Peninsular Plateau: Types, Features: What is Patland Plateau?

Peninsular Plateau: Types, Features: What is Patland Plateau?

Peninsular Plateau is the Indian plateau region trapped in between the Arabian Sea in the West and the Bay of Bengal in the East. The peninsular plateau is further divided into several types. Patland Plateau is one of the regional types of the Peninsular Plateau in India. The Patland Plateau and more specifically the Peninsular plateau is an important part of the Physical Geography of India, which also holds importance for the competitive government job examinations. The article will be a complete guide to explore the details of the Definition, Types, Features, Significance of Peninsular Plateau and also cover Patland Plateau UPSC and How is Patland Plateau different from other plateaus.

What is a Plateau?

Basically, the plateau is an area that is above the land surface and flat on top. Plateau is not accompanied by any other geographical formations and they generally stand alone. Plateaus are made up of magma which is present beneath the earth. The magma moves towards the surface but doesn’t go into the crust. Therefore, rocks get lifted with the help of magma below it. Millions of years took in the formation of these plateaus. Millions of years took for the rocks to get in shape and become a plateau.

What are the types of Plateaus?

The types of plateaus are mentioned below

1. Dissected plateau:  Dissected plateaus are formed due to the movement of the earth’s crust. Slow traction of tectonic plates causes the upward movement of the earth’s crust.

Example: Colorado Plateau or Colorado Plateau Province is an example of a dissected plateau. It is covered with dry grasslands, mountain woodlands, and forests.

2. Volcanic Plateau: Due to volcanic eruptions, these plateaus are formed. As the lava goes over one another, they freeze and make layers which results in the formation of a volcanic plateau. North Island Volcanic Plateau is an example of a volcanic plateau. Another example of a volcanic plateau is Waimarino Plateau in New Zealand.

Example: Various active peaks around the world such as Mount Tongariro come in the category of the volcanic plateau.

3. Intermont Plateau: The plateau is located in between the two mountain ranges.

Example: The Tibetan Plateau between two-fold mountains, the Himalayas and the Kunlun.

Causes of Plateau Formation

Here are some situations which result in the formation of the plateau:

1. Thermal Expansion: It is one of the most common reasons for the formation of the plateau. Lithosphere thermal explanation has made many world-famous plateaus around the globe.

2. Plateau of Yellowstone national park in the United States
3. Massif central of France
4. Ethiopian plateau in Africa
5. Crustal Shortening – This method causes the formation of plateau due to the ing or sliding of blocks over each other. Plateaus formed by this method are found in North Africa, Turkey, Iran, Tibet.

2. Volcanism: The plateau which is formed due to volcanic activity.

Given below are examples of the plateau that has been formed through volcanism.

  •  India’s Peninsular Plateau
  •  The USA’s Columbia Plateau
  •  Canadian Shield

Which are some of the Famous Plateaus?

There is some prominent plateau
1. Deccan Plateau from India – The plateau has its branches spread in 8 states and it fully hides south India. Surrounded by major ranges.
2. Chotanagpur Plateau from India – Minerals like manganese, iron, and coal are in abundance here.
3. Tibetan Plateau in China –One of the largest plateau on planet earth.
4. Katanga Plateau from Congo– Huge reservoir of copper.
5. East African Plateau –Central hub for Gold and Diamond mines.


The peninsular plateau is like a tabletop. Flat on the top. Metamorphic rocks Old crystalline and igneous metamorphic rocks are the main constituents of these plateaus. This plateau is originated from Gondwana land which is a very prehistoric landmass. The rupturing of Gondwana land. The plate is accompanied by valleys and hills.

Features of the Peninsular Plateau

• The peninsular plateau resembles the shape of a triangle. The base of this plateau coincides with the great plain of North India. Kanniyakumari lies on the tip of this plateau.
• 16 lakh sq km is the total area covered by this plateau.
• The plateau covers the height of 600-900 sq km above sea level although each region has a different height.
• Since river flow from west to east which shows the presence of slope.
• The only exception Narmada-Tapri is the only river that flows from east to west.
• These are some of the oldest structures on the earth.
• Archaean gneisses and schists are the rock system through which this peninsular has been made.
• There have been very few changes in the plateau after its formation.
• Peninsular plateau has always been above the water and never submerged underwater since it formed.
• Many small plateaus make peninsular plateau. It also comprises of river basins as well as valleys.

Peninsular Plateau Map

Plateaus in India Map

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Types of Peninsular Plateau

The peninsular plateau can be put in two categories, the Central Highlands and the Deccan Plateau.

Here are some states in which plateaus are prominently spread:

• Rajasthan
• Maharashtra
• Gujarat
• Telangana
• Karnataka
• Tamil Nadu
• Kerala
• Odisha

What is the Patland Plateau?

The lava-capped Mesas has its local name which is Patland plateau which can be said pat in short. In India, lava-capped Mesas is located in the Chotanagpur plateau. Patlands are formed through a process of laterisation. Lava deposition is present on the top of the surface which provides resistance to denudation. The main feature of these pats or patlands is the flat surface. That is why this type of plateau is also called a flat-topped plateau because of its even surface. They look as if they are one continuous plateau that is dependent on the summit level.
The pat region is about 1000 meters above the ground which is approximately 3300 ft above sea level.

Example of patland plateau in India: Chhotanagpur plateau

What are Mesas? The word ‘Mesas’ has been originated from the Spanish word ‘Mesa’ which means table. As the word suggests they are a table-like structure with a tabletop along with steep slopes. Mesas come in the category of dissected plateaus that is plateaus formed by the continual denudation of high and extensive plateaus. After the splitting of lava plateaus, patland is what we get.
What is denudation? Denudation is the process of the wearing away of the Earth’s surface by moving water, ice, wind, or waves of sea, rivers or lakes, leading to a reduction in height of the landform and in relief of landforms and of landscapes.


What is the difference between Patland Plateau and other Plateaus?


The Peninsular Plateau and Patland Plateau
The Peninsular Plateau and Patland Plateau

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1. Central Highlands

The northern part of the peninsular plateau of India is known as the Central Highlands.
This area overs the north area of the Narmada river and the Malwa plateau is also included in it.


The central highland is very rich in resources such as land, forests, and minerals special around the area of Bundelkhand. People are mostly dependent on agriculture in spite of the fact that the land is not so developed for agriculture and industries. Panna district of Madhya Pradesh is known for its diamonds. Chota Nagpur plateau has been known for its mining works. Damodar valley has a great concentration of coal deposits. Malwa region is the capital of Textile. Pithampur which is located near Indore has a very dense concentration of automotive industry.


  • Climate: Madhya Pradesh which lies in the east of the Aravalli range has a humid subtropical climate. Summers bring a hot climate and winters are dry. The annual rainfall that falls here is 700mm to 1500mm in the month of June to September.
  • Soil: This area is rich in black, red and laterite soils.
  • Population: 200 to 500 per sq. km is the general population density of this region. However, Chhattisgarh is an exception with a population of 100 to 200 persons per sq km.

Bundelkhand Upland

• From the west side of Madhya Bharat Pathar, from the north side, it is lined with Yamuna river, from the east and south Vindhyan Scarplands give it company and from south Malwa Plateau covers it.
• The Bundelkhand Upload is composed of granite and gneiss mostly. On the upland of ‘Bundelkhand gneiss,’ there are various deep valleys that dissect it.
• It covers the major five districts of Uttar Pradesh and four major districts of Madhya Pradesh.
• This upland lies at the height of 300-600 m above the sea level.
• The area reaches the Yamuna River after following a slope from Vindhyan Scarp.
• This upland is primarily made up of granite and sandstone and contains a chain of small hills that are known as hillocks.
• This area is not suitable for cultivation as river banks are very erosive and the wave like surface make it difficult for cultivation.
• The main feature of this area is senile which is caused because of old age topography.
Betwa, Dhasan and Ken deliver their water in this plateau

Malwa Plateau

• At the base of Vindhyan Hills, this plateau form a triangle base.
• This plateau has a very good drainage system and the drainage system in this region are of 2 categories one is towards the Arabian sea and the other is the Bay of Bengal.
• Rivers like the Narmada, the Tapi, and the Mahi are included in the Arabian sea region
• Rivers like Chambal and Betwa, joining the Yamuna are included in the Bay of Bengal region.
• Kali, the Sindh, and the Parbati are the right bank tributaries of this region.
• Chambal region delivers its water from the north region.
• This region is primarily made of up black soil and is composed of the lava flow.
• The north region of this plateau is more sloppy as compared to the south region.
• This is a rolling plateau dissected by rivers.


• North of the Maikal Range is the Baghelkhand.
• Baghelkhand lies in the north of Maikal Range.
• Baghelkhand is composed of limestone and sandstone and granite from west and east respectively.
• Son river joins Baghelkhand from the north side.
• Son drainage system from north and Mahanadi river system from the south get bisected with the centre area of the plateau which as water divider.
• The height of the region is 150 m to 1,200 m however the elevation is not even.
• The region of trough-axis hosts Bhanrer and Kaimur.
• This area has not faced any modifications which can be seen through its general horizontality of strata.

Chotanagpur Plateau

• Chotanagpur plateau is the face of the Indian Peninsula that represents the north-eastern projection.
• Chotanagpur plateau exists in parts of Jharkhand along with this they are also found in the north part of Chhatisgarh and also in the Purulia district of West Bengal.
• The direction of Son river is from the north towards the west of plateau and later merge with Ganga.
• The height of this plateau is around 700 m above sea level.
• Gondwana rocks are the main constituent of this group of the plateau.
• The plateau works of the radial drainage system and many rivers drain their water in this plateau with streams in different directions.
• Damodar, the Subarnrekaha, the North Koel, the South Koel, and the Barka contribute to the drainage of the plateau.
• The central region of the plateau has the Damodar river in between which flows from west to east. These plateau are the reservoirs of coal in India and Gondwana coal fields are found here.
• Hazaribagh plateau lies in the north region of the Damodar river and has a height of 600 m above sea level. Abundant hills are found on this plateau. Due to large-scale erosion, this place looks like a peneplain.
• To the south of Damodar Valley lies the Ranchi Plateau which has a height of about 600m above the main sea level. This is the place where Ranchi city is settled.
• There are places that have been hindered by monadnocks. Monadnocks don’t have any impact on soil erosion and they lie above peneplain.
• The northeastern part of Chotanagpur Plateau is articulated with Rajmahal Hills. Lava flows cover these hills and are composed of basalt.
• The average height of them is 400 m and they are stretched in a north-south direction. Several other plateaus originate from these hills that exist separately.

The Chotanagpur Plateau consists of many layers sub-plateaus which are known as pats or patlands in the local region. The Chotanagpur Plateau is thus known as the Patland plateau and also termed as the Ruhr of India.


2.Deccan Plateau

This region is spread across the south of the river Narmada. The Deccan Plateau is divided into following sub-regions:
(1) Satpuda-Mahadeo-Maikal Range
(2) Maharashtra Plateau
(3) Karnataka-Telangana Plateau
(4) Eastern Plateaus.


  • Agriculture: Cotton, sugarcane, and rice are the staple crops in this region. People are will depend on agriculture in this area.
  • Mining: Minerals like manganese, coal, iron ore, limestone, copper, bauxite, silica, etc. are found in this area in abundance and which makes it a very attractive place for industries.Industry: This plateau hosts a multi-variety of industries such as machine tools, electronic products, telecommunication equipment, etc. This area is industrially advance. Transportation: The area is well connected with roads and railway networks.
  • Tourism: This area attracts thousands of tourists every month due to its beautiful view.

Maharashtra Plateau

• Maharastra host the Maharashtra plateau
• Maharastra plateau articulated with the north part of Deccan plateau
• The rocks in this region are mainly formed from the lava and are known as basaltic rocks.
• During weathering of this area, it looks like a rolling plain.
• Due to the lava sheets, there is the formation of Deccan trap topography which forms step-like structure.
• Regur is the primary soil in this area which is also known as black cotton soil.
• Valleys of the Godavari, the Bhima, and the Krishna are bordered by hills and ridges.

Karnataka Plateau

• This plateau is also known as the Mysore plateau.
• Karnataka plateau articulate with the south part of Maharastra plateau.
• This plateau has an average height of 600-900 m and looks like a rolling plateau.
• Rivers from western ghats dissects the plateau at various locations.
• It is found that hills are aligned with western ghats.
• Baba Budan Hills is the highest peak with a height of 1913 m and lies in the Chikmaglur district.
• The plateau can be characterized into 2 parts which are Malnad and Maidan.
• Malnad is known as hill country in the Kannada language. It is covered with dense forests and valleys.
• Maidan is known to composed of low granite stones are is a rolling plain.
• The plateau articulates with Niligiri hills and the plateau is present between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

Telangana plateau

• Archaean gneisses make this Telangana plateau.
• 500-600 m is the average height of this plateau.
• The northern part of this plateau is at a lower elevation as compared to the southern part.
• The Godavari, the Krishna, and the Penneru are the three rivers that deliver their water in this region.
• This plateau is composed of 2 regions which are Ghats and the Peneplains. These are the plains which are on verse of the last deposition process.

Chhattisgarh Plateau

• The Chhattisgarh plain is the only plain that deserves its name in Peninsular plateau.
• The Chhattisgarh plain is like a plate shape with depression going into the upper Mahanadi.
• Between Maikala Range and the Odisha hills, the basin lies for this plain.
• In ancient India, Haithaivanshi Rajputs used to rule this area.
• Due to this 36 forts were named after him.
• The basin is mainly made up of limestone what is arranged in bed form.
• 250 m in the east to 330 m in the west is the general height of this plain.


There is one more type of plateau found in Indian territory, but this can not be included in peninsular plateau due to its relief features. The type is ‘The Northeastern Plateau‘. The Northeastern Plateau is to be discussed also for a more comprehensive guide for all types of plateaus India.

The Northeastern Plateau

• The Garo-Rajmahal gap distinguish Meghalaya (or Shillong) plateau from the peninsular rock base.
• The highest peak of this area is Shillong which is at 1961 m.
• The region is composed of Garo, Khasi, and Mikir (Rengma), Jaintia hills.
• Karbi Anglong hills of Assam contains the growth outs of the Meghalaya plateau.
• This plateau has a very rich deposition of minerals such as coal, iron ore, sillimanite, limestone, and uranium.
• Meghalaya plateau gets a huge amount of rainfall from the south-west monsoon. Due to high rainfall in this region, this region is very erosion-prone area. The place where there is no permanent vegetation cover is Cherrapunji. This area has just a rock surface.

Meghalaya Plateau

• The mainland of this plateau is separated by Garo-Rajmahal Gap.
• Dawn-faulting resulted in the formation of this gap in which a mass of earth slides downwards.
• The Ganga and Brahmaputra pushed its sediments in this gap.
• Bangladesh border forms the west side boundary which collides with the wall of the plateau.
• The western part of the plateau is called Garo Hills (900 m).
• The central side of the plateau is termed as Khasi-Jaintia Hills (1,500 m)
• The east side of the plateau is called Mikir Hills (700 m).
• The highest point of this plateau is called Shillong (1,961 m).


Hill Ranges of the Peninsular Plateau

Aravali Range

• They are aligned in the north-east to south-west direction.
• The Aravali hills start from the north and move towards the east and they are in the south to west direction.
• From Delhi to Palanpur in Gujarat, they cover a distance of about 800km.
• The Aravali Range is among the 1st fold mountains that have been originated in India.
• During the time of Archaean Era w, these ranges were the home of some of the largest glaciers and some glaciers were even beating the height of current Himalayas.
• This range is one of the earliest mountains that are formed through the folding process.
• These hills go till Haridwar and it has rich cultivation there due to Ganga plains.
• The height of these hills is around 400-600m and some peaks reach up to a height of 1000m.
• The valley of the Banas is distinguished from Mt. Abu which is the highest peak of Mt. Abu region.
• The road and railway system is well developed in regions like Pipli Ghat, Dewair, and Desuri.
• Lakshadweep Archipelago reaches the branches of Aravalis and Andhra Pradesh and Karnatak also receive the branch of Karnataka.

Vindhyan Range

• The Vindhyan Range contains the Narmada valley and contains slopes of different heights.
• This hill range aligns with Narmada Valley and runs from east to west. The range starts from Jobat in Gujarat and moves towards Sasaram in Bihar.
• The total length of this range is 1200km.
• Vindhyan Range has a general height of 300 to 650 m.
• The Vidhayan Range is composed of sedimentary rocks that have been lying in the form of bedding.
• The hills are known as Bharner and Kaimur hills on the east-side.
• Between the Ganga system, this range works as a watershed and river system of South India.
• Chambal, Betwa and Ken rivers are located within the range of 30km of Narmada.

Satpura Range

• Satpura Range is a collection of seven mountains.
• The direction of this hill is from the east-west direction. This range is parallel to Narmada and the Tapi. The southern part of this range articulates with Vindhyas range.
• The length of this range is around 900 km.
• Some parts of the Satpuras range is folded. These folded regions are known as ‘horst’.
• Panchmarhi on Mahadev Hills has the highest peak which is known as Dhupgarh which is around 1,350 m.
• Another prominent peak includes Amarkantak (1,127 m).

Western Ghats (or The Sahyadris)

• The western edge of the Deccan plateau results in the formation of Western Ghats.
• The western ghats start from Tapi valley and go up to Kanniyakumari. The total distance of this region is 1,600 km.
• The western ghats articulate with the Arabian Sea coast and have tabletop flat hills.
• The hills are in stepped form.
• ‘landing stair aspect’ resulted in the form of lavas and weathering which helped in relieving mountain chains.
• When the plateaus are viewed through Deccan tableland they don’t resemble mountains.
• The landscape is very different in regions like Malabar, the Nilgiris, Anamalai, etc.
Eastern Ghats
The east coast of India Articulated with the Eastern Ghats and is parallel to this range. The broad plain lies between base and coast.
The hills are in very irregular form and start from Mahanadi in Odisha and go till Vagai in Tamil Nadu.
The general height of the peaks in this region is 900-1200 m.
Mahendra Giri is the tallest peak in the region and has an approximate height of 1,501 m.
The Madugula Konda range has a maximum elevation of 1,100 m and 1,400 m and many peaks are has crossed the elevation of 1.600.



  • Black soil is one of the most prominent features of the peninsular plateau.
  • Due to the presence of black soil, the peninsular plateau is also called DeceanTrap.
  • The peninsular plateau has igneous rocks that are due to its volcanic origin.
  • Degradation of rocks during the past period resulted in the making of black soil.
  • Aravalis are the most eroded hills and are termed as broken hills. Aravalis has set the northern boundary of the Peninsular Plateau in India.
  • Peninsular Plateau is composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • Peninsular Plateau has broad and shallow valleys and rounded hills in various places.
  • Non-availability of irrigation water is also a major concern of Patland Plateaus.
  • Patland plateau receives a shortage of rainfall and the rainfall is erratic.
  • The Central Highlands of Peninsular Plateau in India is wider in the West but narrower in the East.
  • The Deccan Plateau of Peninsular Plateau in India is higher in the West and slopes gently eastwards.


  • Peninsular Plateau is rich in mineral resources: The peninsular area in India is a rich source of metallic and non-metallic minerals. About 98% of the Gondwana coal deposits of India are found in the peninsular region.
  • Peninsular Plateau cultivation is mainly based on the Black soil found in a substantial part of the plateau. The area is famous for the cultivation of cotton, maize, citrus fruits etc. Some areas are also suitable for the cultivation of tea, coffee, groundnut etc.
  • Forest Products like herbs, timber, forestry, firewood, foliage wood in the forests of Western and Eastern Ghats are very useful for the local livestock.
  • Medicinal plants of Western and Eastern Ghats are undoubtedly the best source and raw materials of many life-saving medicines.
  • Hydroelectric Power Hub: Peninsular Plateau contains many rivers with waterfalls mainly in hilly regions. The waterfalls are used in the generation of hydroelectric power.
  • The tourism industry contributes a positive boost to the local economy and featured with numerous hill stations and hill resorts like Ooty, Mahabaleshwar, Khandala, etc. which creates many job opportunities for the local people in the concerned areas.

The article will be useful in solving doubts regarding the difference between the Peninsular Plateau and Patland Plateau meaning. A pictorial representation would be easier for understanding the difference. This is the explanation, you will find in the article of Peninsular Plateau: Types, Features: What is Patland Plateau?.  If you have any confusion over the Peninsular Plateau or Patland Plateau, feel free to comment below.

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