In India, the climate and vegetation vary a lot when you go from the Himalayas to the Thar desert to the forests of West Bengal. The climate of India is recognised in four types, winter, summer, rainy and monsoon. Different types of natural vegetation are dependent on different climatic conditions. Indian forests are home to a variety of species of animals and a large variety of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, insects and worms, which dwell in the forest. To help students to develop a proper study methodology, we are providing CBSE Class 6 Geography notes for Chapter 8 – India – climate, vegetation and wildlife.
The major seasons recognised in India are:
- Cold Weather Season (Winter) December to February
- Hot Weather Season (Summer) March to May
- Southwest Monsoon Season (Rainy) June to September
- Season of Retreating Monsoon (Autumn) October and November
Cold Weather Season or Winter
During the winter 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
In the hot weather season sun rays more or less directly fall in this region. The temperature becomes very high. Hot and dry winds called loo, blow during the day.
South-West Monsoon Season or Rainy Season
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
Winds move back from the mainland to the Bay of Bengal. This season is called the retreating monsoons. The southern parts of India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh receive rainfall in this season.
The 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. Due to India’s location in the tropical region, most of the rain is brought by monsoon winds. Agriculture in India is dependent on rains. Good monsoons mean adequate rain and a bountiful crop. The climate of a place is affected by its location, altitude, distance from the sea, and relief. Therefore, we experience regional differences in the climate of India.
We see a variety of plant life in our surroundings like small plants called bushes and shrubs like cactus and flowering plants etc. Besides there are many tall trees, some with many branches and leaves like neem, mango or some, which stand with few leaves such as palm. The grasses, shrubs and trees, which grow on their own without interference or help from human beings are called natural vegetation. Different types of natural vegetation are dependent on different climatic conditions, among which the amount of rainfall is very important. Due to varied climatic conditions, India has a wide range of natural vegetation.
Why are Forests Necessary?
Forests are very useful and perform various functions. Plants release oxygen that we breathe and absorb carbon dioxide. The roots of the plants bind the soil; thus, they control soil erosion. Forests provide us with timber for furniture, fuelwood, fodder, medicinal plants and herbs, lac, honey, gum, etc.
Forests are the natural habitat of wildlife. Natural vegetation has been destroyed to a large extent because of the reckless cutting of trees.
Forests are home to a variety of species of animals and a large variety of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, insects and worms which dwell in the forest. The tiger is our national animal. It is found in various parts of the country. Gir forest in Gujarat is the home of Asiatic lions. Elephants and one-horned rhinoceroses roam in the forests of Assam. Elephants are also found in Kerala and Karnataka. Camels and wild asses are found in the Great Indian desert and the Rann of Kuchchh respectively.
The peacock is our national bird. Other common birds are parrots, pigeons, mynah, geese, bulbul and ducks. There are several bird sanctuaries which have been created to give birds their natural habitat.
There are several hundreds of species of snakes found in India. Cobras and kraits are important among them. Due to the cutting of forests and hunting, several species of wildlife of India are declining rapidly. Many species have already become extinct. In order to protect them many national parks, sanctuaries and biosphere reserves have been set up. The Government has also started Project Tiger and Project Elephant to protect these animals.