Physical Features


Land Forms

Earth is a collaboration of the various physical features found on its surface. Landforms are the geographical features of earth that manipulate and control the ecosystem, climate, weather and above all they affect the life on the earth. Forces of nature like wind, water, ice and the movement of the tectonic plates of the earth, have all contributed in the formation of these landforms. Some of these landforms are created within few hours while others take years to form and appear. It is essential for these landforms to move and grow in a systematic order under full control and supervision of the natural forces. Any deviation in the normal movement or existence of these landforms can cause immense destruction to life and property..

Forest Types

Forest Types

According to the India State Forest Report, 2009 of FSI, the actual forest area occupied in HP is 14668 km² that accounts to about 26.35% of its area. The forest cover of Himachal Pradesh constitutes to nearly 0.44% of the total forest cover of India.1 When forests are classified into different types, the key factors taken into consideration are climate, soil type, topography, and elevation. As a result, the forest types vary from region to region. Thus out of the various types of forests that are present in India, our study area has the following forest types:

1 Dry alpine forests

2 Moist alpine forests

3 Sub-alpine forests

4 Himalayan moist temperate forests

5 Sub-tropical pine forests

6 Sub-tropical broad leaved hill forests

Agro Ecological Zone

Agro Ecological Zones

India is gifted with heterogeneous landforms. It has a variety of climatic conditions like the lofty mountains,raverine deltas, high altitude forests and peninsular plateaus. Besides it is also endowed with temperatures varying from arctic cold to equatorial hot, and rainfall from extreme aridity with only a few cms (<10 cm) to perhumid with world’s maximum rainfall (1120 cm) of several hundred cms. These factors have led to formation of varied landforms like high plateau, open valleys, rolling upland, plains, swampy low lands and barren deserts. Such varying environmental situations in the country have resulted in a greater variety of soils. Therefore, the systematic appraisal of agroecological regions has tremendous scope in grouping relatively homogenous regions in terms of soil, climate and physiography and conducive moisture availability periods (length of growing season).

Soil Types and RainFall

Soil Types and Rainfall

Soil is one of the most important natural resource. It is indispensable for the existence of plants and animals. Most soil forming material is derived from the disintegration of rocks by a process known as weathering. This process involves a combination of mechanical agents such as expansion and contraction, and chemical reactions such as solution. Besides various biological processes which are driven by microbes and plants play an important role in soil formation. Soils of India are classified based on their colour, structure and place where they are found. Himachal Pradesh is present in the mountainous region and it is well drained by a wide range of seasonal and perennial rivers. These rivers carry a lot of silt and deposit the alluvium on the banks. As a result, the soil types vary in Himachal Pradesh.