The Deccan Plateau is a massive plateau that covers most of the southern portion of India. The name Deccan has its origins in the Prakrit language, which gets the word from the Sanskrit word for south. It is nestled between three mountain ranges, forming a raised triangle in the inland part of India. Its eastern boundary is formed by the Eastern Ghats, and the western edge is from the Western Ghats. The Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges separate the plateau on the northern boundary. In the south of the plateau, the elevation is around 1,000 meters above sea level. To the north the elevation decreases to roughly 500 meters above sea level throughout. Water drains from the plateau
Because of surrounding mountain ranges, the region receives very little rainfall during the year, which helps make for a hot, dry climate particularly during the summer months. The plateau is laid out on the volcanic basalt beds from a previous catastrophic eruption. This eruption is speculated by some to have accelerated the extinction of the dinosaurs. There are forests on the plateau that have been around for longer than the Himalayan Mountains. On the arable land in the plateau, the chief crops cultivated are cotton, sugarcane, and rice.
Over 300 million people live on the plateau, which stretches over eight states in India. Most notably, nearly all of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu are contained on the plateau. The largest city on the plateau is Bangalore, with a population of 8,425,970 as of 2011. The concentration of land and consistently growing population puts sustainable resources on the Deccan Plateau under a great deal of pressure. There are significant efforts to conserve water and forest in the area, but deforestation and damming of water courses threaten to render that work useless.
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