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Hills of Central India : Aravalli hills, Vindhyan range & Satpura range

N.K. Chauhan in Geography of India
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Sep 04, 2021 , Updated: Jun 08, 2022 · 4 min read

Aravalli hills

Aravalli hills originate in Gujarat (at Palanpur) and extend till Haryana, they terminate in the Delhi ridge.

They are the oldest (~ 570 million years) mountain range in India and arguably oldest fold-mountain in the world.

Aravalli hills run for a distance of about 800 km in north-eastern direction across the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.

They are highly eroded and broken hills and unlike other fold mountains, Aravallis have an average elevation in the range of 400-600m only.

This is because throughout their geological history they were subjected to the processes of weathering and erosion.

Only a few peaks reach an elevation of above 1000 m - Mt. Gurushikhar (1722m, the highest point of Aravallis), Mt.Abu (1158m, it's part of a plateau).

Geologically, they are mainly made up of Dharwar igneous and metamorphic rocks.

They contain the largest marble deposits in India.

Rivers Banas, Luni, Sabarmati are born in Aravallis - Banas is a tributary of Chambal, "Luni" is an ephemeral river that terminates in the Rann of Kutch.

They contain several passes that cut through them, especially between Udaipur and Ajmer like Piplighat, Dewair, Desuri, etc.

Aravalli is an example of residual mountains. A residual mountain or mountains of denudation is a type of landform that gets made over the years following the erosion of already elevated lands.

Vindhyan range

These are non-tectonic mountains, they were formed not because of plate collision but because of the downward faulting of the Narmada Rift Valley (NRV) to their south.

Vindhyan range extend for 1200 km from Bharuch in Gujarat to Sasaram in Bihar, and their average height is in the range of 300-650m.

These are younger than Aravallis and Satpura hills and are made up of older Proterozoic rocks.

They are cut across by Kimberlite piles (diamond deposits).

The Vindhyas are continued eastwards as the Bharner and Kaimur hills.

Satpura range

Satpura range is a combination of Satpura, Mahadeo, and Maikala hills, mostly situated in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Satpura hills are tectonic mountains, formed as a result of folding and structural uplift, and run for a distance of about 900km - they are a Horst landform.

Pachmarhi is the highest point of the Satpura range, Dhupgarh (1350m) is the highest peak of Pachmarhi (Mahadev Hills) and overall Satpura range.

West to East: Satpura - Mahadeo - Maikala - Chota Nagpur Plateau

Amarkantak plateau (1127m) is a part of the Maikala hills - The plateau has the drainage systems of Narmada and Son, hence it has drainage into the Bay of Bengal as well as the Arabian sea.

Satpura range are rich in bauxite, due to the presence of Gondwana rocks.

The Narmada River originates from north-eastern end of Maikala range in Amarkantak, and runs in the depression between the Satpura and Vindhya ranges, draining the northern slope of the Satpura range, running west towards the Arabian Sea.

Tapi river rises from from the Satpura range in the Gawilgarh hills of Madhya Pradesh (MP).

Chota Nagpur Plateau

The Chota Nagpur Plateau is a plateau in eastern India, which covers much of Jharkhand state as well as adjacent parts of Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

The Indo-Gangetic plain lies to the north and east of the plateau, and the basin of the Mahanadi river lies to the south.

The total area of the Chota Nagpur Plateau is approximately 65,000 square kilometres.

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Hill/Range Details
Kaimur Range Eastern portion of the Vindhya Range in MP, UP & Bihar, Parallel to river son
Ajanta Range Maharashtra, south of river Tapi, sheltering caves of world famous paintings of "Gupta period"
Rajmahal Hills In Jharkhand made up of "lava basaltic rocks"
Mikir Hills Kaziranga National Park (Assam)
Abor Hills Hills of Arunachal Pradesh , near the border with China, bordered by Mishmi and Miri Hills drained by Dibang River
Mishmi Hills In Arunachal Pradesh with its northern & eastern parts touching China
Dalma Hills Located in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, famous for Dalma national park & minerals like iron ore & manganese.
Dhanjori Hills Jharkhand
Girnar Hills Gujrat
Harishchandra At Pune, acts as a water divide between Godavari & Krishna, hill made up of lava
Chilpi series Madhya Pradesh
Talcher series Odisha, rich in bituminous coal
Champion series Karnataka, Dharawar period, rich in gold (contains kolar mines)
Parasnath Hill It is located towards the eastern end of the Chota Nagpur Plateau in the Giridih district of Jharkhand.

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