The Plateau Region is very vast. Its land, climate and vegetation varies from place to place. It is not the same everywhere. This Plateau Region can be divided into four parts for proper study. These parts are (1) The North-western Part (2) The North-eastern Part (3) The Central Part and (4) The Southern Part.
1. The North- Western part of the Plateau
The North-western Part of the plateau extends from Aravali Hills to river Sone in the East. The Vindhya Ranges are on its South. Important rivers of this part are Chambal, Betwa and Sone. They flow Northwards and join river Yamuna and Ganga. These rivers are seasonal and flow very fast. They have cut ravines in this part.
This part of the plateau has extreme type of climate. It is very hot in summer and very cold in winter. The rainfall is moderate, it becomes lesser as we move towards the west. It includes some parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The Malwa Plateau is also a part of North-western Plateau. The soil of the Malwa Region is black and fertile. It can retain moisture for a long time. This soil is most suited for the cultivation of cotton. Cotton,,wheat and oil seeds are the main crops of this region. Bhopal, Jhansi, Gwalior and Indore are important towns of this part.
2. The North Eastern Part of the Plateau
The North-eastern Part of the Plateau includes some parts of Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. This part can be further divided into three parts (a) The Chhota Nagpur Plateau (b) The Chhattisgarh Plain and (c) The Bastar Hills. Many tribal people live in this part of the plateau.
(a) The Chhota Nagpur Plateau :
It is the North-eastern Part: of the Plateau. This plateau is very, rich in minerals. Large 3 deposits of minerals like coal, iron-ore, manganese, mica and bauxite are found in this area. The river Damodar flows in the North-east of this region, the Damodar Valley has the largest deposits of coal in India. Iron and steel industries which require large quantity of coal are located here. There are big steel plants at Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Rourkela in this region. Sindri has a fertilizer factory. Chhota Nagpur Plateau gets heavy rainfall. The hills are covered with thick forests. We get variety of wood, lac and gum from these forests.
(b) The Chhattisgarh Plain :
This plain lies to the South of the Chhota Nagpur Plateau. It is a wide and fertile plain formed by the river Mahanadi. This region gets heavy rainfall during the summer. Mahanadi is often in flood and causes harm to the crops. Now a big dam Hirakud Dam has been built across the Mahanadi. It controls floods, provides water for irrigation and produces electricity. Rice is the main crop of this area. Raipur, Bilaspur and Bhilai are important towns of this plain. Bhilai has a big steel plant.
(c) Bastar Hills :
These hills are to the South of the Chhattisgarh Plain. This area also gets sufficient rain in the rainy season. The hills are covered with forests of sal, teak and bamboo. Many tribal people live in the Bastar Hills.
3. The Central Part of the Plateau
The Central Part of the Plateau lies between the Vindhyas and the river Krishna. It includes the whole of Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, The important rivers of this part are Narbada, Tapti, Godavari and Krishna. Narbada and Tapti flow West-wards into the Arabian Sea. River Narbada flows through the marble rocks near Jabalpur. Godavari and Krishna flow towards the East into the Bay of Bengal. Godavari rises near Nasik and is regarded as the most sacred river (as the Ganga) in the South. A big multipurpose dam, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam has been built across the river Krishna. The climate of this part is hot in summer, the winters too are not cold. The-rainfall is low in its central part. The Western Part gets heavy rainfall, The black soil of Western Part is made up of the Lava. This is most suitable for growing cotton. It is the most important cotton growing area in India. Most of the textile-industries are located in this part.
4. The Southern Part of the Plateau
This part of the Plateau lies to the South of the river Krishna. It includes the parts of Kamataka and Andhra Pradesh and the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is bounded by the Eastern Ghats on the East and the Western Ghats on the West. These Ghats come closer as we move Southwards and meet at a point at Kenya Kumari. The Southern Part of this Plateau has the Nilglri Hills and the Cardamom H/7/s. These hills are separated by a pass called the Palghat. Udagamandalam (Ooty) and Kodaikanal are the famous hill stations in the Nilgiri Hills.
The climate of this part is warm all the year round. The Western Parts get heavy rains in summer. The Eastern Part of Tamil Nadu have rains in the winter. The Cauvery is the main river of this part. The Meftur Dam has been built across the Cauvery. It provides water for irrigation. Rice and sugarcane are the main crops of this region. The hill slopes have coffee and tea plantations. The Western Ghats are covered with thick forests of teak, sal and sandalwood. Spices are grown on the Cardamom Hills. Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore are the important cities and industrial centres of this part. Tirupati Temple is a place of pilgrimage.
Importance of the Deccan Plateau
This plateau region is very important to the country. It is very rich in mineral wealth. Most of the minerals of the country such as coal, iron-ore, mica and manganese are found in the Deccan Plateau Region. This region is also rich in forest wealth. Rubber, sandalwood, cloves, spices, cashew nuts, coffee, cotton and cinchona come from this Plateau Region.