(Last Updated on : 28/10/2010)
The Chota Nagpur Plateau is a plateau in eastern India, which covers much of the Indian states like Jharkhand state as well as adjacent parts of Orissa, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh. The Indo-Gangetic plain lies in the north and east direction of the plateau, and the basin of the Mahanadi River lies to the south. There are beautiful waterfalls in the Chota Nagpur Plateau such as Lodh Falls. The plateau is made up of ancient Precambrian rocks and deposits of coal are the main component of the industries of the Damodar Valley.
Chota Nagpur Plateau is made up of three smaller plateaus, like the Ranchi, Hazaribagh
, and Kodarma plateaus
. The Ranchi plateau is the largest of the plateaus, with an average height of about 700 meters. The total area of Chota Nagpur is roughly 65,000 km². Much of the plateau is forested with Sal trees and is covered by the Chota Nagpur dry deciduous forest eco-region. The Chota Nagpur Plateau is one of the few remaining refuges left in India for tigers and Asian Elephants. The Chota Nagpur plateau in its totality lies between the basins of the Ganges and Son rivers to the north and the Mahanadi River to the south; through its center, from west to east, runs the coal-bearing, faulted Damodar Valley. Numerous streams have dissected the uplands into a pene-plain, which is the area reduced almost to a plain by erosion with isolated hills.
Centuries of heavy cultivation on Chota Nagpur Plateau have depleted the plateau of much of its natural vegetation, though some valuable forests still remain intact. Forest products, such as tussah silk and lac, are economically important. The Chota Nagpur Plateau area has the most valuable concentration of mineral resources in India. The Damodar Valley on the Chota Nagpur Plateau has vast coal reserves, and Hazaribagh district is one of the main sources of mica in the world. Other minerals found on this plateau are copper, limestone, bauxite, iron ore, asbestos, and apatite (useful in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers). A huge thermal plant for generating electricity and a large steel mill are located at Bokaro. Railroads cross the Chota Nagpur Plateau, thus connecting Kolkata to the southeast India with Patna to the north, and also connect other cities in the south and west of India.