plateau in the south-central highlands of Madhya Pradesh state, north-central India. Having an area of about 4,000 square miles (10,000 square km), it constitutes a transitional zone between the North Deccan plateau to the south, the Eastern plateau to the east, and the alluvial stretch of the Ganges (Ganga) River (Ganges River) plains to the north. The plateau is part of the Vindhya Range and is composed of fluvio-marine deposits of Cambrian age (roughly 500 million years old) that have been uplifted and peneplained several times and are overlain by dissected sandstone. It has an average elevation of 1,600 feet (500 metres) and slopes from west to east. The swift-flowing Tons and Sonar rivers have numerous falls and rapids along their courses and have cut deep gorges in the scarplands of the Vindhya.Forests of teak and catechu trees are characteristic of the plateau. Agriculture is the basis of the economy; rice, wheat, jowar (grain sorghum), gram (chickpeas), barley, corn (maize), peas, sesame seeds, and mustard seeds are grown. Although the region is rich in coal and other mineral and forest resources, the only major industrial plant is a large cement factory at Kymore (Katni town); local limestone and coal are utilized. Cottage industries produce brick and tile, stoneware, cement, glass, and shellac. Flour, dal (pigeon peas), and oilseeds are milled.The plateau is a region of low population density. The only major road is the National Highway through Katni. The other important towns are Damoh, Maihar, and Hatta.
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