Give an account of the distribution of different types of soils found in India. (15 marks)

Give an account of the distribution of different types of soils found in India. (15 marks)


  • Introduce with some information on formation of soil
  • Mentioning the factors of classification, enumerate various types of soils and give brief description and distribution of each
  • A map of the distribution of soils is a must
  • Conclude appropriately – say talking of the importance of protecting from degradation
Model Answer :

The major factors affecting the formation of soil are relief, parent material, climate, vegetation and other life-forms and time. India has varied relief features, landforms, climatic realms and vegetation types contributing to the development of various types of soil.

On the basis of genesis, colour, composition and location, the soils of India have been classified into various types:

  • Alluvial Soils- These are the depositional soils transported by rivers and streams. They are the predominant type of soil in the northern plains of the country, widespread in the Ganga plains and the river valleys as well as in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. In the Peninsular region, they are found in deltas of the east coast such as Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna.
  • Black Soils- These soils are also known as the ‘Regur Soil’ or the ‘Black Cotton Soil’.  This soil is of volcanic origin. Most of the Deccan plateau, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Tamil Nadu, has black soil.
  • Red and Yellow Soils- On the eastern and southern parts of the Deccan Plateau, the Red soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks. These soils are abundant along the eastern slopes of Western Ghats, Telangana, Jharkhand, Odisha,  Chhattisgarh and in the southern parts of the middle Ganga plain.


  • Laterite Soils- The Laterite soils develop in areas with high temperature and high rainfall and are common in the high altitude areas of Peninsular plateau. Laterite soil and is mainly found on the summits of the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Rajmahal Hills, Vindhyas, Satpuras and Malwa plateau, thus abundant in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and the hilly areas of Odisha and Assam.
  • Arid Soils- Arid soil, which is sandy and saline, is abundant in arid regions of western Rajasthan.
  • Saline Soils- Saline soils or Usara soils are infertile and have more salts, largely because of dry climate and poor drainage. They occur in arid and semi-arid regions, and in waterlogged and swampy areas. Saline soils are more widespread in western Gujarat, deltas of the eastern coast and in Sunderban areas of West Bengal.
  • Peaty Soils-Peaty soils are found in the areas of heavy rainfall and high humidity, where there is a good growth of vegetation. These soils occur widely in the northern part of Bihar, southern part of Uttaranchal and the coastal areas of West Bengal, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.
  • Forest Soils- Forest soils are formed in the forest areas where sufficient rainfall is available. The soils vary in structure and texture depending on the mountain environment where they are formed.

Soils, their texture, quality and nature are vital for the germination and growth of plant and vegetation including crops. That is why soil is a precious resource and must be preserved from degradation for the sustainability of the planet.


Subjects : Geography