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Introductory Notes: South Asia, Physical Geography
Quick write:
What, if anything, is wrong with this map?
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 South Asia is often referred to as a subcontinent________________________________
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 The subcontinent, South Asia is comprised of six countries.
Country
• _____________
• _____________
• _____________
• _____________
• _____________
• _____________
• _____________

Land Area (in square miles)
 297,637
 52,818
 18,147
 24,996
 51,703
 1,147,949
 268,601

Predict and place: use the symbol for mountains to denote where you think the Himalayas may
be. Place the country names on the map according to land size.
X

                                                         X
                                                         

1

 The region was formed when the ___________________________________.
 This collision formed the Himalaya__________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________.

Big shift: Terra Petitus Caelum 

According to the map, which is the most common use for the land in the region?
Write a complete sentence: ____________________________________________________
Seeing a BIG picture

SOUTHERN PLATEAUS:

2

What could be the result of the Ghats
Mountain ranges on the climate of the
Deccan Plateau?

The collision of tectonic plates that pushed 
up the Himalayas also created several 
smaller mountain ranges in central India, 
including the Vindhya
(VIHN•dyuh) Range. To the south lies the 
Deccan Plateau. This large tableland tilts 
east, toward the Bay of Bengal, and
covers much of southern India. Two 
mountain ranges, the Western Ghats and 
the Eastern Ghats, flank the plateau, 
separating it from the coast. These 
mountains also block most moist winds and 
keep rain from reaching the interior. Rivers, 
Deltas, and Plains The Northern Indian 
Plain lies between the Deccan Plateau and 
the northern mountain ranges. This large 
lowland region stretches across northern 
India and into Bangladesh. It is formed by 
three great river systems: the Indus, the 
Ganges, and the Brahmaputra.

3

Rivers, Deltas, and Plains
The Northern Indian Plain, or Indo­Gangetic 
Plain, lies between the Deccan Plateau and the 
northern mountain ranges. This large lowland 
region stretches across northern India and into 
Bangladesh. It is formed by three great river
systems: the Indus, the Ganges, and the 
Brahmaputra.
GREAT RIVERS The three great rivers of 
South Asia have their origins among the 
snowcapped peaks of the high Himalayas. The 
Indus flows west and then south through 
Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. The Ganges 
drops down from the central Himalayas and 
flows eastward across northern India. The 
Brahmaputra winds its way east, then west and 
south through Bangladesh. The Ganges and 
Brahmaputra eventually meet to form one huge 
river delta before entering the Bay of Bengal.
FERTILE PLAINS These rivers play a key role 
in supporting life in South Asia. Their waters 
provide crucial irrigation for agricultural lands. 
They also carry rich soil, called alluvial soil, on 
their journey down from the mountains. When 
the rivers overflow their banks, they deposit this 
soil on alluvial plains, lands that are rich 
farmlands. As a result, the Indo­Gangetic Plain 
is one of the most fertile farming regions in the 
world.

(Map is skewed to show rivers)

* What region of the subcontinent would the Indo­
Gangetic plain be located? Explain your answer  
with evidence from the text. 
_______________________________
_______________________________
_______________________________
_______________________________
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4

5

The Indo­Gangetic Plain is also the most 
heavily populated part of South Asia. In 
fact, the area contains about three­fifths 
of India’s population. Many of the 
subcontinent’s largest cities are located 
there.
 To the west, in the area between the 
Indus and Ganges rivers, the plain 
becomes drier and requires more 
irrigation. To the south lies one of the 
world’s most arid regions—the Thar, or 
Great Indian Desert.

What city is, perhaps, the
most heavily populated?

*Where might the Thar desert be located  
and why? Also, what population trends may  
support this thinking?  Use an excerpt from  
the text to support your reasoning.
________________________________
________________________________
________________________________

_____________________________
_

Organizing for effort: cite the text to
Climate

Location

Population

(specific or general)

( relative or absolute)

(aaprox. or exact)

Countries

Thar Desert
Himalayas
Indo-Gangetic
Plain
Ghats mountains

6

Considering the text and the maps, write a two paragraph summary of the South Asian
Subcontinent. Use the graphic organizer you completed to help organize your information.
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7

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8

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