To the south of the Himalayas are the Northern Plains. They stretch from Punjab in the north-west to Assam in the east. As the name suggest the plains are vast, flat areas. The soil in these plains is mostly fertile. This is because many rivers that flow down from the mountains in the north, bring with them fine particles of rock and sand. These are deposited in the soil on banks of rivers and land around it. This fine fertile soil is called alluvial soil.
A river basin is the area which is drained (gets water from) by a river or its tributaries. The Brahmaputra Basin, the Ganga Basin and the Sutlej Basins drain the Plains of Northern India.
A delta is a triangular area of land formed by the deposits of soil at the mouth of a river. These deposits of of soil cause the river to split into small streams. After crossing the breadth of the country, the Ganga joins the Brahmaputra in the southern part of West Bengal and forms the “world’s” largest delta, the Sunderbans.
Climate in the plains:
The summer months of May and June are very hot in the plains. Hot winds called loo blow during the day. Rivers, lakes and ponds dry up and many places are hit by severe drought.
In the Northern Plains, July and August are wet and humid months. In certain areas, heavy rains cause the rivers to overflow and floods occur.
The Northern Plains experience a cold wave in the months of December, January and February. Cold winds blow from the north. There is a dense fog in the mornings and evenings.
Lifestyle of people living in the plains:
Agriculture is the main occupation of people living in villages. They grow different crops depending on which part of the country they belong to. There are many industries, factories and handicrafts belonging to each state that provide people with livelihood. Kutcha houses are found in the villages and pucca houses in towns and cities. In Assam, people build wooden houses on stilts because of frequent floods.
Clothes people wear:
Women in the Northern Plains wear sarees, salwar-kameez, churidar-kurta and lehnga-kurta. Men wear kurta-pyjama, lungi-kurta, dhoti-kurta or trousers with shirt.
In Assam, women wear traditional long skirts called mekhala with a riha and a shawl called chadar.