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Types of Soil in India-Alluvial Soil and Black Soil


Types of Soil in India


The main categories of soils in India are: (i) Alluvial soils (ii) Black soils (iii) Red soils (iv) Laterite soils (v) Mountain and hill soils (vi) Terai soils (vii) Desert (or Arid) soil and (viii) Peat soils.

Alluvial soil and Black soil
Alluvial soil is that soil which is formed by deposition of silts brought down by the rivers. It is rich in hydrated oxides of iron and is very fertile. Black soil or the black cotton soil has a good water-holding capacity and is best suited for deep-rooted crops like cotton. The black soil in wet condition is compact and sticky.

The most extensive soil cover of India comprises alluvial soils.

Soil Erosion: The soils are usually six to twelve inches in depth. In course of time, the fertility level of the soil is depleted with the result that the soil no longer remains suitable for agriculture. Soil conservation is, therefore, necessary for continued agricultural

prosperity.

The agencies of erosion are winds, water and waves of which the water erosion is most common. Rain water removes soil from the surface of sloping lands. Winds remove top soil of lands.

Laterite soils are formed by the weathering of laterite rocks. These can be distinguished from other soils by their acidity. Laterite soils are generally poor on the higher levels and cannot retain moisture. In the plains, however, they consist of heavy loams and clay and can retain moisture.

Laterite soils occur in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and along the Eastern and Western Ghats. Tea plantation requires acidity which is there in the laterite soil. It is, therefore, common in these areas.

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Monsoons in India




Monsoons are periodic winds which blow from sea to land for six months in summer and from land to sea for six months in winter. Monsoon winds prevail over India at different seasons.

South-West Monsoons: These are rain-bearing winds which prevail from about the end of May to the end of September. During summer, the sun’s rays fall vertically on the Tropic of Cancer making the Indian plains intensely hot. But the rays of the sun fall obliquely over the Indian Ocean during this period. The land is hotter than the sea, there is, therefore, low pressure over the land and high pressure over the sea. The winds blow from high to low pressure i.e., from the sea to the land, and are therefore wet winds. Because of the rotation of the earth, the monsoon winds blowing over India deflect to the right after crossing the Equator and become south-west winds. These are, therefore, called south-west monsoons.
India depends largely on these rain-bearing south-west winds. These winds give to India about 90% of the total rainfall. During their prevalence, the chief crops cultivated are rice, cotton, tobacco, tea, jawar and bajra.

North-East Monsoons (or Winter Monsoons): During the months of November to January i.e., in winter, the sun’s rays fall vertically on the Tropic of Capricorn. The air over the Indian Ocean during this period thus becomes hot and light and there is low pressure. The sun’s rays fall obliquely on the plains of India during these months with the result that the air over these plains is cold and heavy and there is high pressure. The winds, therefore, blow from plains to the Indian Ocean. While crossing the Equator, they deflect to the left and are known as north-east monsoons.

The North-East Monsoons bring only about 10% of the total rain to India as they are chilly and dry land winds. But the moisture that they pick from the Bay of Bengal, little as it is, is very useful. Wheat, barley, oats, oilseeds and sugarcane are cultivated during this season.

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Chief Crops and Producing States in India


Bajra (millets): Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Barley: U.P., Bihar, Haryana. Its cultivation requires cool climate.
Cardamom: Karnataka. India is the largest producer of cardamom in the world.
Cashewnut: Kerala.
Cinchona: Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri Hills); West Bengal (Darjeeling).
Coconut: Kerala is the leading producer of coconut in India. A coconut tree normally yield 60-70 nuts in a year.
Coffee: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri Hills) and Kerala. It is a tropical shrub.
Cotton: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Cotton Seeds: Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Gram and Pulses: U.P., Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Groundnut: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
Hemp: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and U.P.
Jute: Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
Linseed: Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, U.P.,  Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Maize: U.P., Bihar and the Punjab.
Mustard and Rape-seed (Sarson): U.P., West Bengal, Punjab, Bihar and Orissa.
Poppy (opium plant): U.P., Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
Rice: Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Orissa. Rice is sown on the largest acreage in India.
Rubber: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.
Saffron: Jammu and Kashmir. It is obtained from the stigma of the saffron plant.
Silk: Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal and Assam.
Spices: Pepper in Kerala and West Bengal; Chillies in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra; Cardamom in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Betelnuts in West Bengal and South India.
Sugarcane: U.P., Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Tea: Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri Hills), Uttarkhand (Dehradun)  and Himachal Pradesh (Kangra Hills).
Tobacco: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, U.P., West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Wheat: U.P., Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. To some extent in Bihar, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. It is sown in October-November and reaped in April.

Kharif and Rabi Crops
Kharif Crops: are crops raised in autumn as a result of sowing done in June-July. These are cotton, rice, maize and millets.
Rabi Crops: are winter crops sown in October and November and reaped in April. These are wheat, gram, linseed and mustard.

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Worlds Highest Mountain Peaks

Worlds Highest Mountain Peaks


Country, Peaks,  Height in metre

Asia
Everest (Himalaya-Nepal/Tibet)
8,848

Asia
Godwin Austen (Karakoram-India)
8,611

Asia
Kanchenjunga (Himalaya India / Nepal)
8,598

Asia
Lhotse (Himalaya-Nepal-China)
8,501

Asia
Makalu (Himalaya-Nepal)
8,470

Asia
Dhaulagiri (Himalaya-Nepal)
8,172

Asia
Nanga Parvat (Himalaya-Nepal)
8,126

Asia
Gasherbrum (Karakoram-Tibet)
8,068

Asia
Gosainthan (Himalaya-Tibet)
8,013

Asia
Nanda Devi (Himalaya-India)
7,817

South America
Aconcagua (Andes-Argentina)
6,960

North America
McKinley (Alaska-USA)
6,194

Africa
Kilimanjaro (Solitary-Tanzania)
5,888

Europe
Elborus (Caucasus-CIS)
5,633

Europe
Mont Blanc (Alp-France)
4,810

Antartica
Vinson Massif
5,139

Oceania
Caestensz (Nassau Range-New Guinea)
5,000


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