chapter 2 Physical Features of India

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