Maharashtra Topography


The topography of Maharashtra is quite level and nothing unusual to offer. The altitude increases in the regions around Mumbai and in the eastern region.

The most interesting part of the topography is the presence of the Western Ghats and the Deccan Plateau.

The topography of the plateau owes its origin to the cooling down of the lava during the periods of volcanic activity. All of them, however, vary in texture and make - up.

The Physical Features of Maharashtra:

The Western Ghats: The Western Ghats form the most dominating structure in Maharashtra It is also known as the Sahyadri Range in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and the Malabar region. The Sahyadri range forms the backbone of the state. The altitudes of the ranges are higher in the northern parts of the state, namely, Mahabaleshwar (1438 m). Desh is the name that has been given to the foothill regions of the Western Ghats. It is a very important part of the physiology of the state because it blocks the monsoon bearing winds and causes rainfall in the eastern part. The ranges form the most important drainage basin for the river systems of western and central India.

The Deccan Plateau: it covers most of the peninsular part of India, being bordered by the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats in the west and the east respectively. The major cities of Maharashtra which fall in the Deccan region are, Pune, Nagpur and Solapur. The rocks of this region are mainly basalt and granite. Most of the northern part of the Deccan is covered by Maharashtra. Formed by the volcanic activities the rocks are of igneous types. The altitude of the plateau may vary from 450 - 750 m.

The Hills: the main hills and ranges of the region include Satpura range and the Tamhini, Varandha and the Sawantwadi Ghats, which are the divisions of the Western Ghats. The Satpura Ranges originate in the eastern part of Gujarat and pass through the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Even though the range was formerly covered with heavy forests, these have been cleared for inhabitation. The Satpuda Range and the Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges form a chain of mountain ranges in the eastern part of the state.

The Coastal Belts: the Konkan coastal region stretches from the states of Gujarat to Kerala. It lies to the west of the Western Ghats. The Konkan is situated between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri range and is mainly a lowland area. The region is very unruly, steep at some places and at some places a valley region. The maximum altitude of the region is mostly below 200 m.

The River Valleys: the main rivers of the state and their tributaries have dissected the plateaus. The rivers Krishna, Bhima, Godavari, Tapi - Purna and the Wardha - Wainganga have formed important features on the surface of the land. The river basins in the western part are the Konkan Rivers basin, the Tapi River Basin and the Narmada River Basin. Those that are on the eastern side are the Krishna and the Godavari river basins.


Last Updated on : 21 May 2013