India has a diverse geographical, topographical and climatic features that present a varied and rich vegetation. The sundry natural ecosystems of the regions result variety of vegetation ranging from evergreen tropical rain forests to dry alpine scrub high in the Himalayas. Nearly 67.83 million hectares and constitute 20.64 percent of geographical area is covered by forest. It is the second largest land use in India next to agriculture. India forest areas are principally divided into eight distinct floristic regions - the Western Himalayas (extend from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh through Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Meghalaya and Nagaland and the Deccan Peninsula); the Eastern Himalayas (eastward Sikkim to Darjeeling, Kurseong and the adjacent tract); the Indus plain that are the plains of Punjab, western Rajasthan and northern Gujarat; the Ganga plain; the Deccan (Indian Peninsular), Malabar (humid belt parallel to the west coast of the peninsular); the Andamans (rich in evergreen, mangrove, beach and diluvial forests)
Types Of Forest
Evergreen Forests (Tropical) - These type of forests are predominant where rainfall is higher and between 200-300 cm. Western Ghats and Sub Himalayan regions are covered with evergreen tropical forest. These are coniferous forests with trees having needle-shaped leaves and provide Teak, Rosewood, Ebony and Bamboo.
Deciduous Forests (Monsoon) - Deciduous forests are found where the rainfall is around 150-200 cm. Most of the Deccan Plateau of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are places where deciduous forests are dominant. Most of the trees are Sal, Teak and Sandalwood.
Dry Forests - Rajasthan deserts and south of Punjab are covered by dry forests where rainfall ranges between 75-100 cms.
Hill Forests - Hill forests are mainly found in southern India and the Himalayan regions and provide timber like Oak, Deodar, Pines and Chi.
Tidal Forests (Mangrove) - Tidal forests are dominant in coastal plains, generally submerged on river deltas on the east coast, (the Ganga, the Mahanadi and the Godavari). The forests on the Gangetic delta in Bengal are called Sunderbans named after the Sundari trees in the forests.
Flora And Fauna In Indian Forests
In many parts of India forests enjoy a privileged position of religious significance and the wildlife gets a secure position. Although in last 3 decades India has seen a pathetic poaching that destroyed a large number of animals especially tigers and rhinos. The diverse India's climate and topography is reflected in its rich flora and fauna and famed for tigers, elephants, rhinoceros and varieties of birds and other species. India captivates the wildlife enthusiasts for long and attract overland travelers to experience the rich flora and fauna. India holds 80 national parks and 441 wildlife sanctuaries of which 19 fall under the purview of Project Tiger. India is blessed with over 2,000 species of birds over 500 species of reptiles and amphibians and 30,000 species of insects.