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India: Climate, Vegetation and Wildlife Geography NCERT Notes for UPSC

Jan 23, 2023

India climate vegetation wildlife geography NCERT notes for UPSC

Weather is about day to day changes in the atmosphere. It includes changes in temperature, rainfall, sunshine, etc. Having proper understanding of India’s climate, vegetation and wildlife is of utmost importance for IAS aspirants. Read this article wherein we have covered all these important aspects and add more knowledge to your UPSC CSE preparation. 

Seasons in India

  • Cold Weather Season or Winter (December to February): During this season, the Sun rays do not fall directly in the region. As a result the temperatures are quite low in northern India.
  • Hot Weather Season or Summer (March to May):In the hot weather season sun rays more or less directly fall in this region. Temperature becomes very high. Hot and dry winds called loo, blow during the day.
  • Southwest Monsoon Season or Rainy (June to September): This season is marked by the onset and advance of monsoon. The winds blow from Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal towards the land. They carry moisture with them. When these winds strike the mountain barriers, rainfall occurs.
  • Season of Retreating Monsoon or Autumn (October and November): Winds move back from the mainland to the Bay of Bengal. This is the season of the retreating monsoons. The southern parts of India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh receive rainfall in this season.


Climate is about the average weather condition, which has been measured over many years. The climate of India has broadly been described as Monsoon type. Monsoon is taken from the Arabic word ‘mausim’, which means seasons.

Factors affecting climates

The climate of a place is affected by its location, altitude, distance from the sea and relief. Therefore, regional differences in the climate of India are experienced.

Natural vegetation

  • The grasses, shrubs, and trees, which grow on their own without interference or help from human beings, are called natural vegetation. 
  • Due to varied climatic conditions, India has a wide range of natural vegetation.

Also Read: Land Revenue System in India

Significance of the forests

  • Forests are the natural habitat of wild life.
  • Forests perform various important functions such as providing oxygen, absorbing CO2, improving quality of soil, controlling soil erosion etc.
  • It also provides herbs, lac, honey, gum, fuel, fodder, shelter, raw material for various basic or primary industries and also for secondary industries.
  • It provides various medicinal plants for treatments and the cultural significance of forests is very high.

Important facts

  • Tiger is national animal of India.
  • Peacock is national bird of India.
  • Gir National Park is home to Asiatic lions.
  • The smallest migratory bird Little Stint weighing as low as 15 gram, from the Arctic region, travels over 8000 km to reach India. 
  • The government has also started Project Tiger and Project Elephant to ensure their protection.

Which winds bring rainfall in India? Why is it so important?

The southwest monsoon winds, also known as the southwest monsoon, is a seasonal wind that blows from the southwest to the northeast in the Indian subcontinent. These winds bring rainfall to the region from June to September. The monsoon is caused by the difference in pressure between the warm Bay of Bengal and the cooler Arabian Sea. The wind coming from the bay of Bengal, which is warmer and therefore less dense, causes the air to rise which causes the formation of clouds, resulting in rainfall.

The northeast monsoon winds, also known as the northeast monsoon, is a seasonal wind that blows from the northeast to the southwest in the Indian subcontinent. These winds bring rainfall to the region from October to December, mostly in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Andhra Pradesh.

Rainfall is important for India for several reasons. Firstly, it is the primary source of water for irrigation, drinking, and other uses. The monsoons are crucial for the agricultural sector of India, as it supports the cultivation of crops such as rice, wheat, and sugarcane. Secondly, it also supports the hydropower generation, as the monsoons fill the reservoirs which are used to generate electricity. Thirdly, rainfall replenishes the groundwater and surface water resources, which are important for the survival of aquatic life and ecosystems.

In summary, India receives rainfall from two winds, southwest monsoon winds, and northeast monsoon winds. Monsoons are crucial for the agricultural sector, hydropower generation, replenishment of groundwater and surface water resources, and hence it is vital for the country's economic and ecological well-being.

Name the different seasons in India.

According to the UPSC syllabus, the different seasons in India are:

  1. Winter (December-February)
  2. Summer (March-May)
  3. Monsoon (June-September)
  4. Post-monsoon (October-November)

Which vegetation is found in India?

According to the UPSC syllabus, India is home to a diverse range of natural vegetation types that are determined by a combination of factors such as climate, soil type, and topography. The following is a list of some of the major natural vegetation types found in India:

  1. Tropical Rainforest: Found in the northeastern and southwestern regions of the country, characterized by high rainfall, humidity, and a diverse range of plant species.
  2. Tropical Deciduous Forest: Found in the central and eastern regions of the country, characterized by a dry season and a rainy season, and a variety of trees such as teak, sal, and bamboo.
  3. Tropical Thorn Forest: Found in the western and northern regions of the country, characterized by low rainfall and extreme temperatures, and a variety of shrubs and small trees such as acacia, cactus, and euphorbia.
  4. Montane Forest: Found in the mountainous regions of the country, characterized by a cool climate and a diversity of trees such as oak, deodar, and rhododendron.
  5. Mangrove Forest: Found in the coastal regions of the country, characterized by saline soil and high humidity, and a variety of trees such as mangrove and sundari.
  6. Littoral and Swamp Forest: Found in the delta regions of the country, characterized by high rainfall and waterlogged soil, and a variety of trees such as keora and sundari.
  7. Dry deciduous Forest: Found in regions with low rainfall and high temperature, with trees such as teak and sal.
  8. Dry thorn Forest: Found in regions with low rainfall and high temperature, with shrubs and small trees such as cactus and euphorbia.
  9. Alpine Pastures and meadows: Found in high altitude regions, characterized by cold climate, and grasses and herbs such as khas and bhotia.
  10. Grasslands: Found in regions with low rainfall and high temperature, characterized by grasses and herbs.

All above mentioned vegetation have their own importance in terms of their ecological balance and biodiversity they contribute.

What is the difference between evergreen forest and deciduous forest?

Evergreen forests are characterized by trees that retain their leaves year-round, while deciduous forests are characterized by trees that shed their leaves annually. Additionally, evergreen forests tend to have a more consistent temperature and rainfall throughout the year, while deciduous forests experience a distinct change in climate between seasons. In terms of biodiversity, evergreen forests are typically more diverse, with a wider variety of plant and animal species present than deciduous forests.

Why is tropical rainforest also called evergreen forest?

Tropical rainforests are also referred to as evergreen forests because the majority of the trees within these forests are evergreen, meaning they retain their leaves year-round. This is due to the consistent warm temperatures and high levels of rainfall found in tropical rainforests, which allows for the growth of a wide variety of plant species that do not need to adapt to seasonal changes in climate. Additionally, the high levels of precipitation in tropical rainforests help to support the growth of a diverse array of plant species, many of which are evergreen. This results in a lush, dense canopy that is characterized by a constant covering of green leaves.

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