Geology, soils and hydrology of India

The geology of India is very complex, with a long and varied history dating back over four billion years. India is a fragile and dynamic land, constantly changing shape as a result of the interactions between the Indian Plate and the rest of the world. These interactions have resulted in the formation of the Himalayas, the Indian Ocean, and the Thar Desert.

The geology of India can be divided into four main types: the Himalayan Mountains, the Indo-Gangetic Plains, the Deccan Plateau, and the coastal areas. Each of these has its own unique features, which have been shaped by the forces of nature over millions of years.

Himalayan Mountains

The Himalayan Mountains are the youngest mountain range in the world, and they continue to grow taller every year. The Himalayas were formed when the Indian Plate collided with the Eurasian Plate about 50 million years ago. This collision caused the Indian Plate to push up against the Eurasian Plate, creating a massive chain of mountains that now stretches more than 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) from north to south.

The Himalayan Mountains are home to some of the world’s tallest peaks, including Mount Everest, which stands at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet). The Himalayas are also home to many of the world’s major rivers, including the Ganges, Indus, and Brahmaputra. These rivers have carved out deep valleys in the mountains, and they provide vital water resources for the millions of people who live in the Himalayan region.

Indo-Gangetic Plains

The Indo-Gangetic Plains are a vast expanse of land that stretches from the Himalayan Mountains in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south. The plains are formed by three major river systems: the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra. These rivers have deposited rich soils on the plains over the centuries, making the region one of the most fertile in the world.

The Indo-Gangetic Plains are home to some of India’s most populous cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. The plains are also the country’s main agricultural region, producing rice, wheat, sugarcane, and other crops.

Deccan Plateau

The Deccan Plateau is a large plateau that covers much of central and southern India. The plateau is bounded by the Aravali Hills to the north and the Western Ghats to the south. The plateau was formed by the breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent about 150 million years ago. The Deccan Plateau is made up of two main types of rocks: the older, harder basalt rocks, and the younger, softer sedimentary rocks.

The Deccan Plateau is home to some of India’s largest cities, including Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai. The plateau is also home to India’s largest coal reserves. The Deccan Plateau is a major agricultural region, producing rice, wheat, cotton, and other crops.

Coastal areas

India has a long coastline that stretches for more than 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles). The coastline is home to many of India’s major ports, including Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. The coastal areas are also home to India’s fishing industry, which is one of the country’s major sources of food.

The coastal areas are affected by the monsoon winds, which blow from the southwest from June to September and from the northeast from October to May. The monsoon winds bring heavy rains to the coastal areas, which can cause flooding. The coastal areas are also vulnerable to cyclones, which can cause damage to property and loss of life.


The soils of India are very diverse, with more than 60 different types of soil. The soils can be divided into four main types: alluvial soils, red soils, laterite soils, and forest soils. Alluvial soils are found in the floodplains of the major rivers. They are very fertile and are used for agricultural purposes. Red soils are found in the Deccan Plateau and the eastern coastal areas. They are rich in iron and are used for agricultural purposes. Laterite soils are found in the upland areas of the Deccan Plateau. They are rich in aluminium and are used for construction purposes. Forest soils are found in the forested areas of the country. They are rich in organic matter and are used for forestry purposes.


The hydrology of India is very complex, with a large number of rivers, lakes, and groundwater resources. The country has two major river systems: the Ganges and the Indus. The Ganges river system is the largest in India, with a length of more than 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles). The Indus river system is the second largest in India, with a length of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles). India also has a large number of lakes, including the Dal Lake in Kashmir, the Wular Lake in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Chilika Lake in Orissa.

Groundwater is another important source of water in India. The country has more than one billion cubic kilometers of groundwater, which is the world’s largest groundwater resource. Groundwater is used for drinking, irrigation, and industrial purposes. India also has a large number of glaciers, which are a major source of water for the rivers. The country has more than 5,000 glaciers, including the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir and the Nubra Glacier in Ladakh.