Physiographic features of Rajasthan

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State of Rajasthan is located in the north-western part of the subcontinent. Pakistan lies on its west and northwest, while it is bounded by the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh on the north and northeast. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh form the east and southeast boundary and Gujarat lies on the southwest side.

The Aravalli range of hills and mountains, from where most rivers originate, divides the state into two major parts, southeast and northwest. The Range does not intercept the moisture-giving southwest monsoon winds off the Arabian Sea, as it lies in a direction parallel to that of the coming monsoon winds, leaving the northwestern region in a rain shadow.

This makes western Rajasthan relatively dry and infertile; this area includes some of the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert. In the south-western part of the state, the land is wetter, hilly, and more fertile.

Around two third of the northwest is covered by sand dunes while the floodplains of Mahi, Banas and Chambal river systems form the southeastern part.

Around 67 per cent of the state‘s area is affected due to desertification / and land degradation where the wind erosion (44.2%) is the maximum contributor followed by water (11.2%), vegetal degradation (6.25%) and salinization (1.07%) (ISRO, 2007).

The Northwestern thorn scrub forests lie in a band around the Thar Desert, between the desert and the Aravallis. These expand from Western India – Pakistan boundary and steadily combine with the parched deciduous forests of Aravalli hills as well as the South East plateau. These forests are found in the districts of Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Churu, Bikaner and Nagaur.

The Aravalli Range and the lands to the east and southeast of the range are home to the Kathiarbar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion, with tropical dry broadleaf forests that include teak, Acacia, and other trees. Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts, are enclosed with this kind of forests. Intermittent expansion of definite species of parched deciduous forests is found beside the arid river beds of Nagaur, Jalore, Bikaner and Ganganagar districts. The Central Indian sub – tropical hill forests are found in Sirohi, Rajasthan, frequently on the hills near Mount Abu. These forests have some evergreen and partially evergreen species of trees. Mixed Miscellaneous forests are also found in the South-Eastern and Eastern region of Rajasthan including Kota, Chittorgarh, Sirohi, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara, Jhalawar and Baran districts.

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