The Punjab Plain


The Punjab Plain is a plain made up of alluvium in the northwestern part of India. The plain covers the states of Haryana and Punjab and encompasses an area of approximately 35,000 square miles (91,000 km2).

The Punjab plain is mostly cultivated for cotton and cereals.

The plain is the western portion of the Northern Plain in the territory of Pakistan, created by the Indus River and its tributaries.

The Punjab Plain: An Overview



The Punjab Plain is a big alluvial plain in northwest India. The area covered is approximately 35,000 square miles or 91,000 km2. The plain comprises the states of Haryana, Punjab, and some parts of Delhi, not including the Shahdara Area. The plain is bordered by the Siwalik (Shiwalik) Mountain Range in the north, the desert area of Rajasthan to the south, the Yamuna River to the east and the Sutlej and Ravi Rivers to the southwest and northwest, respectively.

The geographical age of the plain is Paleogene and Neogene (to be precise, between approximately 65 and 2.6 million years ago)—apart from the distant south.

Geographical features of Punjab Plain



Majority of areas in Punjab are located in a productive, alluvial basin with several streams and an all-inclusive drainage channel system. The southwestern portion of the state is semi-dry, ultimately joining with the Thar Desert. The Siwalik Mountains stretch beside the northeast portion of the state at the base of the Himalayan Mountain Ranges.

The soil features are determined to some degree by the geography, foliage, and parent rock. The diversity in soil contours and features are much more evident due to the local weather deviations. Punjab is split into three separate areas based on categories of soil; southwest, central, and east.

Punjab comes under seismic zones II, III, and IV. Zones II and III are denoted as Low Damage Risk Zone and at the same time, zone IV is denoted as high damage risk zone.

Weather and Temperature in Punjab Plain



In the Punjab plains, the temperature varies from –2 to 40°C (minimum/maximum). However, it can attain –5°C in winter and 47°C (117°F) in summer. With respect to climate, there are three main seasons in Punjab and they are as follows:

  • Rainy season (July to September). Mean yearly precipitation varies between 960 mm in sub-mountainous areas and 460 mm in the plains.
  • Warm climate (April to June) when temperature increases to as high as 110°F.
  • Cold climate (October to March). Temperature drops to as low as 40°F.

Wildlife and vegetation



The Siwalik region in Punjab features a wide variety of flora and fauna. Among the Angiosperms, approximately 70 species of trees, 355 species of herbaceous plants, 19 species of trailing plants, 70 species of bushes or low bushes, and 21 species of twiners have been documented from the region.

Other than angiosperms, 27 species of bryophytes, 31 species of Pteridophytes, and one type of gymnosperms (Pinus roxburghii) have also been documented. The region is also affluent in faunal variety, which includes 214 species of Lepidoptera, 396 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles, 55 species of fish, and 19 species of mammals.

Fruit plants grown in the area include:
  • Pomegranate
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Apple
  • Mulberry
  • Fig
  • Apricot
  • Quince
  • Plum
  • Almond

There are a slew of marshlands, zoological parks, and bird sanctuaries throughout Punjab. These include the Kanjli Wetland, Hari-ke-pattan National Wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary at Firozpur, the Ropar Zoological Park, the Kapurtala Sutlej Water Body Wetland, Chhatbir, Bansar Garden, Sangrur, the Ram Bagh Garden, the Shalimar Garden, Kapurthala, the Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind, and the Baradari Garden at Patiala. Common varieties of wildlife found in the Punjab plains include the following:

  • Alligators
  • Horses
  • Camels
  • Buffaloes
  • Venomous snakes like cobra and sangehur
  • Hog deer
  • Smooth-coated otter
  • Flying fox
  • Wild boar
  • Squirrel
  • Wildcat
  • Mongoose
  • Fruitbat
  • Panther

The state animal of Punjab is the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), state bird is the Baz (Eastern Goshawk) (Melierax poliopterus), and the state tree is the Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo).

Demographics and language of Punjab Plain



The population of the Punjab plain comprises mostly Sikh (66%) and Hindu (31%) citizens. There are also some Muslims living in the plain. A large number of people have relocated from states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Orissa, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Bihar. There are also Christians, Buddhists, and Jains in Punjab and Haryana. Languages spoken in Punjab include the Punjabi language, which is written in the Gurmukhi script. The chief vernaculars of Punjabi spoken in the state are Malwi, Majhi, Doabi, and Pwadhi. The main language spoken in Haryana is Haryanvi. Other languages spoken in Punjab and Haryana are Hindi, English, Bihari, and Urdu (principally in Malerkotla) languages.

The principal races living in Haryana are of Jat people and Yaduvanshi Ahirs. Other ethnic clans include the Gujjars, Kambojs, Rors, Agarwals, Rajputs, Brahmins, Khateeks, Hindu Rayeen, Meena, Pasi, Dalit, Meo, Punjabis, Shorgir, and Sainis.

Last Updated on 02 February 2011