The Geography of Freedom: India’s Amazing Natural Habitats

The seventh largest country in the world is also a world of many a geographical marvel. From the Himalayan heights to the Kerala coast, India is geographically diverse to her gills. This Independence Day, we celebrate the natural beauty of the land that was returned to its people on this day, and map out how we’re helping people discover it through our Tours.

 

Northwestern Landscape

If the Thar Desert is the only thing that comes to mind when you think of India’s arid regions, you will be surprised to know that there’s much more. Beginning from the deserts of Rajasthan, northwestern India is also home to the dry deciduous jungles of Ranthambhore, Sariska and Gir, grasslands like Tal Chhapar, and vast salt-pan expanses of Kutch.

 

A tiger in the dry deciduous forests of Ranthambhore. © Santosh Saligram

A tiger in the dry deciduous forests of Ranthambhore. © Santosh Saligram

 

While the Thar forms the natural border between India and Pakistan, it is also known for the fauna that inhabits the desert, a characteristic that’s unique to Thar as compared to other deserts across the globe. While animals like Indian gazelle (chinkara) and blackbuck have developed exceptional survival strategies in the region, over 140 species of resident and migratory birds are known to be dwelling in the deserts of Thar.

Discover northwestern India in Ranthambhore, Gir, Kutch and Tal Chhapar.


The Western Ghats

Lush green forests of eternal raintime – that’s the Western Ghats, and it’s home to a wealth of biodiversity. The spectacular spectrum of flora and fauna in the Sahyas will never fail to expand the range of emotions that can be birthed in you.

From elephants and tigers to the tiny little frogs and gorgeous caterpillars and the exotic species of birds, the Western Ghats contains a whole universe in its womb, not to mention the range of flora one can find in the tortuous depths of these rainforests.

 

A forest stream in Coorg. © Santosh Saligram

A forest stream in Coorg. © Santosh Saligram

 

Explore the Western Ghats in Coorg, the NilgirisChikmagaluru, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and more specifically, in Valparai, Amboli, Dandeli, Kabini, Bandipur.

 

Deccan Landscape

Cradled between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats is the safe and stable geographical part of India: the raised triangle in the southern part of India, called the Deccan Plateau. This is where many rivers flow south, and the forests that are relatively dry when compared with those that form the ghats, are still capable of retaining the monsoon showers to form gorgeous gurgling streams that join the rivers that eventually meet the Bay of Bengal.

 

The Tungabhadra River in Hampi. © Rajiv Shyamsundar

The Tungabhadra River in Hampi. © Rajiv Shyamsundar

Discover the Deccan in Hampi and a range of other places on our Custom Tours.

 

Central Indian Landscape

In the heart of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra reside more geographical and wildlife wonders to be explored. The Vindhya mountain range runs across most of this part of India, and the Malwa Plateau is spread across several states.

 

Beautiful sal forest in Kanha. © Santosh Saligram

Beautiful sal forest in Kanha. © Santosh Saligram

Tall sal forests interspersed with handsomely big meadows and lofty crags comes to mind as an enduring symbol of this very pretty part of our country.  Experience Central India in Tadoba, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Panna and Satpura.

 

The Indo-Gangetic Plains

Bound by the mighty Himalayas in the North and the Chota Nagpur Plateau in the south, this plain contains several urban areas, including the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand.

This region is popular for its ancientness, for the Indus (Sindhu) Valley Civilisation that was responsible for the inception of South Asian culture. While the Indus-Ganga Plain or the North Indian River Plain (other names given to the Indo-Gangetic Plain) brims with history that’s of so much human significance, it is also known for natural beauty. It’s where rivers like Yamuna and Brahmaputra flow, among several others.

 

A tiger in the swamps-and-elephant-grass habitat of Kaziranga. © Santosh Saligram

A tiger in the swamps-and-elephant-grass habitat of Kaziranga. © Santosh Saligram

Discover the Indo-Gangetic Plains in Kaziranga.

 

The Himalayas

One of the most significant and spectacular geographical wonders of not just India but of the world: the great Himalayas, home to Mount Everest, which is our planet’s highest peak.

In India, spreading from the paradise-like Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, one of the sub-tropical states in the north-east, it’s no exaggeration to say that the Himalayas have acquired as much of a spiritual significance as a geographical marvel. The Sindhu (Indus), Ganga (Ganges), and the Brahmaputra are some of India’s and also world’s major rivers that take birth in the Himalayas.

 

The high forests of Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh. © Santosh Saligram

The high forests of Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh. © Santosh Saligram

Discover the Himalayas in Ladakh, Pangot-Sattal, Corbett (foothills) and Eaglenest.

 

We wish you a Happy Independence Day, and vow to continue to bring you the best of this great country through memorable travel and photography experiences that can free you throughout the year!

Get started with your discovery of India today!

Categories: Articles, Nature, Travel
Sourabha Rao

Sourabha is a staff writer at Toehold who dexterously gives verbal form to the inexpressible, and with her passion for travel, weaves immersive stories that transcend space and dissolve time.

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