Everything You Need To Know About Geography Upsc Notes

Complete Geography UPSC Notes & Syllabus Download

1. Fundamental Physical Geography

2. Fundamental Human Geography

3. Indian Physical Geography

4. Indian Human Geography

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Everything You Need To Know About Geography Upsc Notes

Fundamental Physical Geography

Physical geography is the study of the Earth's physical features and processes, including the landforms, oceans, atmosphere, and climate. These topics are closely related to many aspects of human society and the environment, and a strong foundation in physical geography can help you to better understand and analyze the issues that you will encounter in the civil service exam.

Everything You Need To Know About Geography Upsc Notes

Fundamental Human Geography

Human geography is the study of the ways in which human societies are shaped and influenced by their physical and cultural environments. It is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of topics, including population, migration, economic development, cultural practices, and political systems. A basic understanding of fundamental human geography can be helpful for the UPSC CSE, as it can provide you with insight into the social, economic, and cultural factors that shape the world around us.

Everything You Need To Know About Geography Upsc Notes

Indian Physical Geography

Indian physical geography is an important topic for the UPSC CSE, as it provides insight into the natural resources, hazards, and environmental issues that are relevant to the country. A basic understanding of India's physical features and processes can help you to better understand and analyze the issues that you will encounter in the civil service exam.

Everything You Need To Know About Geography Upsc Notes

Indian Human Geography

Indian human geography is an important topic for the UPSC CSE, as it provides insight into the social, economic, and cultural factors that shape the country. A basic understanding of these factors can help you to better understand and analyze the issues that you will encounter in the civil service exam.


Geography studies the earth, environment, and people in relation to one another as they go on to produce a variety of human, socio-cultural and economic landscapes over space and time.

Eratosthenes, a Greek scholar, first coined the term “Geography”. The word has been derived from the Greek language, geo meaning “Earth” and graphapos meaning “description”, which ultimately means description of the earth.

In the 19th century, Geography formally came into existence as an institutionalized discipline. It is a vast discipline in its content and extent as its subject matter includes extensive physical and human properties and experiences in their spatial and temporal settings. With this, the discipline took concepts and subject matter from other physical/environmental and biological sciences as well as social sciences and humanities into its framework of methodology. Thus, geography has had a long tradition of interdisciplinary synthesis.

Geography is classified as either general or systematic geography and particular geography or physical geography and human geography. General or systematic geography is concerned with the formulation of laws/principles and generalization, i.e., a phenomenon is studied the world over as a whole, and then the identification of typologies or special patterns is done. In contrast, special or regional geography is concerned with the various aspects existing in a specific area and regional setting. Regional geography covers all topics of physical geography and human geography at the Macro, meso, or micro level.

Branches of Geography (Based on Systematic Approach)

Systematic geography has two main branches, i.e., physical geography and human geography.

1. Physical Geography: In physical geography, the sub-branches are astronomical geography, geomorphology, climatology, hydrology, oceanography, pedology or soil geography, and biogeography.

  • Geomorphology: to study the landforms, their evolution and other related processes.
  • Climatology: It includes the study of the atmosphere’s structure and elements of weather and climates and climate types and regions.
  • Hydrology: It studies the sections of water over the surface of the earth, including rivers, lakes, oceans, and other water bodies and its effect on different life forms comprising human life and their activities.
  • Soil Geography: It is dedicated to studying the processes of soil formation, their fertility status, soil types, distribution and use.

2. Human Geography: It includes social geography, Economic Geography, Cultural Geography, Political Geography, Population geography, rural and urban geography, medical geography or geography of health.

  • Social/Cultural Geography: it includes society’s study and its spatial dynamics as well as the cultural elements contributed by the society.
  • Population and Settlements Geography: it includes the study of population growth, distribution, density, sex ratio, migration, occupational structure, etc. Settlement geography includes the studies of characteristics of rural and urban settlements.
  • Economic Geography: It involves the studies of people’s economic activities, comprising agriculture, industry, tourism, trade and transport, etc.
  • Historical Geography: it involves the studies of historical processes through which space gets organized.
  • Political Geography: It looks at the space from the angle of political events, studies boundaries, space relations between neighbouring political units, election scenarios, etc., and makes a theoretical framework to understand the political behaviour of the population.

3. Biogeography: it is an interface between physical geography and human geography, which has led to the development of Biogeography. It includes:

  • Plant Geography: It involves the study of spatial distributions of plants and vegetation in their habitats.
  • Zoo Geography: It involves the study of the spatial distribution of animals and their habitats.
  • Ecology/Ecosystem: it involves the scientific study of the habitats of different species.
  • Environmental Geography: it involves the study of spatial aspects of interaction between humans and the natural world.

Branch of Geography (Based on Regional Approach)

It studies unique spaces (region) and the whole reality not in pieces but in an interrelated manner with the principles of spatial associations.

  • Regional studies/ Area studies: These include the Macro, meso and micro Regional studies.
  • Regional Planning: it includes country or town and town or urban Planning
  • Regional development

Regional Analysis: there are 2 aspects which are common to every discipline, these are:

  1. Philosophy
  • Geographical thought
  • Land and Human Interaction/Human Ecology
  1. Methods and techniques
  • Cartography, including computer cartography
  • Quantitative Techniques/Statistical techniques
  • Field Survey Methods
  • Geo-informatics includes remote sensing, GPS, GIS, etc.

The classification mentioned above gives a detailed format of the branches of geography, but the form is not fixed. It is bound to grow with new ideas, problems, techniques and methods. For instance, there has been a shift from manual cartography to computer cartography.

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