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Indian Geography : Major Types of Soil found in India
                                                                                                    April 23, 2017

Major Types of Soil found in India

In the higher regions of the Himalayas, Glaciated rocky soils are found just below the snow line. Below this boulder clay is found. Further south, Podsol type of soil is found.

The great plain of North India has been built up of alluvium brought down by the great rivers. Here the soil is of two kinds:
  • Old alluvium and
  • New alluvium.
In the northern parts of Punjab, U. P., and Bihar, the soil is old alluvium.

New alluvium is found in those parts where fresh silt is deposited every year. Alluvium soils in India is of three types:
  • Sandy soil,
  • Clayey soil and
  • Loamy soil.
The sandy soil has the highest percentage of large grained sand. As water can easily sink through it, it is not suitable for the cultivation of rice.

Clayey soil is fine grained, impermeable and can retain water. Clayey soil is particularly rich in nutrients. It has a different consistency depending on if it is wet or dry. When wet it is usually sticky and smooth. Under certain circumstances it can be very good for plants given the high density of nutrients that it contains. The deltaic regions have this type of soil. It is good for the cultivation of rice and jute.

Loam is the gardener’s dream soil and one of the most sought after soil types for anyone who wants to grow plants or crops. This is because loamy soil is very rich in nutrients, retains moisture and yet also drains well, is not overly light and not too dense either and it does not dry out in the summer. The grain of loamy soil is intermediate between sand and clay and most suitable for a wider range of crops. In Punjab, Hariyana, U. P., and Bihar this type of soil is found. It is suitable for the production of rabi as well as kharif crops.

In South India river valleys and coastal plains are made up of alluvial soil.

Lava soil
is found in the north-western part of Deccan. As this soil can retain moisture, it is very suitable for the production of cotton even in a rain shadow area. So it is known as ‘Black Cotton Soil’. Maharashtra, Gujrat and certain parts of Madhya Pradesh have this of soil.

The Red soil which is found in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is light red in colour. Laterite soil is found in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Chhotanagpur. It is not suitable for cultivation of crops other than millets.