Geography

Haryana may be divided into five natural topographic divisions which provide a suitable framework upon which a systematic study of landform environment may be founded. These are :

  • The Bagar and the undulating sandy plains-the sand dunes and the tals(230-350 metres
  • The Alluvial Plain or the Ghaggar-Yamuna Plain comprising Bangar, Khadar, Naili and Bet (below 300 metres).
  • The Aravali outliers (300-600metres)
  • The Shiwaliks-The hills (over 400 metres), and
  • The Foot Hill Zone-The piedmont plain (300-400 metres).

The Bagar and the undulating sandy plain

Sand dunes of various shapes and sizes form a thirsty land, covered by stoppe vegetation in the south-western parts of Haryana. The Bagar lies in parts of Sirsa, Hisar and Bhiwani districts. Of significance is the great amount of wind blown sand, piled-up several metre high above the local flats, and stretched for several kilometres in length. This forms a continuous strip of significant concentration of sand dunes adjacent to the thar desert on about 11 per cent of the total area of the State. Sand dunes, found on a massive scale in this belt, extend from the south-east of Sirsa district along the Rajasthan border with Hisar district and the sand dune belt widens gradually through the Bhiwani district. The region resembles practically treeless undulating arid desert, and is locally known as Bagar. Sand dunes of varying magnitude are the main features of the south-west. At places, the local relief is as high as 15 metres but generally the dunes are mobile, while most are stationary. Their axes may be parallel to the wind direction. Generally, longitudinal dunes are common. The region is not altogether, as the name implies, a desolate treeless waste, but it does support a thin scruby vegetation in tals. Further, the monotony of sand heaps is broken by the rocky projections, such as in Bhiwani district. The region gradually rises in elevation towards the southeastern part terminating in Sohana Plateau of Aravalli ranges. The mobile sand dunes seriously threaten to impair the prosperity of fertile alluvial plains lying to their north and north-east. As a result of meagre rainfall and its highly unreliable character, the climatic conditions of the Bagar and the undulating sandy plains are arid. Most of the arid region possesses a very scanty vegetation partly due to cultivation and grazing practices, and primarily due to the prevailing desert conditions. The soil moisture deficit is very acute and it persists throughout the year. 

The Alluvial Plain

The alluvial plain of Haryana as usual has the alluvial richness. It is one of the socioeconomic hinterlands of India, ontributing a major and significant share to the foodgrain reserve of the nation. Besides, it occupies an important position in the sub-continent as it forms the water divide between the two mighty river systems of the Ganga and the Indus flowing into the Bay of Bangal and the Arabian sea respectively. It comprises vast riverine plains of the older and the newer alluvium and, therefore, the lithological diversity in alluvial monotony has a strong bearing upon the distributional pattern of land use, cropping pattern and agricultural productivity. The Ghaggar and Markanda streams and Yamuna river have left their imprint on the local relief of the alluvial plain. The region is considerably vast , more fertile and populous. Indeed, the 300 metres significant contour represents a more meaningful boundary between the plain and the upland. The plain imperceptibly slopes from north-east to south and south-west, the gradients to which follow the lines of natural drainage. The plain is remarkably flat in the districts of Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Jind, Sonipat and the north-eastern part of Hisar. Within the alluvial plain are the narrow low lying flood plains, known as Khadar of Yamuna, Nali of Ghaggar, and Bet of Markanda. Besides, the flat of the saucer in Sonipat and northern parts of Rohtak districts forms a part of the said plain. At places, there are occasional local undulations forming old rolling alluvial plains which include the Rohi of Dabwali and Sirsa tahsils (Sirsa district). The Rohi has many abandoned beds of old streams, in particular that of the Ghaggar, which provide fertile land suited to agriculture. The Rohi is not completely flat because of the presence of tals and tibbas. The local relief of the tibbas is very insignificant and these have either been under the process of levelling or completely graded on account of the extension of irrigation facilities with Bhakra Canal. The older alluvial plain is covered by the Pleistocene deposits. The old alluvial plain (Bangar) at a varying depths contains carbonate of lime, usually occurring in nodules called Kankar, which are from less than one centimetre to more than 5 centimetres in diameter. In Bangar these Kankar formations occur much below the root-zone of the soil and such parts of the land are known as Nardak. In the upper reaches of the Saraswati stream in Thanesar tahsil of Kurukshetra district, the Kankar seems to occur in the form of a pan close to the root-zone and this tract is termed as Chhachhra. The older alluvium of the Nardak and the Chhachhra has lower level of fertility as compared to the Bangar alluvium on account of the Kankar formations in the former. On the whole, the Bangar region is characterised by patches of saline efflorescence which is the result of the mechanical composition of alluvium, gentle slope of the land and the capillary action during hotdry season. The damage caused by salinity has, however, been considerably minimised by the tubewell and canal irrigation facilities. On the east of the alluvial plain is the flood plain of the Yamuna extending from its existing course to its old high bank. It is narrow in the tahsil of Jagadhri in Yamuna Nagar district, it broadens towards Sonipat after passing through the district of Kurukshetra, Karnal and Panipat and again narrows down in the district of Faridabad. In the north-west of the alluvial plain lie the flood plains of the Ghaggar and the Markanda called Nali and Bet respectively. Gulha Nali, Shahbad Bet, and Sirsa Nali are wide and a larger area is liable to inundation during the floods. The wide flood plains gradually merge into adjacent old plains. On the other hand, the flood plain in Fatehabad tahsil is narrow with a recognizable change into the old plains. Ghaggar Nali is gently sloping, and largely cleared of natural vegetation for cultivation. This area has experienced agricultural revolution of significant magnitude during the fifties resulting from agricultural colonization of the cultivable waste land, where the irrigation facilities provided through the minor irrigation schemes and the Bhakra Canal brought dynamic changes in agrarian economy. Sirsa Nali is wide and shallow. The result is that a far larger area is flooded in the south-east of Sirsa tahsil. In this part sand dunes are common as it lies close to the Marusthali of Rajasthan. These dunes are of shifting nature and crescentric in shape. Their march has been checked with the extension of irrigation facilities. The water table in the Khadar, Nali and Bet regions is fairly high, facilitating irrigation from tubewells. The regions have fertile soils of recent deposits which are replenished every year. The topography of Haryana offers both opportunities and challenges to agricultural pursuits. Topography as such has little effect on agriculture, for the proportion of the land which is too steep or too rocky & to cultivate is considerably small. Paradoxically, in the saucer and the bowl which are often the marginal lands in the plains of Haryana, the surface drainage is rather poor. Actually, Haryana, is blessed with extensive level land possessing a wealth of agriculture. The vast alluvial plain forms the heartland binding the hilly region and the sand dune belt together. The combination of level or rolling land and favourable temperature conditions is the most promising aspect of the State. In its extensive areas lie the future prospects for the development of irrigation, agriculture and dry farming. Topographically large areas of level to nearly-level land are suited to cultivation and extensive use of farm machinery, provided the fields can be adequately supplied with irrigation water.

For more information, visit GAZETTEERS OF HARYANA at website- http://revenueharyana.gov.in