Uttar Pradesh is fourth largest state (in terms of area) and most populated state in India. U.P. is located in the north-central part of India . U.P. has a large area . Uttar Pradesh’s climate also vary widely, with temperatures that vary from 47 °C in summer and -1 °C in winter.
Uttar Pradesh is surrounded by Rajasthan on the North, Uttarakhand on the north-west, Haryana and Delhi on the west, Rajasthan on the south-west, Madhya Pradesh on the south,Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on south-east and Bihar on the east. It is situated between 23°52’N and 31°28’N latitudes and 77°3′ and 84°39’E longitudes.
Uttar Pradesh can be divided into three distinct hypsographical regions :
- 1. The Shivalik foothills and Terai in the North
- 2. The Gangetic Plain in the centre – Highly fertile alluvial soils; flat topography broken by numerous ponds, lakes and rivers; slope 2 m/km
- 3. The Vindhya Hills and plateau in the south – Hard rock Strata; varied topography of hills, plains, valleys and plateau; limited water availability.
Climate of Uttar Pradesh is tropical monsoon. The average temperature varies in the plains in January varies from 3 to 4 °C io 43 to 45 °C in May and June. There are three different seasons – October to February is winter , March to mid-June is summer , and June to September is rainy season .
In the east, rain fall in the plains is heaviest and decreases towards the north-east. Floods is the problem that reoccurs , causing damage to crops, life and property. In 1971, worst floods were there, in which 51 of the 54 districts of the state were affected , an area of around 52,000 square kilometres. The districts of eastern region are most vulnerable to floods as compared to western districts and the central region.
The eastern districts are prone to the floods beacuse of the heavy rainfall, low flat country, high subsoil water level and the silting of beds which causes river levels to rise. The problem in the western districts is mainly poor drainage caused by the obstruction of roads, railways, canals, new built-up areas etc. Water logging in the large areas.
The major flood-prone rivers are the Ganges, Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Rapti,Sharda and Ramganga. Inadequate drainage capacity of the smaller western Sirsa, Kali and the Aligarh drain is also a cause of floods.
Tropical monsoon climate marked by three distinct seasons:
- 1. Summer (March–June): Hot & dry (temperatures rise to 45 °C, sometimes 47-48 °C); low relative humidity (20%); dust laden winds.
- 2. Monsoon (June–September): 85% of average annual rainfall of 990 mm. Fall in temperature 40-45° on rainy days.
- 3. Winter (October–February): Cold (temperatures drop to 3-4 °C, sometimes below -1 °C); clear skies; foggy conditions in some tracts.
Flora and Fauna
Forests constitute around 6.8% of the total geographical area of U.P. The terai and bhabhar area in the Gangetic Plain have most of the forests. Vindhyan forests comprises mostly of scrub. Jaunpur, Ghazipur and Ballia districts have no forest land, while 31 other district have less forest area.
In the Shivalik foothills and in the terai-bhabhar area grow the Sal and huge Haldu. Along the river Shisham grows in large amount. Vindhyan forests have dhak,teak, mahua, salai, chironji and tendu. Sisso is mostly used for furniture while khair yields Kattha, which is taken with Betel leaves or pan. Semal and Gutel are used as matchwood and Kanju in the plywood industry. Babul provides the principal tanning material of U.P. Baib and bamboo are used as raw material for the paper industry. Tendu leaves are used in making bidis (Indian cigarettes), and Cane is used in baskets and furniture.
Herbs include medicinal plants like Rauwolfia serpentina, Vialserpens, podophyllum, hexandrum and Ephecra gerardiana are also used.
Because of state’s diverse topography and climate, U.P. has diverse animal life. Its avifauna is among the richest in India . Animals that can be found in the state are tiger, leopard, wild bear, sloth bear, chital, sambhar, jackal, porcupine, jungle cat, hare, squirrel, monitor lizards, and fox. The most common birds are crow, pigeon, dove, jungle fowl, black partridge, house sparrow, peafowl, blue jay, parakeet, kite, mynah, quail, bulbul, kingfisher and woodpecker.
Certain type of species are found in special habitats. The elephant is limited to Terai and the foothills. Gond and Para also found in this region. Chinkara and Sandgrouse prefer dry climate, and lives in the Vindhyan forests. The game birds in U.P. are the snipe, comb duck, grey duck, cotton teal and whistling teal.