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Friday, April 22, 2011

Indian Soil Types

Soil is an important natural resource in India and around the world. It is the top layer of the earth’s surface and is made up of disintegrated rocks, minerals, organic matter and bacteria, according to the National Portal of India website. India is home to several different types of soils. Each soil type has its own individual characteristics and is suitable for growing different kinds of crops.

Alluvial Soil

Alluvial soil is found mostly in the flood plains and deltas of northern India. It generally is light to dark in color. Alluvial soil also is rich in potassium and has high fertility. According to the National Portal of India website, alluvial soil is best suitable for growing crops such as paddy, sugarcane and plantains.

Black Soil

Black soil, also known as regur, is formed due to the disintegration of lava rocks. According to the website Indianetzone, black soil is generally found in the hilly regions of India. Black soil is rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium and magnesium, but has poor nitrogen content, according to the national Portal of India website. Black soil is appropriate for growing crops like cotton, tobacco, oil seeds and maize.

Red Soil

Red soil gets its red color due to the strong presence of iron in the soil. According to the Department of General Education, Government of Kerala website, the soil is formed because of the disintegration of metamorphic and igneous rocks. The soil is most often found in areas of India with low rainfall. Crops such as red gram, groundnut and castor seed are often grown in red soil.


Laterite soil is formed from a mixture of clay and red soil. It has very low fertility and becomes hard when exposed to the air, according to the website WiZiQ. The soil is generally a brown to yellowish color. It is most often used as a building material. However, some crops like coffee, coconut and cashew are capable of growing in laterite soil.

Desert Soil

Desert soil is most often found in the arid and semi-arid regions of India. The soil is a light brown to reddish color. It is characterized by its saline texture and very low moisture content. According to the website WiZiQ, the soil is best suited for drought-resistant crops like millet and barley.

Mountain Soil

Mountain soil is found in the hill slopes of northern India. It is generally a dark brown to black color. According to the website WiZiQ, the soil is formed by the deposition of organic matter from the forest. Tropical fruits, coffee and spices are some of the crops suitable for growth in mountain soil.


  1. hi wil u provide info about forest soil types .. Thanks

  2. Nice article on types of soils found in india.
    Forest soils are found in the Himalayas and other mountain regions of the north. These soils are very shallow, stony and infertile for the production of field crops. But useful for forest produce such as timber and tropical fruits.