Major Types of Soils found in India

Types of soils in India

  1. Alluvial Soil 
  2. Black Soil 
  3. Red Soil 
  4. Laterite Soil 
  5. Mountain Soil 
  6. Saline - Alkaline Soil 
  7. Desert Soil 
  8. Peaty and Marshy Soil 

1. Alluvial Soil 

Alluvial Soil
  • Alluvial soil constitutes of 42 % of the total soil area in India. 
  • It is formed as a result of deposition of rivers and thus it is more fertile and rich in organic material. 
  • Alluvial Soil is found in plenty in the states - Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana and Brahmaputra Valley in Assam etc. of India. 
  • Alluvial Soil is best for crops like - Wheat, Rice, Cotton, Jute, Barley, Corn, Oilseed, Coffee, Potatoes, Chili, Cloves etc. 

2. Black Soil

Black Soil
  • Black soil constitutes of 15% of the total soil area in India. 
  • It is formed as a result of weathering of lava rocks of Deccan plateau and thus rich in Iron, magnesium, Silica, Lime and potash. 
  • It has high clay content and has high water retaining property. 
  • Black Soil is found in plenty in the states - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Black Soil is best for crops like - Mulberry Cotton Plant Ground Nut, Chili, Cotton, Tobacco, Chili, Oil Seeds, Jowar, Ragi, Maize, Castor, Sugarcane, Safflower etc. 

3. Red Soil

Red Soil
  • Red soil constitutes 25 % of the total soil area in India and is the most widely spread soil. 
  • It is formed a s a result of erosion of Granite and Gneissic rocks. 
  • It is rich in Iron, phosphate, lime, potash and humus and supports wide crop diversity. 
  • Major areas of Red soil in India is - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh. 
  • Red Soil is best for crops like - Cotton, Wheat, Pulses, Tobacco, Jowar, Linseed, Millet, Potatoes and Some Fruits etc. 

4. Laterite Soil

Laterite Soil
  • Laterite soil constitutes 4.5 % of the total soil area in India and is the most acidic soil. 
  • It gets quickly eroded on deforestation, mining and plantation. 
  • It is not suitable for agriculture but suitable for special crops like tapioca and cashew. 
  • Major areas of laterite soil in India is Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Meghalaya, West Bengal . 
  • Laterite soils is best for crops like Tea, Coffee, Coconuts, Rice, Wheat, Cotton, Maize, Sugarcane, Jute Oil Seeds, Millets, Pulses etc. 

5. Mountain Soil

Mountain Soil
  • Mountain soil is a thin layer of soil formed under cold humid climate. 
  • It is not suitable for agriculture but suits best for forestry.
  • The humus content is high in this soil due to the climate. 
  • Major areas of mountain soils in India are - Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam. 
  • Mountain Soil is best for crops like Coffee, Tea, Wheat, Maize, Blueberries, Saffron etc. 

6. Saline and Alkaline Soil

Saline and Alkaline Soil
  • Saline-Alkaline soil is found in canal areas. 
  • In moderate arid condition, calcification occurs and in extreme arid conditions, salinity occurs. 
  • Major areas of Saline and Alkaline soils in India are - Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra etc. 
  • The soil is best for crops like Seem, Rice, Sugarcane, Fruits, Spices etc. 

7. Desert Soil

Desert Soil
  • Desert soil is sandy and loose soil. 
  • Due to its coarse structure, the water holding capacity is very less. 
  • As it has low nutrients, it is not suitable for agriculture. 
  • Major areas of Desert soils in India are -Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab 
  • The soil is best for crops like Xerophytes only. 

8. Peaty and Marshy Soil

Peaty and Marshy Soil
  • These are black coloured, heavy and highly acidic soils. 
  • When the vegetation growing in such wet places dies, it decomposes and a layer of partly decayed organic matter accumulates on the surface, giving rise to such peaty and marshy soils. 
  • Major areas of Peaty and Marshy soils are - Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttaranchal. 
  • This soil is best for crops like Rice, Oilseeds, Citrus, Tobacco, Sugarcane etc.


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